I received my schedule for the 2004 Single Wing Symposium taking place at William Jewel College near Kansas City. Looks like another great symposium is on tap.

I am also looking for a volunteer to write a little synopsis/diary of each day’s events from their point of view? It doesn’t have to be just the presentations either – I think people would like to read about the late nights watching single wing video, talking to coaches, etc. I’d like to post it at Direct Snap when they return. I will not be able to attend this year unfortunately, but it is so much fun and as Rich Bridgeo says, it’s Single Wing Disney World.

Snap & Go!
adam_wesoloski at yahoo.com

Thursday, July 8
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM Registration
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Introductions and Announcements
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM Defense the William Jewel Way William Jewel College Defensive Staff
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM Lunch (William Jewel Cafeteria is less than $6 per person).
1:15 PM - 4:00 PM The ‘Bliss’ of Modern Single Wing Football Mark Bliss (formerly the Head Coach of Conway Springs, Kansas, now at Palmetto Ridge, Florida)
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM NSWCA Living Legends Series (an open forum based on the “Legends” in attendance)
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM - ? War Room and Break-Out Sessions

Friday, July 9
8:00 AM - 11:30 AM Registration
8:30 AM - 11:30 Am Rogue River’s Play Action Passing Attack Walter Bazylewicz (Head Coach, Rogue River, OR)
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM NSWCA General Business Meeting
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM Single Wing’s Mystery Speaker - TBA
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Living Legends Series continued (based on the “Legends” in attendance)
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM - ? War Room and Break-Out Sessions

Saturday, July 10
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM Severe Angle Blocking Eric Strutz (Head Coach - State Line Comets, Richmond, Illinois)
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Legends Series Continued (based on the “Legends” in attendance)
12:30 PM - ? Lunch and Departures

Tips and Reminders:
1. Membership Fees: Individual fee = $25 or whole staff = $50
2. Dorm Cost: 2 Nights= $25/person, 3 Nights= $33/person, 4 Nights= $55/person
3. Linen Fee of $7.50 per person (includes sheets, pillow, blanket, towel and wash cloth)
4. Meals: Most of us will eat lunch at the William Jewel Cafeteria, for less than $6 per person (we will eat out in the evenings)
5. Additional Costs: $10 service charge to cover these, facility rental, fuel for the free airport shuttle service, registration supplies and the liability insurance required by William Jewell
($1,000,000 policy)

Further Questions Directed to:
Coach Dan Johnson
135 North Terrace
Wichita, Kansas 67208

I am sure this will be the most asked question I will hear. I feel we are running the single wing for these very important reasons.

The first is that in order to be successful, you must either do something better or do something different than everyone else. Rather than trying to match up toe to toe with the bigger schools of the Firelands Conference, I would rather confuse and dazzle them. The single wing offense is different because it does not use a quarterback but rather the center will snap the ball directly to the running back. The running back will keep it and run, pass it, or hand it to another running back. The full spin and half spin series are the most deceptive in the game of football while the power attack will be effective against a team on their heels trying to figure out the misdirection. The quarterback position is replaced with an additional blocker giving us an advantage over our opponent’s defense. All four of the running backs will have pass plays that are built directly off the running game.

The second reason is that today’s defenses with their four man fronts are not designed to handle the kind of power the single wing can generate. As an experienced defensive coach, I can tell you the only way to stop it is to try to match the power at the point of attack which means committing nine or ten players to the line of scrimmage. If this happens, I believe our pass offense will now flourish.

The third and probably the most important reason is that our team will be unique. We will “own” the single wing offense. Getting our team to believe together that what we are doing is unique and so different that we will be successful. Most of the knowledge about the single wing offense is very hard to find. I should know I have been putting this offensive package together for almost six years. I firmly believe that our opponents will not be able to replicate our offense during the week’s practice and will not be able to stop us with their base defense. They will have to change how their defense plays just for us and spend a lot of time working on stopping our offense. In order for them to do this, they will have to cut time out of their practice for their offense and special teams.

The fourth reason is that the single wing is the ultimate “TEAM” offense with no special positions that are treated differently. All players will hit, run, and block. The linemen are not asked to make the key block alone but rather there is almost always a double team at the point of attack with a kick out block from our blocking back.

The fifth reason is that I firmly believe in this offense. The misdirection, deception and power are not matched by any other offense. This offense doesn’t require a great quarterback or great running back to make it go. It is highly adaptable for each year’s talent. The blocking schemes are very simple and easy to learn. And I am sure that the players will find that it is fun to run.

Coach Tom Lewis
Head Football Coach
Plymouth High School
Plymouth Ohio

I am submitting my thoughts on Dr. Keuffel’s brand-new book below, and I encourage everyone here to do the same. Which means I encourage EVERYONE to buy this book…

Winning Single Wing Football
is a complete revision of Dr. Keuffel’s classic 1964 Simplified Single Wing Football (or SSWF, which I will contrast with the newer WSWF). Written an astonishing 40 years later, WSWF starts with the core of the unbalanced-line single wing offense that SSWF first presented, then adds much more. The irony to me is that WSWF is actually far more “simplified” than SSWF. It is as though with 40 additional years of experience to draw on, Dr. Keuffel has pared away all but the absolutely essential information.

After a brief introductory chapter that outlines his playing, coaching and teaching careers, Dr. K walks the prospective single wing coach through all the steps needed to get an offense up and running. He does so in a way that reflects credit on his Ph.D. in English from Penn — simply and logically. I know of no other coach able to impart the basics of setting up a single wing attack in only 10 pages, but Dr. Keuffel manages this in the second chapter of WSWF. He follows this with an elegantly simple description of how to teach linemen to be single wing centers. (In the process, Dr. K highlights the necessity for training several centers, but without scaring coaches away. This is a skill that can be taught with sufficient application and attention to detail — it isn’t rocket science.) All other positions receive the same treatment in chapter three.

Next Dr. Keuffel gets to the heart of the single wing offense, the straight series running plays. Coaches who have seen SSWF will notice the first of Dr. K’s major simplifications here with the very first play — Play 48, the straight-series off-tackle play. Where before Dr. Keuffel ran two different variations of this play, one with linemen pulling and leading, and a separate goal-line variation with solid blocking and the blocking back kicking out the EMLOS defender, he now only uses the goal-line version. Time after time in WSWF, Dr. Keuffel extols the benefits of “getting two for one” — i.e., teaching one thing that you can use in two or more situations. He leaves the door open, however, for others to do things differently. Readers are free to go back to the original pulling scheme for Play 48, or even to adapt the Steve Calande method of pulling the backside guard and tackle, the water boy, and the larger members of the cheer squad through the off-tackle hole.

Chapter 5 lays out the fun stuff, the indirect attack. Dr. Keuffel details the methods behind the FB full and half spin sequences, as well as a complementary TB half-spin cycle. He also strongly urges selectivity in choosing cycles — more is most definitely not better when choosing which indirect cycles to run, especially given limited practice time. Again, the astonishing thing to me is that Dr. Keuffel is able to impart an entire lecture on indirect-series single wing football in only ten pages.

Next, the section dearest to my wild-eyed heart — the passing game. Chapter 6 covers the basics of passer development, setting up dropback protection, variations on dropback route packages, teaching the running pass, and then explores the arcana of reverse passes, special passes (a jump pass, a shovel pass, etc.), and fake passes, including the legendary Statue of Liberty play. Again, Dr. Keuffel’s interest in simplification leaps off the page with his new versions of the optional running pass (Plays 79 and 99). Where before he released three receivers strongside (WB, TE, and BB), he now adds a strongside blocker and releases either the wing and blocking back (Play 79) or the wing and TE (Play 99). He makes explicit mention of his decision to do so and the reasons which drove his decision, which leaves the way open for coaches to do it the old way — or even adopt a more modern method. The Andrew Coverdale/Dan Robinson Bunch Attack book and video feature a Flood route package which is perfect for adaptation to the single wing optional running pass. Using such modular methods (including 30-degree, “severe-angle” blocking) allows coaches to continue to modernize and personalize their single wing attack. (Note: The thoughts on Bunch passing and SAB are mine, but I believe they fit perfectly with the methods Dr. Keuffel uses to teach his offense.)

Chapter 7 presents the quick-kicking game, which can be a tactical weapon of great value whether your opponent expects it or not, and which can allow a team to out-think a more talented opponent by forcing him to drive the length of the field if he wants to score. There is a wide array of fake quick-kick plays — runs, passes, even a screen and a Statue — and something of even greater potential value, a way to further simplify your entire kicking game. Dr. Keuffel advocates using quick kick protection for punts, field goals and extra points, unbalanced line and all. This could be a real time-saver during pre-season installation, and as with all unusual variations, might cause your opponents to waste valuable practice time preparing for them.

To me, the most important section of the book starts with Chapter 8 and runs through Chapter 10. Here is where Dr. Keuffel’s decades of experience truly shine through — he discusses the smallest details of pre-game strategy and mid-game tactical adjustments. He tells coaches exactly how to use the spotter in the booth, how to break down film, and how to create and use a game plan. It is among the finest discussions of coaching strategy and tactical application during the game that I have ever seen. I would advocate purchasing this book to offensive coaches of all stripes for these three chapters alone. The effective use of variations — in formation, cadence, alignment, personnel — pre-season preparations, and focusing on and exploiting defensive weaknesses, are all addressed with Dr. Keuffel’s typical economy of expression. This book is pure gold, whether you run single wing or five-wide shotgun spread, because he teaches coaches how to think.

I will clearly have to order another copy from Dr. Keuffel to keep, because my “working copy” is already highlighted in three different colors…now if I can just get him to autograph the next one.

It’s the Spin That Wins!
Ted Seay
seayee at hotmail dot com