"Fantasy football" has a completely different meaning in my hands.  At the time I wrote this article, I had never been a coach, but had ideas for the game.  The following is one of them.  Since then I took up coaching and verified that beginners can easily learn to take the snap sideways in the manner described.  See here for the thought process that went into the below.  I use pronouns "s/he" and "hir" because I'm a fan of women's as well as men's football.  I'd appreciate hearing at robgood@bestweb.net if anyone actually tries or is even interested in this stuff.  Thanks to Ted Seay for the use of his "guys".

The Horse Fly

This is my concept to simultaneously:
  1. improve the fly series, making it easier, faster hitting, and sneakier;
  2. provide the quick hitting power of the single wing, without its major drawback;
  3. maximize deception while minimizing ball exchanges;
  4. equally facilitate quick, pocket, and play action passing;
  5. give a choice of positions for the team's best passer, depending on that player's other skills or lack thereof;
  6. provide a core of "obvious", "natural", "de rigeur" plays while allowing addition of many wing T, single wing, and spread series; and
  7. look different -- asymmetric but not necessarily unbalanced.
All this is made possible by taking an ordinary deuce backfield of a type commonly used to run a veer offense, with a wingback or flanker, and turning the quarterback sideways.  That is, the quarterback, instead of facing forward over the center's butt, faces a sideline, with his hands still in the same place.  This was the quarterback's position in the sidesaddle T formation.

The Sidesaddle T's History and Contribution

This formation was an outgrowth of very old systems wherein the quarterback crouched low at an angle behind center, which began when the ball was still heeled back on the ground to scrimmage it.  As the scrum half in rugby today, coming back from where he'd put the ball into the tunnel, stoops at the side of the scrum to pick the ball up from the scrum's base, so the quarterback would scoop the ball up to quickly feed it to the deep backs.  After the rules were changed to allow the center to use hands to snap the ball, and the scrimmage lines formed with blocking so the quarterback didn't have to fear being tackled immediately, the quarterback turned to face forward behind center.  This allowed the quarterback to pivot equally either way after receiving the snap; however, the quarterback might still be in a low crouch, the better to spring forward on a sneak.

The rules were then changed for a while to outlaw the quarterback sneak.  Then there was no point in the quarterback's crouching, when he could instead stand tall and survey the defense before the snap.  At about the same time, teams realized they could have the center throw the ball to a deep back rather than having the quarterback relay it; this was most useful on kicking plays. However, the same rule that outlawed the sneak made the deep snap unattractive for running plays.

The rules were eventually changed in a way that encouraged the deep snap for running plays and forward passing plays, which by then had been legalized.  However, teams found they could benefit deception-wise by having a quarterback crouched low (possibly in a 3 point stance) at an angle close to the center as well as deep backs behind the center.  The ball could be snapped by throwing it to one or more of the deep backs, or by handing it (or making a short toss) to the quarterback.  The quarterback would then usually toss or hand the ball to one of the deep backs.  Because the ball could have been conveyed to a deep back directly by the snap or indirectly via the quarterback, the snap thrown to the deep back came to be known as a "direct snap" and that to the quarterback an "indirect snap" -- misnomers that continue to the present.  (There being no requirement, except in 6-man football, for any player who takes the snap to deliver it to another, nor any prohibition on a player's doing so -- and QB keep plays as well as hand-offs by deep backs are commonly practiced -- the words "direct" and "indirect" are presumptuous in either case, which is why I prefer the terms "thrown snap" and "handed snap", or as the rules state, "hand-to-hand snap".)  Other formations kept the quarterback facing forward, whether to take a short toss snap or in the previous and still common position of standing over, hands under, the center, to receive the snap hand to hand; from the latter position it was also possible to snap between the quarterback's legs to a deep back.

Today I see double and single wing formations with the QB crouched in that angled position referred to as a "Tennessee formation".  That's probably because the U. of Tenn. varsity was one of the last major teams still using it.  However, I have it on Hugh Wyatt's authority that U. of Tenn. coach (and former General) Neyland also developed there the sidesaddle T formation.  Instead of crouching, the quarterback stands up as in the regular T, but faces a sideline.  That was a position adopted transiently by quarterbacks earlier, from which they would call signals before going into the 2- or 3-point crouch.  However, in the sidesaddle T the quarterback didn't crouch before the snap.

From the sidesaddle T, the quarterback has a view of the defense right thru the moment of the snap.  Admittedly, it's not as good a view as would be had by facing forward, and it might have led to some stiff necks from craning & twisting to get a backside view.  The advantage of the sidesaddle position is the same as was always the case for sideways positioning -- faster outlet, at the expense of asymmetry.  However, for quick pitches it turns out to be a fast way to deliver the ball in any direction in the backfield.  Moreover, fading to pass from a moderate-to-deep drop is faster from that position than backpedaling from straight ahead would be, provided you line up facing the correct sideline for your handedness (and footedness).  The Cleveland Browns more recently had a quarterback who so knew that advantage that a sideline view of him in his otherwise standard position would tip pass plays, as he would cock his right foot for the dropback.

Meanwhile, just as much as the angle-crouched position did, the sidesaddle T left the path clear between the center's legs for snaps thrown in the various directions one would use to feed several players in the backfield, or to lead a player with the ball depending on how the play would start.  The same could not be said about the narrower tunnel involved with snapping thru or to the side of the QB's legs.

I can't account for the lack of popularity of the sidesaddle T.  Maybe it just looked too weird.  Anyway, the "horse" in the horse fly is just an allusion to the equestrian metaphor of the sidesaddle T.

How It Improves the Fly Series

Fly series plays begin with a flanker or wingback in pre-snap motion towards the quarterback.  Ideally the motion back will be in full stride when the quarterback turns immediately after the snap and hands hir the ball as s/he crosses behind for the fly sweep.  The sweep is usually complemented by a straight dive or trap carry by a fullback who gets the handoff from the quarterback who either continues in a full spin or swings back in a half spin after faking the fly sweep handoff, and/or by a bootleg run or pass after faking either or both handoffs.  Trouble is, the fly sweep requires impeccable timing between the snapper, quarterback, and motioning fly man, who is the only one who can see the others until the last instant.  Only that timing allows the full speed start which is the fly's attraction.

There are other ways which could be or have been tried to rectify that problem.  Some of the ways simply eliminate the quarterback.  However, it surely would only make the timing more difficult if you just took the QB out of the way and tried to snap the ball to the fly man taking hir usual path.  The center just can't see the fly coming.  So you could motion the fly much deeper to take a softly lobbed snap that the fly could adjust to; this has actually been done in some spread formation systems.  It does, however, take the runner deeper than the fly, and so doesn't hit as quickly.

A formation has been devised that gives the snapper a view of the fly and allows a very simple exchange.  Called the power wing, its snapper is a tight end, who to snap the ball just hands it around his inside hip to the fly coming across toward the outside.  But by optimizing this feature, it sacrifices a lot.  You can't run a regular offense from the power wing (although a package of plays has been developed for it), and you can't even pull a lineman in front of the fly from it.

Another way converts the fly sweep into a jet sweep with the motion man crossing in front of someone who hands it to hir after taking a shotgun snap.  The mechanics of the play are then different enough that it hardly pays to compare it to the fly.

The remaining way is to modify the quarterback's position so s/he can see the fly man coming.  The choices are as described above -- crouching angled quarterback or sidesaddle stand-up QB.  Each of these has the further advantage of speeding the exchange from snap thru handoff, provided the QB can take the snap hand-to-hand.  Truth be told, although I'm advocating the stand-up position, the crouch would work about as well and might even hide the ball better throughout the plays of the series.

The reason I'm advocating the sidesaddle, stand-up position for the quarterback is its other advantages as compared to the angled crouch.  The angled crouch might be better for single wing oriented coaches who are used to having a blocking quarterback in that or a similar position.  It gives a better position to spring from to block.  However, the stand-up position is more like that of the standard quarterback that more coaches are used to, and fits many quarterback-oriented plays better, especially if the player at that position is a good passer.  It also allows the fly to stay slightly closer to the line of scrimmage for a no-pull version of end run.

From the sidesaddle position, the quarterback can watch the entirety of the fly man's approach, and getting hir the ball involves just a slight arm motion swinging the ball from where s/he gets it from the center to the handoff point on hir own hip.  This allows the fly to be installed with minimal practice time while allowing full speed motion.  The quarterback doesn't have to pivot at all (let alone thru180º as in the standard fly) and risk getting there too early (slowing the fly's take-off and messing up the timing of the dive or trap, possibly leading to a collision), or worse, too late.  Instead s/he just calls for the snap when the fly man has reached the ideal position.  They can even play games with the timing, with the fly stutter stepping on the approach to prevent the defense from timing it.

If I were advocating only this improvement, without the thrown-snap components, I would make a little adjustment to the fullback's position to compensate for the greater speed and different execution.  (Of course those who want to take this lesson à la carte can do exactly this.)  The quarterback can hand off on a midline or A gap dive by barely moving a muscle after faking the fly sweep.  To take full advantage, the fullback should be closer than for the standard fly, and time hir approach similarly by the cue of the fly's motion.  The FB can cross paths just behind the fly, and will have less time after the snap to get to the exchange point.  Alternatively, the QB can pivot "outside" thru 180º and make the handoff behind the B gap or the tackle on the same side the sweep would've gone to, for a slightly slower hitting play.

Further Considerations for the Quarterback

Do you want to mirror your fly series left-right?  If you do, then your sidesaddle QB is going to have to be comfortable taking the snap facing either sideline.  This is not a trivial consideration.  A right handed quarterback (who will usually also be right-footed) benefits most from facing the right sideline.  The mechanics of taking the snap are different from the usual center-QB exchange.  For newcomers to the QB position, I think the sidesaddle position would be easier to learn than the straight-on position that gives so many difficulty at first.  The sidesaddle QB does not have to absorb the blow of the ball with his elbows, and needn't keep hir wrists together while receiving the snap.  It's more like the action of a baseball infielder taking the ball in the glove hand and using the other to clap it in there, except that the ball is well off the ground and will be more easily received by the player's throwing hand rather than the baseball glove hand, while the other hand should start underneath the ball to help scoop it in.  As of this writing, I'm trying to engage Ron Jaworski, who has said he played sidesaddle T quarterback, to coach the mechanics or find someone he knows who can.

Although I think it less likely that the sidesaddle QB will muff the exchange than will a standard quarterback, if s/he does the ball should be easier to find quickly and less likely to be lost to the opposition.  In the standard position, if the snap comes harder or earlier than expected, the QB's elbows can fail to absorb the blow and the ball bounces forward to a place that may be too far back for the center to see, yet where the center is in the QB's way.  If the QB fails to keep wrists together, the ball may rise and hit hir in the face mask, which paradoxically makes it harder for hir eyes to follow.  In the sidesaddle T, a muffed snap may land under a lineman's legs, but the QB will probably have an easier view of it, but more likely it will land nearby in the backfield.

One risk that exists with the sidesaddle position is practically nonexistent with standard positioning -- an illegal snap or illegal formation call.  The QB must take care not to stand breaking the plane of the snapper's waist, or else the QB becomes a lineman, who must face forward and is not allowed to receive the snap.  There should be no temptation to stand too far forward with the non-dominant leg anyway, it giving no great advantage, and officials may be itching to flag as illegal a formation they haven't seen before, so you should not give them an excuse to do so.

A right handed QB facing the right sideline will have the ball delivered to hir throwing hand, which is ideal for a quick pass if the ball comes in at the proper angle.  Normally that player will be able to fade faster facing that way than facing the left sideline.  Mirror the formation, and you lose always having those advantages.  But if you don't mirror, your fly sweep can be run to only one side.  If you keep a fullback then unless your formation is winged or flanked to both sides, you can run fly only one way anyway from a given formation, regardless of how the QB is positioned, but some teams would like to be able to fly to the wider side of the field, wherever that is.  Or maybe they'd like to fly toward or away from the coach's sideline, or the hot dog vendor.

Even with the sidesaddle QB and no mirroring, it's possible to have a choice of fly men in the package.  You just have to shift between wingback+split end and tight end+flanker.  You can even send one fly man thru, shift hir onto the line on the other side, shift the other one into the backfield, and start again before snapping the ball, unless you're playing NFL rules on uniform numbers in the formation(see below).

The view the sidesaddle QB has of a fly motioning flanker also invites an audible to a quick pass, if the defense is covering player-to-player and looks soft or is leading or trailing.  It's not available to a crouching QB, unless the receiver can give hir a sign.

The sidesaddle quarterback is obviously in better position to sprint out to the side s/he faces than to the opposite side, but for most other plays being positioned slightly closer to the side s/he's facing away from partly compensates timing-wise for the extra time to turn that way; see the discussion of speed option plays below.

The Simplified Thrown-Snap Possibilities

These days the only thrown-snap formations you're likely to see are kicking formations and shotgun formations.  In the shotgun, there's usually only one snap, and it goes to a back who's either standing still or fading back when the ball arrives.  That's fine for pass plays, but it leaves a lot to be desired on running plays.  If the player receiving the snap is to be the ballcarrier, it means the play gets off to a slow start, advantageous only if it's a draw play.  If another player is to be the runner, that player must receive the ball from the first one, most conveniently via hand-off.  That eliminates the possibility of the first player's being a blocker, and it also makes a bootleg (standing start) or an even more delayed run the only keeper play threat.  So the shotgun has the same disadvantages for the running game as the "wasted quarterback" under center, only worse because the shotgun snap takes longer and there's not even the possibility of getting in front and blocking as on a toss play.

There are other thrown-snap formations that are out of fashion, such as the single wing and short punt formation.  In many of these the snapper, looking between hir legs, can feed more than one player in the backfield, and in all of them the snapper can target the snap to a point that gives a quicker start to the play.  At the extremes, the snap can lead a back to either side, but in any event, unless it's just a short toss, it should anticipate the back's first motion.  The player receiving the snap doesn't just wait for the ball to arrive before making a move.  The snapper is doing some of the work of a quarterback in distributing the ball, so there's no wasted quarterback, there don't have to be as many ball exchanges, and a running play or play-pass gets off to a faster start than from the shotgun.  However, there's no free lunch.  The snapper is going to have to take a while to change focus from the snap to blocking in these look-between-the-legs formations, while the single shotgun snap can be done blind (albeit sometimes after sighting between the legs); you trade a certain degree of "wasted quarterback" for a certain degree of "wasted center".

Moreover, the simplicity of the single wing isn't always used as such.  A common series used for its deception from the single wing is the full spin, in which most commonly the ball is snapped toward a point approximately midway between two deep backs who stand close together, and the one who receives it spins thru approximately 360° while two other backs cross behind -- one of whom was that other back standing close to begin with.  A handoff, or lack of one, takes place while they cross paths.

There are ways to try to incorporate the advantages of the various methods while minimizing the disadvantages, all compromises of course.  You can combine a hand-to-hand snap with a shotgun type snap by snapping between the QB's legs, so you have two players potentially receiving the snap; that was done in the spin-T system.  The quarterback provides a tunnel bounded by hir legs and crotch, so only a straight snap is possible and a soft lob (which may be advantageous -- see below) is not; it will either be soft and low, or hard.

Another way is to keep the snapper's head up while giving the snap receiver a running start is to vary that player's position in the backfield.  The Broncos did that in a recent Super Bowl, offsetting him behind a guard.  But that's obviously a one-time gimmick; otherwise it tips the play, taking away the step advantage.  Some teams will also have a running back from the side step in to intercept the shotgun snap, which is the right idea, but not for an offensive package with a full complement of running plays; it's suitable only as a limited change of pace in an otherwise pass-oriented shotgun package.

Finally, with enough practice, you can learn to hit another back with a blind snap.  I saw that done one time in the pros, a good hard snap to a running back off to the side from a center whose head was clearly up.  But only the pros have enough practice time for that, and even they aren't going to learn a full complement of single wing type snaps done no-peek.

So this is my way to snap the ball to any of 3 different backs, while the snapper's head is up and in an amateur's practice time.  You already know how I'd get it to the quarterback, handing it to hir in the sidesaddle position.  For the other two backs, it's just one thrown snap -- a soft lob down the middle, to be intercepted at the appropriate point by whichever one of them is to get it.

It's not as if this type of thrown snap is any invention of mine.  I'm just telling you how to best use it in a system to deliver the ball to a variety of backs in a deceptive way without handing it off, which is a great desideratum for teams of football beginners and not too bad for players of any experience.  The drawback is that the player receiving the thrown snap must cross the midline of the formation to do so, but that's not too bad if you have one starting on each side, and it sets up cross-bucks.  It has long been known in the single wing formation that the fullback (usually standing slightly farther forward) cutting across and in front of the tailback can hide pretty well which one of them is getting the snap.  However, that particular positioning limits the holes they can each hit while cross-bucking without running into each other.  To take full advantage of the cross-buck possibilities, the deep backs (Call them running backs or left and right fullback; wassamatter, you never heard of a 2-fullback system?) need to be spread a little farther apart and stand level with each other.  This will allow (using the odd-even hole numbering system) one back to hit holes 1-7 and the other 4-8, or 3-7 and 2-8, in any combination without colliding, leaving only the 1 & 2 combination off limits, while both get a running start.

It is also known that in the single wing, it helps to hide the snap if its distance is kept short and the ball is kept low.  However, this doesn't provide much space for the backs to cross paths.  To allow enough time and space for all cross-buck combinations, the snap must be allowed to rise and drop.  I figure the positioning of the deep backs behind the guards (or maybe wider) with about the split and depth from which many teams run veer options (not the widest split Houston variety) to be pretty good to accomplish this, if the snap rises to chest high and drop to belt or knee high in the distance it would take to reach where the backs stand.  You can practice snapping over the back of one chair onto the seat of another.  To hit the inside holes, the runner should intercept the snap at chest height, while for a wide run the runner should turn slightly backward of flat and catch the ball around the knees.  The time the ball is in the air should be taken up by a running start of about a step and a half or two, plus for an end run the turn from facing forward; the runner should not bucket step, but start with a pivot on the end run.  You should adjust the position of the backs and the hang time of the snap to allow all of your cross-bucking moves at speed without collision and with the minimum necessary rise of the snap for them to catch it.snap practice illustrated

So yes, when the snap doesn't go to the quarterback the ball will be visible to the defense, more so than when it's short and low (the extreme version of which is Hugh Wyatt's wildcat), but only for a moment and then it will disappear between runners going in opposite directions.  Increased speed by the crossing deep backs helps hide which one gets the snap, as when you have trouble telling whether a pass was caught or intercepted by an opponent rapidly crossing in front of your field of view.  Could one of those deep backs hand off or fake to the other?  Sure, but why would they want to?  If you really like spins, the only reason for one would be between a deep back and a wingback.  However, I can't imagine greater backfield deception than you'd get from having the fly motion and crossbuck action simultaneously, following which the QB can still bootleg -- and of those 4 backs, only one needs to have the ball handed off to hir, the rest can take the snap.

Filling A Playbook

The other details of an offense oriented around these principles are deliberately left open, because they can accommodate a variety of styles.  You can split one or both ends, and the fly man can be a wingback or flanker, all depending on how much passing you'd like to do and to whom.  Nothing says the line has to be either balanced or unbalanced.  As explained above, you have a more complicated decision than usual as to whether to mirror the formation.

However, there's a certain core of plays and series which, if you're not going to incorporate them, there doesn't seem to be a reason to use the system.  You could conceivably dispense with the fly series, in which case you're using the sidesaddle quarterback just as a way to help spread the ball around as described above.  If you think motion tips the play and snap count too much, then I could see your not wanting to run the fly.  (Actually I do have such a "thing" against using the single player in motion allowed in USAn football, but the full speed fly is the one whose advantage overcomes it for me.)

If you're going to snap the ball back there, you might as well have some cross-bucks.  On plays going off-tackle or around end, you can pull linemen and use a cross-bucking back to block the back side.  If you're going to snap to the QB, you might as well have at least a sneak or a wedge; if you're playing NFL rules, sorry, no wedges allowed; but you'll also want one or more quickie passes.

Beyond that is where the choices really start.  Basically you can concentrate on the plays available from a quarterback-under-center formation, or on some (but not all, because the center can't customize the snap) of the plays from a single wing playbook, or both about equally.  One approach would be to orient around drop-back passing by the quarterback and running passes by the deep backs; but if one of your running backs is your best passer, nothing says hir first steps after taking the snap have to be out of the pocket, and nothing says the quarterback can't sprint out either.

Remember that your quarterback not only doesn't have to be your best passer, s/he doesn't even have to be a genius at ballhandling or footwork to run the fly series this way.  So maybe aside from the fly series you'd concentrate on hir blocking or receiving skill.  But unlike the old days, most of you are now playing under rules that prohibit cut blocking by all but linemen, so if you're not comfortable with your quarterback as a blocking back, that old shortcut is no  longer available to compensate for lack of skill or size.

Other than that, in the handed snap column you have a split back deuce with a flanker or wingback.  If you like wing T you can use it that way, except that some of the plays from that book would more effective with the snap thrown to a deep back.  The fly back goes thru so fast, you might consider adding "second man" plays where an end or even a tackle follows around and gets the real handoff heading into a hole opened by the fly's influence.

If you like option plays, the QB's sideways stance means the deep back nearer the sideline s/he's facing is in the better pitch relationship for the speed option.  That allows that back to specialize as a trailer, because the QB's pivot to slide down the line the other way gives that back time to get into pitch relationship.  So the speed option is asymmetric but uses the same components to both sides.  Then what do you do with the back side deep back on the speed option to the side the QB faces?  You could have hir available for a delayed inside counter.  However, the availability of the thrown snap sets up other "look alike" moves from an extension of the series.

Either of the deep backs on taking the snap can immediately continue "downhill" threatening the position of the opposite defensive end (or other EMLOS) with the play-side back taking a steep trailer route.  The unblocked man knows it's an option play, but has very little time to pick up whether it's the quarterback or the deep back who's running the ball at hir.  If it's not the quarterback with the ball, guess who's available to kick hir out if it's a straight off-tackle run instead of an option?

But if the QB gets the snap, triple options are possible too.  If the QB doesn't get the snap, you can adopt much of a single wing playbook, though certainly not all of it.  You wouldn't want to run a buck lateral or any of the buck series involving the QB in ballhandling, because then you might as well have snapped it to hir; it would be another case of superfluous deception.  That's not to say you couldn't work out something worthwhile like it using the fly back as the link player, but it'd take some creativity.  Meanwhile the same type of delayed hit deception as the buck series provides the single wing can be had by various quarterback fakes to a diving back and then a handoff or pitch to another.

If you keep the formation balanced, sweeps and running passes to either side would be attractive to threaten the edges.  So if you have a left handed passer, that player might be best deployed as the right running back.

And in all this, since your center doesn't have to look between hir legs, there's no tipping the thrown snap plays, and s/he's more quickly available to block.  Instead of the guards having to help out, the center can more easily fill while neighboring linemen pull.  You have that sidesaddle QB available to seal block as well, although hir stance makes it harder to disguise blocking intentions than would be the case if s/he were crouching and could "hide" while adjusting position.

I do not see anything to be gained in terms of deception by dropping the fly concept and playing straight sidesaddle T.  The presence of a deep back in the midline at the same depth would only complicate the crossbucking moves, while losing the speed to the side and ball-hiding effect of the fly back.  A diamond T would get the fullback out of the way of the halfbacks, but to keep the snap the same for all, the fullback could pick it up only running straight ahead.

Below is shown one play of a potentially extensive series. The set for illustration has the right end playing in a position the run-oriented coaches call "nasty split" and the pass-oriented coaches call "flexed", while the left end is split wide, and the fly man is a flanker, but those details aren't essential. The deep backs will cross-buck, while the quarterback and fly will show fly sweep and bootleg. In the play shown the ball is snapped at the same instant for the fly man in motion's position for the fly sweep, but in this case the snap goes to the strong side running back who catches it chest high. The blocking can be arranged to provide any desired combination of power and key-breaking. This example is a long inside trap by the weak tackle on the middle guard of the 5-2 shown. Because the weak linebacker may take the tackle's pull as an indication of strong off-tackle, or may play the fly sweep, hir path is unknown; in case s/he overruns the hole, an alternative blocking path is shown for the right guard. With two bodies coming in hir direction, the back side DE isn't going to make the play, even if neither of them is actually assigned to block hir. The timing will of course require some practice; the snap crosses just in front of the fly man, the ballcarrier crosses just behind the fly, and the other running back carrying out a fake (pretending also to take the snap) crosses behind the QB.4 way crossbuck trap vs. 5-2

Note that in captioning these diagrams I don't refer to a strong or weak side, because the fly's motion would make such designation arbitrary and confusing.  The fly's path is pretty well fixed, but the RBs could carry out any number of other fakes or hit other holes, while the QB could crab a little backward on the bootleg path, and any of them could be a passer as well. You have all four backs immediately coming out, any of whom might have the ball, and 3 out of 4 of them get it without a handoff. Contrast that with the full spin series in the single wing, where the hit is delayed, you have only 3 backs who might have the ball, and 2 of them have to get it via handoff. Also in the single wing, with the center's head down, you'd never consider the blocking scheme shown for this trap; admittedly it's a bit ambitious, but at least not out of the question, for a center whose head is up to help open the hole after making a thrown snap.

Alternatively you might forego the fly sweep on a given snap to preserve the surprise of the timing, snapping it before or after the fly passes the "correct" position. You'd still have 3 possible runners. You could do the same regarding the motion in the single wing's full spin, but then you have only 2 possible ballcarriers.

Below is illustrated a strong side off-tackle-sweep combination with no fly motion but cross-buck action, shown against just a few defenses.  In this case the defense is to be read by the blockers, who will decide whether it is to develop as an off-tackle or a sweep.  Alternatively, take away the blocking reads and have definite off-tackle and sweep plays.  Click on the small diagrams to link to larger, captioned versions.

off-tackle right vs. 4-3off-tackle right vs. 6-2sweep right vs. 4-3

There's no end to the games you can play with the multiple threats to the side the quarterback faces, the wing side.  The play diagrammed below against a 6-2 looks superficially like a triple option, but if you examine closely you'll see the timing isn't right for that.  Rather, the left running back (left fullback) crosses behind the quarterback, who has already faked the fly handoff.  What we're using is the threat of a play of the type shown above wherein the left fullback's taking the snap quickly threatens the same area which might've been hit by a triple option handoff, while meanwhile the quarterback is already on the edge, which presents a real challenge to the defense if they don't know who got the snap.  The fly man's position at the snap helps shield it from the view of the play side defenders; in this case it didn't travel thru the air, but do they know that?

The play side tackle is assigned to widen and allow the defensive tackle inside, but not to allow the defensive end or linebacker to cross his face in either direction.  What you would want most is for all of them to be drawn inside by the threat of the left running back.  If either the defensive tackle or end faces the quarterback's face, the pitch is to be made, which means the trailer needs to be watching for an early pitch.
quarterback option to facing side
It would appear the best way to play this would be for the defense, already shown above playing 3 deep, to assign the play side linebacker to the direct run by the back side running back/fullback, the tackle to the quarterback, and the end to the play side running/fullback.  But even if the fly starts the motion as above, the fly could easily load on one of them as in the off-tackle runs shown previously.  There's also no reason you couldn't have both plays like the above and triple options, if your style and quarterback are up to it.

While I'm far from presenting full series, I can't resist stringing together a few diagrams of look-alike plays.  So to go with the quarterback option above I have diagrammed below an option by the left fullback/running back.  In option runs on the edge of the formation, the deep backs have the advantage of being able to start "downhill" immediately instead of having to cut upfield.  The trailer takes almost the same path regardless of who's potentially pitching to hir.
fullback option run right vv. 6-2You have an additional blocker in the quarterback, but this version is also loaded with the fly man.  The ball is snapped before the fly reaches position for the normal sweep handoff, although s/he could always take a delayed handoff from the quarterback for a quick counter.  I'm showing the fly man doubling on a defensive tackle, but then able to slide off to cut off the backside linebacker, but if the fly sweep threat is strong enough it may be advisable to instead run the fly man thru to draw the defense away from the play side.

The defense has to decide whether to let the nasty split end get an inside release, or to get outisde leverage or release.  If they knew this was coming, the defensive end, if s/he was good, would try to pin the tight end in, both to maintain a path to the option trailer and to keep the end from blocking the cornerback as shown.  But of course it's your job in developing a series to have enough threats that they don't know what's coming; the two option plays would not be sufficient alone.  In addition to the off tackle runs previously diagrammed, a quickie pass from the quarterback to an inside-releasing tight end would help, though I haven't diagrammed one.  The fly man could constitute a quick "bunch" with the tight end and release either inside or outside as well.  Exemplary of the ways you could work play action passes off the above option plays would be the following, which also illustrates the sidesaddle quarterback's advantageous stance for quick throws toward the side s/he faces:
quarterback option-right-look pass v. 6-2The quarterback's first move while cocking the ball (which is partially the same movement as for the fly sweep handoff) is right foot, left foot, and then a lob to the tight end.  The QB's been looking in that general direction since before the snap anyway, and should be able to see in that time whether the TE's gotten any kind of release (enough to run onto the lobbed ball) and the cornerback's been sufficiently drawn in to cover the option pitch.  If not, then instead of stepping forward with the right foot while throwing off the left, the QB pulls the ball down while pushing off the left foot to crab rightward a couple of steps before turning forward for the remaining reads.  The second look is at the play side running back, whose path is the same as for the option, but who will probably be covered, leaving the final look at the tight end, who after not seeing the lob pass continues on the route shown.

To sell the run look, the center and play side guard pop block together, while in a violation of the usual inside-out rule for pass protection, the play side tackle widens and chooses who to block of those who are coming.  The end gets a little outside touch on the defensive end as in, "Oops, I let the DE get inside me."  This means that if the quick throw isn't there, the QB has to immediately get behind the block of the backside running back, who's taking the same path as in the option plays, and if the linebacker shoots then you hope he tries to tackle that same running back.  Hopefully the play side DT and DE will be influenced to take paths such that even if they get their hands up in time, they won't be in the lane of the quick throw, but it should be lobbed anyway; it should be thrown only if the receiver's the only one headed in that direction.  The back side linemen and fly just pass protect, because there's no need to sell "run" to the opponents on that side.  However, the quarterback's a dead duck if the back side linebacker shoots, but s/he'd have to be psychic or lucky to know when to do that.  If you're playing against such a psychic linebacker, you could switch the center's responsibility at the price of some of the deception.  Hopefully you'll have enough threat by the fly to delay out that you can reduce the LB's clairvoyance.

Of course if the defense is playing 3 deep it either means that's what they're most comfortable with or that your passing threat isn't enough to make them change.  So I'll put them in a 4-3 against the next pass play, but I've been arbitrarily diagramming the offense as double wide.  Partly that's on the suspicion that most coaches interested in the fly series want to split receivers out, and may not even go for two deep backs.  However, reducing the deep backfield from deuce to ace would take away the advantages of the thrown snap plays.

The option series diagrammed above could just as easily have the fullback throw the passes, albeit not the quick pass.  Below is shown a play you probably wouldn't use often, being gimmicky and taking advantage of your having two or more habitual passers in the formation, of whom either might be taking the snap.  The trick of the fly motion's helping to hide the snap is extended to the motioned-toward side of the formation, by snapping when the fly has gone a little past the ostensible handoff point.  The quarterback leisurely swings around as if hiding the ball low and preparing to pass, while the right fullback/running back, who has taken the snap behind the crossbucking action of the other fullback/running back, is actually concealing the ball bootleg style after making what appears to be a half assed sweep fake.  It helps if the right deep back is left handed especially in this play.
one real passer, one fakeOther players' moves are to help reduce the chances of a linebacker's knocking the right end off hir crossover route.  The fly man continues out from the usual fly sweep path, and the left deep back stops briefly in blocking position after faking cross-buck and then delays out.  The moment of truth comes when the quarterback, who has not taken a deep drop, pump fakes toward the fly man at an angle as shown.  The right deep back times hir action by watching the quarterback, and throws sharply as shown just as the quarterback has completed the pump fake.  The players on the defense's right side, who were in the worst possible position to see who got the snap, should be completely misled by the pump fake.  Defensive linemen who jumped to block a pass from the quarterback will be unable to recover in time to affect the real throw,which comes past them from a different direction.  Covering players in a zone defense will be similarly unable to recover in time.

If the right DE sniffs out the ball as shown, the quarterback should call "fire", and the back who actually has the ball should sling it to the QB to run to where the DE has vacated, as in a quick screen or shovel pass.  The LT should then pin in the DT for the QB to run outside hir.

Below is the quarterback option to the side away from where the QB faces.  Because of the need for the pivot, the same trailer is used as for the option to the side the QB faces.
quarterback option leftI initially had the left fullback as a lead blocker, but thought his block might be needed against the backside defensive end, who might otherwise catch up to the QB just as he starts to pitch.  With the left RB's crossbuck fake you not only get that block, but freeze the back side linebacker, whom the center might not otherwise be able to cut off.

Of course the play above could as easily be drawn to option the LB as the DE.  The difficulty with these reverse pivot plays is that the QB doesn't get a long look at the opponent being optioned off.  You might prefer the fly man to take the handoff from the QB and carry with the same option to pitch, but in that case you lose a blocker, the QB trailing the play after the handoff; therefore it could be made part of your fly series, with the bootleg and a dive by the other running back.  But you don't need me to explain the fly series to you, because you probably wouldn't be reading this if you weren't already interested in it.

Nor do I have to diagram common wing T or other plays that you can run just as well with the quarterback turned sideways.  If all the plays to the deep backs had to be crossover runs with the snap thrown to them, the defense would have some easy keys to all the ones that weren't cross-bucks.  If you saw either fullback head toward hir own side, you'd know the play was going, or at least starting, in that direction.  To break that key, here's a quick pitch to either side:
quick pitches left & rightIt's a type of play that was popular at high levels 40 years ago, but seems to have gone out of fashion there.  It relies on speed and surprise, because if the defensive tackle takes the right line, it's dead in the backfield.  Above, however, the wingback cuts that off to the strong side (which can in this non-motion case be unambiguously called that).  The sidesaddle position makes for a step by the right foot forward for the pitch right, backward while pivoting for the pitch left.  The ends should stalk their opponents, and otherwise much of the offensive team can just stand around.  A non-pull version can also be run that relies on hooking the end and racing against the play side linebacker, whom if s/he was keying on the opposite running back (as for the thrown snap plays) may have gotten off in the wrong direction.

But, you say, you could run a single wing style offense where the center can direct the snap to lead either runner in either direction.  But then you'd have the center's head between hir legs, which wouldn't matter on this play where much of the team can just stand around, but would interfere with hir blocking on other plays.  And you wouldn't want the center to tip the play by having hir head between hir legs for some plays but not others.  With a quarterback under center and only a single-technique blind thrown snap, you can accomplish all you need in these regards without wasting a blocker.

Here's what you can do if you have two fly men in the huddle.  Let's say the defense thinks they're adjusting to your motion when you send the fly thru as previously shown.  Below is the formation if that fly man then settles in as an interior lineman on the other side (blue helmet).  (If the end on that side is usually tight, the fly can line up as the new tight end outside that one.)  Meanwhile the right end has shifted into the backfield (green helmet) and is in position to run the sweep as the new fly man in the formation.  Note that your new right end (red helmet) is still wearing a tackle's number, so you're sacrificing a pass receiver and it's not even a legal formation under NFL rules, but most of you aren't playing by those.  The defense might not adjust again, and you've outmanned them on the sweep, but if they overcompensate, then it's speed option weak.
fly sweep into shift
The surprise might be even greater if you line up initially with both fly men in the backfield on the right, wing & flanker.  They can't call illegal formation until the ball is snapped; otherwise they'd have to flag you for huddling.

Of course there's nothing stopping you from using a normal unbalanced line.  The fly and Owen A aficionados might prefer the strong side behind the quarterback's back, while the single wing and Schwarzwalder fans could prefer it strong to the side the QB faces.

If s/he doesn't go too far thru with the fly motion, the fly back can also be positioned for inside passes from either the deep back on the same side (as in a draw or option shovel pass) or the other side (reverse inside pass), as well as inside or outside handoffs from any back.  That's all pretty standard.

Some thought should be given as to who calls signals at the line -- the quarterback or one of the deep backs.  I'll just say that when it comes to audibles and quick snaps, there are arguments for either.  Obviously if you plan to motion or shift one of these players, or otherwise line up spread with one of them missing from the usual position, that position would be a bad choice to call signals.

Now all I need is for someone to practice and play some of this system.