8 Man Offense

Never Be Outschemed

Unsuspecting 8 Man Football Offense Keys

Mike McCann

Unsuspecting 8 Man Football Offense Keys

Ever wondered what it would be like to be in the mind of an 8 man football defensive coach? This post, written by a defensive coordinator, reveals three of the most important factors a defensive coach takes into account when game-planning. 8 Man Football Offense is simple, but not necessarily easily. You, as the offensive coordinator, get to line up and make the defense adjust to your 8 man football offense. 

Defensively, we have to adjust to what you're doing. This can be a nightmare! However, these are three of the most important things defensive coaches take into account when game-planning for your 8 man offensive schemes. If you can think like a defensive coach and overcome these three keys, you'll be able to score quicker and more often.

1) Unbalance The Line Of Scrimmage

Finding balance in the 8 man football offense is unnecessary. You can line up with 6 players on one side of the center and as long as 5 are on the line of scrimmage, nobody cares. However, defensively, we must make sure we have the same amount of men on either side of the center as depicted below.

Balanced 8 man offense set

Unbalanced 8 man offensive formation


If we, defensively, do not match up with your 8 man football offense, we will be left “a man down” and all you need to do is have one half a man more than us to seal an edge and run for a touchdown. In the “Unbalanced” image, all a team would need to do is run a QB sweep to the right and the defense would be in for a long night.

TIP: Find a way to make defenses unbalanced. You can try this by lining up overloaded, using pre-snap motion, or even doing multi-player pre-snap shifts to confuse the defense. 

2) Monitor Your Corners

Because many teams's defensive schemes do not utilize Safeties, Cornerbacks are often left to fend for themselves. One of my constant fears is that a team will put their tallest player on my shortest (who happens to be a Cornerback) and throw deep passes. The Corner has no help from a Safety so he is on his own. If the receiver is bigger, taller, or simply faster than the Corner, offense has a chance to score an easy touchdown.

TIP: Whether you employ a passing 8 man offense or not, have some audibles ready in case you see a Corner/Receiver mismatch. These can be hitch routes, go routes, or a trusty slant. 

3) Slow Down The 8 Man Football Offense

Personally, I love blitzing. I loved it as a player and I love it even more as a coach. When I blitz, I have the opportunity to disrupt an 8 man football offense's momentum. 

You, as an offensive coordinator, have the same opportunity. Many teams struggle against Counter plays. Defenses, especially fast ones like mine, “flow” too quickly and it is easy for them to overrun the play. 

TIP: Equalize a defense's speed by using Counter and even trick plays to slow down a defense. Keep them guessing! If they don't know where you're going to come from, they cannot blitz as much. And if they do, you have a higher chance of catching them in a blitz with nobody there to stop your perfect play call.