The Four Mistakes Flexbone Triple Option Offensive Line Coaches Make and How to Avoid Them
1. Offensive Line splits are tighter than three feet.
The guards must be at least three feet away from the center. The tackles must be near four feet away from the guard. This allows the quarterback to have more time to read #1 and the exact splits as given take defenders away from the play.
Three-plus foot splits are a non-negotiable aspect of the Flexbone Offense—issues occur when this is not utilized.
2. Offensive Line is crowding the ball.
How can your Offensive Line possibly expect to Scoop block when they are unable to win the angle on the defender in the playside gap?
Offensive Linemen must have their helmets break the belt buckle of the center—if their hands are at the heels of the center, this occurs—because of this they can run through the back tip of the football, get outside of the defender in their gap, and cut the defender in their gap.
3. Offense runs triple and veer releases the playside tackle to the inside every time.
Wedge blocking is an outdated concept. If a defense has #1 take the dive, #2 take the quarterback, and the inside linebacker run over the top to take the pitch, the playside tackle will never get there. Thus, running triple option is a 3-on-3 concept. Oklahoma started veer releasing the tackle outside v. Odd-front defenses back in the 1980s.
The playside tackle’s job on triple option is to veer outside, unless he hears an “Ace” call (Center/Guard Double Team) where he would veer inside. Another situation for the playside tackle is to “deuce” (guard/tackle double team) when the action key is a 3-technique.
4. Backside Offensive Linemen are taught to cutoff instead of scoop.
Ashley Ingram, Navy Centers and Guards Coach, stresses that this block is the defining block of the Flexbone Offense and the triple option concept. By winning the angle on the backside through scooping, the offensive line cuts off the pursuit angle of the defender. This eliminates late help on the dive, and in some cases, prevents the quarterback from getting chased down if the quarterback pulls the ball.
In order to scoop, the offensive lineman must run through the back tip of the ball, and as soon as the offensive lineman gets outside of the defensive lineman in the playside gap, the offensive lineman squares his shoulders and crashes chest first to the ground. This eliminates the defender’s charge and pursuit angle to the football. If there is no defender in the playside gap, the offensive lineman works vertically to the second level and walls any defender who dares to cross to the playside.
Scoop blocking must be taught—this is another non-negotiable of running triple option out of the Flexbone Triple Option Offense.
The Big Idea in 171 Words
Here’s the problem. If you can’t block defensive linemen, you’ll never move the ball, you’ll never score points, and you’ll never win a game.
You need to understand why this disconnect occurs to overcome it and win.
“I know many coaches would rather install an offense the traditional way by researching it, visiting colleges that run the offense, and then picking coaches for information.
I have used that same strategy, and I know that it takes about three years to really gain an understanding of the offense and get players to execute it at a high level.
Consequently, in the research method, you do not have any collaboration with experts that are readily available when questions arise or resources that have consistency.
We wanted to give our players an offense that they could be successful with immediately.
We also concluded that by the time we visited colleges, bought DVDs, playbooks, and sent players to college camps to gain skills, we would have invested many times the cost of the camp.”
–Dr. Jimmy Woods, Head Football Coach, Timmonsville High School.
Went from 1-9 (2010) to the state semifinals (2011) in one year after their three-day camp with Triple Option Football Academy Owner, Lou Cella.