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!

And Now for Something Completely Different...

Just a quick post on the "ain't it a small world" front. My Ol' college roommate from U.T. just happens to be the lead designer for the new Harlan County School over in nearby Harlan County (like they would put it in some other county!) Anyway, he had many meetings with the Harlan Schools Superintendent whose son, by the way, is also a fellow football coach here at Middlesboro.

Small world, ain't it?

Here's some (really low-res) pictures of the school.

Campus Layout for the New Harlan Co. High School

Lead vs Load

I recently tried to explain the difference between the Lead Option and the Load Option. Both are a double-option play but aren't at all the same. Well, I guess they kind of do look the same except for the responsibilities of a few players. Most of the linemen block the same for both plays... and the backside HB is still the pitch back. The difference shows up in who on the defense is sealed inside and who is the pitch key. Each Play is diagrammed below.

As you can see, in Lead Option, the ps HB is getting second-level and sealing off inside LB pusuit. The TE arcs just like OSV and the Z stalks. The QB and pitch back run it just like Speed Option. Lead Option becomes especially handy versus teams that are playing games Xing-up the DE and OLB. If you're running outside Veer and the DE steps out to contain and the OLB steps down into "C" gap, your QB is gonna get a false "give" read and the dive HB is going to start hating the OSV in a hurry. Lead Option helps take care of the "C" gap player and still get the ball on the perimeter.

In Load Option, the ps HB is sealing a DE which is probably trying to cause trouble by squeezing hard or crashing. The TE becomes the seal for ILB pursuit and is available to double-team the DT should the psT call for it (vs. a 5 tech). In this diagram, I have the Z releasing inside to block the FS and making the CB the pitch read. I believe this times-up the Z's block better with the arrival of the QB or HB on the option. However, you can reverse this without any trouble. If you had a strong safety walked-up, for instance, you would probably go ahead and stalk the CB and pitch off the SS due to the angles being better (and you don't want to give the Z a 4-count stalk to execute, either.) I think the Load Option isn't as popular as it was "back in the day" because the "load" block itself became illegal. A halfback can no longer directly throw at a defensive player's legs and you'll see just that in many older films. The block is still legal in college and is used a lot on the perimeter by just about any option team you can think of. Today, the HB has the harder job of having to log the DE while maintaining contact above the waist.

I hope this helps clear up some things concerning the differences between these two supplemental plays to the inside and outside veer.

Coach Smith

Monday, September 27, 2004

Speed Option vs. 44 (& the 52)

There's more than one way to block this on the perimeter. I suggest planning around the best perimeter run defender they have and working from there. Check out the Rolling Thunder web site in the links section for more digrams on blocking the Speed Option versus various fronts.

Coach Smith

Below is the diagram for running it to the twins versus a 52 rolling cover 3 "Sky." We are double-teaming the playside 3 tech and the backside 1 tech and scooping off to LB. The crack for the psILB by the inside rec. should insure that inside-out pursuit is cut-off. If the psT can get to the psILB, then the twins rec's can crack S and F instead and everyone is accounted for. Personally, I like the overkill on the ILB... there's a reason he's sitting at 4 yards and the Free is at 10!

Coach Smith

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Counter- Trey

When I was a coach in West TN, we ran a version of the double wing. The best play from that set was the counter-trey. It was a great all-purpose play that you could run (almost) no matter the down and distance. Since switching to split backs, it's the one play I miss the most. Imagine my suprise whan I saw split back veer legend De LaSalle run it several times during the Evengal Christian game. I almost jumped out of my chair to hit rewind. I had seen 80' era NDSU run it off a quick HB motion, but DSL ran it out of splitbacks without any motion at all. I did notice they were setting the heels of the HB's at 5 yards, but that might be thier regular depth to begin with. Below are two diagrams showing the basic play for both DSL and NDSU.

Monday, September 20, 2004

More Attacking the 6-2

I was asked recently what short passes I would use against the 6-2. Well, I always consider my QB when thinking about the passing game... A great athlete makes me confident and throw the deep ball, while the lesser athlete makes me think BootPass and easy combo routes off Play Action. My favorite playaction pass from my "I" days is a 10 yd curl by the Flanker with a 2-3 yard TE Flat route (I've also heard it called a Bench or a Shoot route as well) coupled with play action. It's a little better out of the "I" if you can use the playaction to sprint-out... putting that much more pressure on corner support. The QB looks for the TE first then checks to the FL curling and working towards the middle if the TE is covered. I had a freshmen QB get over 250 yards passing one night running this play to the TE/FL side as well as motioning the FL across and running the same play to the Split End side with the SE running the Curl and the FL hitting the Flat route with a head of steam from the crossing motion. I don't think the ball ever went more than 11 yards down the field, but the yards after catch were awesome.

Getting back to the Veer, I would first see who's "biting" on the veer action. A Playside CB suckered up warrants a Fade off of ps Play action, while a FS inverting and playing inside-out run support is gonna get hit with the Texas(backside) Post to either the SE or backisde TE. this can be in a regular "Pro" set or in 2 tights. The Boot Pass is also a pretty safe play with an inexperienced QB.

I'm leaving out the fact that any time I have a CB give 7 or more yards, I'm thinking the 5 yard Stop route until they either walk out a LB/DE or tighten the CB (then "Hello," Fade!). Again, a lot depends on the ability and reliability of the QB. Some inspire more confidence than others!

Coach Smith

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Outside Veer Versus 6-2 Cover 3

This is just a quick diagram showing one way of running OSV vs. a 6-2 D. I've seen a couple of posts on Megaclinics and Rolling Thunder's message board concerning attacking the 6-2. Maybe this will help if any of those guys make the trip over to Veersite. Who knows? The Trap-Option is also good vs. this defense. Anyway, if you have any hip-boots you can loan a guy, I need 'em. Somebody at practice today wondered out-loud if the football would float off the LOS during this Friday's game at Cawood. The remnants of Hurricane Ivan will be pouring down on us by then. Unless it hooks right at Sookie Ridge and misses us completely. :-)

Coach Smith

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Waggle for Split Backs

If you have ever managed to shut-down a Wing-T offense only to have them convert 3rd down after 3rd down with the boot-action Waggle pass, you can appreciate the Waggle's effectiveness. It's a great play - the TE crossing is deadly versus a cover 3 or cover 2 zone... and the FB in the flat can really give you fits whether you run zone or man. This particular version of the Waggle uses both backs to do the job of the Wing-T FB, which leaves you a little thin on back-side protection should the QB be forced to pull-up short in his boot action. However, when we call this play, our HB in the flat or TE crossing is so open the QB doesn't have to hold the football long. Your mileage may vary. The trap is also pretty good out of this backfield action as well.

Coach Smith

Monday, September 13, 2004

Nebraska "G" Option

Well, first, let me rename this play as the "former" Nebraska G Option. The new and "improved" Nebraska wouldn't think of running such a "rudimentary" play, I'm sure. Well, the new and improved Nebraska lost to an unranked team this week... I bet by the end of this season good ol' 9-2 Solitch will start lookin' good to the Nebraska faithful. ...Fire a coach after a 9-2 season. They oughtta lose. Just make sure you send moving vans to the genius A.D. that started all this mess, too, Nebraska fans. Don't forget him!

Well, enough of that. Here is the (former) Nebraska G-Option Eric Couch ran so well. It really isn't an option. It's a QB keeper with the initial look of an option... makes the D account for the option.... notice how the pitch back will suck the CB out of the play in order to contain the pitch which isn't coming. I got this play from the Neb - Colorado game a few years back. Neb ran it from the "I" but it should work just as well from splitbacks. Anyway, its uses wing T "G" or "Down" blocking... which I like since it gives me angle blocking at the point of attack. The Z motions in or aligns tighter (a wing, perhaps?) so he can seal inside.

Coach Smith

Below is the play diagram versus a balanced 52 "Cloud" defense.

Monday, September 06, 2004

We finally put it together... Win 27-0 Over Pineville

We put it together in the second half and got our first win Friday. Not gonna say too much, but we started coming off the ball and getting huge chunks on the ground. And I'm becoming a true believer in the two tights veer offense. Looks like we have yet another 5-3 defense to face next.

Coach Smith