Playing B-Back at Navy from a Former Navy B-Back

Vince Murray started in 2009-2010 as B-Back at Navy.  During his time at Navy, Vince had 1,353 yards rushing and nine touchdowns for the Midshipmen in their Triple Option Offense.  Vince talked with Triple Option Football Academy Owner, Dr. Lou Cella about playing B-Back in the Triple Option.

1-      What are the most important coaching points for B-Backs on the Triple Option?

Vince: Golden Rules for Navy B-Backs:

1) Ball Security. Nothing will cripple the triple option more than the B-back putting the ball on the ground, nothing. 

2)Hitting the mesh at full speed. Players have a tendency to tip toe through the mesh for one of two reasons; either they’re scared of being hit or they’re focusing too much on their read and looking to make the 30-50yd run. The long runs will come but only if the player is hitting the mesh at FULL SPEED with NO HESITATION. 

3)Playing to the whistle. The b-back is going to get hit on every play and is usually taken to the ground. A lot of times the difference between an A back gaining 20 yards instead of 10 is whether or not the b-back got off the ground and cut off the back side safety or linebacker.

2-      What are the most important coaching points for B-Backs on the Midline Option?

Vince:  1) The Golden Rules. 

2) Knowing who your read is and who is blocking for you. Example: against a 50 front I know my read is the nose guard and the play side guard is blocking for me. As soon as I see the center has reached the nose (if the nose crosses the center’s face I’m cutting it back side) my eyes shift to the guard and I’m reading his block on the play side linebacker. It happens quickly but an experienced b-back will make all the difference running midline.

3-      What are the most important coaching points for B-Backs on Triple Pass?

Vince:  Sell the fake. Shoulder pads over the ball, full speed with your eyes up so you can see what your responsibility is doing. 

4-      What qualities are necessary to play B-Back in the Triple Option Offense?

Vince: 1) Speed. Like any other position on the field, speed is everything. Size may be more important at B back than other positions but if he doesn’t have a burst he can’t play b- back. 

2) Toughness. The B back will get hit on almost every play of the game and usually by the biggest meanest dude on the defense. 

3) Durability. Some guys have the speed and toughness but their body breaks down halfway through the season. I can’t remember the last time a Navy fullback started every game of an entire season.

5-      What is the greatest lesson you learned playing football at Navy?

Vince:  Give it all you got or as Coach Niumatalolo says, “be all in.” It may sound cliché but this means an entire different thing at Navy. Before going to the Academy, coaches always told our team to “give it all you got” and I always assumed I was because at the end of practice, I was sweating and tired. When you give something everything, that means it’s the only thing. That means film study, extra lifting, diet, etc. But don’t just do them; do them with an intensity and desire that no one else can match. That is the only way that Navy can beat bigger, stronger, and faster teams year in and year out.