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The Bixby Offense: The Strike 'Em Out Game Plan Method

Posted by AJ Forbes on

Bixby High School Football Offensive Coordinator Tyler Schneider has taken the intimidating process of game planning and simplified it into a format allowing the Bixby Spartans to operate efficiently. This method is called “Strike Em Out”.

This is taken directly from our video release The Bixby Offense: The Complete Series.

Watch the video below or keep scrolling to learn more.

Bixby's Sunday Game Planning Process

One of the most unique aspects of the “Strike Em Out” method is that each coach on the offensive staff is responsible for the game-planning process. On Sundays prior to the upcoming game week, every coach is expected to have their specific responsibilities taken care of by the time they leave the office. 

The Offensive Line coach is responsible for the run game and what concepts he believes would be successful. The Tight Ends coach helps with the run game and works on pass protections. The running backs coach works on the screen game, which only includes screens that involve OL releasing downfield and doesn’t include bubbles or smoke screens. The Wide Receivers coach works on the passing game and identifies the concepts he believes would be successful that week. Finally, the Offensive Coordinator sets the formations and assists the other coaches with their responsibilities.

After this Sunday process is complete, it’s put into paper and video format for the players to see during Bixby’s Monday meetings.

What is “Strike Em Out”?

Strike Em Out is a template designed to not only simplify the game plan, but also the game planning process. As previously mentioned, it intentionally puts the offensive coaches in a position to share the game-planning process. According to Schneider, this instills a sense of ownership and understanding in the rest of the offensive coaching staff as opposed to the Offensive Coordinator doing everything. 

This ultimately results in efficient planning for the upcoming week of practice. The Wide Receivers coach scripts the 7-on-7 portion of practice. The running backs coach scripts the screen drill. The Offensive Line coach scripts the inside run period. Every coach has the opportunity to take the ideas they’ve developed in the planning process and practice the specific ideas that they believe will be successful. Then, the Offensive Coordinator scripts the team periods to put everything together.

How the Strike Em Out Plan is Built

Bixby Offense - Strike Em Out Game Plan Types of Plays

The game plan for a given week consists of 8-10 formations. Each one of those formations has the ability to carry five different types of plays:

  • Strong Run: a run concept designed to run toward the formation strength; if the formation is balanced, the field becomes the strength
  • Weak Run: a run concept designed to run away from the formation strength; if the formation is balanced, the field becomes the strength
  • Quick: quick game concepts that consist of 1-step or 3-step passing concepts that hit the 5-12 yard range
  • Dropback: dropback passing concepts that are full-field reads for the Quarterback (e.g. Y-Cross, Four Verticals, and Mesh)
  • Screen: any screen pass with OL releasing downfield; RPOs aren’t included

  • Types of Play Calls in Strike Em Out

    The “ Strike Em Out” method shows its namesake when we discuss the types of play calls that are built into the system:

  • Fastball: favorite play versus the base defense for a given formation
  • Curveball: play designed to protect the fastball; still the fastball but it’s disguised with a formation adjustment, motion, or tag to change the picture for the defense
  • Changeup: when the defense makes an adjustment to stop the fastball, the changeup is the adjustment made by the offense to counter what the defense is doing
  • Strikeout: gadget, shot play, or constraint concept based on the fastball; for example, if the fastball is the outside zone, then the strikeout would be an outside zone reverse

  • It’s important to know that every concept discussed above (strong/weak run, quick, dropback, and screen) will each have a fastball, curveball, changeup, and strikeout.

    The Strike Em Out Grid

    Bixby Offense - Strike Em Out Game Plan Grid

    All 8-10 formations that Schneider and the Bixby Spartans decide to run in a particular week each get their own sheet like the one shown above. At the top of the sheet is a diagram of the opponent’s base defense against the particular formation that the offense is game-planning for (in this case it’s a 2x2 Open set). This allows the coaching staff to see how the opponent will align to a specific formation. Above each individual position are two open spaces where the offensive staff grades each individual player on what they deem to be the most critical aspects of the scouting report. This promotes efficiency in the scouting report.

    1. Outside Linebackers are graded on speed and physicality
    2. Inside Linebackers are graded on pass rush ability and pursuit
    3. Defensive Backs are graded on collision and coverage ability
    4. Defensive Linemen are graded on push ability and pursuit

    A player is given a plus (+), equal sign (=), or minus (-) for their grade in those categories. An equal sign indicates that that player exhibits that ability in a similar manner to what an average high school football player would. A plus or minus indicates that they are either above or below average, respectfully, in a category. Not only does this allow for players to have a concise scouting report for the upcoming week, but it allows the coaches to see where the defense is susceptible. 

    A formation can be used during that particular week if the coach can fill in every fastball box. If a fastball box–the favorite play–can’t be filled in for a particular concept, then the formation doesn’t need to be in that week. With that said, not every box needs to be filled. For example, not every concept in a given formation is going to have a strikeout play. That’s normal.

    The Play Menu

    Bixby Offense - Strike Em Out Game Plan Play Menu

    When looking at the grid, all of those plays are charted as if they were on the left hash. On the play menu, there are left and right hash versions of every fastball, curveball, changeup, and strikeout. The play menu has every formation’s left and right hash play that the coaching staff developed for that particular week. Before game day, this play menu is organized and highlighted to the Offensive Coordinator’s liking. 

    The Strike Em Out format allows for the entire offensive staff to be involved in the game-planning process. 

    Want more?

    Check out even more preview clips from our video series on the Bixby Football Offense.