5 Guidelines for Using Misdirection

This post comes from my reading of  Mike Koehler’s book Misdirection football: creating the offensive edge

1. Counter vs Stunting Inside Linebackers– Because the linebackers have committed to an inside stunt as long as they can be blocked by the interior lineman they have eliminated themselves from the play. The fake by the back pulls the safety out of position away from the point of attack. This leaves the defensive end who is being blocked by a pulling offensive player (preferably the tackle) and the corner to defend against  a good runner in space.

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2. Secondary Mirroring Backfield Action – If the defensive secondary is  rotating toward the flow of the backfield, misdirection can be a effective weapon. This is usually the case in a cover 4 type defense. If the defense pre-rotates this makes the counter type plays even better. Once the defense adjusts their keys to better defend misdirection it reopens up the base play the misdirection came from.


3. Slowing Down the Middle Linebacker – The middle linebacker can begin to cause issues for the primary ball carrier by mirroring his movements and flowing to the point of attack. By using misdirection this can cause hesitation in the flow of middle linebacker and false steps that will give lineman just enough time to get a blocker on the fast flowing backer.


4. Attacking Lack of Discipline– Defenders like backside defensive ends have to be disciplined on plays run away from them. They must contain in case there is a play run to away from the initial flow. After many plays with nothing coming toward them these players begin to abandon their responsibilities and start chasing to the front side of the play. This is where you can really embarrass a defense with explosive plays by faking to the front side of formation and attacking the backside with misdirection.



5. Create Indecision in Present and Future Opponents – Sometimes misdirection good to use just for own sake. When you are playing an opponent who may not technically be setup for misdirection you may want to run misdirection plays anyway because, it presents a threat to your opponent that you will attack all areas of the formation at any time. This will help ensure that the defense thinks twice about about over pursuit. Lastly, it gives something for you future opponents to think about and prepare for that will cost them extra time in practice.