Wishbone-Big - HB Lead Smash

HB Lead Smash is the staple left side running play out of the Wishbone-Big formation. It's a power inside run following lead blocks by the fullback and second tailback, with straight-ahead blocking all across the line of scrimmage. Due to its power blocking nature and the compactness of the formation, the play is best suited for obvious running situations such as 3rd and short or any down close to the goal line. However, because Wishbone-Big is such a flexible running formation, I have found HB Lead Smash useful in typical 1st and 2nd down situations as well.

Though HB Lead Smash is primarily a power running play, it relies on the ball carrier to make good moves towards the openings punched through the line. By starting the run with a hop step to the left, the ball carrying halfback is able to see the blocking develop and pick the best direction to run without charging blindly ahead. Good footwork and quick acceleration will maximize the potential of the play.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line and TEs Run Block
QB Handoff to Right HB
FB Lead Wide Left
Left HB Lead Off Left
Right HB Hop Step - Sprint Left

See the Madden Playbook Guide for a description of these symbols.

Blocking Assessment

The blocking scheme of HB Lead Smash is simple. The line blocks with straight-ahead power while the FB and left HB hit the gaps between the left guard and tackle, and between the left tackle and TE, respectively. The right HB should head almost directly upfield, angling slightly to the left after taking the handoff. Initially aim straight at the left tackle, choosing which side to run around once the blocking picture becomes clear. A gap or soft spot in the line should appear almost every time the play is run due to the sheer number of blockers, but exactly where depends on the push by the defensive line. Unless the defense stuffs the middle, in which case you can swing all the way to the outside, turn straight upfield about halfway to the line. Use juke moves to cut around defenders if necessary. Be sure to keep the HB headed forward with his shoulders squared to pick as many yards as possible after contact.




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