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Author Information

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

Use Double Flex to Run Triple Option More Effectively

If you study the Triple Option Flexbone Offense, statistically, the most likely player to make the tackle on any given play is the play side linebacker. If you play a quality coordinator on the other side of the ball, the defense will try to find creative ways to keep him unblocked. The most common defense you will see that will try to protect the play side linebacker is a 3-4/5-2 type of front. Four man fronts, with two inside linebackers don’t have a way to protect the inside linebacker that will cause you to run Double Flex to block it. Those teams can squeeze and scrape with the defensive end, but you can easily load with the A-Back. 4-3 teams can do the same but your tackle can use the slip call (the subject of a future article) to get to the Mike Backer. Four down fronts aren’t as equipped to keep that player unblocked. There are methods they can use of course, but 3-4/5-2 teams can be more effective doing it because they can play four in the secondary, and occupy your players responsible for the inside linebacker.

Most three down teams can play their scheme interchangeably against a Flexbone Team. They can align the defensive tackles in 3’s, 4I’s or 4’s. They can align the outside linebacker in a position to collision the player you have trying to block the inside linebacker (most often a 9-technique). If the outside linebacker is not aligned in a position to collision the player responsible for the inside linebacker, there is no need to run double flex to specifically run triple option. The picture below shows how a defense can align to make it hard to block the play side linebacker.

5-2 Double Eagle


There are other plays you have available to you that are good plays against this look, If #2 is collisioning your playside tackle, Rocket Toss is a great play. Midline Triple is great and Sprint Out is also good against this look, but let’s look at how to run triple option. In the above picture they are aligned 0-3-9 to the playside. 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 slants playside and the inside linebacker fills the A-gap, there is nowhere for the B-Back to run. So what option do you have next? You can double the 3-tech with the guard and tackle, and attempt to have the Quarterbak read the 9-tech and the inside linebacker as #1 and #2. That’s extremely difficult because the Quarterback won’t be able to see the inside linebacker on the snap hidden behind the 3-tech. Therefore the defense could be giving you a give read with the 9-tech, but the inside linebacker is standing in the hole, who the Quarterback might not see. So let’s toss that out too.

The best option you have is to run 12 Load. Load tells the playside A-Back to block the playside linebacker to safety. This can be effective as long as the outside linebacker doesn’t collision your A-Back on his path to the inside linebacker. The playside WR can either push-crack (a technique I haven’t written about yet) or he can simply run his regular triple option rule and block the deep defender. This would leave the force player now as the pitch key (see below).

12 Load v. 5-2 Double Eagle with 9’s off the Ball


It’s only a matter of time before the defense will put that 9-technique up on the line to collision the A-Back’s load block. When that happens you will be outnumbered on the edge. Like before, there are other plays that can work against this look, but we are concerning ourselves with how to run the bread and butter of your offense against this defense. When the 9-technique walks up and plays aggressively on your slot, your last and best option is to get into Double Flex. This will allow you to use the Wide Receiver to seal the inside linebacker. With two receiving threats on the line in close proximity to each other, and with the threat of triple option, you are almost never going to see a team bring the corner up and press the wide receiver. In this case the wide receiver is free to seal the inside linebacker. The A-Back will still arc to #3. Everyone else blocks 12-13 like normal (see below). 

Double Flex 12 Hammer v. 5-2 Double Eagle


The other way Double Flex can be used is when the defense aligns in a straight 5-2 look, like Notre Dame has in the past. If you recall back in 2007 Navy used this scheme to defeat Notre Dame 46-44 in triple overtime, In that game Notre Dame was aligned in a 0-4-9 look to both sides, with linebackers aligned over the guards. Against an uncovered guard the tackle’s rule is to loop to the playside linebacker. Notre Dame was keeping the playside tackle on the line of scrimmage with the 9-tech. Navy’s answer was to get into Double Flex, and have the wide receiver seal the box.

Double Flex 12 Hammer vs. 5-2


The last issue they had with this look, is what to do with the playside tackle who was getting collisioned by the 9-technique on every snap? Their answer was to run 12 Swap (see below). What this does is it changes the wide receiver and tackle’s block. The tackle will now run the alley to block the deep defender and the wide receiver will seal the inside linebacker. The added benefit of this scheme is that the 9-technique will see the exact same technique from the receiver and tackle on Triple Option that they will see against Rocket Toss. This will add to the pressure this defender will face immensely.  Each snap he will have mere tenths of seconds to react to the same look. Is it toss or is it triple?

Double Flex 12 Swap v. 5-2


This is just a sample of what you can do by investing in the Flexbone Offense. Are you ready for your program to take that next step? Are you a coordinator who wants to move up and be fully prepared to take on the role of head coach with a complete offensive system? Are you a position coach who wants to be a coordinator? No matter where you are in your career path, the Flexbone Association Academy will help you achieve your goals. There is no defense you can’t defeat if you are committed to this offense and invest time in teaching these adjustments to your team. Contact us for more details.

Photo: Rich Schultz / The Associated Press

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