Why is the J Bird so popular?

Deacon

New member
Hope I'm getting the name of the formation correct... it's an overloaded line with a single back and an H back next to the center. Either under center or shotgun. It's not run much in my neck of the woods but it looks like most Texas teams run one version or another.

As far as I can see it creates two distinct sides and connects the two linemen who aren't snapping for combo blocks. Wondering what else I'm missing and if we should consider it.

Thanks in advance
 

Coachporter

New member
Creates a lot of conflict for a defense. Weak side sweeps are always something to keep in back of mind, if you commit too much attention to weak side then strong side of formation has numbers advantage. When you spread out trying to cover sweeps then the quick dives to the wing/up back eat you up. Trap game or pulling game works really well. All that’s before even getting into passing game. If you have a dude in the backfield it gets really hard to deal with.
 

jball52

New member
It is difficult to defend because of the lateral stretch of the formation. The defense has to cover 5 gaps instead of four gaps like in a balance line formation. Provided you don't have foot to foot line splits or tiny line splits like 6 inches to one foot wide. Small Line splits help the defense. Also, with small splits you can't execute the run game to either the strong side or weak side properly nor can you execute option passing game with small line splits. If you want to see how this offense is executed at a high level. Watch the 2000 Panther Creek Team on you tube. PC. vs. Abbott Quarter Final Game, PC vs. Aqullia Semi Final Game, PC vs. Highland State Game
 

jball52

New member
I think Unbalanced I Formation (J-Bird) is used a lot. I see more coaches moving to multiple offensive formations T FORMATION, SHOTGUN FORMATION, WING SET, ETC. ETC. (you get the picture) instead of just running one offense exclusively or even just two offenses. In my opinion I think unbalanced is the best offensive formation out there, just my opinion. I think the Unbalanced I Formation is talent friendly, you can angle block, you have an effective passing game out of it with a pitch option and there is an insurmountable amount of offensive plays, blocking schemes and pass plays you can run out of it.
Again this statement is my own opinion, I think a combo block is a wasted block with two offensive guys on one defensive man. You are slowing down your execution speed. Instead of executing a combo block, allow the other offensive man to go to the 2nd level, to an area where the defender will be going to the flow of the ball. If you are planning on using a combo block then why not let the next man over down block the defender instead of using a combo block. it speeds up your execution of the offense. Just a thought.
 

Deacon

New member
I guess I should also ask where the formation is weakest.

You mentioned the tendency toward multiple sets, but I've probably seen at least 5 variants on the J bird so far; under center, shotgun, balanced, FB over behind the linemen and under center the same way. Wouldn't they give the variety a guy was looking for?
 

Coachporter

New member
As far as variety you can absolutely just run J and it’s variations. Check out Balmorhea under Vance Jones. The state game from this year is on YouTube.

In terms of where it’s the weakest? As with anything if you can’t block anyone it’s irrelevant. I think without a decent passing game to keep defenses honest then you get really limited. That’s true with any offense though.
 

jball52

New member
In response to your question. I really don't think the Unbalanced I Formation has a Weakest Point.
The strength of the offense is the lateral stretch of the defense. Provided you have the correct line splits. Look at this way. If Unbalanced I had a weak point, then why does half or possibly more than half of sixman coaches in the state run some form of variation of it?
Offensive Run Plays--short sweeps, wide sweeps, dive plays, option , counter plays, trap plays, Iso's,
and reverses.
Offensive Pass Plays--Option Passing Game, Straight Drop back, Bootlegs, Screens, TBOPT.
These are all offensive plays you can run without having to using other variants. If you choose to.
You can run any of these plays to the right or left side of the formation. You can also run the ball up the middle. Provided the coaching staff is teaching the basic fundamentals of blocking and the proper mechanics of the RB'S and QB. If those things are not taught on a consistent basis, then you have no offense in any formation. Is your system technique driven? It just depends how important technique is to the coaching staff. You have to do drill work in order to have any effective offense. Kids must know their job on every play without hesitation. Hesitation causes slow play and not knowing what to do causes indecision. When technique is made a priority with the coaching staff, then it will be priority to the kids.
You can run any or all variations of this formation you like. It's your program. Ask yourself this question. Why am I running all of these various formations of the unbalanced I? Is it because that's what everyone else does? What are we accomplishing by running 5 different formations every other play? Will my kids know each of these offenses backwards and forwards? Can the kids and coaching staff make adjustments during the game on all 5 formations? Will they remember where to line up each time? Are my kids going to know where and who to block out of every single formation or will they look lost on each play on film. Are we teaching a system of fundamental football or are we just trying to trick people or catch someone off guard and get a cheap score?
One thing to factor when running Unbalanced is your kids will see multiple defensive fronts in one game. I've personally seen 10 to 12 different fronts and our kids were able to handle it. Which brings me to another point. Will your kids be able to handle adjusting to changing defensive fronts on all formations? You are going to spend a lot of time working 5 different formations against 5 defensive fronts.
If it were me and I was going to run 5 different variations for unbalanced I, I would start with the base set and then eventually branch out from that formation as the season progresses. I kind of see it this way. you can be a master at one formation and know it inside and out and be able to adjust whenever you need to or you can be a jack of all trades and master of none. Ask yourself this question when you watch film. Is the opposing team good because of the talent they have or because of the execution of the offense? I don't mean to offend anyone, I am just stating my own opinion. Like I said before, it's your program and you do what you feel is best for your kids and staff.
Get on you tube and watch Blum pull off the upset of the year against McLean. Everyone had Blum picked to get 45'd. Blum ran one unbalanced i formation. When watching the game, take note of the changing defensive fronts and moving personnel around that Mclean did during the game. Blum handled everything Mclean threw at them.
I hope this sheds some clarity.
 
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