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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

Time for Some Debunking


I came across this article today and, well I don’t really know where to start; so I guess we will just take it one step at at time and debunk another set of myths. I’ll quote parts of the text with my commentary below. 

Call it tradition. Call it scheme, call it fit, but even following all the black and white game film from the prohibition-era, a handful of teams are still dabbling–and succeeding–in the triple-option offense.

The offense was never run in the “prohibition era” and era, and even if it was, who says those types of schemes couldn’t work?

The question that rises, however, is when will the deceptive, dexterous offense will be hurled into extinction?

When it no longer produces results?

Whether the crooked numbers supply a mere disguise, you then have to turn towards the triple-option versus power-five “physical schools.”

Navy: 0-3
Army: 0-2
Georgia Tech: 8-3
Air Force: 0-0
Georgia Southern: 0-2

Only one of those school is a “power-five” school; who happened to go 8-3 against other such schools. How much success would you expect the other teams to have? In fact Navy has the most wins against “power-five” schools since 2003, posting 21 wins, including three wins against Notre Dame, a win over Missouri in the 2009 Texas Bowl and a 37-9 win over Stanford.

Let’s face it, the triple-option rarely provides the glamour that the spread offers.

What’s fancy about a 13-play drive that chomps up over half of the respected quarter, only to result in a failed fourth-down conversion at the opponent’s goal-line?

Not much.

 Georgia Tech and mastermind head coach Paul Johnson of the ACC represent the only squad in America with prestigious benefits tied to the blueprint. Why? Well, as part of the power-five, the Rambling Wreck can carry on with landing recruits from a highly-touted area like Georgia.

Who says they are the only school in America who has reaped the benefits from running this offense? Navy has had an unprecedented level of success and Army has dipped into the Paul Johnson coaching tree for those exact same benefits. 

Sure, the Armed Forces run the trio-wing strategy in the back of their minds during their slumber, but the lack of size bears a mismatch when parleying with teams from the ACC and PAC 12.

There’s nothing glitzy about the 310-pound lineman that protects the quarterback, and still teams like Navy and Air Force continue to funnel their sources of protection through athletes in the 6-foot, 270-pound criteria to assist in fitting the scheme. But size does come in handy when you clash with Stanford and Rutgers each season.

Has the author thought about what the physical requirements of each academy are, along with the level of training that is needed just to succeed at each of the academies? They aren’t going to go get 6’5″ 310 pound tackles. 

While the 7-5 and 8-4 seasons typically spark an exclamation mark, you have to wonder when the next big accomplishment comes.

A win over a notable Big-10 school? Possibly hurdling into the AP Top 25?

How many “notable” Big-1o schools has any of these teams played? What non “power-five” conference team wouldn’t take an 8-4 season. Is the author diminishing the accomplishments of service academies who finish with winning records and are bowl eligible every season?

You can’t win if you can’t control the line, so while you’re sifting through a majority of the clock in a quarter by rushing the pigskin for four yards a pop, sustaining a masterful drive, what happens when these teams suddenly go down two scores? Not a trace of pass protection, mediocre route running, and when opposing defenses sense the desire to pass, feel free to rush a frenzy of guys off the edge.

It’s a feast-or-famine type offense that primarily goes to hell once things detonate like a game of Jenga.

Not sure which statistic the author wants here but each of these are a pretty good indication of the explosiveness of the offense. 

It’s just a question of if the additional triple-option enthusiasts decide to tear down the walls and begin to renovate over the following years.

You’d have to think being blanked by power-five conferences gets old after a while.

Ask Army fans what their thoughts on are throwing the ball around and being innovating. They tried that; it failed. Ask Air Force fans what they think? Many of them would insist Calhoun does too much, and they had more success under DeBerry when they were more of a true triple option team.

According to the author the sole basis of the claim is that this past season alone; non power-five option teams didn’t have much success against power-five schools. That sounds like a reason to ditch the offense to me. Filler content isn’t good content at all. 

Photo: John Hwang

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3 Comments on “Time for Some Debunking”

  1. glessnerj May 13, 2015 at 2:29 PM #

    Don’t even respond. I would honestly say that responding to a “College know it all/ESPN watcher whose never coached” would be giving the kid way too much credibility.

  2. outpattern May 13, 2015 at 8:34 AM #

    Send a copy of his article to Barry Switzer!

  3. outpattern May 13, 2015 at 8:31 AM #

    Looks like he’s just another saber metrics guy. Let Barry Switzer see the article!!

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