Gino's Blog

Defensive audibles versus spread – Spreading the TEs

The following is an offensive formation viewed from the defense perspective. The offense has just lined up in this 1×3 10 shotgun formation with 2:12 remaining in the 3rd quarter, score tied at 24:


Short-side Wide Side
X         A
B  00c00  C


B is a big receiver. He is the single-#1 on the short-side. Three receivers are aligned on the wide side, with #2 online. X is another big receiver.

A & C are small receivers.How do you defend the formation? Do you make a call in a huddle and change it if it doesn’t fit? Or make the call at the LOS without a huddle? We’ve decided to do both. In 1991, we scrapped our conventional playbook and replaced it with SWAT system that we designed consisting of a language and decision-making model that forms a limitless system. The SWAT system fits our impoverished reality. Our resources are limited. I often coach an entire team alone as an unpaid head coach. We don’t have full-time hours which limits our teaching-learning time. And our players are never better than the opposition because the nature of our team is to give second-chances to unrecruited players.

Our SWAT defensive decision-making model has dramatically reduced mastery time because, starting in 1991, we stopped memorizing defensive playbooks and replaced it with a system of decisions that solves the problem of multiple offensive formations that have become more prevalent since 1991. Offenses have evolved outside the box. We did the same on defense.

The above offensive diagram doesn’t include a scouting report or tendencies of the opponent we were facing but that formation had a 50-50 probability split regarding pass-run. The opponent had two equally-skilled tight ends. The above formation was a derivative of a double-TE even though there are not obvious tight ends in this formation. We taught our defense in this particular game that the opponent was doing exactly what we do – re-configure double tight ends. They copied us. Spreading the tight ends sounds like a contradiction because even though the TE’s are no longer tight ends, the concept of spreading the tight ends simply stretches the formation horizontally forcing the defense to make matchup decisions that will dramatically affect the ability to defend the stretch run and concepts that we call “stretch passes.”

Big receivers have been game-changers for our offense. When we have two, our offense puts up big numbers. Two big receivers = big numbers. I’ll explain how we do it with limitless formations, in future articles.

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 Nat’l Coaching Certification Program
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
Head coach- Robert Bateman High School – GO WILD.
Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: His books include:

He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” His latest book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage. He is currently writing “Lifter’s High.” Both will be released soon.

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