The Wing-T Offense: Buck Trap


I recently wrote on the Wing-T offense’s Buck Sweep, and it’s time to follow up on the Buck Trap. The Buck Trap is the transmission that makes the Wing-T offense run in my opinion, while Buck Sweep and the Waggle Pass are tires that make it go fast.

The Buck Trap is essentially your basic trap play from an offensive line perspective, except you have an additional wing player. In addition, it has a few enhancements that help it look like Buck Sweep, putting the linebackers and secondary in a bind.

The Wing-T Offense: Buck Trap Basics

The Buck Trap is your basic trap play, as I mentioned. While there can be additional rules added to it, the main concept is inside gap and trapping the first man in our outside the B gap on the line of scrimmage.

wing t offense buck trap versus under

The first rule of thumb on Buck Trap is that that everyone inside of this B gap threat must block a threat to their inside gap. If no one is there, we need to work up to a backside linebacker, unless they’re the tight end, or unless we get a double team on the frontside A gap linebacker, then the tackle can work to the playside linebacker. In all down, think inside gap, backside backer.

To the playside, the B gap rule is in play. If your defensive linemen is the trap target or is outside the trap target (so all playside defensive linemen , go to the second rule and go to a backside backer unless you’re the tight end. The Wing is blocking the D gap defender, unless there is a special pull call from the playside guard indicating he plans to kick him out.

In terms of the backfield, the back directly behind the QB will step backside, open his elbow to the QB up, provide a nice pocket for the handoff and follow the guard. He should not get noth and south right away, the blocks will likely open between a 45 degree and 80 degree angle. He should plant his foot and get his shoulders square after he’s 3 to 4 yards past the line of scrimmage. He needs to stay tight because the offensive line might let some people go outside the trap.

Creating flexible blocking rules is important for a good, physical o-line. My e-book, Developing a Physical and Aggressive Offensive Line covers this and more (like improving finishing and staying on blocks!).
[purchase_link id=”1331″ style=”button” color=”red” text=”Get the e-book now!”]

The back faking bucksweep should take a very small counter step before turning his shoulders to the playside sideline. He should dip his head on the fake, close his pocket and then plant up the field after he gets past the tight end’s original alignment.

The QB opens up playside at about 6 o’clock, gives the ball to the tailback before stepping almost 90 degreee and then faking a handoff to the bucksweep back.

The Wing-T Offense: Buck Trap – Adding the Playside Guard Influence Trap Pull

If Buck Sweep is something that will be a big part of the Wing-T Offense’s gameplan, or if you have problems trapping big interior linemen, using pulls by playside guards will help influence the defenders out of position. This is especially important if the defensive tackle is tough and spilling the trap. Because we have “free runners” past the trapped linemen on occasion, we must stay inside of that defensive tackle. So by pulling the guard, we are trying to influence him to widen.


The playside guard on Buck Trap should pull unless he has an immediate A gap threat. If he doesn’t, she should pull and kickout the next eligible defender. He needs to make a “pull” call so everyone is aware of his intentions. In some cases, this won’t change anything in terms of blocking rules as we don’t block anyone outside the trap target. Other times, the Wing might need to go block someone else.


If the nose is head up on the center, the rule should be if the center can handle the nose, or if we like the matchup of the center on the nose more than we do the backside guard traping the 4 technique, then we should influence pull. Influence pulling might loosen up that defensive tackle and also gets us another person at the point of attack if the defensive tackle spills the main trap.


Regardless, the influence trap pull on the Wing-T offense’s buck trap is a nasty paralyser for the defense. The play looks like Bucksweep, and it influences heavy defensive tackles.

Conclusions on the Wing-T Offense’s Buck Trap

I hope this gives you a better idea of the buck trap. I didn’t talk about running it without the wing because I’m not a fan of that, because you probably are not running much buck sweep without a wing. To greatly enhance this play, you need to constrain the defense with the threat of bucksweep, and for most Wing-T offenses, that’s not the case without the wing.

You know you’re interested in finishing blocks through the whistle… find out now more in my e-book!
[purchase_link id=”1331″ style=”button” color=”red” text=”Get the e-book now!”]

You can run it to a side without a tight end (assuming there is a wing back). The rules essentially stay the same, except you may need linemen to go to the closer linebacker on buck trap, due to the absense of the tight end.