n behalf of Texas Christian University,Head Coach Gary Patterson, and theentire offensive coaching staff, I would liketo say that it is a great honor and privilegeto be included as a contributing member tothe
2003 AFCASummer Manual
Throughout the course of my coachingcareer, I have been fortunate enough tohave extensive exposure to the option fromseveral great football minds. This exposurebegan with my father who worked underBill Yeoman at the University of Houstonduring the time that the split back veer wasfirst designed and introduced into collegefootball.I was next allowed the privilege of work-ing for 11 years under the tutelage ofDennis Franchione (currently the headcoach at Texas A&M University) who hassuccessfully used the option at seven dif-ferent schools. It is necessary that I men-tion these names to you because it isessentially many of their ideas that I haveadopted and am sharing with you today.
There are four main reasons that Ibelieve in the option and have chosen it tobe a staple of TCU’s offensive attack. Firstof all, it is a unique play. It is something thatallows our offense to be different, and itforces the defense to prepare for some-thing that they do not see every week.Next, the option provides us a simple wayto deal with a blitzing defense.The option has become an active part ofour blitz menu and, as a result, has greatlyreduced the amount of blitzes that we see.Third, it forces a defense to play assign-ment-oriented football on every snap.Finally, it allows us a way to attack theperimeter while eliminating one criticalblock at the point of attack.
Throughout my career and continuinghere at TCU, I have been a big believer inthe double option. Here at TCU, we haveimplemented a way to build the doubleoption so that it complements our insidezone, another staple of our offense. It isalso a play that does not require asdemanding a time investment as the otherforms of the option, such as the inside veer.Thus, we can avoid becoming one-dimen-sional and can still focus on developing theother facets of our offense.
While there are different forms of thedouble option (loaded option), and whilethese different forms can be run out ofmany formations, backfield sets andmotions, the focus of this article will be onrunning the Lead Option out of a one-back,four-wide out, balanced formation.When I talk about the Lead Option, I amreferring to the double option (quarterbackpitch or keep) where we read the five-tech-nique as our pitch key. We run this play fortwo primary reasons. First, it provides us away to diversify our offense with play thatcomplements our inside zone scheme.Second, the Lead Option allows us toattack the perimeter without blocking thefive-technique, which is generally one ofthe defense’s better players.
Teaching the Lead OptionQuarterback:
To run the Lead Option, weask our quarterback to first identify the pitchkey. It is crucial that he understands he is onlyto pitch the ball off of this defender. Pitchingoff of another defender can compromise theplay and can lead to negative yardage. Anexample of this would be pitching off of a line-backer who has run through a gap. This
would allow the pitch key, who is unblocked,to run free and prematurely tackle the pitchman behind the line of scrimmage.The next point of emphasis for the quar-terback is his footwork. He will reverse outtaking his first steps (working off the clock)at six o’clock, seven o’clock and pivot (thefirst two steps are identical to our insidezone play). The pivot should bring theshoulder pads around until they aresquared to the pitch key. Now the quarter-back should attack, using the pitch key’sinside shoulder as his aiming point.By attacking the inside shoulder, we areforcing the pitch key to make a decision totake either the quarterback or the pitch.The quarterback must be prepared to runthe football if the five-technique has com-mitted himself to the quarterback, then thequarterback will attack hard enough to
TCU Option Attack