How Rex Ryan and Mike Pettine Advocate Defending the Triple Option

Former New York Jets Head Football Coach, Rex Ryan has extensively written about defending the Triple Option.

Current Cleveland Browns Head Football Coach, Mike Pettine has done the same.


The following is how they would do it if they had to defend the Under-Center Triple Option at any level:

1. Assignment Football- must assign defenders to dive/QB/pitch in ALL defenses.

– Add secondary assignments to interior players.  (Ex. Defensive End has dive to Quarterback, Mike has Quarterback to pitch)

– Do option run throughs without a football to emphasize assignments.


2. Assign TWO players to a major threat. (Ex. v. a great Quarterback, put both Defensive End and Free Safety on him)


3. Set up rules for Defensive Backs- Secondary Support once pass threat is gone.

– Man coverage- based on Receiver’s split (>5 yards = pitch)

– Zone coverage- outside zones = pitch, middle of field = Quarterback to pitch


4. Vary technique of Quarterback players

– Fast play = Option shows attack through Quarterback

– Slow play = Option shows, “Cat and mouse”

– Crash call = Mesh charge at B-Back


Two State Semifinalists, A State Finalist, and a State Champion in Texas have Come out of Dr. Cella’s Triple Option Football System Over the Last Four Years

Triple Option Football Academy Owner, Dr. Lou Cella, is a Sports Performance Specialist, and a 20-year coaching veteran of the Triple Option Football Academy Owner, Lou Cellacollege and high school level.  

Over the last five years, Dr. Cella assisted in the turnaround of numerous high school football programs through his triple option-based camp system. Just months after Dr. Cella served as camp director, Cashmere (WA) and Timmonsville (SC) went to the state semifinals, Bayfield (CO) went to the state championship game, and Falls City (TX) won their first regional and first state championship in school history.

In addition, Hereford (MD), Johnson (NJ), Lakewood (SC), Petaluma (CA), Piedra Vista (NM), Poland (ME), Riverwood (GA), San Benito (CA), Seminole County (GA), and Temple City (CA) posted drastic turnarounds just months after Dr. Cella served as their camp director.

Dr. Cella possesses four degrees with an A.S. in Education, a B.S. in English, a M.Ed in Information Technology, and a Psy.D in Psychology, Sport Performance Psychology.  Both the American Football Sports Science-Mental Conditioning Academy and the Triple Option Football Academy are governed by AFSSMCA, LLC.  At the heart of the American Football Sports Science-Mental Conditioning Academy (AFSSMCA) and the Triple Option Football Academy is the mission to lead the high-performance football environment through sports science and mental conditioning coaching practices.