What Time Do The Washington Redskins Play Football Today Why Did the Single Wing Offense Die Out?

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Why Did the Single Wing Offense Die Out?

Back in the day, the single wing attack was like today’s spread attack. Invented by Pop Warner in 1907, it was the most common offense in its heyday. At one time there were more teams running the Single Wing than not, at every level of football. In the 30’s and 40’s over 80% of college and professional teams ran a single wing offense.

Why do we see so few teams running a single wing attack today?

Why did he die?

There are many theories, here are just some of the most popular and logical ones:

With so many teams running one wing, the “familiarity factor” made it easier to defend. Just like today, the first time you see something like a 5 wide attack it surprises you, but after playing 5 wide teams 4-5 times it becomes much easier to defend. Imagine defending the same offense 8 out of 10 games for 20 straight years and practicing against it every day (assuming your team runs one wing on offense). The familiarity factor would be quite high.

The Platooning Theory

The move to two-way football led to specialization which in turn allowed “fine” players to play the game at Quarterback and Wide Receiver. In the 50s and earlier, most players played both ways. Even the great IA Title quarterback played both ways, leading the NFL in interceptions playing safety. Title also excelled as a punter, playing on special teams as most starters did at the time. The players of the day had to be tough, physical, durable footballers who had to excel in many aspects of the game. Today’s college and NFL players play one way and are very specialized. Today, even many high school teams are platooned. This specialization allows more practice time to be devoted to complex attacks and the development of less physically dominant players.

The sinking of the Titanic

1940 NFL Title Factor With the largest crowd ever in the entire country, the Chicago Bears used their new straight T offense to beat the Washington Redskins and the Single Wing 73-0. This sound on the national stage led many to think that the Single Wing was as good as a slingshot in shooting, it was considered outdated and “old fashioned”. Horse and buggy stuff in the days of air travel and indoor plumbing. This may have been the nail in the coffin for the Single Wing, as many teams began to abandon the Single Wing for the next biggest thing, the T formation. Just like today, coaches are players, they jump in with the next biggest thing that catches their eye and the fickle hearts of their fans.

Guardians of the faith

Fortunately, the Single Wing never died. There were college teams running the Single Wing right up until the 1960s. A number of highly successful high schools have never stopped running the offense, including Menominee Michigan’s Ken Hofer. The Maroons have run Single Wing for the last 40 years and have gone to the playoffs in each of the last 13 seasons and won 3 state titles with him in just the last 9 years. Giles in Virginia is another that has stayed with the wing for the last 20 years and has won 2 state titles in just the last 6 years. There are a few high schools like these that have kept the offense alive along with some forward/backward thinking young coaches where the offense has really caught fire in the last decade. Add in what Urban Meier did with Single Wing and you have a stampede of trainers getting back on the Single Wing bandwagon. There have been 25 or more Division I college teams that have run at least one single-game series in their offense this season. Heck, even the Miami Dolphins got in on the action with Single Wing in their incredible turnaround this season.

A modern day monoplane

While today’s Single Wing still contains many of the basic principles of the Single Wing of the 1940s; Overpowered at the point of attack, use of angles and leverage, deception and brilliant ball fakes, movement and brilliant action, action passing. The Single Wing that many of us use today also includes some new features such as: Jet or Fly Sweep Series, Trap and screen plays, Net or Air Raid pass concepts and more.

Youth Football

How widespread is Single Wing at the youth level? Will the proximity factor kill my chances of being successful?

Our latest survey of marketing executives from several major companies and surveys of over 1,000 youth coaches tell us:

Today, about 2,500,000 children play youth football.

Today there are around 120,000 youth football teams.

About 2,400 young teams lead the attack with one wing.

So we Single Wingers are still in the minority and the familiarity factor is still low as about 2% of youth football teams are led by a Single Wing. But the number of people who embrace the offense is growing and will continue to grow when they see it on TV both Saturday and Sunday. The same goes for the success our teams have had at the Pop Warner National Championships and other major tournaments. With so many teams having so much success at the youth level, interest is sure to grow. But don’t worry about that, my teams have worked consistently well with it for a long time. We’ve run it for 11 seasons against a lot of the same teams and a lot of my competition has bought my book, has my DVDs and comes to this website daily. We have a tracking thing on the website that shows me which cities visit the website each day.

Coaching youth football

Moral of the story is expect to see more one-wing football wherever you are. But don’t worry, we are still the minority, they still have to stop it and if you bought the book, you have at your fingertips the countermeasures for the most commonly used techniques and schemes to stop this offense.

Last thought: Are you in a platoon? Do your best players play both ways? Are you able to dedicate 5 days a week of practice time just for offense, no defense or special teams? The youth game and dynamic seems to fit the mold of the limitations teams had in the 40’s and 50’s, doesn’t it?

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