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Founder and Owner of the Flexbone Association. Since 2007 we have provided the tools necessary for teams to succeed running the Flexbone Association System. Over the last ten years over 200 teams have been instructed by the Flexbone Association. I've consulted with teams and or run camps everywhere from Belfair, WA to Key West, FL. The Flexbone Association strives daily to help coaches succeed with this time tested offense, I have been a football coach for 16 seasons, currently at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, GA I played at St. Mary's Springs High School in Fond du Lac, WI under legendary head coach Bob Hyland. I've been fortunate to be part of five state championship teams (1997,1998,2002,2011,2012). In 2011-2012 St. Mary's Springs led the state of Wisconsin in scoring and set consecutive school records for points scored, Psalm 27

Read the Action Key for More Yards on the Dive Phase of Inside Veer


I recently wrote about having your fullback read the action key. Today I’ll expand on that idea in more detail. When coaching the Flexbone B-Back, there are two main theories of thought about how to coach the B-Back to enter and exit the line of scrimmage. The conventional theory holds that the B-Back must run the option alley after he receives the ball from the quarterback (hash-numbers-sideline). For the purposes of coaching the B-Back, the option alley can be defined as the area stretching to the goal line extending on the same path the B-Back took to the mesh point (see diagram below). Triple option theory states that to run inside veer (out of a double slot formation with no tight end) against any defense, the play should only be run if the defense has four or less defenders outside the path of the B-Back. The slotback and wide receiver can block two of them. The quarterback can account for the other two defenders in his option progression. In turn, every defender inside the read must be blocked. If you teach this technique to your B-Backs, it’s sound in theory. 

Conventional B-Back Dive Path

conventionalbbackdivepath

The other theory that has been advanced by the Division One Flexbone schools teaches the B-Back to read the first down lineman inside the read key. The term for this player is the action key. It will take work from your B-Back coach, or QB/B-Back coach to get this player to perfect this technique, but once mastered it can add yards quickly to the dive phase of inside veer. A few points to remember is that the B-Back must hit the mesh phase of the veer in the same spot every time, while he is looking through the ball. Also, the B-Back must hear the line calls from the offensive line so that he knows what to expect when hitting the line of scrimmage. The B-Back cannot cut, no matter what he sees before he gets to the mesh point. His eyes must get on the action key as soon as possible. If the action of the defense dictates the B-Back must run the ball behind the action key; he must square his shoulders in the hole. (as seen below)

B-Back Reading the Action Key

actionkeydivepath

The benefit of having the B-Back read and run off the action key is that the offensive line will be right every time. Even if the action key fights the blocking scheme of the offensive line and gets himself into the path of the B-Back, the B-Back can easily cutback behind the action key. The offensive line doesn’t need a devastating block every time. Now the defense will be forced to account for the fact that the B-Back could be running inside the alley, which will slow down defenders running to the Quarterback or Pitchback. 

Here is an example of Navy B-back Vince Murray executing this technique against Maryland. Notice how he cuts the ball behind the Mike linebacker and gets into Maryland’s secondary in a hurry with a convoy of blockers in front of him. 

Video of Vince Murray 2010

What do you think coaches? It is time to have your B-Back read the action key? How good do you want to be at this?

Photo: US Presswire

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Create a Dominant Offensive Line | Flexbone Association - May 23, 2016

    […] 2-Allow the B-Back to read the defensive lineman inside the read (action key). […]

  2. 10 Priorities of Triple Option Instruction | Flexbone Association - March 25, 2016

    […] The B-Back bends behind the action key when the action key impedes the dive […]

  3. Use Double Flex to Run Triple Option More Effectively | Flexbone Association - October 16, 2013

    […] The playside linebacker is aligned in the B-gap. You could single the 3-tech with the guard and have the B-Back read the action key, but there is nothing to prevent the inside linebacker from taking the A-gap. If the nose tackle […]

  4. Why You Must Commit to the Flexbone Offense Part Two – It Neutralizes Your Opponents Defensive Line | Flexbone Association - October 14, 2013

    […] either shaded or head up. By scooping the nose with the center and backside guard, as well as having the B-back read the action key, this player can be neutralized as well. Within the design of the Flexbone Offense and the Flexbone […]

  5. How to Handle Dominant Interior Defenders | Flexbone Association - October 8, 2013

    […] hard. If he slants hard to the playside he forces the fullback to cut the ball back behind him (What the fullbacks are taught to do anyway). This means that there will likely be a 20 linebacker or a 3 tech behind the nose tackle expecting […]

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