Triple Option Football Academy Interview with Former Army Offensive Lineman Zach Peterson: Part Two

Triple Option Football Academy Interview with Former Army Offensive Lineman Zach Peterson: Part Two

Zach Peterson, who as a senior starter at center was part of an Army lineup in 2010 that snapped a 14-year bowl absence, arrived home from Afghanistan on November 16 following a nine-month deployment.

Zach was a two-year starter at Center in the Triple Option Offense.  As the dominant Offensive Lineman on Army’s most dominant team over the last 30 years (only bowl-winning team since Mid 1980s), Zach talked with Triple Option Football Academy Owner, Dr. Lou Cella about Triple Option Offensive Line blocking.  This is Part Two of the interview.  Part One of the interview can be found here.


6-      Provide the top coaching points in Sprint Pass protection.

Zach: For sprint pass protection, we want to take two shuffle steps in the direction of the sprint out and then progress into the (kick slide drop back protection). Allow the defender to work into your particular gap. The offensive linemen’s eyes have to be in his respective gap, he can pass defenders off but at the end of the day he is responsible for his gap.

7-      What were your favorite run concepts as a Triple Option Offensive Lineman?

Zach: As a triple option linemen my favorite run concepts were about the offense we ran. As a linemen in this offense you get to play down hill. You lineup in a weight forward stance and get to come off the ball and hit people in the mouth. It is an attack style offense and defenders hate playing against. A lot of times they are concerned with being cut. In this offense you get attack the second level and chop people in half. You get to work double teams and literally play down hill and aggressive. When you do get to pass block, it is easy, because it is uncharacteristic of your offense and defenders are not ready to work a pass rush.

8-      What was the most important lesson you learned from Coach McGeehan, Coach Tripp, and Coach Simi (Army Offensive Line Coaches)?

Zach: With Coach Mck and Coach Tripp it was consistency and details. At times these guys would sound like broken records saying the same thing over and over, but what they were saying was important and they drilled it into our heads. With Coach Simi, it was the intensity that he approached everything with.  He bought an energy and intensity to everything he did on the practice field and in the film room. Guys fed off of his intensity and passion and it created a positive effect across the o line. In the triple option o line, you need that intensity.

9-      In your opinion, what are the three most important blocks (run or pass) in the Triple Option Offense?

Zach: The three most important blocks in the triple option are #1: A guard has to be good and powerful enough to block a three technique by himself. A center has to be athletic enough to veer past a nose guard and get to the second level (Against the Odd defense). A tackle has got to be athletic enough to avoid Defensive ends (veer release) and block in space when running the triple option. Those to me are the staples for offensive linemen in the triple option.

10-      If you had to coach the Triple Option Offense, what are the three most important drills that you would implement into your team?

Zach: I think you have to work your base blocking on bags or on defenders in combative situations when necessary. I think you have to work scoop blocks in the same way with all of the proper footwork and details associated with the block, and I think you have to finally work double teams (Ace). Those are the fundamentals–I think daily your drills need to culminate with review of the actual plays to show how the fundamentals and concepts actual tie into the play book!

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2014 Triple Option Football Academy Camps with Dr. Cella