Wednesday, September 29, 2004

My Favorite Combo Route

When it comes to passing, I'm a simple guy. I like play-action sprint-out with 2 recievers playside (in an easy to read progression) with the QB having the option to tuck it and run. This takes care of a multitude of possible problems and really simplifies protection schemes. I like this when combined with a twins set with the "I" FB offset to the twins. This allows me to stretch the defense horizontally. If the LB's play tight, then here comes the bubble screen to the twins. If they walk the LB out in the flat, we'll run iso at the void he leaves. Bump all the LB's to the twins and here comes counter-trey (with the backfield running sprint-draw action) back to the TE. My favorite combo route is the Curl-Shoot, or Curl-Flat, or Curl-Bench, or whatever you want to call it. I heard a long time ago some coach (P.A., probably) say, "nobody covers the TE in the flat in high school football." Well, excluding man cover teams, I'd have to say ten years later that he was right on the money. I'll never forget that first season at C.C. our second-string freshman QB throwing for 250 yards against Dyersburg using that combination route off playaction in the "I." I bet I called that play in one form or another 25 times. I doubt Quinn ever threw a ball more than 12 yards downfield (to the Curl). Most of his completions were to the Flat route... sometimes to the TE/Z combo and the rest to the Z(motioning)/X combo. It was the same play, but with a different look. It didn't hurt to have one of the best freshman wideouts in the state of TN that year. I saw that same combo work wonders years later in the Sequoyah-Grundy game and also in the Pigeon Forge-Union County game. It's a bit harder angle for the QB in the veer because our playaction keeps him on the LOS and he doesn't get the depth off the line that an "I" QB gets during playaction. Anyway, below are two ways to run that combo route from split backs. I will admit we haven't ran it here at Middlesboro on the varsity team, but I've ran it too long too many places to doubt it's effectiveness for one instant.

B.T.W. Like any play, if your "go to the well" too many times, you're liable to get burned. With this play, when you sense the defense is catching on to it, have the QB pump the Flat route - who then cuts up and turns the route into a Wheel. Trust me - magic will take place.

Have fun with it,

Coach Smith

ps. Below is the Curl-Shoot from the "I" set and "R" set (with Z motion). If the LB's don't adjust, the "Shoot" (or "Flat") route will be there. If only the psOLB/SS widens, you should have good angles for the iso. If all three LB's bump, then run counter-trey backside. The counter-trey in turn sets up the counter-boot with the FB usually open in the flat. In case you haven't noticed, I'm big on play-action passing!

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