Grantland Blog: The 49ers and the ‘Wham’ Play

It’s now up:

On Gore’s first big run, with just a few seconds left in the first quarter, the 49ers lined up in a “trey” set with a wide receiver to each side and a tight end and wing or “H-back,” Delanie Walker, each lined up to the right. The goal of the “wham” blocked run play was to leave Suh unblocked. As shown below, Walker’s job was to perform the “wham” block on Suh as he crashed upfield — a surprisingly simple block because Suh would be so focused on getting in the backfield that he wouldn’t see it coming. This freed up the other linemen to block Detroit’s linebackers, which they did.

Read the whole thing.

  • Brad

    Very funny that you should write on this  becuause the Wall Street Journal  had the exact play in it this morning as I flew on a business trip and I was trying to diagram it myself.

    Thanks for drawing it  up for  us.

    My question is why can the MLB not come over the top to make the play,  It seems to me  that he should be able to beat the center blocking on  him.

  • Anonymous

    I just saw the WSJ article now. A bit shallow but good in principle. A lot of teams have been doing this stuff for years, and Harbaugh has been killing teams with it. Watch the bowl game last fall of Stanford versus Virginia Tech and you’ll see how Harbaugh really screwed with Va Tech’s run fits to break some huge runs.

  • Ryan

    I especially like this play when combined with the occasional G trap of the 3 tech.  That way, when the 3 tech gets the inside release by the PSG, he’s not sure where the trapper is coming from.  You don’t want to get to predictable w/ this, as this would permit someone like Suh to rip your H-back’s face off.