Special thanks to Jim Barg and Bryan Lane for the materials
Originally Published: October 22, 2007
“Revolutionary Football” — 1953
By Vassa Cate
Head Football Coach, Waycross High, Waycross, GA
Yes, the double-T is double trouble and with the clear interpretation that the rules committee has now put upon the use of the double quarterback, look for us to come out with more than just a few scattered plays from that formation.
For several years we fooled around with it here at Waycross and were really sold on the set. The officials, though, took a dim view of the way that we liked to line up the boys with both quarterbacks up and under, one on each cheek of the center. At the pivot, we tried to get big boys who could really stretch out, but that was not always possible. Because of this, we used fewer and fewer double-T plays. Now that a player is considered to a be a yard behind the line if there is daylight between the back and the lineman, we can put both boys up and under as far as we want as long as there is no contact. Therefore, we think that we can operate effectively again.
There are several reasons for the effectiveness of the double-T plays: all the pass patterns can be worked in, the deception lending itself exceptionally well to the passing game by causing rushers to become more cautious, thus giving more time with the same amount of protection as you would have from the straight-T; the double quickies and bootlegs prevent the defense from “keying” on your quarterback as can be done in conventional stuff; the possibilities of split-T plays or one side split and the other normal; the defenses will have to play fairly normal, giving you a better chance at normal blocking. Slants, loops, overshifts become too dangerous when you “can shoot with either barrel.”
I am well aware that many others have used the double-T to some extent and have written some little material about it. For that reason, I am going to tell some of the things that we did which are somewhat different from what the others advocate. Some of these are:
1) Our quarterbacks were angled in at 45 degree angle instead of straight back side by side.
2) We used a reverse pivot in order to hide the ball and enable the boys to get around faster.
3) We used a lot of bootleg plays.
4) We use it as a formation from which to shift into others; such as, the single- or double-wing, the winged-T.
5) A normal alignment on one side is coupled with an unorthodox set-up on the other so that a normal defense cannot be used.
The plays outlined in the remainder of the article are not all that we use nor is a play shown to more than one side. These are the ones that have brought the best results for my teams.
Well, boys, there it is! I have told you what we try to do with the double-T and given you some of the plays with which we have had some success. It is always a little presumptuous in any coach to write too much about what he has done or is doing, but if this makes you think a little along football lines it has been worthwhile. It is a cinch that your use of two quarterbacks will make your opponents think plenty.
Coach Cate attended Glynn Academy, Brunswick, Georgia, where he participated in football, basketball and track. At the University of Georgia he participated in track and football for three years and was captain of the football team in 1939. He was high-point man in track in the Southeastern Conference for two years. He won first place in the 100-yard dash in 1938 with the time of 9.8 sec. In 1940, he set a low hurdle record of 23.1 sec.
He began his coaching career in 1940 at Riverside Military Academy, winning the GIAA track meet. Since 1941, he has been at Waycross High School as coach of football and track. His football teams have won 56, lost 35 and tied one. His 1952 team won nine games, and lost only to Valdosta, the state champs.