Rex Ryan and Packers DC Mike Pettine on Defending the Triple Option

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

Current Packers Defensive Coordinator and former 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