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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

Triple Option Errors: The Skill Positions

Click here for a previous article for Triple Option Errors: Offensive Line

1. Receiver is unable to identify if the coverage is Cover 2.

Identifying coverage is one of the most important tasks Wide Receivers and A-Backs must master. Against Cover 2, the A-back blocks the corner and the WR blocks the safety coming over the top. In this case the CB is #3 and the Safety is the NDD.  If coaches don’t teach this, then the issue is that the corner fires inside and you are 3-on-3 when running the triple option. I’ve seen state champion triple option teams in the midwest never block #3. They just happened to be that much superior athletically. This is unreliable.

The WR identifies Cover 2 very simply—If there are two high safeties and there is a defensive back aligned on the WR’s face—it’s Cover 2.  Release outside and block the safety coming over the top.  If the safety doesn’t come over the top, come back next play and run triple option pass throwing to the receiver on the vertical. The receiver will know if it’s not Cover 2 if the safety to his side cannot cover him on a vertical route, based on his alignment. 

2. Quarterback is unable to read #1 accurately because the offensive line splits are too tight.

This may be the biggest reason that Quarterbacks misread. The Quarterback needs the read to be over two yards away from the football (3 foot splits at minimum, plus the width of the guard and potentially the tackle).  This allows the Quarterback ample time to read #1.  Very simply, the Quarterback gives the ball to the B-back on triple option unless #1 can tackle the B-back. He doesn’t need to read a particular point on the Dive Key or where his eyes are. Can he tackle the B-Back or not? It’s an If-Then, one way decision (more on these later). The B-back must be into the ball at the QB’s second step.  Speed to the ball is paramount.

3. Quarterback is slow off the point.

When #1 can tackle the dive, the Quarterback reseats the ball.  At this point, he must replace #1’s initial alignment and run vertically to the goal line.  Your Quarterback must be drilled to “read and replace”. The only time he stops is if #2 can tackle the Quarterback—if this happens, extend the near elbow and pitch the ball parallel to the A-Back. An ancillary concept is leverage pitching. I wrote two articles on this before the content was lost. I will bring those back. Its a vital concept to success. 

4. B-back is not instructed to bend behind the action key.

The B-back runs his path through the inside leg of the guard, and if the action key (first DL inside the read) is in the B-back’s path, the B-back squares his shoulders and bends behind the action key into the A-gap.  This needs to be taught or else the B-back is going to get blown up every time this defensive linemen defeats either the guard or center.

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