Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer consulting available

I know I said I wasn't going to do it this year but I am open to Summer consulting services again

What you get
      1-2 days of lectures based on YOUR agenda
      Copy of previous playbook
      Copy of QB manual
      4 set DVD

You can set it up alone or with other schools to defer cost

Pricing is reasonable and negotiable!

I will send references of happy former clients

Contact me at
with Consulting in title

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Invite everybody to look at our new high school website

Spartan Football

Monday, April 14, 2014

3 copies of qb manual available

found 3 copies of the qb manual. first come - first served

Email me at for flyer

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A different look at the midline

As I do every year, I was rewriting my playbook. This year I decided to look through all my old play books for ideas, etc. when I stumbled upon this older midline triple scheme I once used. It was very different from the traditional scheme. It was developed off of the University of Delaware's scheme that combined the midline with cross block option. Although I haven't used it in years, I did have some good success with it a way back. Thought you might be interested.

Like any other schemes there are plusses and minuses 

  1. Since there is no downblock by the guard the fullback game opened up. it also served as and influence scheme for any other guard pull plays (i.e. rocket, etc)
  2. It gives you the ability to match numbers with the 4-3, something that is hard to do and run midline triple
  3. It combines the midline triple and the tuck play with the quarterback able to tuck off the guard's block
  4. It runs the tuck play against the 4-3 with a quarterback lead (offense tackle) but without the halfback leading through. This in essence eliminates the ability of the defense to read the halfback and fold inside with him effectively outnumbering you.
  5. it gives you an a-gap play (FB) b-gap play (QB tuck) c-gap play (QB on option) and perimeter play (ball pitched) all in one scheme.
  6. Since there is no down block the play can effectively be run to a 2i with the fullback aspect still alive.
  1. The fullback must be deepened to 8-9 feet from the QB to allow the guard to gut around. This slows the play down some.
  2. With the fullback deeper (and slower hitting hole) and no guard downblock, you can have some hellacious collisions with a hard a gap move.
  3. The scheme itself takes a lot of work and is effective only vs a 4-3
  4. The guards technique takes a lot of work for one scheme vs. one defense
Even though I haven't run this (seen this) in years I thought it was worth exploring and somebody might be interested.

Friday, February 21, 2014

You don't get style points in football

Anybody who knows me understands that i am a voracious reader especially of anything football. They also know that I try to be as strategically sound and systematic in my play calling. These two things lead to this article.

"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."
Colin Powell

The problem that I've run into lately with my reading is the blurring of objectives. The burring ofthe strategical   overview with tactical decisions made during a game. The last time I checked the rule book - the only objective of the game is to win by outscoring the opponent. I've searched through the entire book and in no place do you get any style points. My problem is that in many coaches eyes I feel (according to their articles) they would rather be able to write a strategic article then win their games. 

The best principal I ever had gave me a great book years ago about goal setting and priorities. (I forget the name now although much of the content has stayed the course.) Basically it said is that you only could have one #1 priority and that ALL decisions eventually fell before this priority. Example if your #1 objective as a person was to move up - all your decisions would be first based on that. If your #1 priority was to be a moral person - those same decisions would be first based on the moral fabric and then if that fit based on moving up.

That asme is true in football. If your #1 goal is to prove a theory then in a game you might make the best decisions for your theory and not winning a game. A the reverse is true. In the majority of cases these too priorities often have the same best first choice but there are situations where what happens once the game starts makes decisions based on these two different priorities mutually exclusive.

Let me explain this with the following scenarios that are directly related to the flexbone. (I am sure that there is a crossover into other systems if one looked)

Scenario #1
The only reason for running the rocket is to answer stunts and blitzes on the first two phases of the triple,

The past two years I have had some very good talent - especially at halfback. One of our halfbacks won the 200 meters in the Eastern Finals. The other is almost as fast. We have run an inordinate #'s of rockets. In one game with our quarterback out and the defense basically saying - "you will give to the fullback or run the quarterback," we basically became a rocket team. We had 55 at the half  without an option quarterback. 

Now I'm not saying we were unsound - we were not outnumbered or out leveraged. It was just our best play given the time, opponent, and our personnel. If you went by the above statement - we should have ran triple and grinded it down the field, thus keeping the opponent in the game.

Scenario #2
The follow play is the best short yardage play in the offense. I've seen people say thats its the only short yardage play you need.

A college team was on espn - two years ago. In breaking down the game the option team had 4 3rd and shorts and 3 4th and shorts. Everyone they ran the follow but the last. Everyone the defense read and stuffed the follow play by outnumbering it after the snap. (any play can be stopped) Apparently the defense knew this play was "unstoppable" in theory also.  Might have lost the game on these 5 plays.

Scenario #3
I heard an option coach at a clinic say their #1 goal was to control the ball 60% of the clock. (Winning was #5 on the list.) This is a lil backward. The coach said they fought for this. They strived every game for this.  What happens if you break every play and the other team struggles but moves the ball. You might score 50 but never win the time of possession. Its easy to see that having this as your #1 goal is a false sense of priorities. Are your ball carriers suppose to fall down so you can run another play?

Scenario #4
There is an internet article I've seen on multiple sights stating that if you don't make the quarterback read out of stunts in a game you are "enabling him." (This article was sent to me so I have no idea how it originated nor am I trying to condemn the person who wrote it. As I've said many times, there are many ways to skin a cat!)

Just like any other triple team we start off with a base of reading our way out of stunts. However, if our quarterback cant do this in a given game (speed, angles, etc.) I am not going to lose the game to prove he can. Anyone who's heard me knows we have tags that can take this problem away. (loaded schemes, blocking half the stunt, etc.) I am not gonna lose the game to get to speak at a clinic.

Take this idea further. If you have a theory that all your players could swim naturally and threw them into a pool in order to prove it. If one of those players started drowning, would you let him drown to prove your theory. NO! you'd throw him a life vest. THROW YOUR QB a life vest. ENABLE your team to win.

There are many more scenarios that prove this theory. The point is, you have to have a great system based on sound theory, but once the game starts that theory is put on the back burner in the place of winning. If this was figure skating and you got style points I would agree with these pundits. However, it doesn't matter how it looks - I'll fix that later in practice - the one with the most points wins. (I'll work on reading back to back again next week!) So until that changes - I'll live by the same theory I often tell the kids "FIND A WAY TO WIN!" Although I love the flex, I'm not married to any theory or concept. If the only way I could win was with the "side saddle T" I'd run it. (Now there's a historical reference for you guys to look up - it really was an offense.)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

defying the myth of extra practice time and defending the flexbone

I came upon this older article on the effect of extra practice time on the flexbone. It really does a good statical job of debunking the myth and is a must read for all that run the offense. i've heard announcers falsely claiming this for years. now the facts are in

Dispelling the myth of extra practice time vs. the flexbone

A couple of quick thoughts came to my mind as to this "myth," its truth, and its effect on those that run the flexbone. this isn't earth shattering but it does show the feebleness of this argument.
  1. What defensive coordinator wouldn't want extra practice time against ANY offense. Defensive football is pattern (scheme) recognition and the more reps you have against ANY defense the better you are at defending it. It's not the offense - it's the essence of defense itself that causes any truth to this statement!
  2. The two biggest loses sighted by most announcers who bring this "myth" up are Paul Johnson against Iowa and LSU. Both those teams were stacked up front with future "pro" players. If you study the film, and I have, it was not the scheme but the ability of the defensive line to control the dive aspect of the triple and free up extra defenders to outnumber the defense on the perimeter. Did the extra time cause this mismatch - no. those players were better regardless of how many days they practiced.
  3. Along with the above statement comes the inability to of these specific offensive team to throw the ball in some of these loses. One thing the extra time does allow a defensive staff to do is to analyze better. More study means a more specific scheme based on what the offense can do rather then the one week they normally have to defend the entire "system." But this is true with any offense.
  4. The announcers who started this myth are products of ignorance. Due to a lack of knowledge in option football, they grope for answers for why these teams struggle at times. So they blame it on the time factor. What they fail to mention are the blowouts in favor of the option teams. Did the extra time have no affect. You can pick and chose events thats that support your basis while excluding the exact same circumstances (extra practice time in this case) affect a situation in directly opposing results. (That is unless you are an ESPN announcer!) What about Navy running up and down the field this year? What happened to the extra time? Or a game I remember in the 80's where Air Force totally dominated on offense against a superior Ohio State team only to lose in the last minute.The proponents of this myth casually exclude these types of games.
  5. Another factor that is not taken into account is that, theoretically, bowl games are a reward for being good - so instead of the time being a factor you might want to blame it on the other team just be better competition then one is use to playing!
Just some random thoughts off from the usual X's and O's
Finally, some coaches are just plan bad in bowl games, regaardless of the offense. Bo Schemblecher's bowl record was awlful at one point. can one deduce that the I-formation is poor with a defense having extra practice time.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Speaking this week

Just a reminder I will be speaking this week at the Nike Clinic in AC. Looking forward to meeting everybody

Thursday, January 23, 2014

should one use a tightened part II the why nots!

The following is a excerpt from my new book on running the triple option. The book should be published by mid February and will be over 300 pages.

Disadvantages of using a tightend
1. You don’t have a tightend or are loaded with wide receivers. This is the reverse of #9 above. Again, a great coach gets the most out of his talent. There is nothing wrong with playing your best players. Still given the advantages of a three-man surface, I would always have an avenue to run this flank. Whether it is going with tackle-over or teaching one of those wide outs to play the position. I would always include the possibility in my arsenal.
2.  It constricts the formation. Okay so I said this was an advantage before, how is it be a disadvantage now? With the ball in the middle or with college hashes there is some value is forcing the defense to play the entire width and depth of the field.
3. The tightend flank can become very cloudy at times. Because of the extra gap and the contrasted flanks the number of defensive looks you may get here can grow proportionately. Additionally, in an effort to keep constant option responsibilities with the non-tightend side, the defensive coordinator will often “fudge” his looks creating recognition problems for the quarterback. This is why I think you need the ability to get out of tightend formations along with the ability to get into tightend ones.
4. Tightend flanks have to be practiced and, therefore, increase practice time or decrease reps to other packages. This is 100% correct. You as a coach have to weigh the plusses and negatives here.
5. It makes the quarterback learn a whole new flank recognition. This is another truism. Again, however, we try to keep all our tightend flank plays as consistent as possible but there is additional teaching for the quarterback.
6. It does not make for a purely symmetrical system since the looks are different. Most people like the double width look because it is easier to find the best side. Both sides look the same to the defense, so any change in structure is easy to see and check accordingly. With the tightend flank being recognized differently, the quarterback must process both flanks differently and then analyze. It is important for one to remember though that it’s still 5 ½ to each side and the defense only has 11 to align and play with.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Should one use a tightend or not PART I the why's

The following is a excerpt from my new book on running the triple option. The book should be published by mid February and will be over 300 pages.

A lot of debate has occurred by proponents of this style of offense whether to use a tightend or not. We have always included a tightend in our package although the percentage of use has changed radically in any given year. This past year we were well over 70% with a tightend while at Truman we were about 40%. In some years, the number has dipped as low as 10%. That is the beauty of the triple it’s not flank restrictive. So, you can adapt it to your personnel and defenses you see.

Although we will cover the play of the triple to a three-man surface, we will not tell you if you need a tightend or not. I do think you need some sort of three man surface as a part of your offense by you can accomplish this by using a tightend or going tackles over. Rather I will just list the advantages of using and not using a tightend in the offense. The choice is totally yours. (You will note that some of these are unique to the high school level. Although I would and have incorporated a tightend while running this at the division III level, the need would greatly diminish due to the horizontal structure of the field.


Advantages of using a tightend

  1. In certain defenses, a tightend can set the structure of the defense. This simply means that you can safely predict where the 3 and the 1 technique will be aligned. Additionally, you can set the one technique to the field to give you the best angles when running the triple. If you re double width, you will usually get the 3 technique to the field. If you cannot handle him, you are forced to run the triple to the short side. Although not as limited with college hashes, in high school you simple lose the threat of a breakaway on the pitch due to the constrictive nature of that side of the field.
  2. A tightend will better define the overhang fold player for the midline tuck play. Although we are strictly limiting this book to the triple, you must include the entire offense when deciding if you should incorporate a tightend or not. The fold player that will occasionally be a problem with the midline tuck player will be defined and accounted for by the additional gap added with the tightend.
  3. A tightend will move handoff keys, especially stacks, further away from the quarterback. In 4 man fronts, the read is simply moved further away from the mesh. Since time and distance are all processes of the quarterbacks read process, this makes if an easier read for the quarterback. (An offshoot of this is the opening up of the fullback game. With the big splits and the read further removed, the read key may not be able to get to the fullback or his angle that has changed may not place him in a position to tackle the fullback.)
  4. It lengthens the backside of the option. You can chase the option down from the backside. This is especially true on the midline where the quarterback actually steps toward the chaser. By adding a tightend, the backside chaser is wider and also has to deal with a whole realm of other possibilities in scheme. This is also true on play-action passes where you can, by call, add a blocker to keep from being outnumbered.
  5. You are constricting the flank to the boundary. This goes along with the problems of running the triple into a high school boundary. By constricting the defense, you have a greater chance of “circling” the defense quickly. This in turn gives the pitch more space to work in.
  6. You have a bigger body to load block #2. As I stated before, we are a multiple triple option team. We like to change defensive assignments and dictate to the defense who carries the ball. We rarely, if ever, like to load #2 with a halfback when #2 is on the line of scrimmage. This simply doesn’t go with our philosophy of putting the most speed on the field at these positions. Now, with a tightend, we feel we can evenly match #2.
  7. By nature some defenses are forced to change structure due to the flank or an extra gap caused by the tightend. Take a college 4-3. In a non-tightend flank, the end can take dive and the outside linebacker quarterback pretty easily. Add a tightend. If their base was a college 4-3 (6 or 9 technique with a c-gap linebacker, their option assignments change. If the end stays on the dive, the linebacker will be sealed in as part of the “box.” (He is inside the handoff key) who takes quarterback. Option assignment changes or the defense goes to a 7 technique and keeps their stack and option concepts. But the 7 technique is not part of their base, the stack has been removed from the mesh, and the angle / footwork for the read key has changed.
    The same occurs with secondary support. If in the above scenario, the secondary is aligned 4 across to double width and rotating for support on motion (a common scenario), they now have to corner support to the tightend, not only changing option assignments but forcing a much quicker rotation for the corner to take deep 1/3 on action away. This sets up all sorts of other problems for the defense.
    (I know you can come up with multiple scenarios as to how to handle these adjustments but the key here is time and making the defense think and change option assignments. How many times have you heard or read how tough it is to prepare for the triple in one week. Just by incorporating the triple you have multiplied their teaching.)
  8. It creates leverage and space for certain passing patterns. Again high school hashes play a factor here. Forced to roll up the corner a safety is quickly outflanked by a tightend running a corner pattern and has the space to work it. There are other patterns that this is true on also.
  9. Because you have one. Probably the simplest but most realistic reason to use one. A good coach gets the most out of his talent. If you have a good tightend and convert him to tackle, shame on you. Additionally, you don’t need a huge tightend to be successful. Usually, he will be sealing linebackers and blocking safeties. At times, we have converted a bigger split end to play this position getting more players on the field.  At ideal times, we’ve had a player who can play tight and split out. This creates enormous stress on the defense.
  10. The use of a tightend is further conducive to formational structure including shifting. Unlike most true triple teams, we will shift the tightend to create further conflicts in the defensive structure. Shifting does a number of things. First it forces the defense to restructure itself and as a result change its option responsibilities. It a player was a 1, not only we he have to shift but he has to remember his option assignments. This also has the added effect of slowing down great defensive linemen. Rather than teeing off in the three, he has to be ready to get up and slide his position with the shift. Shift two or three times in a row then come off the ball. I guarantee you that three technique gets run over.
    Taking it another step, if you get good at it, you can reset the defense and create personnel mismatches. If you have a great nose in a shade and you can’t run the triple to him (it happens), flip the tightend and he is the three. You are running the triple to the a-gap player (ideal angles) and have dictated who that is.
    Understand, we are not looking for poor defensive adjustment although that happens occasionally. Most good teams will adapt with the shift. We are looking for personnel advantages and slowing down the defense. Remember, the more they have to think, the greater the chance for misreads by the defense. With that, the greater the defensive adjustment (more people moving or they are moving a greater distance) the more we will continue to shift.
Tomorrow the Why Not's