Glenn Warner, or as he was better known, Pop, laid the ground work for the Wing-T offense with his single wing scheme. At a time when everyone was concerned with overpowering their opponents, Pop Warner sought to trick it.
Over time, it evolved into the Wing-T, which has been made famous by University of Delaware Coach Harold “Tubby” Raymond. Often considered one of the best misdirection formations in the game, it has fallen out of favor in the pro game in recent years, but is still very effective at the youth level.
The Wing-T has a classic offensive line setup, with 2 guards, 2 tackles, a center, and the quarterback behind center. It’s characterized by having a wingback just off of your tight end on the strong side, and a split end lined up on the weak side. The tailback and the fullback can move around a little bit, but are generally split, and can often end up offset to the strong or weak sides as well.
Famous Wing-T Offenses
- Late 70s Kansas City Chiefs
- Pre 2002 University of Delaware
Wing-T Offense Strengths
- Short Passing Plays
Wing-T Offense Weaknesses
- Power Plays
- Deep Passing Plays
Wing-T Offense Plays
If you're interested in learning more about Wing-T Offense, make sure you check out our Wing-T Playbook. It's packed with 10 simple, fun and effective plays designed for youth and high school football. All explained with player responsibilities, step by step diagrams, and implementation tips for coaches.
Below are some sample plays you can check out.
Running Play: Wing-T 21 Dive
Try running the FB dive at the 2 hole a couple of times before you try this fake. This is a great power play for short yardage – so when the defense starts to collapse in to take away the middle, have your QB keep the ball and run a bootleg out left to catch them off guard!
- LT: Seals off DE outside.
- LG: Double teams man in front of C.
- C: Double teams man with LG.
- RG: Blocks man outside, away from gap.
- RT: Runs a loop block, pulling inside behind the RG to block weak side ILB.
Backs & Receivers
- TE: Releases from line to block FS.
- SE: Runs an out route; blocks CB.
- WB: Runs an out route; blocks CB.
- FB: Fakes dive to 2 hole, blocks strong side ILB.
- HB: Runs dive through 1 hole.
- QB: Reverses pivot, fakes handoff to FB with left hand, hand off ball to HB with right.
- The blocks of the FB and RT will make or break this play – if your RT can get out in front of the HB and put a block on the weak side LB, the HB can usually get huge yardage.
- While the TE isn’t going to block the DE in front of him, the release inside will keep him occupied long enough that they end up behind the play
Passing Play: Wing-T Waggle Left Throwback
This has big play potential written all over it. That’s why you want to use it sparingly – I prefer to pull it out when I’m still outside of the red zone but in my opponents field. If the TB can beat the outside CB, you’ll be looking at a 2 on 1 with the WB able to lay a good block down on the SS.
- LT: Pass blocks man.
- LG: Pulls left, protecting the back side of the play.
- C: Pass blocks man.
- RG: Pulls left, protecting the back side of the play.
- RT: Pass blocks man.
Backs & Receivers
- Z: Runs a flag route, but instead of a quick double move, runs deep enough inside to occupy FS before cutting back out.
- TE: Runs a deep in to keep MLBs occupied.
- WB: Runs a skinny post, trying to keep the CB and SS occupied.
- FB: Runs a dive track before releasing out into the flat.
- TB: Fakes a sweep, keeps running into a wide swing route.
- QB: Reverse pivots, waggles out left, makes pass to TB.
- The SE, TE, and WB need to really sell their routes – this play hinges on their ability to grab the defense’s attention.
- The QB needs to do his part to sell the pass downfield as well, moving the secondary with his eyes, as he looks for the SE and TE before checking down to the TB for the pass.
For more plays like this, check our complete Wing-T Playbook today!
More Football Offenses
- I-Formation Offense: great for playing smash mouth football and overpowering the defense at the line
- Double Wing Offense: uses two wingbacks to set up power runs and misdirection plays
- Singleback Offense: a versatile passing offense, which also works well for draws and outside runs
- Spread Offense: spreads the defense horizontally, making it easier to isolate man coverage, as well as find and throw to the holes in the zone
- Pro Set Offense: provides excellent balance, allowing you to get the ball to any area of the field very quickly