Lethal Influence (Bringing back respect to the Jet Sweep)

by coach___cooper
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As I sit down at my computer today, I am prepared to give you confidence in a play that was a disaster last season. But this all hinges on the hiring of Kendal Briles as the next FSU offensive coordinator. Today, I decided to get a head start, and hand out some positivity right here before signing day. If Briles is our next offensive coordinator, what we saw from Houston this past season will transition over to Florida State next year.

While Taggart labels himself is a man of simplicity, Briles is a man of influence. Watching the film of Kendal Briles offense, he is able to stretch a defense far and wide. He is able to stretch them because of influence, and they cannot cover every possible option. If he is hired – get excited ‘Noles – we will be exciting on offense. Even the Jet Sweeps will work again – here’s how.

Mobile QB Needed

Last season Seminole fans were absolutely dumbfounded by Taggart’s dedication to the Jet Sweep. It seemed like most jet sweeps called ended up losing yards, especially against quick teams. Watching the Houston offense, it’s obvious that a dual threat quarterback is needed – something the Seminoles did not have this season. Briles coached an explosive offense, using QB D’Eriq King (he got hurt during the Tulane game). King was a three-star prospect out of Texas, and many schools wanted him at a different skill position. King’s size and speed made the Houston offense click. This is why FSU coaches want 6-1 QB Sam Howell. As we break down the jet sweep motion, remember that a mobile QB is key.


Jet Sweep



Briles starts in a unique formation with a lot of eye candy. While Houston is in a slot right formation with an unbalanced line – the TE at the bottom of the screen next to the guard. Instead of blocking, the TE runs a flat route away from the jet sweep. Near the top of the screen, an extra offensive lineman (#62) is used to seal off the linebacker. This is why Briles is the influencer – this is an option he can come back to later in the game. With his offense it is the same play, same motion, with a ton of smoke and mirrors. If he is our offensive coordinator, teams are going to want to have their bye week before us, as there’s a lot to prepare for in a normal week.

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Slot RT Unbalanced Jet Seep Left

The primary rule for the jet sweep is that every offensive lineman is “reach and run.” This falls under the umbrella of “Lethal Simplicity” as the offensive line responsible for an area, not a man. If there isn’t a lineman directly in front of them, they are “uncovered”. Uncovered offensive lineman climb to the secondary defenders, as you see with the extra offensive tackle. Covered lineman reach for the outside shoulder of the defender in front of them or to their play side.

The running back’s responsibility is to be the lead blocker and block the first perimeter defender he sees. The receiver up top is responsible for running the defensive back off, while the receiver on the bottom runs a slant.

Q GH Counter off Jet Seep Motion


Due to the lack of quarterback runs, Florida State’s jet sweeps had no chance of working against teams of similar speed. Houston capitalizes on team speed by running counters with their quarterback. Just as before, Houston runs jet sweep motion to the right side of the field. Tulane’s strong side linebacker goes with the jet motion, while the safety, #2, crashes. Watch how the other Tulane defenders are influenced by the jet motion. Using this influence, Houston counters away from the cheating defenders. This play is called “Q GH Counter” – the Quarterback runs, the Guard/H-Back block.

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Slot LT QB GH Cntr LT

The rules of this play and blocking assignments are simple. If you’re on the play side, block everything down, and work to the back side linebacker. If you’re the back side offensive tackle, you step and hinge, preventing the defensive end from crossing your face. Meanwhile, the back side guard has a more important job. He pulls, kick-blocking the first guy outside the offensive tackle, and driving him away from the play. The H-Back (usually a tight end) has the job of wrapping around, making contact with the play side linebacker. His job is made easy here – the linebacker stepped inside due to the motion.

Q Power off Jet Sweep Motion


As I saw this GIF, I chuckled to myself knowing how helpless the offensive coaches must have felt this year. An immobile quarterback and incompetent offensive line don’t make for offensive success. Again, let’s look at influence – watch the defensive end at the top of the screen. When he sees the jet motion coming he absolutely bails to the outside, trying to cover it. When King sees the end bail, that he pulls the ball and is “88 and out the gate.”

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DBL Slot QB Power

Once again, the blocking assignments are simple. On the play side you again block everything down. The play side tackle is uncovered and can free release to the play side linebacker. He uses his body to shield the defender from where his quarter back is running. The backside guard pulls around and climbs to the only linebacker left. The jet motion influences multiple defenders, opening up a running lane fit for a Mack truck.

Bottom Line

We want your feedback! What was your opinion of the jet sweeps last year? Are you excited at the fact that we will soon have a mobile quarterback available to make these reads and runs? Let us know!

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