An offensive formation in football that features a long snap to a back three to five yards behind the center and a wingback positioned at the strong end.
The traditional single wing formation utilized a tailback, fullback and quarterback behind an unbalanced offensive line, with a wingback offset behind and to the right of the tight end and flanking the defensive tackle. This formation was invented by Glenn "Pop" Warner as a deceptive scheme to attack the gap between the defensive tackle and defensive end. The ball was typically snapped to the tailback or fullback, while the quarterback and wingback moved forward to create double-team blocks ahead of a run play. The single wing was also useful as a passing threat, as the wingback could choose to either block or run a route as a receiver.
The single wing as it was traditionally created is seldom used in professional football, but many formations evolved out of the single wing-the most notable of these formations is the spread and the shotgun. The common denominator in formations that came from the single wing is that they employ a long snap from the center and a deceptive blocking scheme to exploit a perceived weakness in the defense. For example, the wingback position in the spread is usually played by a wide receiver and farther out, as the members of the offensive line have more space between them-the idea in the spread is to force the defense to cover the whole field.
The "wildcat" formation is considered to be a more modern form of the single wing and was used to great effect by the Miami Dolphins in 2008.