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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

Flexbone Association November Mailbag


Two weeks ago, I asked you all what problems you faced in running this offense.  I had a significant amount of replies. I’ll answer a handful of those questions here briefly. 

Question One – From Florida……What would you do against a 4-3 defense with the outside linebackers walked up in 9-techniques, making it a sort of 6-1 with two 2-techniques? 

4-3 With Walked up OLB’s

4-3walkedupolb

As I’ve said in the past, the first thing I’d look for is how are they going to defend Triple Option. With this defense they have a few different ways they can play Triple Option. For example, they could have the DE take the B-Back, Mike on QB and OLB on Pitch with the secondary playing pass. They could have the DE take the B-Back, the OLB could take the QB and they can play the pitch from the secondary by rolling either defensive back to the pitch. They can stunt with the DE and OLB. They can run the Mike to the B-Back or QB, and they can play either secondary player for the pitch. There are several ways they can play Triple Option.

Now, let’s look at what they are giving up by aligning in this approach. The first obvious answer is they only have one player at level two of the defense. With the DE’s playing 5-techniques they only have three players lined up inside your tackles. Their weakness is in their interior.

Against every defense I’d start with Triple Option. Running it to this look will require the QB to make two reads quickly, which he should be able to handle since you practice it continually. When running Triple Option, look at the play of the Mike linebacker. Use the slip call if needed. If he’s running over the top to play QB, look to Zone Dive. You do not have a 3-technique, but Midline can still be productive against this defense. Counter Option will be a little more difficult with the backside #2 on the line of scrimmage, but Counter Iso can be useful as well. If they are colliding with the tackle on his release, look to Rocket Toss. For the sake of not making this one question a feature length article, I’d start there. 

Question Two – From Connecticut…….What if you have limited physical ability to block on the perimeter?

This is a question I’ve received a number of times. The question, or argument against the offense usually goes something like, “We aren’t in Texas or in college football. We can’t cut on the perimeter, what can we do to run this offense?” My response to the initial premise is this: If the argument against running the Flexbone is that you cannot cut on the perimeter, tell me what offense you CAN cut on the perimeter. Offensive football is offensive football. If your state rules dictate you can’t on the edge, then does it really matter what offense you run? You are going to have to block perimeter defensive players in any offense. If you can’t cut outside the tackle box, so what! 

To answer the overall question though, I’d say what I would work on with my players to make sure we can at least be remotely effective blocking on the perimeter is twofold. Besides doing everything I could to make sure we ran every play with great technique, I’d practice the timing of each block. The most effective perimeter block in this offense is the one that’s thrown right as the ball carrier passes the defender. If physical ability is a problem for you on the perimeter, timing becomes paramount. Secondly, I would make sure I used formations and twirl motion as much as possible to give my perimeter players either the time, angle or both to maximize their ability to block on the edge.

Question Three – From Texas…….What is your plan against a 5-3 playing (9-4-0-4-9) with a Mike and Backers between the 4’s and 9’s

5-3 With OLB’s Inside the DE’s

5-3witholbsinside

Just like the 4-3/6-1 defense from before, let’s look at how they can defend Triple Option and work from there. They have four and possibly five defenders who can realistically play any phase of the triple option. The Mike and the Outside Linebacker, the 4-tech, the 9-tech and the free safety. In reality the nose tackle and the corners shouldn’t give you trouble to run Triple Option. In all likelihood the 4-tech and Mike-Backer will play the dive. The 9-tech will play the QB and the OLB will play QB to Pitch with the Free Safety there possibly to play an alternate approach. The only real issue I see to running Triple Option effectively is the Outside Linebacker. You have to be able to account for him. The best way to do it against this defense is by formation. Use Heavy, Double Flex or Over (Brown or Green possibly) to account for him. These formations will either allow you to block him, or force him to widen his alignment. Either one will let you run Triple Option again.

What are they giving up with their base alignment? This defense is very vulnerable to formation adjustments by the offense. It will be extremely difficult for them to stay in this look, if you use formations properly. Midline Triple can be a potent play against this defense. The same holds true for Counter Option. Although not optimal, it can work well if they are playing unsound on the backside. They are especially vulnerable to any sprint out pass. Other than that; like any defense, look at how they are playing your Triple Option, and who is not being responsible on defense. Attack the scheme or player who isn’t doing their job. 

Question Four – From Indiana……What do you look for on film from the opponent?

See the article I wrote a few weeks ago. 

Question Five – From Kansas……What is you best Sprint Out Route?

The purpose of sprint out is to contain the Corner Back when running Triple Option. Sprint out is also a practical way to stress the edge of the defense and throw the ball. My two favorite routes by far when running sprint out passes are Sail and Comeback. See below for diagrams for each route combination.

Sail

Ssail

Comeback

comeback

How can the Flexbone Association help you with your goals in 2014 and beyond? Is the Academy right for you? Possibly an Academy and a Camp? Over 100 schools have received assistance from the Flexbone Association over the years. Send me a message if you have questions. At some point this fall you are going to be faced with a 4th and goal situation. Will your team be fully prepared? Don’t ask yourself “What-If” come September!

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