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

Interview with Ricky Dobbs

Earlier this spring I solicited questions from high school coaches and high school quarterbacks to pose to former record setting Navy Quarterback Ricky Dobbs. His responses are below. 

1. What system did you play in high school, and did you find the transition to the flexbone triple option offense hard?
I played in a pro set for two years, and then my senior year we ran a run and gun spread offense.

2. What was your most memorable experience from Navy?
Playing in all the big time stadiums where a lot of greats played.

3. We have many coaches who wonder how you are doing. What are you up to now?
I was on the USS Oscar Austin (Navy Destroyer) since January 2012 and now I’m getting ready to head over to Bahrain for 18 months in August.

College Football- SMU @ NavyQuestions from High School Quarterbacks

1. How have you found success in reading a stacked #1 and #2 such as a 4-3 defense or 3-5 defense?
Read the stack together, and not just of just one of them. So read the area and it will be easier handle.

2. When watching film on you, your pocket patience was always incredible. What besides confidence in your line, gave you that patience?
Putting in work in the off season to increase my ability to get out of trouble if I needed to.

3. When running play-action, were you given a pre-snap read or were you taught to read a particular defender?
Both, I take the pre snap read just like any other play to get an idea on what coverage they’re in. Then focus on the defender and what he does. Always take what they give you.

4. What was the deciding factor for you personally when reading the dive key on triple or midline?
His hips, a lot of times people can turn their shoulders one way and go another. But their hips won’t lie.

5. Do you think this offense can be run as early as 6th grade? I think I would be better now (a freshman) if I had been taught to read it in 7th or 8th grade.
Maybe, they won’t really understand it that well that young, but the basics and motions and thought process can be developed at that age.

Off-Season Questions

1. How much time in the offseason did you spend on footwork and reading keys (other than spring practice)?
Foot work drills every day when I worked out, and those were just basic drills and just about every other day I would work on my steps for the option.

2. What else did you do in the offseason to prepare (Film, Etc)?
Film and drills.

Navy+v+Ohio+State+yifCG0LA9mxmQuestions from High School Coaches

1. How can coaches help their QB’s who are struggling during games? 
Stay calm and just encourage them. There’s not much that you can do to help if they’re making the reads. Either tell them to trust they’re decisions or the coach could call plays that take the read out the picture.

2. What plays work best when QB’s are struggling? Midline, and plays where the read is simple or call a short pass to get his mind off of the bad reads.

3. What were your favorite/easiest throws to make on sprint out?
Outs, smash, curls.

4. What were your favorite run plays? Midline and toss.

5. Did you like running midline triple? Yes.
Was the read difficult? Not really, but it’s quick so that helps.

6. Whats the most important thing you learned about playing QB for Coach Niumat and Coach Jasper? 
Play fast and take care of the football.

7. What are the main coaching points on triple option?
Find #3, trust yourself and have fun. Have quick feet and get downhill.

8. What was your thought process when running counter option?
Always be aware of the pitch key, so you don’t get smacked.

9. What can the skilled position players do to make your life easier? (Positioning, Communication, Etc)
Come up with code words or signals to communicate to one another without letting the defense know.

10. What can the linemen do to make your life easier? (Communication, Etc)
Same and workout together.

11. Are there any tips you’d like to give high school QB’s that weren’t covered above?
Play smart, have fun, and don’t ever be afraid to make mistakes or be wrong!

Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post

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  1. Teaching Your Quarterback to Read the Stack / Area Read | Flexbone Association - August 14, 2015

    […] quarterback Ricky Dobbs how to read the stack. The Nesbitt article is here, and the Dobbs article here. Both of them have essentially said the same […]

  2. Flexbone Triple Option 101 | Flexbone Association - July 11, 2014

    […] 8. If #2 is on the line of scrimmage, “Pull, Pause, Sit, Pitch Parallel, and Separate.” (This takes practice, it’s not natural, but a QB must learn to see #2 simultaneously if he aligns close to the line of scrimmage or #1 as also stated by Ricky Dobbs) […]

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