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?
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