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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

Managing the Utility of Rocket Toss: Part One

Yesterday I wrote briefly about the basics of Rocket Toss. The Rocket Toss has been widely used after its incorporation into the Flexbone Offense.  The toss is now seen as sort of a poor man’s elixir for bad offense. Although I have not analyzed every single Navy or Georgia Tech snap this season, I did take a look at the play calling array of Ivin Jasper in the most recent Army-Navy game.  It is evident by those familiar with the Flexbone Offense, that the play is not being used to the level of effectiveness that it was just three or four years ago.

Orwin+Smith+Georgia+Tech+v+Maryland+gNQjEs2xGImlThis issue at hand is that coaches want to use Rocket Toss when the triple isn’t working. Recall that the original purpose of Rocket Toss was to get the ball on the edge quickly against blitzing defenses. It’s also a way to get the ball to presumably one of your teams best athletes without having to read your way there. If you are running toss simply because you aren’t good at running triple, it defeats the intended purpose of having rocket in the playbook.

It behooves coordinators to only put plays into their playbook that they are going to use, as well as solve a purpose. If you continue to add additional schemes to your offense without increasing practice time or cutting out plays you are decreasing the overall efficiency of your offense. How can your players, who are all high school kids with a hundred other concerns or worries, possibly get good at a skill that is only practiced sparingly throughout the week? You are setting your team up for failure and depending on where you coach, jeopardizing your career. Unless you coach in a completely apathetic situation, even high school coaches only get about three to four years to prove they can perform before the boosters, parents and others associated with the program start to clamor for change. Like it or not, its the instant gratification culture we currently live in.

081206-N-55490-003Back to the original point. You are going to have rocket in the playbook, but it is simply not a cure all for the failure of the rest of the offense. Rocket is favorable because its an easy install and, as coaches like to throw the term around; it is a low “cost” play. When installed properly the basic toss play can be installed and run to a somewhat effective level in two practices. It is not an intricate skill and requires your players to block a minimal amount of defenders. The question remains however, “How do you keep it a viable, effective part of the offense without overusing the play to a drastically diminished utility?” Have you noticed a decreasing marginal utility of Rocket Toss in your offense? If you have you are likely running the play too often, and for the wrong reasons. Have you taken the time to examine why this is the case? Take a look at your film. What do you see? Part two will focus on how and why Rocket Toss can become an ineffective play. The Flexbone Association is here to make sure your team operates and maximum efficiency next season. Take a look at the Flexbone Association Academy or Flexbone Association Football Camps to decide which one will help your program improve it’s performance next season.

Feature Photo: John Raoux / AP

Orwin Smith Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Shun White Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O’Brien 

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