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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

Navy Breakdown Against Notre Dame: First Quarter

I wrote very briefly on Saturday following Navy’s tough loss to Notre Dame, that the effort and execution of the entire Navy team was truly remarkable. Although the record doesn’t yet show the result of the work these guys put in, they are still in position to retain the CIC trophy and they will give any team a run at any Saturday. Although I am not a betting man, those who do saw the game begin with Navy as 16 point underdogs on the road at Notre Dame. I sent a message to Navy B-Back coach Mike Judge complimenting him on the recent play of Navy’s B-Backs. Today was no exception as Quinton Singleton and Chris Swain combined for 32 carries and 162 yards. Then there is this little tidbit about Navy’s A-Backs coached by Danny O’Rourke

Danny is getting a tremendous amount of production out of everyone he puts on the field. All of this on the heels of losing one of my personal favorites Gee Gee Greene to graduation after last season.

When you are in Navy’s shoes against an opponent like Notre Dame, the ongoing chess match that must be played in-game becomes even more important. Consider the fact that Notre Dame’s players are superior athletically, and Navy plays them on a yearly basis. The opposing coaching staff should have a quality gameplan to defend you. It can only be concluded that Navy’s Offensive Coordinator Ivin Jasper did a tremendous job on Saturday. I am going to break the game down strictly from an offensive point of view. It is not my intention to do a play by play, but when I see something that I think will help you become better versed and more able to understand this offense and how to make it work; I’ll point it out.

On Navy’s first drive of the game, the Mids faced a 3rd and 4 on the 21 yard line. It looks like Notre Dame was aligned in a 2I/4I to the boundary and a 2/5 to the field.

3rd and 4 on Navy’s First Drive


Navy ran triple option to the boundary. The tackle and A-Back switched responsibilities. The tackle blocked #3 and the A-Back blocked the Mike-Backer. Many defensive coordinators will teach their outside linebackers against the Flexbone offense to fold with the folder (If the A-Back folds, the OLB folds with him). This caused Notre Dame’s outside linebacker #48 Dan Fox  to take a few steps to the inside, which allowed Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds to get the ball pitched to A-Back Marcus Thomas for a gain of 8 yards and a Navy first down inside the Notre Dame red-zone.

Tackle and A-Back Switched Responsibilities on Triple Option


On the very next series Navy started with poor field position after some bad footing on the kick return gave the Mids the ball inside their own 10 yard line. Facing yet another early and crucial 3rd down play from their own 13 yard line, Navy used the SLIP call by the playside tackle for an easy first down.

Triple Option With Slip Call


With Notre Dame’s Mike-Backer #44 Carlo Calabrese displaced to the offensive right, Reynolds had an easy read to run triple option away from him. The 4-Tech took the dive. Navy Tackle #62 Bradyn Heap loop released him to level two. Reynolds pitched off #2 for an easy 9 yard gain and a first down.

4-Tech Takes Dive No Level Two Interference on Pitch Read


On Navy’s very next snap on offense they started from the left hash. The aligned in Over Right. This had the effect of displacing the pitch key from the box.  4-3 teams like to keep the playside linebacker in the box to confuse the reads of the quarterback when running triple option. When Navy aligned in Over Right; Notre Dame’s defense is faced with with two logical choices. They can either widen the outside linebacker to the Over side, slide the safety over or allow Navy to severely outflank them to the field. In this case they chose to widen the outside linebacker. 

Pitch Key Removed From the Box


This also gave Navy the option of loading the box with the playside A-Back, assigning the over receiver to #3 and the receiver was left responsible for the near deep defender. The play was read correctly, Reynolds pitched the ball to A-Back #25 Demond Brown for a gain of 8. Navy was forced to punt on this drive and did not get the ball back until the 2nd quarter.

The three things that stuck out to me in the first quarter (other than the tremendous effort displayed as a unit) as listed above were; Navy’s use of Over to get Notre Dame to either move a guy out of the box, or face being outflanked to the field; Navy’s use of the SLIP call to run triple option, and the application of alternate blocking assignments on triple option to enduce a different reaction from Notre Dame’s defense. Navy’s offense totaled 82 yards on 17 plays in the first quarter. Navy’s third drive of the game began at the 12:59 mark of the second quarter after an interception by cornerback Parrish Gaines. I’ll break down the second quarter for Tuesday.

The Flexbone Association is here to guide you to your goals as a football coach. You will begin to see the Flexbone Offense as a system based attack that will give you a chance to move the ball on anyone. To serve our clients going forward, our products (Flexbone Association Academy, and Flexbone Association Camps) are now more accessible than ever. Don’t be held back by what-ifs. Contact The Flexbone Association today!

Feature Photo: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

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