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

Why You Shouldn’t Mesh

Plain and simple the traditional ride and decide mesh from option days past is detrimental to your teams offensive performance. Similar to the decision to run the Flexbone offense from the Pistol, the decision to ride and decide rather than use the point mesh is a decision that falls wholly on the coach. For many coaches who’ve learned the offense prior to the last few seasons, the ride and decide mesh method has been ingrained as “the way we do things”. Numerous coaches are resistant to change because of this simple fact. There is a better way; point your way to enhanced offensive production. 

FrontPage101913fbExtra Time to Practice

If you are a ride and decide coach right now, ask yourself how much time you spend teaching the mesh to your quarterbacks and B-Backs. Teaching proper ride and decide mesh technique is time consuming. You have to teach the quarterback to reach back and seat the ball. You have to teach your B-Back the soft-squeeze technique. Your quarterback will have to learn how much time he has to make his reads, when he has to pull the ball, and if he chooses to give it to the B-Back it will take a copious amount of repetitions to master this technique. Now consider you have multiple quarterbacks and B-Backs that need reps. Each quarterback and B-Back will have marginally different idiosyncrasies that will exponentially increase the amount of time, you the coach, have to teach this technique to your players. Add injuries into the equation and the practice reps among the various quarterbacks and B-Backs can become time consuming.

Increased Fumbles

The predominant factor to offensive success in the Flexbone Offense is ball security. If you take care of the ball and execute, your team will have a chance to be very successful. Ask any defensive coordinator across the nation; a Flexbone team that takes care of the football is one of the hardest teams to beat at any level in any state.

The ride and decide mesh method leads to more fumbles. All the coaching points above have to be executed in a split second. Any error by either the quarterback or B-Back can lead to a fumble. If you recover the ball it’s a lost yardage play, otherwise it’s a critical turnover.  Nothing dooms a Flexbone team faster than turnovers. If your players fumble the ball in the mesh, it’s because a coaching decision was made to ride and decide. Just like snapping the ball in the air to the quarterback. You are putting unnecessary requirements on your team to execute the offense. Don’t let this one decision cost you a game.

RICKYDOBBS250_0910GNo Tangible Benefits

There are two arguments I’ve heard from coaches over the last several years about why they continue to utilize the ride and decide method. The first is that the point method is not as deceptive to the secondary, which makes play-action harder to execute. My contention has always been that the secondary is reacting to the action of the play. How many secondary players will actually react to the type of mesh in the backfield? They see motion, see the quarterback open in a certain direction, and they make their run fits accordingly. I doubt their eyes are actually on the mesh. If you think your quarterback is meshing too quickly to get into his drop, have him hold the fake in there a bit longer. This argument is a very weak one. 

The second and most adamant argument I hear from coaches is that the point mesh is not as deceptive to the dive key. While I understand the merits of the concern, I’ve never seen it play out in real life. The B-Back will have to cross the football if it’s pointed or if the quarterback rides it through his belly. If the dive key is going to tackle the B-Back, he has to get his head across the football; he has to reach the same point. In order to do so, the dive key will have to commit himself fully in getting to that point. Whether the quarterback points or rides and decides, the dive key has to do the same thing to make the play; therefore the type of mesh is moot. 

What Is The Point Mesh

I’ve often joked in the past; if someone paid me to speak at a clinic to describe the point mesh, I might set the record for the shortest clinic presentation there is. The point-mesh is very simple. Rather than the complicated process of the ride and decide the point mesh has very few coaching points. The quarterback hops off the snap. He points the ball at the dive key. The quarterback then points the crosshairs of the ball at the dive key. If the dive key is going to tackle the B-Back, pull the ball back and replace the read. If he is not going to tackle the B-Back, leave the ball for him to run through. It’s the quarterbacks job to make sure he pulls the ball in time if he wants to keep it. If the ball touches the B-Back it’s his. No more reaching the ball back, no more soft-squeeze, no more pull by the front hip, no more push the ball into the B-Backs belly. Is it time to utilize the point? Reach your potential next season.

Feature Photo: Ron Chenoy US Presswire

Vad Lee Photo: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Ricky Dobbs Photo: Getty Images

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