Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Big East Clinic Jan 8-9th

"I (Coach Busby) just got the letter in the mail today about the big east clinic Jan 8-9th in Gatlinburg, TN . Johnson is speaking at 8:45 am on the 8th. the clinic is $30 if you pre-register or $40 at the door. for more information you can contact Graham Clark at (423) 378-8518. Gatlinburg is a good place to bring the family if you want to bring them (my family goes on vacation there sometimes). Hope to see some of ya there."

Thanks to Coach Jason Busby for posting this on the Flexbone Association Forum.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Game 10 Video

I'm not sure if I should be excited that we have 3 quarters of pressbox level video posted online (nice way for Grandpa & Grandma to see the game; positive exposure for the program, etc) or dismayed (scouting video, anyone... anyone?) Regardless, it's out there and here's the link to it.
(Yes... we football coaches are a paranoid lot, lol!)

Campbell County vs. Oak Ridge at Cougarsrock.net

Link to 1st half- larger video

Link to 2nd half- larger video

Thanks to the folks at Cougarsrock.net and the play-by-play crew at 104.9 FM for a nice video of the game. Thanks to their tireless efforts, Cougar sports are getting more and more recognition each season.

Coach Smith

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Mother of All Trap Option Posts

Note: Post updated on 07/11/2009 - two GSU video clips added below.

FB Trap (GSU Whirleybird QB action)

Pitch Phase of GSU Option

I think I'm likin' me some 'whirleybird' Trap and Trap Option. All that spinning around makes it hard to find the football. Combine this with the reverse-out by the QB on Belly and Belly-O and you might have a viable alternative while your QB's get solid on midline and ISV.

Note: Post updated on 12/10/07
Along with Inside Veer, Outside Veer, and many other option plays, the Trap (or Freeze) Option will be heard mentioned as well in hushed tones in darked doorways and back alleys across America.

Run the football?? Coach, are you crazy??

Unfortunately, the finer points of the Trap Option are hard to find in this modern age of Empty sets and Shotgun offenses. However, I was fortunate to learn some Trap Option this past year while coaching with Bobby Bennett. Coach Bennett was a G.A. at East Carolina in the late 80's when they were running the Trap Option. It is from installing the Trap and Trap Option part-way through this past football season at Suwannee, watching a video of game cuts from Coach Bennett's time at East Carolina, some vintage Miss. State Trap Option from the "I," and a borrowed copy of the excellent George DeLeone Syracuse Freeze Option clinic tape that I solidified my grasp on the theory of the Trap Option.

Trap Option High School Team In Tennessee On It's Way Winning State Title

Link to larger video

Almost every team runs some kind of inside trap. If you run the Wing-T, then you of course run it. So if you do happen to have the inside FB trap in your playbook, then you essentially have almost 50% of the Trap Option in already!

Most option teams have a call that lets the QB know that he's going to give the ball to the dive back - no matter what. Blocking this "called dive" is as varied as there are ways for football coaches to hide a receding hairline from the fans in the stands.

Some will base block it and others will still veer block it, but one thing is certain: the dive back is the one who is going to get the football. One bad thing about base blocking your dive might be the fact that you might be running the option precisely because you aren't a very good base blocking team! Of course, if you veer block it and the dive read pinches and takes the dive... well, that's no good, either. No, we need a way to use quick linemen and angle blocking to our advantage while still going with a predetermined give.

This is sounding more and more like we need to be looking at the blocking scheme for the inside Trap.

Vintage So. Miss. Trap Option

Link to larger video

Lets start with the backfield footwork. I'm not going to set this up with any particular offensive set. Stay with whatever backfield set you already use- you don't really have to change things around unless you just want to. If you have a set with a true fullback, like the "I" or Flex, or Wishbone then you are fine. And there are many teams running Midline very effectively from splitbacks.

So if you can already run Midline, then you have the backfield action needed for running the Trap Option series. If you have been afraid to install the Midline, here's a nice way to move in that direction without initially having your QB learn to make a dive read.

If you already have the Midline installed, then many of your existing coaching points will probably work pretty well with the Trap.

Note: Some may ask, "Why run both?" Well, I look at the Trap Option series as a way to get some option out of a QB that just hasn't "gotten it together" with the option. This might be a good series for a sophomore backup QB to run if he's suddenly thrown into a big game ("Just hand the ball off, Kid - it's the Trap! And stop looking like you've seen a ghost and swallowed your tongue!") You might also use it for a wide receiver that's your second-string QB and just doesn't get enough quality reps on Midline and Inside Veer. Survive the game with him running Trap/Trap Option... Then you've got the next week to get him more up to speed. - SS

The QB will clear the midline of the Center stepping back and gaining depth away from the LOS. Coach DeLeone, however, extoles the virtues of the long ride on both the Trap and Trap Option.

This is the point where I deviated somewhat from traditional thinking regarding the FB depth, type of mesh, etc. I had four days to install some semblance of the Navy offense this spring at my ill-fated non-job, and I wanted to make it as simple as possible. I like the point mesh and will not have one mesh for ISV and another mesh for Midline and Trap.

First, I decided that the point mesh was my mesh. I have my reasons and you are free to agree or disagree. What I needed to do was find out if it would work with the Veer, the Midline, and the Trap.

I based the FB depth from the 4 - yard HB depth that we had used at Middlesboro. Hey, go with what you know, right? However, I had the FB's adjust their depth a little depending on which play we were running.

On ISV, I had him think "I want my heels just an inch or two in front of the 4-yard mark." (Oh, and I put his aiming point as the crack of the psGuard instead of the outside foot. More on this in a later post.) On Midline I had him think, "I want my my toes right in the paint marking 4 yards." And on Trap/Trap Option, he was to think, "I want my toes a couple of inches behind the paint." In a nutshell - Midline = 4 yards, ISV = cheat up, and Trap = cheat back.

I honestly don't think it was enough for the defense to pick up on as I watched for any signs of recognition among the defensive players and coaches - and saw none.

Now to the mesh.

Somebody once said that consistency is "the hobgoblin of little minds." Well, consistency in your mesh (whatever type you choose) equates to improved ball security. Feel free to quote me - it will make me feel better.

Anyway, pointing the ball directly at the read isn't that difficult on ISV - whether or not you're in Split Backs or the "I" or the Flex. Now, the QB's first step isn't as far as it it is when running ISV from Splitbacks, but it's still up into the LOS and the ball still gets seated then extended.
Like I mentioned above, I cheated my FB in the Flex so it would hit as quickly as it would is Split Backs... not leaving the QB standing there poking the ball and whistling while waiting on the dive back to finally get there. It looked good and I was satisfied when our gives on ISV left defensive players "breaking their necks" as they realized the ball had been handed... and that they were definitely heading in the wrong direction.

Gotta love it when the dive breaks!

Now, how did the point mesh work when applied to Midline and Trap Option? The short answer is: it worked . But you're not entirely running the point mesh, either. Confused? Read on.

When you try running the Midline and Trap with the point mesh, don't go nuts because the ball isn't pointing directly at the defensive Tackle. Take a second to think about the QB's footwork and what's going on with the positioning of the football.

The QB must dropstep - clearing the midline of the Center, and gather. This leaves him oriented parallel to the LOS - not pointing into it like he would be running ISV. The ball still gets seated then extended... and the ball is still right out there directly in front of him like it would be if he were running ISV. It's his orientation with respect to the LOS that's different - and that's okay. His footwork has changed, but not how he seats the ball nor what he does with it afterward.

That doesn't mean that you're not going to have some challenges, however.

The QB might start tryiing to reach the ball back to the FB since he can now see him out of the corner of his eye (due to his being parallel and not into the LOS.) My only coaching point concerning this was for the QB on Midline and Trap/Trap Option was to concentrate on pointing the ball at the "tip of the read's nose" - instead of his center of mass like we do on ISV.
This seemed to work.

You "ride and decide" aficionados will be happy to here that I actually think a short ride is okay on the Trap Option. Of course, I tried to limit the ride to just the back hip of the QB to the front hip of the QB at it's greatest. So maybe there's hope for me in your eyes yet, lol! I've noticed that the "back hip to front hip" ride many times is the extent of the ride used by several of Navy's QBs, so I guess that's cool.

As far as the line play, just stick with your rules for inside trap. Some teams won't try and trap an "A-gapper" while others just say to hell with it - trap the first man past the center. It's probably best to be consistent to your existing rules and go with it.

Figure 1. Trap (no motion)

Figure 2. Trap Option (no motion)

Note that the blocking rules of the Trap/Trap-Option are pretty close to those of the Midline Triple. Both plays have the "Seal N' Wheel" block of the bsTackle... and the front side blocking is pretty similar. The Trap/Log block of the bsGuardis the main difference... other than that, it's pretty close. I believe this is why we were able to put in the Trap Option series in short order and be fairly successful with it - we had repped the heck out of Midline in the Spring And Fall.

Well, that's about it on Trap Option. Below are some diagrams showing how easy it is to make two plays look like a whole bunch. I've not even got into running it from Trips or from other offset formations.

Figure 3. Trap (with twirl motion)

Figure 4. Trap Option (with twirl motion)

Figure 5. Counter Trap (with twirl motion)

I'll probably have a short video of to go along with this post by the end of the week.

Coach Smith

ps. It feels good to be back on veersite.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

G.T. Spring Practice

Thanks again to Coach Darlington for the invite to see this in person.

Thanks to Coach Steier for posting the link to this video on Flexbone Association.

- S

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spring Practice Results

Well, I'm going to sum up our Spring Practice in a Hunter S. Thompson gonzo stream-of-consciousness fashion. Mainly because I'm ADHD as a mug... and I don't have a lot of time today.

When the only returning starters returning to your offense are your center and two guards, you're going to have a lot of mistakes, do a lot of coaching, and answer questions you haven't answered in a long time. Sometimes a very long time.

Notes from 1st film viewing:

Confucius say "never spit in man's face... unless man's mustache is on fire." Confucius also say, "Coach with slow Option Quarterback will be bald by Fall." When you pull the ball, ATTACK the damned pitch read! Midline Triple might have to be my new best friend...

Stalk blocking is not something great athletes are born with. They have to have it drilled in to them over time. Lot's of reps coming for our SE's this Fall...

We scrimmaged a state championship private school to the tune of a 3-0 loss. The defense bent but didn't break. We moved the ball in spurts - always seemed to have 7 or 8 guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do and the rest... well, the rest weren't. At least those few were facing the proper direction when the ball was snapped. Whew!

Our Frosh QB with the arm was introduced to varsity football when he did as he was supposed to on a Sprintout when he tucked it and ran for a 1st down... the only part he didn't look good doing was that "dodging" part at the end - you know, the part where the Free Safety almost breaks him in half except for that last-second wiggle by the QB. Dodge, Tuffy, dodge!! Doh!
As Tuffy lay there contemplating his navel after getting beheaded, the trainer asked him if his ribs hurt... he replied with the affirmative. When asked if his chest hurt, he also replied with the affirmative. I asked him if he could "narrow it down a wee bit..." Tuffy replied, "Coach, it All hurts..." A minute later, the only thing hurting was Tuffy's pride...

Tuffy returned the next series and damned if he didn't play better. Well, they do say a near-death experience will change your life...

Our FB kept cheating back to 5 yards... a far cry from 3.5 to 4. No wonder the veer looks slow. He let the ball rattle around a little during his runs, but after a good ass-chewing, he started two-armed it every time and is moving the pile 3-5 yards. Hmmm... I may have to piss him off before every game.

SPEED IT UP. EVERYTHING LOOKS SLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our wingbacks don't know what to do about 30%-40% of the time. But they do it at 100 miles an hour and hard. It's fixable. Gonna have to make a playbook, tho... sigh...

Our 2nd string QB is too slow on the option, but does okay at WB... blocks well on Belly and Belly-O... on Rocket Toss... runs tough on Counter during inside drill at practice. And he knows the plays. I think he's found a home at WB.

All the offense is in except for Counter Option and Barnyards. A lot of guys are shaky about what they do on certain plays, but we're getting there.

More to come...

Coach Smith

DeMeo's 3 Step Boot

I've wanted to run DeMeo's 3 Step Boot for years, but for one reason or another never really have been able to do so. This Spring, we were looking for simple but effective plays we could run that fit well with our established playlist and decided to give the 3 Step Boot a look.

Since we run the naked bootleg pass off our Rocket Toss, most of the skill players know exactly what we're trying to accomplish with the play. With the 3 Step Boot, we have the opportunity to utilize one of our two 6-foot-plus Split Ends as the primary receiver and still have an "out" for the QB should the defense take the route away.

Blocking - if we're running it as the diagram shows, the O-Line is stepping left and the FB is picking up the EMOL to the right. The left tackle doesn't need to be able to hook the DE (4 front) because he has help (for a 2 count) from the left WB before he releases to to the Flat. If it's a 50, then the WB and Tk are one on one and it becomes more difficult... however, I doubt you'll see the DE and DT come hell-for-leather up the field on 1st-and-10 so you should be able to hold a block long enough for the QB to boot - if that's what his read is.

Our right handed QB runs this 75% of the time with the Read Receiver on the right and the boot phase on the left. Reverse this for our Lefty QB. When the backs and receivers come together in practice, we have 2 QB's side by side and all the backs and SE's in the base alignment. The QB closest to the read throws the 3 step route called. The 2nd QB pumps then twirls to the boot phase and throws to a predetermined route. 2 coaches (or a player and a coach) will throw the remaining routes. We'll run this 3 times before swapping the QBs... the boot QB hits all 3 boot routes and the read QB will usually throw a Stop, a Fade, and a Slant or Out. Then we swap it out and repeat. Then we will go the opposite direction. We do our Play Action Pass in a similar manner... 2 QBs close together with each throwing a predetermined route and a coach/player behind throwing the third. We'll run a bout 3-5 each direction with each QB throwing each route at least once. We can get a lot of reps in a 10-15 minute period.

Let's take a look at the Hitch by the primary receiver.

Versus cover 4/2 -- QB reads the CB over the SE. If he backpedals during your drop, then throw the Stop. If he hangs to bump or funnel, then proceed to the boot phase.

Versus cover 3 -- QB reads the playside OLB if the DB is 7 or more yards off the read receiver. If the OLB drops into the throwing lane, continue to boot phase. Our read on the boot phase is to try to locate the Crossing route 1st, then check from Post Corner to Flat. If you get heat, get it to the Flat or OOB. If you boot and no one is open, remember that you are a running QB - tuck that football and go!

If your read route is a deep pattern (Go or Fade), then use the reverse thought process. If we call a deep route and the D lines up in a Cover 3, we will automatically know we're going to the boot phase.

Note: The diagram has the left WB blocking 1 & 1/2 counts before releasing to the Flat... we are using a 2 count. My point (such as it is) is that there's no real difference between the two - especially when a hyped-up teenager is doing the counting!

The main problem we have to date is the QB's wanting to boot no matter what... I guess they are so used to having success with the naked boot off Rocket they just like running boots. We ran this 4 times in our scrimmage and completed the Stop, the Post corner, the Flat, and the Flat (could have thrown the Stop but didn't.) Our shortest gain was 7 yards. Not a bad 1st down passing play for a running team, eh?

Link to previous article:


Coach Smith

7/11/09 Update

We've ran this in Passing League and have yet to be dissappointed. It might end up being a go-to play for us this season.

Midline from Splitbacks

I got an email this week from an option coach up in Michigan concerning running Midline from splitbacks... Below is the diagram I shared with him...
The top is the double version and the bottom is the triple version. Note that we aligned our HB's similar to the way Carson-Newman does - splitting the inside leg of the guards with their heels at 4 yards from the back tip of the football. Those that align their HB's deeper and/or wider may not have the same results as we do, i.e. play hits slower, too wide, etc.

Here's a link to a previous Midline article...also from Splitbacks:


Coach Smith

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Charlie Brown Sigh...

Increased numbers equals more players (of course) and the ability to two-platoon. However, more players also equals a net decrease in overall football knowledge... and more "incidents" like the ones listed below...

Installing the (Venus fly) trap

"Alright... you're going to pull and trap the 3 technique..." - Coach 1
"What's 'pull' mean, Coach?" - Player 1
"Do you 'Trap' him by tackling him?" - Player 2
"What's a '3 tech, tech, technique'?" - Player 3

(Offensive) offensive line drills

"Okay, I want you to fire out and 'punch' me in the chest..." - Head Coach
Player proceeds to haul-off and roundhouse-slugs the H.C. in the gut, knocking the wind out of him.
"***Gasp*** Not like that!!!" - H.C.

(Cruel and Unusual) Punishment Run

"Kid, go run around the Blaster..." - Coach 2
Kid runs to blaster... then proceeds to run thru blaster -without pads- until Coach 2 notices a few minutes later and rushes over to stop him.

There have been a lot more than this since the beginning of Spring practice... wish we had them on film... the revenue from such a blooper reel could let us all retire early!

Friday, May 08, 2009

In Support of Lead Option

Last installment, I extolled the virtue of the base dive versus the shaded 44 stack defense. The problem we were having was dealing with the stacked backer over the 3 tech on ISV. Since we were double teaming the 3 tech, the shade was able to scrape hard and hit our FB in the mouth on the dive. We've decided that rather than try and check off on the LOS with our green QBs, we would just base it on the line and let the FB hit A gap... and it has worked pretty good for us so far.

However, running right up the gut every time you encounter a 3 tech didn't seem to be the complete answer either.

Then we remembered that old veer standby, the Lead (double) Option.

No matter if you have a 3 tech or not, you still have the psILB accounted for with the FB. But that's not the best thing about running the ISV Lead Option vs. the 44. Remember the 5 tech you've been using as the read for the dive? Well, unless you call time out and tell the Defensive Ends the deal, they're still going to be playing the FB. What we've seen from this play, the 5 techs crash in, giving the QB a quick - but managable- pitch read. And let me tell you - man, does the 5 tech give the QB a pitch key!

We let the FB take care of the fake on the dive and it seems to work. We usually have a 3 tech, a 5, and 2 ILBs trying to tackle the FB. The best part is when the interior defensive players all look up and see the Wingback sprinting into the secondary.


Coach Smith

Addendum (11 May 2009):

After running this a few days, something else has become evident. While the Load Block has been outlawed in all states but Texas... and the Load Option has pretty much faded away because of this, you might get a 5 technique so fixated on tackling your FB that you get, in effect, the Load Option while running Lead Option. We had this happen about a third of the time we called Lead Option. The 5 tech crashed so hard the FB never made it to the LOS... the QB pitched right behind the collision and the pitch back was off the the races. The ILBs were also compressing down on the dive and were out of the picture as well.

So why run Lead Option instead of Rocket Toss? Well, I really like Rocket Toss so I'd say you'd better keep running it! But if everybody - and I mean everybody - is compressing down on your dive on ISV, the the Lead Option can get the ball out on the edge almost as fast as Rocket... with the added benefit that inside out pursuit will be slowed as well. (And don't forget Midline Triple or Freeze Option as other means of getting the ball on the perimeter while as the same time getting the defense to compress down instead of fast-flowing to the ball.)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

In Support of the Base Dive

We had our first Spring team practice Tuesday (half-pads; lot's of new kids... lot's of coaching) and it went pretty well. Our line (veterans) are already using smartsplits, calling even or odd frints, etc. Our green backfield, however, is still very much a "work in progress." We are going with our 2nd string QB from last season at left WB (and backup QB,) a new transfer at FB, and a SE converted to WB. The group is rounded out with our promising Sophomore at QB. I am currently casting him as the new villian in the next Batman movie, the Fumbler, after he ran off a string of 5 fumbled snaps in a row during our inside drill. It looks to be a combination of a new Center/QB combination, a Center doing a better job getting off the LOS, and too little bottom hand pressure by Tuffy.

Heh... the Fumbler. Tuffy hates that, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. I bet I don't have to shoo him onto the practice field early today to get snaps and footwork reps with the centers, hardy-har.

Anyway, while working thru the inside drill, something really cool happened. We had called ISV right and when we got up to the LOS, we had a 3 tech sitting in the gap. For whatever reason, our right Guard didn't call for a double on the three. The psTackle, not getting a call to double team, shrugged and widened his 5 tech out with a nice 5 ft. split. With a 2i on our bsGuard and our bsTackle taking his man out 5 ft., there were definitely some running lanes out there. Our "D's" answer to our Flexbone is a 44 look behind the 5-2i-3-5 front, so running ISV to the 3 is definitely a lot harder to combo than versus a 43. Personally, I was thinking we would have to learn to recognize that we would have to run a ISV Lead scheme (double option) to the 3 tech and stay with the triple to a 1/2i... but that's just me.

What happened next changed that.

Our psG drove the pi$$ out of the 3 tech, our C was up and on the bs ILB like a flash, our bsG scramble-reached the 2i and the QB left the ball for the FB... who proceeded to cut straight up psA Gap and right by the FS who was thinking the QB still had the ball.

I guess the Base Dive is going to have a place in our scheme this year.

And really, really big splits.

Coach Smith

Monday, March 30, 2009

All Good Things Must Come To An End


Well, I knew this day would come.

Since starting Veersite back in 2004, I’ve watched the site change slowly from an introductory option site of sorts into something more wide-ranging and (slightly) more sophisticated.  What started as a means for me to learn as much as possible about the split back veer option eventually became a hub to share option information with many coaches across the U.S. and in some instances, around the globe.

Football itself is changing, too.  Once a “three yards and a cloud of dust” game, it is now an exciting and ever-evolving means to score points.  And as I’ve evolved from a 2 back set option coach to a 1 back set coach, the time has come for me to make another leap into the next level of option football.

It is with a heavy heart I must announce that as of Tuesday of this week, www.veersite.com will no longer exist.  It’s been a good run, and I’ve made a lot of friends along the way.  But the days where a coach could get by simply running the ball are fast coming to an end, and I don’t want to be the “last dinosaur standing.”

So while, Veersite and the simple triple option may begin to lapse into the pages of football history, I want to introduce you to the next phase of football…


The No-Back Shotgun Option Site!!!


Beginning Tuesday, I will post info on this new and exciting step in the evolution of the option.  I don’t want to go too far into it, but I will give you advance few a peek or two of what you can expect to see in the coming weeks.

The Zero Technique Option --  Yes, your QB can learn the option in a single practice session!

How to read the noseguard for a foolproof Shotgun option TD every time!

For a small investment of several installments of $350, you as a coach can invest in your career’s future with my set of DVD’s and computer installation program.  Spring Ball has never been so fun… or EASY!!!

Turn the old West Coast Offense into your new Gulf Coast Offense as you seamlessly combine the Mesh, Y Choice, Y Stick, Y Cross, Sail, Flood, Dig, and Tomahawk Cruise Missle passing routes with Speed Option, Lead Option, Triple Option, Counter Option, Freeze Option, Boiled Option, Gumbo Option, Breaded Option…  all from the shotgun in only minutes a day!  Your practices will be so short your wife will think you’ve lost your mind!

Breaking down film will become a thing of the past.  Our system is so flexible and adaptable that you wont even need to practice against an actual defense – all adjustments are included on our handy gameday playsheet. 


Okay, I’ve done it – I’ve given away too much!  But as you will soon see, scoop blocks, the QB-Center exchange, and double digit scoreboards are about to become a thing of the past!  It’s time to get in the Gun and air-it-out…  and have an unstoppable running game to boot (we’ve gotta give those Boosters something to bitch about, lol!)


Veersite is dead…  but

The Multi-Gun Opton Air Raid Offense

is about to arrive!


 APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!! 

Coach Smith

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Georgia Tech visit included such notables as Mike Sewak, Rick Darlington, and... Ron Jeremy???


Notables I saw during my trip to Atlanta and Georgia Tech's football practice included Mike Sewak, Rick Darlington,  and... 

Ron Jeremy?!?

Uh, yeah. 


GTcrew small 

And then things got a little surreal...



More to come...

Gilligan's Lunch Break or The Three Hour Tour!!

Smokey and the G.T. Tour Buses!

When NOT to go into a seedy juke-joint in a strange city!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Misdirection for the Flexbone Team

Back in the Split back veer days, misdirection was pretty easy.  You had your Cutback Dive (I like mine trapped, btw…) and the old “Crazy Option” (or Spin Option.)

Now that I’ve forsaken  such plays for the allure of open sets, Rocket Toss, a true balanced set, and the ability to check-with-me on the LOS and truly be able to run Veer to either side equally well, I find myself a little conflicted on my choices for misdirection.

There’s the Counter Option.  It’s devastating when you get to the corner with it.  But I’ve also heard it referred to as “a train wreck waiting to happen.”  A little slower that cutback dive, it does take advantage of fast-flow LBs and tend to slow ‘em down if ran repeatedly.  Get to the pitch and your WB “just – might – go – all – the – way.”

Counter Option.

Then there’s Inside Veer ran with Twirl motion.  I’m even wondering how it might look with a Carson-Newman “C” tag – which tells the backs… or back in our case, to flash pads opposite before hitting the dive…  the QB reverses out then runs his point mesh (I’m thinking just having him do the flash-pads head-fake instead of a complete pirouette, tho.)

ISV with Twirl motion.

Watch the near “Drop DE” in this 3-3 Stack defense.  Who sez the veer doesn’t have misdirection?!


I’ll have more on this post later in the week.  Just wanted to get it rolling tonight.  TIme for bed.


Coach Smith

Wednesday, March 11, 2009



Bruce Bendix, Greg Williams, Steve Smith, John Sterner

Hosted at:
South Lyon High School
1000 N. Lafayette
South Lyon, Michigan 48178

Saturday - Check-in 7:00 am-7:45

John Nicholson, Oak Hill High School (OH)
Welcome and Introduction 7:50-8:00

Bruce Bendix, Heritage High School (MI)
QB drills and "Why the Veer Offense" 8:00-9:00
Drop Back Passing in the Veer Offense 9:00-10:00

Steve Smith, Campbell County High School (TN)
Using formations and motion to your advantage in the splitback and flexbone formations 10:00-11:00
Interior and Perimeter blocking versus 3-5, 3-4, 4-3, and 4-4 fronts (blocking tags, selecting the pitch read, nullifying stunts and secondary coverages designed to stop the option) 11:00-12:00

Lunch 12:00-1:00

Greg Williams, Juan Diego Catholic High School (UT)
Breaking up the 8 man fronts 1:00-2:00
Our experience with No-Huddle & No Mesh 2:00-3:00

John Sterner, Former Head Coach Muskego High School (WI)
The Football Coaches' Guide to Clock Management 3:00-4:00
Wedge blocking in the T-Veer Offense 4:00-5:00

Veer and Midline Install Clinic Notes

Tim Stowers - GSU - Installing the ISV

Midline Presentation

I have no idea where this material originated. If you are the author and have a problemo with it being posted here, contact me, coach.steve.smith@gmail.com , and I'll remove it. Nuff said.

Point Mesh From the Flex

Several of you guys wanted to see the point mesh from the Flex…  and I’ve finally got a semi-efficient method to get game clips up again.

These haven’t been selected for any reason other than I was able to get them up the quickest.  It should however, give you an idea of how we looked during an average play from scrimmage this season.


Clip One:  ISV from Game 7

Trips Left ISV Weak vs. 43. w/SS alley(3 Clips)

Play One:  We’re cracking the psOLB and using the CB for the pitch read.  Not a bad job by the psSE on the crack, either.  The QB is flat (would prefer him to be up into the LOS a little more) but he makes a good descision on the Dive.

The QB is a Senior and this is his first year running the option as the bread and butter play.  Since I was broke by the end of summer and too proud to ask for help with gas money(long story), I didn’t begin coaching him until after school had started.  My thoughts were to rep the poop out of the point mesh, but not get too “bent” when he would inevitably swing the ball back or not get up in the LOS enough to suite me.  Like Jules Winfield in Pulp Fiction, I feel it is better to be a “little Fonzie” and stay cool and matter of fact – not screaming, ranting, and turning my play-caller into a hysterical basket-case.

Play Two: Trips Right, ISV Left. vs. 43 w/SS alley

Same blocking scheme as Play One, only we end up pitching off the Dive Read…  which is bad.  On a positive note, when you get speed in space, good things happen…  and we still get a decent gain on the play.  One of the risks of moving the Pitch Read farther out on the perimeter is that sometimes you just don’t make it there.  You might also note how the QB swings the ball back on this particular play…  and how he and the FB end up “fighting” for it.  This is precisely the thing the point mesh is designed to eliminate.

Play Three:  Trips Left ISV Right vs. 53 (?)

Well, they jumped into an Odd front, so the Crack call has to go…  (it didn’t.)  and versus a balanced defense, the first rule of thumb is to run strong  (we didn’t.)  Again, the nice thing about the Option is that ol’ speed in space thing…  and the fact that it can be pretty damned hard to find the football.  I honestly can’t recall if we had expected this team to get in an odd front (probably not.)  So remember, if you’re going to run the Option, there’s no free lunch.  You have to be able to check at the line to different blocking schemes as well as checking the play to the other side.

At least it helps if you can.


Game 7:  Midline

We use the Point method on Midline, too.  It’s quick.

Game 6 Midline

They didn’t have any film of us running Midline…  and I don’t think their 3 techs were ready for it.  I think it was just different enough to allow us some success in that first drive and get the momentum going.


Game 10:  ISV clips vs 52 with Safety alley

We wanted to get the ball more on the perimeter since teams were going nuts late in the season playing our FB.  This week we worked during our Indy periods on attacking the Pitch Read’s (gasp!) outside shoulder.  Just something George DeLeone used in his Syracuse Freeze Option to get the ball on the edge when facing feather DE’s, etc.

Game 10; ISV Clip 1

Over Left ISV Right

No complaints on this one.  Not up into the LOS enough for me, but I can live with what we’re doing.

Game 10; ISV Clip 2

Flex I Left, ISV Left

No complaints, but I think the QB could make the DE “sell-out” a little more before the pitch.  Then again, I’m not the one going to get cut in half by that Huge-mungus DE, either!

Game 10; ISV Clip 3

Nasty, ISV Right

The good, the bad, and the ugly.  I have no idea why the SE is chasing the Pitch read.  Or why our psT doesn’t block a soul.  Well, you’re seeing us warts and all on this clip.  Thank Goodness for “speed in space!”  The right WB (QB’s twin brother, BTW) does a good job on the “switch” call for the perimeter blocking…  I think we were setting up the Wheel Route for later out of Nasty Slot.  Like Coach Roark says, “you’ve got to love a system where you don’t block a soul and still make big plays!”

Game 10; ISV Clip 4

Nasty, ISV Left

At first, I got annoyed at how far back the QB bows it after keeping on the Dive.  On closer inspection, I can see why he did it…  the DT/FB collision is a little messy.  What looks like a little “blip” from the pressbox looks a whole lot different from the playing field.  It’s easy to forget how things look at game speed after all these years.

Game 10; ISV Clip 5

Nasty, ISV Right

(keybuster. Hey, we can run to the boundary.)

I have no complaints on this one concerning the QB.  We’re working the outside shoulder to force the DE to give us the pitch (which was successful)…  unless he feathers to a ridiculous degree and the QB can glide right on by.


Game Two ISV Clips.

I wanted to give you a comparison from earlier in the season.  You will notice that the new veer QB is more apt to give the Dive than not…  probably a good thing.  You will also note the tendency to reach the ball back – a hold over from the previous season’s ride-and-decide method.  Once that habit is learned, its hard to break it.  Our Soph QB started with point mesh and is quite happy to just point the ball while he reads the dive key.


Well, there it is…  point mesh out of the Flex.  Do I have clips where he’s doing it better?  Yeah…  but this is how it looked for us as a team selling-out to the option for the first time. 

I’ve never mentioned it, but our QB  only a year before was starting on the other side of the ball… worrying more about coverage calls and Blood stunts.  Personally, I think he did a hell of a job.  If he had been running option three years prior…  well, it’s scary to think about. 


Coach Smith


ps.  Here’s a clip of Counter Option from Game 10.  We pitch off EMOL and wrap pulling G up to backer…  although in this case, there’s “nobody home.”  Not sure why the SE and WB didn’t X on the perimeter, tho…  I thought I would include it so those that think I’m nuts might reconsider…

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Counter Option

Counter Option

(Alternate Title: The "well, hell..." Article. Read on. You'll figure out why.)

The Flexbone Counter Option was a conundrum for us this past year. We kept repping it, and repping it, and repping it... but never could get up the nerve to run it for quite a few games. I think it was the "watch the QB turn and get flattened by a fire-breathing 5 Tech coming Hell-for-leather nightmare" that Coach Wells and I both seemed to have concerning the play.

Ironically, it wasn't the concern about not being able to cut the 5 tech... unlike a lot of the guys I've read over at the Flexbone Assoc. Nah, neither of us worried too much about trying to log the psDE and pitch off the OLB. It just seemed natural to pitch off the 5 tech and wrap the pulling G up on the psOLB. If you're faking it well, he will at least be planted for a count, and that should give the pulling G a pretty good angle on him. If the pulling G ends up colliding the psDE (the pitch read for us,) he should collision the outside hip... and the QB should work past it until he gets a pitch read - probably the psOLB. We worked this in individual periods, inside run... and in team.

And by the way, our QB never got hit in the chops running this play. Are you kidding? If anyone had been stupid enough to fly their 5 tech in for a kill shot, the give on ISV would have eaten them alive... and they knew it.

We will double a playside 3 tech if we get one. If the linemen smell a rat (look for the cheese!), they will call "Down" and we should pick up trash. But it's nice to have the FB to fill for the pulling Guard nonetheless.

I tell the Twirl WB to align a little wider... and since the pitch WB has no motion "One and None" is the alignment rule for him. We will try and widen the read with the psT... unless we have a 3 tech, which will cause him to tighten just a bit.

The QB is to do exactly what we DON'T want with our point-mesh veer, we step back off the LOS and ride the FB... then turn inside and attack the outside shoulder of the DE. We want to make him make us pitch... and won't try and keep it unless he just comes upfield something ridiculous. I picked that up from Coach George DeLeon's Freeze Option Video. It works. Good stuff. His take on the Freeze can also be directly applied to the modern-day Midline 100%.

It's good to "X" block with the SE and WB on th e perimeter... although we frigged that up a few times... yet it still seemed to work okay for us. In fact, the pulling Guard often had no one to block as the OLB would fly across the formation thinking Veer. When this happens, Life Is Good - buy a tee shirt.

This play works well out for the Nasty Slot as well. I love saying "Nasty Slot." Anyway, it also works well weak in Unbalanced SE-Over sets as well. It's not bad when run to the boundry since you usually pitch behind the Tackle... leaving room for the WB to get north and south.

We will run this vs. a 52 (or 3-4 if you're into all that 3-stuff). It helps if the DT's are pinching or at least playing B Gap. However, if the psT can just stalemate and the QB works his magic and forces the DE to take him... that pitchback going up the sideline for a big gain is a wonderful sight to behold.

I'm not going to get into debates about the pros and cons of logging the DE and pitching off the OLB. While it can happen... for us, it's an accident at best. This is the way we run it. In the words of the immortal Flip Wilson, "What you see is what you get." Feel free to improvise - just don't waste time trying to convince me to do so as well (why do guys attempt this? I think it makes you feel good if you can talk me into something... I don't know.)

Anyway, here are a few last thoughts... we won't run this if the 43 OLBs are Eagled outside the 5 tech in 90's. Why the hell would we? Find the 1 tech and run Belly, Belly, and more Belly until the OLB lines up where you want him or you score. Run Midline Double at the 3 tech. Don't try and force a play to work against something where it can't, Grasshopper. Ommmmmmmm...

It helps to spend some quality time with the QB and backs explaining what it is you're trying to accomplish - in a perfect world we'll get a pitch every time and score up the sideline. I tell the QB, "look, Johhny, don't be a hero..." sung out of tune. He has no idea what the hell I'm talking about, but it eventually sinks in that is not one of those plays where we expect him to be running the TD. It can happen, but we really want to get a pitch. He will eventually get this. I tell him not to worry, he will get much better chances on ISV and Belly Option. Maybe Freeze Option, too... if we can get it in. We're going to try and two-platoon this season... which will give us much more time to do such things. We have around 100 boys out for football and I honestly think we'll have at least 22 that CAN play dead in that proverbial Cowboy movie. Yippee Ki-Yay, Mother- "watch yo mouth... Shaft!"

I'm full of it tonight.

Coach Smith

ps. if there's a video clip of us here running Cntr-O, then I had insomnia and got it finished. If not, look for it Monday or Tuesday night. Oh, hell, it's 1 am. I'm going to bed. Goodnight.

pps. If you don't like the SS left untouched, you can have the bsT release off the bsDE for him. With the Twirl motion and counter action, inevitable secondary rotation, etc, the Tackle should have no trouble getting in the way if he takes an intelligent cutoff angle.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

HOLY COW! Carson-Newman Clinic THIS WEEKEND!!!

I really feel like I dropped the ball on this one...  but the annual Carson-Newman clinic is this weekend, Gentlemen.  I've looked at a flyer for a few seconds, but didn't have a means to scan it.  I've missed the last two clinics and am no longer on the mailing list...  thus, no flyer for me this year.


You can rest assured, however, you will not be disappointed if you attend.


Coach Smith

Friday, February 27, 2009

The No-Mesh Mesh... One More Time


I keep seeing questions about the Point Mesh online, so I thought I would re-post my article on it again.  I've included a few new clips, and plan on adding a couple of more recent ones in the coming weeks.

If a particular video won't play for you, refresh the page.  It should fix any problems.



A while back, I mentioned I would do an article concerning the no-mesh mesh or what I like to call the point-mesh method of reading the dive on the Inside and Outside Veer. So here it is. Actually, this is an excerpt from an email I sent a coach a while back concerning the topic. It's been cleaned-up and spell-checked a few dozen times - which means there's probably no more than 2 or three dozen errors left to correct. Fortunately for me, I can live with that many errors so here it is. Here are my notes and observations from watching Coach Spark's veer install video, hearing him speak about it at his clinic, and first-hand observations from our use of it at M.H.S.


The Point-Mesh Method or No-Mesh Mesh


1. The speed of the dive is important. If you have your HBs sitting back at 5 yards off the ball, it's going to seem like the QB is just standing there waiting for the dive back to make it to the line. In C-N's splitback alignment, the HB's feet are 4 to 4 1/2 yards off the front tip of the ball... And are aligned so as to split the inside leg of the guards (who are 2.5-3 ft from the center.) The dive hits FAST- so the misdirection of the ride-and decide is replaced by the misdirection of Oh-sh**-there-goes-the-dive-back-with-the-ball. The HB's aiming point for ISV is the outside leg of the guard and the inside leg of the tackle for OSV.

2. The path of the QB is important. The QB path is not only down the LOS but up into the LOS as well. This is important- the QB needs to work his first step towards the dive read forward as well as sideways. He is trying to put his foot in line with the toes of the playside guard before the snap. We will lay a half bag down at that angle so it forces the QB up into the LOS as he works down the line during the individual period. They all hate that, but it helps get them going at the proper angle.

3. There is no ride-and-decide in the no-mesh mesh. The QB extends the football out straight at the dive read while gripping the football firmly in both hands. If the dive read does anything besides step straight in at the QB, he leaves the ball extended and hands off to the HB. If the dive read comes at the QB, he pulls slightly before the HB arrives and continues to the pitch read. The HB rolls over the "ball" and is either tackled by the dive read or if he is able continues up field to help seal-off inside pursuit.

Coach Sparks said on his tape he did this due to 60% of C-N's fumbles on the option coming from mesh problems. I also heard at one of his excellent C-N clinics that the speedier dive (and the QB being up into the line) helps reduce problems with backside pursuit. It also takes away angles for defensive linemen trying to slow-play the dive, feather, etc.

4. Some might think the no-mesh (or point mesh) is too difficult to read. The idea to put into the QB's head is this: if he just guesses every time on the dive read, he should be right about 50% of the time. All we want him to do is be right 25% more of the time. Don't pressure him too much- many times our QBs have missed the dive and given the ball when we should have kept -- but we ended up with decent yardage due to the HB's momentum, the speed of the dive, and the dive read not being able to get more than an arm across the path of the ball carrier. Our biggest plays seem to come off the dive... The HB hits it and nobody knows he has the ball until he's at the depth of the FS.

Here is a video clip where you can see the angle pretty good. Notice the QB is getting up in the LOS and he doesn't swing the ball back and ride the HB. In this clip, we are facing 40 front and end up reading a DE instead of a DT.



The next clip shows the QB keeping on ISV. If you watch it a few times, you'll se that he almost immediately pulls the ball back in for the keep. The "give" is technically what we are supposed to do when the dive read squats on the LOS, which is pretty much what the read did. However, he does "box in" completely, and seeing this gave the QB the impression that he had committed to the dive. I've said it before, reading the dive is more "art" than "craft." Another factor may be that the QB is one of only four seniors on the field along with a host of freshmen - including the dive HB. I think the QB might have taken it upon himself to try and carry the team at times. He was (and is) a competitor.



Well, that's about it. If you want to see a few more clips, here they are.  I'll get some in from the Flexbone when I have the proper setup in a couple of weeks.  Flexbone is similar, but the QB's first steps are a lot shorter than Split Back QB's steps...  and the FB's toes are closer to 3.5 yards from the tip of the ball than the 4 yard depth we had them at MHS.  Actually, it was the heels, but who's counting?



OSV Point Mesh Below








How C-N does it.






Addendum 08 Dec 2008

from a post on the Flexbone Association:

Personally, I don't worry what the QB is doing with his feet on ISV as long as the following things are happening:

1. The QB's getting into the LOS on ISV.
2. The dive back (FB or HB) isn't tripping over the QB and isn't being forced out closer to the dive read.
3. The QB isn't bowing back into the backfield on a pull.
4. The dive is hitting fast and not taking too long.

If all that is happening and we're racking up 300-400 yards rushing... I don't care if the kid is hopping on one foot back there.

I think there is a tendency to over-coach QB's... just video your QB+backfield period and the inside period. If there's a consistent problem, address it. If not, don't give your QB more to worry about.

But to try and answer your question, we use point mesh in the Flexbone (before that in split backs). I have the QB step with the playside foot towards the read and then brings the opposite alongside it on his next... he advances using short steps and keeps his weight as evenly distributed as possible so he can push off either foot (inside for a pull, outside if he has to tuck up into the LOS for some reason.)

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Will Rogers

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Windows Sucks

I've thrown in the towel.  Ever since upgrading to Windows XP 64, I've had no luck installing 2 items:  A Fujitsu duplex sheetfed scanner (perfect for scanning those 100+ page playbooks, natch!) and my TV Tuner card.  The second item is what has chapped my a$$ of late.  Without the ability to hook up a small DVD player to the composite inputs and record plays to AVI format, I'm having a hard time getting clips up on Veersite. 

I managed to find 64 bit drivers for the damned thing, but the TV program itself insists on doing nothing except screwing up and freezing my computer.

So I'm bidding on a used IBM with good ol' regular 32 bit XP on it on EBAY tonight and hopefully I can get that sucker here in the next week.  Then I can install the TV / Video Capture card in it and get down to ripping some video. 


Coach Smith

UPDATE: 2/28/09

I got a good deal on Ebay for a nice little compact 3 gig Pentium 4 computer  with Vista on it.  I should be able to install my capture card and get it to work, since all the software is supposed to work with the 32 bit version of Vista.  Hopefully, in a week or two, I'll have some updated clips dealing with the Flexbone.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Play Installation (In Progress)

Well, it's that time of year, Coaches. Spring Practice will be upon us and before you know it we'll all be going round-and-round with baseball coaches from Pacific to Atlantic over the skill players.

After running the Flexbone for the first time through a complete season, and running the option for going on seven years, it's time to develop a plan for installing the particulars of the Flexbone offense.

Below is the loose framework I've got so far to construct this article. I'm leaving it all up as a post as I work on it instead of hiding it as a Draft. Watch me work!

Coach Smith



1. Flex - Alignment and spacing depending on hash, middle of field.

2. Unbalanced Flex - Alignment (mostly to Field) and spacing.

3. Nasty (Slot) - Alignment is pretty much the same no matter where we are on the field.

4. Flex RT & LF - Alignment... 1/2 Nasty and 1/2 Flex. Nuff Said.

5. Tripps - (also Gun) Alignment and spacing (mostly to Field). Save 'til last.


1. ISV vs shaded 4 front and 2 odd fronts (52 and 33 stack)
  • teach and tag the following perimeter blocking schemes:
    Base, X, Seal, Crack.
  • teach and tag the following interior blocking schemes: Veer, Loop, Load-Double option... pitch phase only. Show the O-Line and WB what it means to to "bracket" the psOLB in a 33 stack on ISV (Dive read the DT and Pitch off the Drop End.)

2. Counter Option
  • 3-4: psT bases psDT and pulling G turns up on playside 20 tech ILB
  • 4-3: psT and psG deuce or down up to MLB... pulling G turns up on ps 30 OLB.
  • (4-3) Every so often, practice the pulling G colliding with a flat DE and the QB being forced to wrap around to find another pitch read.
  • Ever so often, have the pulling G trap a penetrating playside defensive player and the QB just tucking it up underneath and getting all he can.

3. Rocket Toss

4. Play Action Pass from all formations - even tagged single or two man routes from unbalanced sets and Trips... boot from rocket as well.

**Supplemental Plays as time and personnel allow:

Midline double and triple options

Belly + Belly (double) Option

3 step game with boot

Sprint out with max protection (QB keep replaces third read in progression.)

Trap + Freeze (double) Option


Since all our prospective QBs are green, think about how we can install the system to maximize their potentia for success. Installing called dives and double options before installing triples might be best. On the other hand, some of the footwork needed for the non-triple plays might hurt QB development as it relates to the triple option.

The "Green" QB Install Plan - Spring

  1. Belly Dive. Don't reverse out. Pros - can look like ISV. Cons - FB needs ball deep... all that QB reaching back might come back to haunt us when we point-mesh ISV.
  2. Belly-Option. Pros - double option; easy to teach. Cons - its only a double option; psT & psWB have to seal DE; LBs have to bite on FB for it to work.
  3. Trapped Midline FB Dive aka Freeze. Pros - good angle blocks on trap; no read needed as with Midline - "just hand it off." Cons - gotta have guards that can trap; QB has to "find" the 3 tech.
  4. Trapped (logged, actually) Option aka Freeze Option. Pros - double option; easy to teach. Cons - it's only a double option; guards have to be able to pull and log.
  5. Midline Double. Pros - double option; easy to teach; backfield action was established with Freeze series; easier to block than Freeze. Cons - psT must maintain block on 5 tech; works better against a 4 front than a 3 front.
  6. Rocket Toss. Pros - nobody to read. Cons - none.
  7. Midline Triple. Pros - most of it is "in" already. Cons - green QB.
  8. Triple Option (Inside Veer). Pros - If you have to ask... Cons - green QB.
  9. Counter Option. Pros - great misdirection play, motion keybuster, big gainer if pitched. Cons - lots of teaching and reps needed.
  10. Play Action off Dive (Belly/ISV). Pros - takes advantage of secondary adjustments to option. Cons - don't get into 3rd and long.
  11. Sprintout. Pros - takes advantage of mobile QB... lets his "wheels" be the 3rd read in his progression. Cons - ?
----------finish section --------

Coach Smith

Friday, January 09, 2009

2009 Carson-Newman Clinic

Word on the SplitBack Veer Association Forum (registration required) is this:

The Carson-Newman Clinic will be March 6th-8th.

More info as it becomes available.

Coach Smith