Paul Johnson’s Most Important Coaching Points for Ball Carriers on Triple Option

Coach Paul Johnson emphasizes what each individual on each phase of the Triple Option is to do to maximize success.

Backside A-Back

  • Backside A-back’s option route is five yards behind the Quarterback.
  • A-back will take three more steps and turn up with Quarterback.
  • When backside A-back catches the pitch, he will run wherever the blocking seam is.


  • He is the dive aspect of the play.
  • B-back is five yards from front of the ball, and he can move up in alignment if he is slower.
  • He must know interior Offensive Line blocking scheme.
  • B-back has his backside toes curled in stance to prevent false stepping.
  • 1st step is 6 inches.
  • Takeoff is full speed through the ball, just like a plane.
  • B-back’s aiming point is inside leg of guard.
  • He reads the action key and breaks behind the center if there is a 0 technique.
  • He does not bend back with “Ace” call (Center/Guard Double Team).



  • Reads #1 and Options #2.
  • He gets his 2nd step in ground and stares at read.
  • The decision to give is made when the B-back is past his front foot.
  • Gives ball if #1 does not take B-back–#1 must be able to get his head in front of the ball.
  • Running Quarterback—when in doubt, pull it out.
  • Non-running Quarterback—when in doubt, give.
  • If #1 and #2 come hard, the option turns into a toss sweep. The Quarterback will get his 2nd step in the ground  (need this to create space from the defender) and option off #2.  If #2 does not come he will keep the ball. When #2 turns toward Quarterback, he will pitch the ball with his thumb down.
  • Practice versus the easy stunt (2-1 exchange).

    Win Big With a Small Offensive Line

    In 2015, Navy’s Starting Offensive Line averaged 275 pounds/player.

    2015 National Champion, The University of Alabama’s Offensive Line averaged 315 pounds/player.

    Navy’s 2015 Rushing Offense averaged 326 yards/game.

    Alabama’s 2015 Rushing Offense averaged 199 yards/game.

    Navy finished at 11-2 and had their best final record since 1963.  They did all this with a 275 pound Offensive Line and the Triple Option Offense.

    Coach, I am a Sports Psychologist who runs academies and camps with 11-man, 8-man, and 9-man football programs throughout the United States installing the Navy/Georgia Tech/Citadel Triple Option, and have achieved great results with my clients–

    If this is something that you believe is a good fit for you, give me a call.

    Dr. Lou Cella
    Owner/Sport & Performance Psychologist
    Office- (570) 332-0265
    Fax- (570) 388-2604