Coaches Corner

April 3, 2012

Fullback Trap: The Best Play in Football

By Jerry Horowitz

Fullback Trap:
The Best Play in Football

The safest play in football that can be run from any formation, on any down and can result in large gains is the Fullback trap.   The offense needs to recognize the defensive front it is facing: The call is made by the center ODD-EVEN or SPLIT

diagram 1 diagram 2 diagram 3

Rules for Trap (that hold up vs. every defense)

PSE (Play side End) - Block Secondary Support

PST (Play side Tackle) - 1st LB to inside

PSG (Play side Guard) - Man on C-Man over C-1st LB backside (adj. false pull)

C (Center) - Man on BSG - Man on

BSG (Back side Guard) - Pull and trap 1st man past C

BST (Backside Tackle) - Inside Cutoff

BSE (Backside End) - Middle 1/3


Coaching Points

PSE - Needs to take a wide enough split vs. ODD & EVEN front so that he is able to release off of LOS and block 2nd Contain vs. Split Front. He needs to slam 1st man inside to hold OLB and then release and block 2nd contain.


PST – His split is critical vs. ODD & EVEN. His split should be a minimum of 3 feet from the guard so that he can escape the DT the technique he should be taught is to take a parallel step with his inside foot so that he gets separation in order to get up the LB. Vs. Split Defense he would place his inside arm on DT to get him to widen and go to the LB from there.


PSG – His split vs. ODD is 2 feet from center, double team should try and drive NG into backside LB so that he can’t go underneath and blow up trap. Vs. EVEN or split he might want to widen which gives him more room to escape from LB.


C- vs. ODD his first step should be to the backside anticipating the NG slanting away


BSG- Drop step then work into the line. Trap the first man past the Center


FB – He aligns his toes 4 yards from the back tip of the FB. It is critical that he listen to the call of the center who identifies the defensive front.

diagram 4

Start with Odd if the Trap is going to the right his first step is wit the right foot aiming to the centers left heel. (Diagram 4)

   Diagram 4

diagram 5

His 2nd step is straight ahead as he gets his eyes on the LB expecting to make a wide bend.(Diagram 5)

   Diagram 5

diagram 6

Once the FB gets the LB level, he should pick up his downfield blocking either straight up the field or towards near sideline. (Diagram 6)

   Diagram 6

diagram 7

Versus an EVEN Front, he will hit it tighter since the trap will be happening faster. (Diagram 7)

   Diagram 7

diagram 8

And vs. SPLIT, FB can expect a wider bend as he approaches LB Level

   Diagram 8


diagram 9

If the man to be trapped is lined up inside the PSG, PSG Calls adjustment and false pulls (Pulls away).The FB should understand that the BS LB will go unblocked. (Diagram 9)

   Diagram 9

QB- On trap play, we want our QB to reverse out step back as deep as he can. Get his eyes off FB’s belt buckle and seat the ball.

Coaching Point - He must be aware of the defensive front so that he does not choke FB and inhibit his bend. He should continue some type of bootleg fake to keep defender responsible for outside 1/3 honest.

The opinions of the writers do not necessarily represent the opinion of the NFL.


  • wendy schun

    valuable info coach..

  • Kevin Brown

    I played for Coach Horowitz from 1980-1982 at Truman HS. We executed the trap very well which contributed my election to all-city honorable mention. Rubin loves it still to this day.Honorable Coach Horowitz may God bless you. Great memories,thanks!

  • Knight4ever

    Best play to run at kennedy was 134 trap . Works all the time coach mo would get excited about the trap block .

  • Tyrone Murray

    You are 100% right it is the best play in High school Football

  • Bill Barish

    I see that when something works you stick with it.

  • Randy Johnson

    Jerry, Just spent some in-depth time with the HSPD DVD's you sent out this spring. They are amazing. The coaches at Temple should be commended for putting together a great coaching video that covers all aspects of the game. Thank you for your work with this program Randy Johnson Head Football Coach Milaca High School Milaca, MN 56353

  • Patrick Brown

    I couldn't agree with you more. We have been running this trap...which we call 20 or 21 cutback for years. We traditionally have undersized lineman, but the running lane this play creates makes it our bread and butter.

  • Fr. John Frederick O.S.J.

    Jerry you are a fantastic coach and person. Your NFL-JPD program was a real blessing to our kids here in Hawaii. We will really miss the program. You are always there to help myself and our kids. I am implementing the full back trap play that you have said is the "best play" in youth football. And, it is! Thank you for being the great person that you are. God bless, Coach (the Very Rev. Fr.) John Frederick O.S. J. +

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    ha, I will try out my thought, your post get me some good ideas, it's really amazing, thanks. - Norman

  • Adam Walker

    I remember those days too Kevin - We were pretty good for a second year team. Hope all is well.

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