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DeKalb football putting the pieces together

In new offensive scheme, Barbs look to utilize players' strengths

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Rob Winner – DeKalb running back Dre Brown (center) gets into position before a play during a 7-on-7 scrimmage against Rockford Lutheran in DeKalb, Ill., Monday, July 8, 2013.

DeKALB – To DeKalb football coach Matt Weckler, finding each player a position in 7-on-7 competitions is a puzzle.

The Barbs are using a new scheme this year – the triple option. Working with a system where multiple players will get legitimate carries, Weckler wants to plug guys into different spots, figuring out where they fit, whether it's receiver, fullback or slot back, and getting the best combinations. In Weckler's system, three backs will be on the field at once and each will see his share of carries.

Right now, he's trying to find where each of his skill players fit best.

"For our system, [depth] is very important. You call it the triple option, so we have to have at least three (backs)," Weckler said. "We can't be one-sided either, going everything to the right, everything to the left, no matter what it might be. ... If you only have one guy you can trust, that kind of limits the side of where your'e going to run."

Monday, junior Dre Brown spent time at fullback and in the slot, and other players have been in multiple spots during 7-on-7s. This season, he'll be used primarily as a fullback, something he did his freshman season.

In Weckler's offense, however, the fullback isn't really a true fullback.

"What we're going to do is we're going to get [Brown] a little bit more space," Weckler said. "Try to go pistol, so we can still run toss, we can still get him in the perimeter really quick, still motion him out of the backfield."

The Barbs installed most of the offense at June's minicamp, and will finish putting in the kinks at the team's camp July 22 through 30. Senior Demetrious Collins, a player who could see time as a slot back this fall, said the triple option teaches DeKalb how to communicate and work as a team in an offense where the reps are spread out a little more.

Collins said the Barbs' speed and quickness will be huge in the system, which the coaches have helped simplify.

"What I like is they're visual. It's not always just talk, talk, talk," he said. "Some people learn better seeing things. They put a lot of stuff in front of our faces and show us what we need to do."

The offense seems to be getting good reviews from DeKalb's players, including Brown, who certainly will be a big weapon.

"I'm getting used to it, this is my third offense in three years," he said. "I'm used to it now. I like the offense a lot."

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