Basics of the Shotgun Power Read Concept


We see a lot of teams running Power Read concept. Some people call this Power Option, or Inverted Veer, or something else. Whatever you call the play, it’s the old school Power or “Power-O” concept.

What exactly is the Power Read concept? The offensive line is basically blocking Power, except the offense is reading the defensive end instead of kicking him out. If you do this from a 2 back set, the fullback or H-back player can now leak into the alley.

Power Read vs 4-2

Notice The Double Rather than a Combo Block on the 3 Technique

Let’s take a deeper dive into the play, including differences with the traditional power scheme and some clips from Baylor in 2013.

Differences between Traditional Power-O and Power Read

Power read can actually be a slightly different scheme compared to traditional power (besides the read and alley element), as is the case in our example today, because the offense might have more numbers at the point of attack.

power read all 22 coaches film gif

This means that the playside combination block is basically a traditional double team depending on the box look from the defense. Versus a 4-2 box, they will stay on the double. If they get a safety creeping up, the tackle can make a call and turn it into a combination block.

Undercenter Power-O vs Under Front 5-2 3-4 defense

Traditional Power-O concept. Notice the differences besides the kickout element. Still similar enough to teach as the same concept though.

The pulling guard is picking up the first wrong colored jersey in the hole. He is traditionally targeting the playside linebacker only. In this case though, he picks up the first threat. Again, you can use calls to help determine this so he can get his eyes on the linebacker as soon as possible.

power read end zone gif

The fullback also has a different adjustment. He’s looking to pick up the first wrong colored jersey depending on what the defensive end does. If the defensive end spills the play, telling the QB to give it to the tailback, he wraps into the alley. He keeps his eyes inside. If the playside linebacker comes, he has to get his body on his. He doesn’t need a devastating block. The offense just needs a body on a body.

If the playside linebacker gets caught up or blocked by the pulling guard, the fullback or H-back settles his hips and attacks the safety. He wants to give the runningback a two way cut. Again, all the offense needs is a body on a body.

Ideally, the offense would love to get a great combination block so it can get bodies on all the defenders, minus the read defender. It’s more important though to get movement on a 3 technique.

Adjustments to Power Read for More Success

For disguise, the offense can motion the H-back around or even keep him “stacked” in-front of the tailback. A lot of teams set the 3 technique to the H-back. If this is the case, you lose the combination block at the point of attack, but your playside tackle is working to the weakside linebacker with a terrific angle.

Offset Power O

Many Defenses will Set the 3 to the Fullback. Offsetting him weak can cause issues. The fullback still needs to read the end for his angle.

Overall, Power Read is a terrific concept that puts the defense in a bind. If you’re an undercenter team but are lacking at tight end or fullback in regards to the blocking ability, this is a great adjustment. We barely touched on the “nasty” or wide split by the Y or tight end. The defense must figure out if it’s going to treat him as a tight end or a slot receiver. Auburn causes this mayhem a lot, which opens up buck sweep for them. We’ll discuss this in a later post.