About the Post

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

Flexbone Quarterback Development Considerations

The Relationship With Your Quarterback

As stated briefly last week, the Quarterback has to be your natural extension on the field. The relationship you build with this one player will define your season. As your quarterback goes, so goes your offense. You must be willing to train and lead this young man as if he is your son. If you cannot envision this athlete being your son, you must find a new Quarterback. This relationship is the most important one you will have in this offense.

If your Quarterback is efficient in his reads and takes care of the ball, much of the rest of the offense will take care of itself. Last week I also wrote about, which points to emphasize with your Quarterback to reduce his risks, which leads to greater ball security, which is the absolute #1 trait your offense must master to achieve success in the Flexbone Offense. 

Genetic Gifts

A logical argument can be made that no position on a football team is more important than the quarterback.  Playing Quarterback, especially in the Flexbone and Triple Option offense requires several skills and traits—some of which are developed through practice and detailed education; however, many of these skills and traits are inherited.  When seeking a quarterback, look for someone whose lineage shows success.

Quickly Understanding the Flexbone System, His B-Back, and His A-Backs

Ultimately the Quarterback has to make sound decisions throughout the course of a game. Success when running the Triple Option requires a complete understanding of the Flexbone system, B-Back, and A-Backs involved in the choreography of the Triple Option.  Understanding the B-Back and the A-Backs allows the quarterback to possess extraordinary anticipation.  While quick speed of the delivery of the dive, keep, and pitch is certainly admirable, and is discussed in the next section of the article, if the pitch is off target or arrives in such a way that it is difficult to catch, the ability to be quick is certainly detrimental to the success of the offense.  The fundamental goal of pitching the ball in the Triple Option is to make sure it’s caught by the A-Back.

proctorsQuickly Read and Quickly React

While the fundamental goal of pitching the ball in the Triple Option is to make sure it’s caught by the A-Back, the maximization of movement does need to continually improve over time.  Successful Flexbone quarterbacks have the ability to unerringly read #1 and #2 for the initial dive-keep phase of the Triple Option.  This is a skill that most quarterbacks have not learned in their prior football experience. At Flexbone Association Football Camps, quarterbacks are taught how to read #1 and #2 simultaneously, just like you see each and every Saturday in the fall.

Even if they have, they face much better assignment execution, and varied technique than they did in a feeder program.  Regardless of whether quarterbacks have been required to run the Triple Option in their prior programs, most feeder systems are based on isolating the offense around the best possible player.  The exultant utilization of the quarterback, B-Back, and A-Back is completely necessary at the high school level.  The ability to make superior, spontaneous decisions at vital times is another much needed trait.  Instinctive genius is of the essence when running the Flexbone.

art2alpoponCan He Withstand the Hitting?

Finally, the Flexbone Quarterback must have the ability to function at an appropriate level when he has just taken a good hit from the defense.  Getting tackled is something Quarterbacks must endure, because the Flexbone Offense requires the Quarterback to run if #1 (read key) tackles the dive and #2 (pitch key) tackles the pitch.  The Flexbone Quarterback must have the ability to withstand the tackling, to avoid being rattled, and to continue to exert leadership through accurate, decisive action.

Developing the Flexbone Quarterback in the Classroom

Education through verbal discussion and video analysis comprises a vital component of the preparation needed to develop a Flexbone Quarterback. The Flexbone Quarterback requires a massive amount of live action. Classroom preparation possesses two objectives; clarifying information and exchanging information. Coaches must provide the Flexbone Quarterback with “black and white” expectations regarding pre-snap checks, practice format emphasis, and the staff and player’s needs in each on-field drill segment. Classroom time is necessary to provide the Flexbone Quarterback with the vital emphasis points. Focus on a few points, because over analysis inevitably overwhelms the quarterback. Your mission is to reduce the uncertainty the Quarterback faces in given situations.

dobbspracticeDeveloping the Flexbone Quarterback on the Practice Field

For the Flexbone quarterback, the single most compelling learning environment is the practice field. Yes, it is true that there is no experience like game experience; however, actually playing the game does not provide the Flexbone quarterback with the repetitive practice he needs for developing and refining his read #1-pitch #2 progressions. Consider several factors to maximize learned behavior within the Flexbone quarterback. This includes proper flex quarterback warm-ups, footwork/ball drills, off-season triple option work, and in-season specifics.

Developmental Drill Considerations

A comprehensive plan for developing a Flexbone Quarterback must include a substantial amount of drill work. This provides a tangible opportunity for invaluable, repetitive practice. You, the head coach, and the coaching staff must emphasize the following points when the quarterback is engaged in drill work:

  • After the quarterbacks pulls the ball to replace the read in a keep-pitch situation, the pressure is on the balls of the quarterback’s feet (refrain from flat foot movement following the pull)
  • He must maintain ten fingers on the ball until the ball is pitched.
  • The Flexbone Quarterback must retain the proper parallel pitch technique while replacing #1.
  • The Flexbone Quarterback must keep cool vs. blood stunt (#1 quickly tackles the B-back, #2 quickly attacks the quarterback).
  • He must have the ability to pitch the ball at any time once the Quarterback puts both feet in the ground to read #1
  • The Flexbone quarterback must perform a heart-to-heart pitch release with the football (the backside A-back must catch all footballs parallel and at his chest).

Developing the Flexbone Quarterback During the Season

You, the head coach, must consider how much work your Flexbone Quarterback is given during a practice week. Navy provides the first and second-team quarterbacks an equal amount of reps during their team periods. In this situation, two offenses practice versus a defense. The mission is to get 2nd teamers at least one rep/minute, if not more. During drills, coaches must focus on a couple of priorities with which to work with their Flexbone quarterbacks. If there are too many focal points, the learning effect becomes greatly diminished.

Developing Flexbone Quarterbacks in your Junior High Program

All factors considered, junior high programs are an excellent avenue for developing young Flexbone Quarterbacks. The game experience the Flexbone Quarterback is provided will illustrate his true strengths and weaknesses. If his strengths demonstrate accurate read-pitch progression in the game environment, this quarterback is on his way to great success within your program. This is the greatest consideration you, the head coach, must emphasize. As a general rule, you must consider at least three criteria to determine whether or not the junior high coaching staff could be the ones who solely develop the junior high Flexbone Quarterback:

  • Would the time be better spent with our coaches in the off season? For example, if a junior high Flexbone Quarterback is new to the system, learning it right from you, the visionary, may be in his best interests.
  • If the junior high Flexbone Quarterback is varsity eligible and is your #2 or #3 best quarterback, you must consider your immediate needs and consider the Quarterback for a full-time promotion.
  • Are the junior high coaches going to develop your future Flexbone Quarterback in a manner and a style with which you are comfortable?

The Flexbone Association strives to provide you with the most comprehensive Flexbone education available. Our track record speaks for itself. Since 2007 the Flexbone Association has existed with the singular idea of providing you what you need to win with this offense. Whether it be through a Flexbone Association Camp or the Flexbone Association Academy, the resources are right here for you. If you are ready and willing to take the challenge to lead your program to the next level, you know what you need to do. Don’t fall for the imitation. Your time is valuable. 

Vad Lee Photo: Alex Goodlett / The Daily Herald

Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada Photo: AP

Ricky Dobbs Photo: Baltimore Sun- Lloyd Fox

Kriss Proctor Photo: Nick Wass-AP

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