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.
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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