Spread Option Offense Manual

(Utopia ID: SweaterVest09 / PSN ID: blueponcho)

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Contents
Introduction
- Personnel

(Page 3)

Formations - Base Formations (Pages 5-9) Defensive Fronts
- 4-3 Front (Page 11) - 3-4 Front (Page 12) - 3-3-5 Front (Page 13) - 4-2-5 Front (Page 14) - 5-2 Front (Page 15) - 4-4 Front (Page 16) - 46 Bear Front (Page 17) - Nickel Front (Page 18) - Dime Front (Page 19) - Quarters Front (Page 20)

Defensive Coverages
- Cover 0 (Pages 22-23) - Cover 1 (Pages 24-25) - Cover 2 (Pages 26-27) - Cover 3 (Pages 28-29) - Cover 4 (Pages 30-31) Reads (Not option run play reads) - Pre-Snap (Pages 33-34) - Post-Snap (Pages 36)

Run Game
- Zone (Pages 39-43) - Choice (Pages 44-52)

Passing Game - Blocking Schemes (Page 56)
- Quick Series (Pages 58-61) - Play Action Series (Pages 63-65) - Stretch Concepts (Pages 67-76) - Screen Series (Pages 77-80)

Conclusion
- 1-Minute Drill (Pages 83-84) - Goal Line Situations (Page 85) - No Huddle Offense (Page 85) - Notes on the Spread Option Offense (Page 86)

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The Spread Option Offense
In any version of the spread offense, you are looking to spread the field vertically and horizontally, you want to make defenders play in space, create cut back lanes, and give your athletes room to go make plays. It also fully incorporates the quarter back into your offense, there is no play in the spread format where the quarter back hands it off and steps out of the way, he’s always making presnap reads, carrying out fakes, running the ball, or throwing the ball. He is also apart of the blocking scheme now as well, because his read will eliminate the backside defensive end from the play on choice running plays, making the end account for the quarterback and running back on any given play. The spread offense allows you to put together route combinations that forces them into man coverage, and then take off on an option play or with a quarter back draw, leaving them dangerously exposed, because in man coverage the defenders backs will be turned, and they will only be rushing four to six players up field, creating only one layer of run defense. In this format of the spread we are a balanced offensive team, we want to have as many runs as passes. We look to use audiles to adjust the play to the defense’s alignment, and call plays accordingly. Out of our base run the play can either break to the right or left with a read on the end, totally flipping the defensive pursuit. We want to go through the air exposing the defense, using route combinations to expose coverage’s and mismatches, and use quick 3 step drop routes to bring the defense back up. After we have established our passing attack, to the point where they need 5-6 defensive backs on the field, we want to run the ball, using option plays to create confusion on who has the ball, and to make sure we don’t run into a bad situation. This whole offense is built on choice, everything from the passing combinations where we target one defender to read, quick series throws where we can use hot routes to adjust to the defense’s alignment and coverage, to the zone read, speed option, and jet sweep plays where we can read the defense and choose where the ball should go. When we execute correctly, we should be able to score on every play we call, no exceptions. This isn’t really a “playbook” per-say, I think it’s a waste of time to catalog plays and put them on a sheet, it’s just not practical for a video game, you can’t scout your opponent ahead of time, and you don’t get a lot of time to scan a call sheet. This guide lays out the philosophy of the offense, it should have all the concepts and everything that you won’t run into anything you can’t combat, and so that you can read this over, analyze what they’re doing, and react accordingly, because people are predictable, and you can exploit that. If you understand how to apply these concepts, I see no reason why you shouldn’t win every game you play.

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Personnel
Quarterback: Think Troy Smith; they need to have a balance in their abilities, but be able to perform both the passes and runs needed by this offense. If you can’t find the ideal man, go with a passer, because NCAA 09 is tailored towards the pass, and you can get by with an Air Raid style. Look for 88+ ratings in their passing skill, and 85+ in the running ability. Running Back: Typically I look for a Reggie Bush type; you want them to have great speed, to take advantage of your option game to shorten the time they have to decide who to tackle, and on passing routes so he can outrun safeties and backers to the corner on flare patterns. Look for 93+ in the running ability ratings. Wide Receivers: I like to have small, very quick guys at this position. Think Desean Jackson here, you want a guy who has the quickness to burn his guy on the quick series. Height helps, but overall you need quickness and speed over strength and ability. Tight Ends: Think Kellen Winslow I like to have good speed here, 85+ guys work really well. I tend to throw to my tight ends a lot so they need good hands as well. I am not overly concerned with blocking ability; I see it as an added bonus. Offensive line: I prefer mobility over brute strength. I like to have a faster breed of tackles to be able to pull on the wrap and stretch plays, but he should be able to hold his own in pass coverage. My guards are usually around the 300 pound mark, this is your anchor. My centers fall in the same mold as my guards.

- Be Patient! You can always come back, and I’ve had opponents fall asleep on me before, stick to your plan, you will succeed in the end. - Stick to this offense if you’re going to use it, it takes a while to map out your playbook in your, and to figure out which formations has the best plays to set up your combinations. - Don’t forget about the run! I know the pass is there the whole game, but if you can control the ball, it will demoralize your opponent, and they may begin to panic earlier, in which case you have the game won. - Use motion! Mix up your formations, you can shift into trips, it will be exactly like the trips formation in your playbook, but your opponent will most likely not pick that up, and you can contain to expose their defense. - Happy reading and good luck! I hope my playbook can help you become great players.

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Formations

Spread Option Offense Manual 5 I use 4 and 5 wide sets mostly, and I use trips sets almost 100% of the time to help me pre-read the coverage, these are all of the relevant formations out of the Missouri playbook I use.

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Defensive Fronts

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4-3 Defensive Front
I. Theory
The 4-3 defense has 4 down lineman and 3 backers, with 2 safeties over the top, and 2 corners, usually pressed up on the receiver. The front is tailor made for the Cover 2 system.

II. Strengths
It allows you to have two deep safeties, and run the Cover 2 look to defend against the pass. Also has a variety of Dog blitzes and line stunts.

III. Weakness
It only has 7 defenders in the box to defend against the run, and linebackers are usually forced to play man against slot or running backs Vulnerable to: Outside run game, Option. Open gaps: Weak side B gap, Strong side A

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3-4 Defensive Front
I. Theory
The 3-4 Defense has 3 down lineman and 4 linebackers, with 2 corners and 2 deep safeties. This front is more often used for its Cover 3 capabilities, but it can be used for cover 1, allowing a disguise of which of the linebackers is going to be sent on the blitz.

II. Strengths
It allows you to have two deep safeties, run Cover 2 or Cover 3 effectively, and utilize a multitude linebacker stunts, much more than the 4-3.

III. Weakness
It only has 7 defenders in the box to defend against the run, the linebackers are usually forced to play man against slot or running backs, and there is only 3 down lineman, making it very weak at the POA. Vulnerable to: Counter/Pulling Lineman Run game, Option Open Gaps: Opposite the Nose tackles angle, or both A gaps if there’s no slant

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3-3-5 Defensive Front
I. Theory
The 3-3-5 Defense, sometimes referred to as the “odd stack”, with 3 lineman, 3 linebackers, 1 free safety, 2 corners, and 2 strong safeties, is a very unique defense, it allows you to put 8 men up in the box, and run very effective passing coverage’s as well

II. Strengths
It allows you to have one deep safety to take away the middle of the field, 2 strong safeties to take away the flats, and 3 backers over the middle. Can apply lots of pressure without sacrificing their pass coverage, or vice-versa.

III. Weakness
Its weakness is that it gives away what it’s going to do, and you can adjust accordingly, if it’s a zone, their best move before snap is to pinch the line, and if it’s a blitz, the free safety will have to move up and take someone. Vulnerable to: Gives defensive call away, Deep hash, Power run game Open Gaps: A gaps, or opposite the nose tackles angle

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4-2-5 Defensive Front
I. Theory
The 4-2-5 defensive front allows you to have safeties up for run support, and still enabling them to drop back into pass coverage. It has 2 linebackers, 2 strong safeties, 2 corners, and 1 deep safety.

II. Strengths
It can have the safeties move up to make an 8 man front, or drop back into pass coverage in a tight zone coverage. Can apply lots of pressure without sacrificing their pass coverage, or vice-versa.

III. Weakness
Its weakness is that it gives away what its going to do, and you can adjust accordingly, if it’s a zone, their best move before snap is to pinch the line, and if it’s a blitz, the free safety will have to move up and take someone. Vulnerable to: Gives defensive call away, Deep hash, Power run game Open Gaps: Weak side B, Strong side A

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5-2 Defensive Front
I. Theory
The 5-2 defensive front is a variation on the 3-4 defensive front, it brings the two hybrid linebackers up to the line of scrimmage in a defensive end role. It has 2 deep safeties and 2 corners. This front is used a lot for cover 2, and a multitude of zone blitzes, where lineman drop back into coverage.

II. Strengths
It allows you to plug up the line of scrimmage at the POA, and have a player in great position to cover the running backs going out into the flats. The alignment fits right into the cover 2 scheme. And has plenty of zone blitzes, where lineman drop back into coverage, under the QB’s view.

III. Weakness
Its weakness is that it does not have an adequate amount of linebackers to pursue backside and contain the quarter backs. It also is in trouble if the backs run any route deeper than a flare. Vulnerable to: Option, Quick flats. Open gaps: B gap opposite of the defensive lines slant

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4-4 Defensive Front
I. Theory
The 4-4 defensive front moves 8 players up into the box. It is not heavy on effective pass coverage’s. It has one deep safety, and 2 corners on the edges.

II. Strengths
It allows you to load up against the run, and contain the inside and outside, with two OLB’s to contain, and 6 players inside to load up on the inside. The OLB’s can cover the flats very effectively.

III. Weakness
It does not allow you to cover the pass very well, with only one deep safety and 8 players in the box. Vulnerable to: Passing Game. Open Gaps: Weak side B, Strong side A

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46 Bear Defensive Front
I. Theory
This defense puts 4 down lineman, and 3 linebackers up at the line, along with this, is a hybrid safety (Monster Back) up near the line.

II. Strengths
This defense allows you to throw unorthodox looks at the offense, and is loaded up against the run, great goal line formation. Allows you to bring lots of pressure through blitzes.

III. Weakness
The defense does not allow you to drop a lot of players back into coverage, and chances are, you can only run zone in this defense. Vulnerable to: Passing game, sweeps Open gaps: B gap opposite of the defensive lines angle

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Nickel Defensive Front
I. Theory
This is a defensive front with 4 down lineman (With the exception of Nickel 3-35) and 2 linebackers, with 3 defensive backs up on receivers, and 2 deep safeties.

II. Strengths
This defense allows you to keep 4 defensive lineman to apply some pressure, 2 linebackers to play zones in the middle, and 3 defensive backs playing up to a good coverage player on the slots or backs. Allows you to blitz faster defensive backs from the secondary, and disguises your blitzes.

III. Weakness
The defense does not apply a lot of force at the POA, and is very vulnerable to the running game. Vulnerable to: Inside/Power Run game, Option Open gaps: Weak side B, Strong side A

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Dime Defensive Front
I. Theory
This is a prevent type defense, it has 4 down lineman, 1 linebacker, 4 defensive backs, and 2 deep safeties.

II. Strengths
It has heavy coverage on all passing areas, and you can play man or zone easily. Allows you to blitz faster defensive backs from the secondary, and disguises your blitzes.

III. Weakness
Has very little up to support on running plays. Vulnerable to: Run Game, Option Open gaps: Weak side B, Strong side A

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Quarters Defensive Front
I. Theory
This is a prevent type defense, it has 3 down lineman, 1 linebacker, 4 defensive backs, and 3 deep safeties.

II. Strengths
It has heavy coverage on all passing areas, and you can play man or zone easily. Allows you to blitz faster defensive backs from the secondary, and disguises your blitzes.

III. Weakness
Has very little up to support on running plays. Vulnerable to: Run Game, Option Open Gaps: Opposite the Nose tackles angle, or both A gaps if there’s no slant

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Defensive Coverages

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Cover 0
I. Theory
Cover zero is a full man coverage with no deep safety over the top, accompanied by a blitz from either the linebackers, corners, or safeties. Usually has 5 or 6 rushers.

II. Strengths
The strength of Cover 0 is that they are playing man on all backs and receivers, and can rush up to 6 players, utilizing dogs or twists to confuse the protection of the QB.

III. Weakness
The weakness of Cover 0 is that there is no deep safety to help on inside routes, and having linebackers man against faster slot receivers or running backs.

IV. Variations
A. Bump and Run – The corners will get up to the line against receivers to disrupt their routes and timing B. Press – The corners will play 3-4 yards off, in a bump and run look, to cause the quarter back to make a misread on the coverage.

V. Coaching Point
Most man coverage is well disguised, they will try to hide it by using shifts, or doing other things to distract you from your reads. The defenders will take an inside position to try to take away inside routes. Before the snap in this coverage the safeties will either slide up to cover a receiver or come up as a linebacker to blitz. One or two deep safeties.

VI. Read Keys
- Players showing blitz - A defender lined up across each of your eligible receivers - Linebackers coming out of the box to cover receivers.

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Cover 1
I. Theory
Cover 1 is coverage where there is a free safety in the middle of the field, providing over the top coverage help on middle routes. The coverage could be accompanied by a blitz from the linebackers or defensive backs. Usually has 5 pass rushers

II. Strengths
The strength of cover one is playing man on all the backs on safeties, and having a free safety over the top to help on post routes. The defense also has the ability to bring more than 4 rushers on dogs, twists, and stunts.

III. Weakness
The weakness of Cover one is that linebackers are man on the running backs or slots.

IV. Variations
A. Bump and Run: The corners will get up to the line against receivers to disrupt their routes and timing B. Press: The corners will play 3-4 yards off, in a bump and run look, to cause the quarter back to make a misread on the coverage.

V. Coaching Point
There will only be one deep safety in this coverage, so if there are 2 deep safeties in the initial alignment, one of them should either align up to cover a receiver, or creep up for a blitz.

VI. Read Keys
- One deep safety - Pressed corners - Linebackers sliding out to cover slot receivers

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Cover 2
I. Theory
Cover 2 is a zone coverage. It has 7 players playing in zones, the linebackers and cornerbacks take the underneath zones, and the two deep zones are occupied by the safeties. The corners will try to funnel the receivers inside, also applying a slight jam to allow players to get to their zones.

II. Strengths
It allows quick response to underneath routes, allows the defenders to stay square and towards the quarterback, making scramble less deadly.

III. Weakness
The deep middle and outside routes are open, and is subject to many route combinations aimed at one zone player. The gap between flat and hook player.

IV. Variations
A. Invert: The strong corner goes up to play a half while the strong safety plays the flat C. Tag: Underneath defenders play man on the receivers

V. Coaching Point
You want to throw in between the outside linebackers and corners, and then in between the two deep safeties for easy completions, don’t take too long and let the zone shift around, make your throws quick.

VI. Read Keys
- Free floating corners, not on any particular receiver - Two deep safeties - Uncovered slot receivers

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Cover 3
I. Theory
Cover 3 is a zone coverage, it has 3 deep safeties and 4 underneath defenders, one of the corners will act as the 3rd deep safety, it can rotate to the strong or weak side safety based on the call.

II. Strengths
The strength of Cover 3 is that it has 3 deep safeties.

III. Weakness
The weakness is there are only 4 underneath defenders, leaving the quick series and weak side flat/hook curl zone exposed

IV. Variations
A. Cloud: The strong side corner plays as if in a cover 2 look, he jams, and takes the flat, and a linebacker/Defensive back slides over to play over the top. B. Tag: Underneath defenders play man on the receivers C. Bail: Strong side corner presses up, then sprints back to play a deep third.

V. Coaching Point
The quick game and short zones are left open, also, on the strong side, or where the corner has a deep third, fade routes are open if your receiver can beat the corner there.

VI. Read Keys
- One deep safety - Free floating corners - Uncovered slot receivers

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S Hook M
Flat

Deep 1/3

F

C
Deep 1/3

Hook

P

C
Flat

C
Deep 1/3

E

N

T

E

QB

(NOTE: Dead center of the field, directly in front of the QB and in front of the deep safety is also open but not pictured. Don’t throw to the hash against Cover 3)

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Cover 4
I. Theory
Cover 4 is a read zone coverage, where the defenders read the routes of the offensive players to determine the strong side roll (The backside roll is the corner, sprinting back, which puts him at a disadvantage, which is why they roll to the strength.)

II. Strengths
The strength of Cover 4 is having 4 deep safeties, also allows the safeties to be very active in run support.

III. Weakness
The weakness of Cover 4 is that the linebackers will be reading receivers, trying to cover backs, and drop into their zone.

IV. Variations
A. Bail: Corners press up at the snap, and bail back to their zone/assignment at the snap.

V. Coaching Point
Play action gives the linebackers problems in making their reads, throws off the roll and opens up the middle. Backside is vulnerable to a post/wheel route combination

VI. Read Keys
- Corners backed off - No safety comes down at the snap

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Deep 1/4

S

Short 1/4

F

S
Deep 1/4

Short 1/4

C

Deep 1/4

C

Short 1/4

M N

Deep 1/4

C

Short 1/4

C

E

E

QB

Hook Hook Flat

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Pre-Snap Reads

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Equating Numbers
We equate numbers to determine if we have a good play called for that situation. Equating numbers is simply subtracting the amount of defenders in the box from the amount of blockers you have (This includes the quarterbacks read in plays where this applies). Take a look at the diagrams below.

In this first picture there are 6 blockers (Including the QB’s read) and 7 players in the box, this comes out to -1, and we do not want to run in this situation. When the box players out number your blockers, you want to throw the ball. The next diagram comes out even, and in this situation we want to run, because no one will be left unblocked. And the final diagram shows a +1 situation, where you want to run the ball, because you have a blocker to spare.

Reading Pressure
Reading pressure is the second step of your coverage reads. When trying to identify blitzers pre snap look for players feigning it, then check to see if they are on a receiver (Probably fake), or if they are just floating(Probably real). If it’s man coverage, and there are 2 defenders that appear to be on one man, one of them is a Blitzer.

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Reading Coverage’s
Pre-Snap Reads - Check to see if all of your receivers are covered, if it’s trips and everyone is covered its man coverage, if they are not look to the weak safety. 1. If the weak safety is low – check other coverage keys for “Cover 0”[Blitzers, all receivers accounted for]. 2. If the weak safety is high – check other coverage keys for “Cover 1” [All receivers accounted for] or “Cover 3” [Corners deep pre snap, uncovered receivers, more backers in the box than running backs] 3. If there are 2 safeties and they are both low – check other coverage keys for “Cover 0” [All receivers accounted for, blitzers] 4. If there are 2 safeties and they are both high – check other coverage keys for “Cover 2”[Uncovered receivers, more backers inside than running backs, corners pressed up], “Cover 2/Man”[All receivers accounted for], or “Cover 4” (1/4’s) [Corners deep pre snap]. 5. If there are 2 safeties and they are staggered – check other coverage keys for “Cover 1/Robber” [All receivers accounted for] or “Cover 3” [Corners deep pre snap, uncovered receivers, more backers in the box than running backs].

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Post-Snap Reads

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Reading Coverage’s
Post-Snap Reads (“Reading the square”): One of the most important areas in determining secondary coverage’s is the middle of the field about 15 to 25 yards deep and about 2 yards inside of each hash. We call this area the “square”. We normally read the “square” in our drop back passing game. Reading the “square” becomes necessary when it is impossible to determine what the coverage is before the snap or to make sure of secondary coverage after the snap. In reading the “square” the QB simply looks down the middle of the field. He should not focus on either Safety but see them both in his peripheral vision.

If neither Safety shows up in the “square”, and both are deep, it will indicate a form of Cover 2. A quick check of Corner alignment and play will indicate whether it is a 2/Man or 2/Zone. If neither Safety shows up in the “square” and both are shallow, it will indicate a Cover 0 (blitz look). If the Strong Safety shows up in the “square”, this will indicate a Cover 3 rolled weak or possibly a Cover 1. If the Weak Safety shows up in the “square”, this will indicate a strong side coverage. It could be a Cover 3 or a Cover 1. If the coverage is Cover 3, it could be a Cover 3/Sky (Safety), or a Cover 3/Cloud (Corner), depending on who has the short zone.

NOTE: When either of the Safeties shows up in the “square”, the best percentage area to throw the ball in is the side that he came from! If NEITHER of the Safeties show up in the “square” – throwing the ball into the “square” is a high percentage throw

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Running Game

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Spread Running Game
The base running game is more important to this offense than you may think, this is not a total option offense, even though it’s the main part. The base running game allows you to use quick hitters to get quick yards, because more likely than not they will attempt to read who your giving the ball to in a choice situation. It also sets up well blocked plays for the QB to get good yardage, because these plays use all 11 players on the field, unlike pro style sets, where the QB is excluded in the running game. The base run package consists of 3 major parts, choice plays, zone plays, and QB keeps. Outside zone plays refers to any play where the aiming point of the running back in the play art is outside of the tackle, I like to adjust this and say your aiming point is one yard outside the tight end (No tight end you say? Imagine where he would be, and then gauge your aim point). Generally your going to cut up field against the first defender to over pursue, but sometimes this just doesn’t occur, so you may end up taking it way outside and eventually veering your way up field, with your path looking like that of a HB wheel route. The inside zone plays are ones where your aiming point is inside the furthest lineman from the center (No, X Receivers do not count). These mostly hit the B gap and are effective to power ahead, it also includes counter runs, but since it’s a much different looking play, we separated the sections. QB Draw plays are inside zone’s run by the quarterback. And finally the jet sweep, where a receiver motions and the ball is snapped as he passes the QB, where the QB hands it off, and he runs it around the corner. Unfortunately there really isn’t too much choice when running a base play, the only thing you can do is cut the box in half (Line going vertically over the ball) and equate numbers from there, or look for support players and run away from them.

What’s Covered in This Section Zone Run Plays
Inside Zone / Draw / QB Draw / Jet Sweep

Choice Run Plays
Zone Read / Speed Option / QB Slot Option / Triple Option / WR Motion Option / Speed Option / WR Option / Speed Option Counter / Jet Sweep QB Wrap

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Zone Run Plays

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Concept of the Inside Zone run play

This is only effective when they are in man coverage, because it moves all but one of the backers out of the box. Key the backer, and do not hold the sprint button until you choose a path. Read his angle, and look to go to the gap he leaves open, and if you go wide to the off tackle lane, be ready for the safety flying up.

Steps to running the Zone run play:
1.) Check for man coverage. Do not run this play against zone 2.) Slide protect to the side you are running 3.) Key the backer at the snap, if he slides over to the middle, cut back to where he came from, if he fills his gap, cut directly up field, and if neither is open stretch it to the backside off tackle lane and be ready for the safety coming up. 4.) Once you hit the seam, it’s up to you and your stick skills

Notes
Most times, the play that uses this concept will not have this name, and never appears like this in the play art. An inside zone run play is a run play where your aim point is the play side B gap, and thanks to the variety (lack there of) of blocking schemes in this game, you can turn any hand off from shotgun in the game into an inside zone run play.

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Concept of the Draw run play

This is a great play against zone or man. Since this is a passing offense, this is a key play to keep them honest. Key the backer again at the start of the play, but this time look to see if he drops into a zone, stays where he is, or blitzes. If he drops in a zone, just get the ball and take it through the open gap, if he stays at home, try and break your path to the other side of the line, take an off tackle path, and if he blitzes, look for a safety playing man on the RB, if there is nothing, just take off through the open gap and start running.

Steps to running the Draw run play:
1.) Check for man or zone coverage, if man, key the backer, if zone, key the box players as a whole. 2.) Slide protect to the side you are running. 3.) If it’s man, watch the linebacker, if he stays at home, he’s keying you so run away from him, if he blitzes, he’s given up his responsibility for you, try and bend your run to where he came from, because it should be open. If it’s zone, run through the open gap in the line. 4.) After you hit the seam, it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the QB Draw

This is a great play against man or zone. This is a nice way to counter when the defense goes into a Quarters defense, or a man out of Nickel/Dime. At the snap of the ball observe the holes in the line, do not run up the middle at the snap, let the QB drift back before you begin running up the middle. Pretty simple play, just find the hole and run.

Steps to running the QB Draw:
1.) Check for man or zone coverage, if man, key the backer, if zone, key the box players as a whole. 2.) At the snap don’t touch the sticks, let the QB drop back 3.) Find the open gap and check the backers, if they are out in man just run through the first open gap, if it’s zone check to see which gap he fills and avoid him. 4.) Once you hit the seam, it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the Jet Sweep

This is the only outside zone run play in the shotgun set. You’re going to want to mix in a lot of the play action Jet Sweep plays because you can see this play coming a mile away, thanks to the motion, and lack of useful passing plays utilizing this motion. After the hand off, I first check to the off tackle lane, and then continue outside if it’s not open.

Steps to running the Jet Sweep:
1.) Press the snap button to begin the receiver motion 2.) Once you receive the ball, check up the middle, if it’s open take it, if it’s not continue to bounce it until you see a hole 3.) Once you hit the seam, it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Choice Run Plays

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Concept of the Zone Read

This play is very simple, and it’s a “low-risk” option play, because there is no pitch involved (in the base play). Here the idea is that you are going to read the backside defensive end, you’re reading whether he comes up field to attack the QB, or if he pursues the RB on the handoff. If he attacks the QB, then hand the ball off, and if he pursues the running back keep the ball with the quarterback.

Steps to running the Zone Read play:
1.) Check for man coverage, do not run this play against zone. 2.) Slide protect to the side that the running back is going 3.) Call a hot route to bluff them into thinking your calling a slant route (not mandatory, mix it up so they don’t start guessing it’s a run and then blow this up) 4.) Read the backside defensive end at the snap, if he bows out at all at the snap, hand it off, if he runs in at the snap, keep it with the QB, and make sure you take a very steep path to the line of scrimmage. 5.) Once you have decided where the ball is going, attack the B gap to the side that you are running, check to the backer first, if he is closing in on a gap, cut back on him or find another seam inside (Bouncing it is a last resort, don’t even bother bouncing if you don’t have a track star running it, your better taking your chances with the highlight stick on the backer in the event that there are no free gaps. And unless your QB #15 for Florida or QB#10 for Washington do not try to run over the linebacker). 6.) After you hit the seam, it’s all up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the QB Slot Option

This is a variation of the Zone Read play, this helps throw in another little hitch for this play, and prevents players from loading up the middle of the box, and helps you get the run wide in this game. It’s the same principle as the zone read for part one of the play, read the backside end and react. From here it turns into a classic Triple Option read, where you will read the support player and his reaction. His read is much easier to make than the defensive end, because no one will bother to block him this time. Do not pitch late, if you cut up you are committed, don’t make a stupid mistake.

Steps to running the QB Slot Option:
1.) Check for Man Coverage, I would suggest that you call a stretch concept if it’s Zone Coverage 2.) Slide protect to the side that the running back is going 3.) Call a hot route to bluff them into thinking your calling a slant route (not mandatory, mix it up so they don’t start guessing it’s a run and then blow this up) 4.) Read the backside defensive end at the snap, if he bows out at all at the snap, hand it off, if he runs in at the snap, keep it with the QB, and make sure you take a very steep path to the line of scrimmage. 5.) IF YOU HAND OFF: Make the inside zone read with the running back, hit the B gap and keep an eye on the tackle and linebackers IF YOU KEEP WITH THE QB: Make your aim point a yard outside where the play side tackle lined up pre play, and find the first attacking player, he will be the support player. Run directly at the support player with the QB to force a decision, if he bows out and gives you a cutback lane, take it and go. If he attacks the QB, pitch it to the slot receiver and try and get wide and up field with him. 6.) After you hit the seam, it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the Triple Option

This is a variation of the Zone Read play, this helps throw in another little hitch for this play, and prevents players from loading up the middle of the box, and helps you get the run wide in this game. It’s the same principle as the zone read for part one of the play, read the backside end and react. From here it turns into a classic Triple Option read, where you will read the support player and his reaction. His read is much easier to make than the defensive end, because no one will bother to block him this time. Do not pitch late, if you cut up you are committed, don’t make a stupid mistake.

Steps to running the Triple Option:
1.) Check for Man Coverage, its advisable to audible to a stretch concept against Zone, as it will net more yards. 2.) Slide protect to the side the running back is going 3.) Call a hot route to bluff them into thinking your calling a slant route (not mandatory, mix it up so they don’t start guessing it’s a run and then blow this up) 4.) Read the backside defensive end at the snap, if he bows out at all at the snap, hand it off, if he runs in at the snap, keep it with the QB, and make sure you take a very steep path to the line of scrimmage. 5.) IF YOU HAND OFF: Make the inside zone read with the running back, hit the B gap and keep an eye on the tackle and linebackers IF YOU KEEP WITH THE QB: Make your aim point a yard outside where the play side tackle lined up pre play, and find the first attacking player, he will be the support player. Run directly at the support player with the QB to force a decision, if he bows out and gives you a cutback lane, take it and go. If he attacks the QB, pitch it to the full back and try and get wide and up field with him. 6.) After you hit the seam, it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Wide Receiver Motion Option

This is a combination of the Jet Sweep look and the Zone Read action, here the receiver comes in motion pre play, appearing to be a Jet Sweep, where in reality it’s pretty much the Triple Option. Here it’s either you give it off and make the inside Zone Reads, or you keep it and make the Triple Option reads. It’s a great way to get your receivers involved in the running game, especially if your fastest guy is a receiver.

Steps to running the Wide Receiver Motion Option:
1.) Check for man coverage, if it’s zone, call a stretch concept, it nets more yards. 2.) Slide protect to the side the running back is going 3.) Call a hot route to bluff them into thinking your calling a slant route (not mandatory, mix it up so they don’t start guessing it’s a run and then blow this up) 4.) IF YOU HAND OFF: Make the inside zone read with the running back, hit the B gap and keep an eye on the tackle and linebackers IF YOU KEEP WITH THE QB: Make your aim point a yard outside where the play side tackle lined up pre play, and find the first attacking player, he will be the support player. Run directly at the support player with the QB to force a decision, if he bows out and gives you a cutback lane, take it and go. If he attacks the QB, pitch it to the full back and try and get wide and up field with him. 5.) After you hit the seam its up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the Speed Option

This play is a nice way to incorporate your quarter back into the rushing attack, because more likely than not, if this play was successful, you kept it with the QB. I drew so many paths because I like getting up field through the first open gap, not pitching the ball. If I see all of their linebackers are out of the box, or one is over the HB, and no one is in the middle, I’ll simply snap and go. If there are linebackers there and the end will not give outside contain up, cut back inside of him on the left side of the B gap. If he forces you to pitch, look to get up field fast, don’t waste time, bouncing it to the sideline more likely than not will not getting you a lot of yardage.

Steps to running the Speed Option play:
1.) Check for man coverage, you can run this on zone, but just try not to pitch it, it hardly ever works if you pitch against zone. Only audible to this if you see man coverage. 2.) Check for open gaps for the QB to run through, and keep that in mind when you begin the play, keep an eye on them, and if they stay open take it 3.) IF THERE ARE >6 IN THE BOX: Read the play side end at the snap, run straight to him at the snap to force a decision, and read what his reaction is. If he comes up field to attack the QB, pitch it quick and cut up field to where the end used to be with the RB, and if he floats outside and stays home, cut up inside at the first open gap IF THERE ARE <6 IN THE BOX: Observe the open gaps closer when the play begins, because the end is not released as a read key (Because there aren’t enough people to block, because the CPU cant adjust and double team) chances are there will be a gaping hole in the line, take this to get good yardage. If there isn’t, get around the corner and get up field, if there is no read key you should really not pitch it. 4.) After you hit the seam, it’s all up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the WR Option

This is a good way to create a run threat out of a motion to 5 Wide set (Don’t do this out of the blue more than once, if you like this play, make that formation a frequently used set). Here you are going to call a regular speed option play, out of a 4 wide receiver set (May have a TE), and then motion the running back out to the play side. This really gives them something to think about when you motion out, whenever I go 5 wide, it’s from a motion set to keep this a threat.

Steps to running the WR Option:
1.) Check for Man Coverage, if it’s man run up field with the QB at the snap, if it’s zone, progress through the reads. 2.) Check for open gaps for the QB to run through, and keep that in mind when you begin the play, keep an eye on them, and if they stay open take it 3.) At the snap if there is no lane to cut back into, run towards a yard past the play side tackle and attack the support player to force a decision, if he attacks the QB pitch it, if he attacks the RB keep it with the QB. 4.) When you hit the seam, its up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the Speed Option Counter

This is a good change up from the Speed Option, because the playbook does not give you any variations. The Speed Option is probably the most effective option look this year, so I thought it was necessary to give you more ways to use the concept. This might be more effective than it’s base, I’ve found I get plenty more yards when I call this than regular Speed Option, maybe its an AI failure, or the player just not expecting it.

Steps to running the Speed Option Counter:
1.) Check for man coverage, you can run this on zone, but just try not to pitch it, it hardly ever works if you pitch against zone. Only audible to this if you see man coverage 2.) Check for open gaps for the QB to run through, and keep that in mind when you begin the play, keep an eye on them, and if they stay open take it 3.) IF THERE ARE >6 IN THE BOX: Read the play side end at the snap, run straight to him at the snap to force a decision, and read what his reaction is. If he comes up field to attack the QB, pitch it quick and cut up field to where the end used to be with the RB, and if he floats outside and stays home, cut up inside at the first open gap IF THERE ARE <6 IN THE BOX: Observe the open gaps closer when the play begins, because the end is not released as a read key (Because there aren’t enough people to block, because the CPU cant adjust and double team) chances are there will be a gaping hole in the line, take this to get good yardage. If there isn’t, get around the corner and get up field, if there is no read key you should really not pitch it unless he’s wide open. 4.) After you hit the seam it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the Jet Sweep QB Wrap

I like using this because it’s a very unique play, and unless any of you try and implement this, I think I’m the only player out there using this extensively. This play is popular (Along with lots of receiver motion runs, missing from the game) in Urban Meyers offense, it’s a pretty small part of the receiver runs they use, but it’s all we have. When you press the button to snap the jet receiver will come in motion, and the ball will snap at which point you decide to hand off or keep it. There’s really not a concrete read that can be made, I’d just say for every 2 times you hand off keep it once.

Steps to running the Jet Sweep QB Wrap Play:
1.) Check for man coverage, do not run against zone. 2.) Press the snap button to put the receiver into motion 3.) When the QB receives the ball on the snap, press the snap button to hand the ball off, and don’t touch it to keep with the QB 4.) IF YOU HAND OFF: Start working up field so you are about 2 yards from the line when you are at the should of the RB on the block, here make your read on the end, if he rushed outside and left a cutback lane, take it, if he stayed home, cut upfield and read the support player, if he is unblocked and attacks you, bounce outside, and if he leaves you a cutback lane, continue up field. IF YOU KEEP IT: Read the linebacker first, if he rushes the B gap, look to A for a cutback, or bounce it outside. If he does not, look to run it through the B gap. 5.) After you hit the seam, it’s all up to you and your stick skills.

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Passing Game

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Spread Option Passing Game
The passing game described here separates itself from most used by other “elite” players because it is predicated on making the correct read on the correct player, ensuring success. On most plays, you will make a read on a particular player, and based on his actions, you will choose your receiver (Take the Smash for instance, if the corner jumps the hitch, you throw the flag, and if he runs with the flag, you throw the hitch, one of the many effective option passing plays). More than likely you will pass more than you run, it’s just the way the game is designed, and there is absolutely no reason to try and fight it. Above all, we need to be able to protect the passer, that is priority number 1, if we get sacked we’re faced with a long distance to the first down marker, and if we’re constantly under pressure we’re going to have difficulty making our reads. The base blocking is very effective, but, it can still be vulnerable, so I use some more “advanced” (Have to call a hot route, not a base locking scheme) schemes and lots of screens (To protect, and they’re just deadly this year).. The first thing I like to establish is the quick series passing game (if their in man coverage), which consists of 3 step drop routes such as slants, outs, and hitches. I like to use this to create a tempo, and to get them out of man coverage. After this we’re going to stretch them horizontally, taking advantage of certain defenders, and then were going to stretch them vertically, force them into man coverage, and run or use the quick series again. Just take what they give us, no reason to fight it. I want to keep the passing attack simple, you’re success running this offense is based on your ability to read, I keep it simple because I really only need a couple ways to beat Cover 2 or 3, keeping it simple is only dangerous when you get lazy and don’t make your reads. The goal of my passing offense is to force them into sets I can run against, I want a ball control offense, whether I’m passing 100% of the time or pounding it on the ground, I want to be in control of the ball, and I want to limit turnovers. The more times they have the ball the more points they can score, so I want to keep it from them.

What’s Covered in This Section Blocking Schemes
Max / Delay Routes / Slide Protection / Running Back

Quick Series
Slant / Out / Hitch / Go / Fade / Drag / Flag / In / STOP routes

Play Action Series
Targeting the support player / Targeting the deep safety / Targeting the linebackers

Stretch Concepts
Horizontal Stretch Concepts / Vertical Stretch Concepts / Man Concepts

Screen Series
Slip Screen / Slow Screen / Wide Receiver Screen

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Blocking Schemes

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Protection Schemes
While this is important, it’s not really pertinent to scheme up a bunch of complex protections like it was last year, because frankly no one can get pressure, and if you get sacked, it’s because you’re playing sloppy and not staying true to your game plan. But here are some tactics to use incase they do end up increasing the defensive pressure in the patch Max: This is where you hot route all tight ends and running backs to pass protect. If the pressure is up the middle, pass block them to the side opposite of where they line up, and if it’s an outside rush, pass block them to the side they line up on.

Delay Routes: Using delay routes from your tight end or running back is a great way to counter the blitz, it’s basically a screen technique, but your lineman are not coming out to block for the back or tight end.

Slide: You can press L2 and direct the slide to the play side to get extra protection from your lineman’s leverage.

Running Back: Just keep your running backs in to block, simple enough.

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Quick Series

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The Quick Series Passing Game
The quick series passing game is based off of the hot route audibles, and is designed to get you good yardage (5-6 yards). Its main purpose is so you can audible out of a bad call (Say you called QB Choice when your blocker/box player ratio is negative) and get something out of nothing. It’s also meant to keep the tempo up in the game, keep the defense on its heels, because when the defense knows what’s coming, you’re in trouble. The quick series is best to execute with very quick receivers.

Routes
Slants
- The slant is a route where the receiver breaks 45 degrees to the inside after 3 yards. It is most effective in the deep red zone (10 yard line and in) and against pressed up corners. It can also be effective against cover 2 and cover 3 if you throw it behind them to get them to settle down in between the zones. Good to pair with a flare route from the slot.

Out
- The out is a route where the receiver breaks 90 degrees to the outside after 3 yards. It is super effective against man coverage. Good to pair with a fly route from the number one receiver,

Hitch
- The hitch is a route where the receiver breaks 75 degrees back towards the quarter back. It’s effective against the cover 2 when run by the slot, and on the strong side of the cover 3. It also works against man coverage (Don’t use on talented DB’s). Good to pair with a wheel or flare from the slot receiver.

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Go
- The Go route is a route where the receiver runs straight down the field at the snap. It’s effective against inferior corners, and cover 3 when the corner is pressed up. Good to pair with an out route from the slot receiver.

Fade
- The fade route is a route where the receiver drifts to the sideline while running down the field. It is great against press coverage, and against cover 2.

Drag
- The drag route is a route where the receiver works to 4 yards past the line of scrimmage while running horizontally. It is great against any zone coverage, especially zone blitzes. It also works against slower safeties and corners.

Flag
- The flag route is a route where the receiver breaks 45 degrees to the sideline after 3 yards. It is best when run by the slot receiver, and works well against man coverage from a linebacker, against Cover 2, and against Cover 3 to the strong side. Best when paired with a hitch from the number one receiver.

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In
- The in route is a route where the receiver breaks 90 degrees to the inside after running 3 yards down field. It is good to use against zone blitzes and straight man coverage. Good to pair with a crossing route from the number one receiver

STOP Routes
A STOP route is where you throw the ball behind the receiver (And high, but that’s not totally necessary) to get him to stop his route where he stands, it’s a great way to attack zones so you don’t have to time their route as much, because now you can just throw it right when there in it, making it a much easier throw.

Slant STOP
- The slant STOP route is used against cover 2 and cover 4 to get the receiver to settle down in between the zones, it makes an easier read, and an almost guaranteed completion against those zone coverage’s.

Out STOP
- The out STOP route is used against cover 3 and many cover 3 zone blitzes where you have a box player actively moving to his zone, staying in between you and the receiver, the out STOP forces your receiver to settle down behind the zone player.

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Smart Routes
These are a nice addition to this years game, it makes your receiver extend their route to one yard past the first down marker, I use it more on earlier downs to set up combinations, but it’s nice to call on 3rd down to ensure you get the first down.

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Play Action Series

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Play Action Series
Honestly, you should never need to call a play action pass. I consider them to be a gimmick play, to be used in the case of an emergency. They can get you a quick hitting score if you need one, but if you call it too much you will throw right into coverage, because you need to get the ball out right after the fake, or you will get sacked.

Targeting the support player Flat Pass

When targeting the support player with play action it is best to use the pass to the flat from the running back, especially when they start bringing the support player on the blitz to try and stop the run or generate pressure. Here he rushes into the backfield to attack the running back, but after the fake, pull up and quickly throw it to your back for an easy first down. Note that all the other routes do not have to be Go routes, but having the X receiver the play side (Side where you want to throw to) run a go helps move other defenders away, further isolating the support player.

Slot Hitch

This isn’t the best way to isolate the support player, but you always need more than one way to attack your opponent, or they will catch on and stop you. Here it’s a simple hitch route from the slot, really only works when it’s a support player blitz, but the play action helps freeze any defender looking to enter that zone. Have the X receiver run a post or a go route to clear out other defenders.

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Targeting the deep safeties Skinny Post

This is about as complex as the play action will get in this offense, mostly because it’s a waste of time to figure out more ways to use play action due to the effectiveness of the run. Here we are targeting the deep safety, the reason I have paired the skinny post with the go route from the slant is so I can attack either of the popular coverage’s. You need to read the coverage at the snap, forget about the rush, it won’t help you to watch it. If its Cover 2, hit the post, and if it’s Cover 3, hit the Go route.

Fade

This is the most common use of the play action pass used. It’s simple, if the safeties are coming up hard on your rushing plays, call this play action pass and throw it over the top, where the used to be. Super effective against zones, because there will be no corner trailing him on his route. Try and save this for emergencies, it’s really effective, but after you use it once or twice they won’t bite.

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Targeting the linebackers Slot Slant

This is the best way to expose the linebackers, you can also do this using the TE on a slant route, but I prefer 4 wide sets over having a TE. Simple read, after you’ve established the run game, they’ll bite, vacating their original alignment, and your slot slants right to where they used to be, easy completion. Great to use in the red zone.

Wide Receiver Cross

This is a nice way to attack the linebackers. Here, once they bite up on the run you throw it to the receiver over the linebackers. You can use this after only a few runs, have the opposite slant run a Go to keep the safeties off of it, and just throw it over the linebackers heads.

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Stretch Concepts

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Horizontal Stretch Concepts
A horizontal stretch is a combination of routes where either 2 receivers are sent into 1 zone (Utilizing ¼ of the field), or 3 receivers are sent at 2 zones (Utilizing ½ the field). We want to make quick reads on the defenders, and try and isolate there worse defenders. We want to keep the passing game simple, so I picked 5 key horizontal stretch plays, all accessible in the playbooks (Some may need slight modification)

High/Low (Levels)
This is a simple read, and is the base of a couple other very successful concepts. This is the high low, there are two receivers, one runs a drag/short in, and the other runs a deep in/crossing route. You want to read the backers, if they float back to the top, throw the drag, if they jump the drag, hit the in route.

Drive
This is a modification on the High Low concept, this just adds another insurance policy to the combination. You want to read Drag-InFlag, what’s nice is the entire defense makes the same reads, at least the zone groupings do. The first read is the drag route, see how the linebackers play it, if they play back to stop the In route, then pop the ball to the drag route (Watch out for lineman, try to fit it in a gap), usually this is their default reaction to the play. Once they start jumping the drag after a couple of times, read the In route, just make sure the safety isn’t going to jump it, if he is, hit the flag route, and if the safety stays back, throw the In route over the linebackers. Simple read, Drag-In-Flag, very effective.

Crease
The crease play is a branch off of the drag route concepts, this is best to run after utilizing the other drag concepts. Here the slot receiver is running a drag, and the HB comes in on a angle route, if the mike linebacker goes with the drag at all, hit the HB in the “crease” created, if he stays home, hit the drag route when it enters a gap in the zone.

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Mesh
This is another play where you are reading the linebackers as a group, in a mesh concept we are sending two drag routes in opposite direction, you should read who the linebackers attempt to pick up and throw to the open man. If you happen to miss your read, just fit the ball in between the flat and hash player, throw the ball high to get the receiver to stop in the gap.

All Curls
This is the classic Bill Walsh version of the All Curl concept, it can also be run with 5 receivers running curl routes (as it appears in the playbooks), in which case you hit the curl that sits in the gap, and if they jump that, hit the sit route in the middle of the field. In this play we read sit-curl-flare, the sit is the curl in the middle of the field, simple read, throw to the first uncovered receiver you read. The sit will be open on cover 3, and the curl/flare combo will stretch the corner in cover 2, and you read off of him.

Stick
The stick route is where we have 2 players running out routes on the same side of the field. You read the flat player and who he takes, but this is so accessible that you can just watch them and the crease will just pop up.

Z Spot
This is a simple progression read play, you want to read the flat route to the spot route to the corner route. Best to be used against zone defenses, but the spot route will come open against man.

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Cover 2
Smash
The Smash route is a very popular was to attack the Cover 2. It highlights the corner who is on his own in the flat. He will do one of two things, he will either jump the hitch or run with the flag. If he jumps the hitch, throw the flag (Bullet, to the outside shoulder), and if he runs with the flag, throw the hitch (Fast, throw a bullet)

Double Slants
This is a quick zone beater against Cover 2. It is sending two slant routes into one of the underneath zones. Read who the defender picks up, and throw to the other receiver. Good route to use on an early play, paired with a man beater or cover 3 beater on the other side.

Hitch Wheel
This is a quick hitting pass, make the read before the wheel enters the deep safeties zone, if you want more time, send your back on a fade route out of the backfield to freeze the safety. Here just read the corner, if he runs with the wheel, hit the hitch quickly, and if he jumps the hitch, bullet the ball in between the corner and safety zones to the wheel man.

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Cover 3
Slant Flare
The Slant Flare is very effective against Cover 3. Here you read the flat player. If he peels back on the slant, throw it to the flare receiver. If he jumps the flare, throw it to the slant. This is a good route to use early with a Cover 2 beater or Man beater.

Drags
This is a simple play, sending two drag routes into the middle, best against cover 3, but works on Cover 2, just have to make a quicker read. Here you read who the zone defender decides to pick up, and throw to the uncovered man, make the decision before they enter another zone. Use the RB to keep the flat player out of the play.

High Low Wide
This is the same as the high low concept except we’re using it on the flat player in the Cover 3. Here have the number 1 receiver run a go to get the safety out of the way, with a low out and deep out, just read who the flat player jumps, if he goes low throw the deep out, if he goes high throw the low out.

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Vertical Stretch Concepts
A vertical stretch concept is something where you send more receivers into the deep zones than they have safeties to cover, so against 2 deep you send 3 in, and against 3 deep you send 4 in. Unlike horizontal stretch plays, there are no concepts that are ideal for both coverage’s.

2 Deep
Post Corner
Here you want to read the corner route on the right side first, if the safety jumps that, read the post, and if that is jumped, hit the opposite corner route. Only reading the 2 deep safeties.

Post Flag
Here you want to read the deep safety to the right first, if he jumps the post, then throw the flag route, if he runs with the flag check to the post, if its open throw it, if hes jumped by the other safety throw the corner on the other side of the field.

Post Wheel
Here you want to read the deep safety on the right side, if he jumps the post, throw the wheel route, and if he runs with the wheel, check to the post, if its open throw it, if the other safety jumps it, throw the corner on the opposite side of the field.

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3 Deep
Four Verticals
This is the most elementary way to attack 3 deep looks, it sends 4 go routes, the outer two occupying the corners, forcing the safety to pick between the two interior ones, just throw to the one he leaves open.

Box Corner Hash
This play has the backside receivers running Go routes to deal with the back 2 safeties, and a box corner from the number 1 receiver and a hash from number 2. Just read Corner-Hash-Hash, if he runs with the hash, hit the corner, if he jumps the corner check to hash, if the middle safety took it then throw the backside hash, throw the first one that opens up.

Post Corner
This play is a tight read if the corner runs with the corner route. Here you read the corner at first, if he jumps the slant throw the corner, if he runs with the corner check to the free and see which post he jumps, and throw to the one that opens up.

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Man Coverage Concepts
Defeating man coverage is mostly about what leverage the cover man has on your receiver. There are some route combinations, where one route is the primary target and the other route is the “pick” route, where the idea is to trap the player playing man on the primary target. Your first reaction to man coverage should be running the ball and quick series, but if it persists, here are the ways to break it.

Single Route Concepts
Deep Out
Here the corner has inside leverage, most likely in a Cover 0 set where he is trying to not give up the inside, so it is a perfect time to run a deep 10 yard out, throw it on the break and make sure you give him a lead on the ball, make it so only he can catch it.

Deep Hitch
Here the corner is slightly outside (Also works against head up), which means probably a Cover 1 Robber. This is a simple deep hitch route, throw it to him on his break, bullet the ball there.

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Flag
This route is just plain effective against man coverage, the only time where it wouldn’t break for a big game, and that’s if he has visible outside leverage. Here he fakes the post, and on his break get some air under it, to the outside shoulder, make it so only he can catch it.

Skinny Post
This is a nice quick throw, this is slightly dangerous because the only time they take outside leverage is with cover 1 robber, so make sure to throw it on his break and do not give him a lead.

Deep Curl
This play is great against soft inside leverage coverage. Here the receiver is running 12 yards downfield, and then curls back to 10 on the outside. Throw this route at his break, and try and get the ball on his outside shoulder to make the corner play through him to get at the ball.

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Pick Route Concepts
Slant Pick
Here you are using the slant route to collide with the slot receivers cover man to leave him open in the flats. Read to make sure he gets bumped, and if he does not then hit the slant route fast.

Switch
The Switch technique has the two receivers basically trade lanes for their routes, you want them to cross and get one of the defenders to be bumped off, keep and eye on the mesh point and see if a defender gets lost in the shuffle. If not, throw the out route to the outside shoulder.

Dig Pick
This play uses two mirrored routes to collide one of the defenders off. Watch the mesh point and see if one gets collided with, if that happens, throw to his receiver. If no one gets bumped, throw the out route to the outside shoulder.

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Slant Switch
This play uses two mirrored routes to collide one of the defenders off. Watch the mesh point and see if one gets collided with, if that happens, throw to his receiver. If no one gets bumped, throw the slant route fast.

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Screen Series

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Concept of the Slip Screen

This play is a great way to counter heavy blitzing (If you ever see any, unlikely) and is also incredibly effective against zone defenses. You want to try and sell this play like it’s a normal passing play, don’t sprint back, but you need to start losing ground at the snap, take about a 5 or 7 step drop, and then dumb it off to your running back. After that, you’ll have three offensive lineman blocking for you, read the defenders and how they pick them up and sneak your way through. No two situations are really alike, so don’t bother having a set path to follow.

Steps to running the Slip Screen:
1.) Check for man coverage, it’s not advisable to run this against man coverage, because they can jump it, but if you get past the cover man, you’ll probably score a touchdown. Risk/reward choice to make. 2.) At the snap start losing ground and check to the defensive lineman play side, see if they read the screen, if they do, run out of the pocket, screen side, at a 30 degree angle and throw it away, you can glance downfield to check for receivers as well, but you may run out of time. 3.) If the conditions are right and you pass to the running back, begin to read the defenders in pursuit, and find a lane using your three blockers. 4.) After you hit the seam it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the Slow Screen

This is the same play art as the slip screen, you are just changing your path as a QB. You want to take a sprint out path to the left, or you can roll out if you please. This play is difficult because it’s hard to see who is in the lane between the QB and RB, but this can also make this play more difficult for the defender to see. Another risk/reward assessment to make.

Steps to running the Slow Screen:
1.) Check for man coverage, it’s not advisable to run this against man coverage, because they can jump it, but if you get past the cover man, you’ll probably score a touchdown. Risk/reward choice to make. 2.) At the snap start breaking opposite of the play side, see if they read the screen, if they do, Continue to sprint out and try and run up field, or you can attempt to find a receiver getting open downfield. 3.)If the conditions are right and you pass to the running back, begin to read the defenders in pursuit, and find a lane using your three blockers. 4.)After you hit the seam it’s up to you and your stick skills.

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Concept of the Wide Receiver Screen

This play will become a much bigger part of my offensive attack once the 2nd patch comes out, which fixes the blocking assignment problems with this play. But I still will run it about once every two games, it’s a nice quick hitter against zones, and even against man. You want to read the corner on this play, and when you get the pass, begin taking it directly up field.

Steps to running the Wide Receiver Screen:
1.) Check the alignment of the corner on the receiver getting the screen pass. Wait a little bit and see if the corner backs up feigning cover 3, snap it at this point to take advantage of leverage. 2.) If the corner is up, read him at the snap, and throw the pass before he rushes up field at the receiver, because this will blow up the play, you need to throw it fast. 3.) Once you get the ball, either cut up field inside the corner back, or break it to the sideline using your blockers to get around the contain man. 4.) Once you hit the seam, its up to you and your stick skills.

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Notes on the Spread Option passing attack
The concepts laid out are a nice way to start so you can “study” and understand how we’re trying to attack coverage’s with certain plays, I don’t use all of the concepts in a game sometimes. When you’re starting to get your game plan together, look to use trips sets and have different types of zone beaters in play, like a Smash combination with a sit route, read sit to corner back, because the sit will be open against Cover 3, and the Smash will break cover 2. It’s all about mixing and matching to figure out how you want to organize your offense, and some concepts might be hard to spot in the middle of a game while calling plays, like the Backs Cross play, where the backs run straight and then execute a mesh, this is why I suggest you really get to know the playbook if you want to really make the reads. This also helps so you can mark what plays you want to use to stretch them vertically, because they’re rather uncommon. I would also suggest having a Dig route when you try and go vertical, because the coverage backs off with the receivers this year, and you want to keep them honest.

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Conclusion

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One Minute Offense
I. Know the exact game situation
A. Do we want to score a touchdown? B. Do we want to score a field goal? C. Do we want to run out the clock?

II. Clock Administration A. The game clock stops when:
1.) A timeout is called 2.) Incomplete pass 3.) Ball carrier goes out of bounds 4.) After a defensive penalty 5.) When the chains move after a first down 6.) Injury timeout

B. The game clock starts when:
1.) When the ball is legally touched on kickoff 2.) With the snap of the ball… - After a timeout - After an incomplete pass - After ball carrier goes out of bounds - After kickoff out of end zone - After change of possession - After an injury timeout 3.) With the referee’s whistle for play… - After moving the chains - After administration of an offensive penalty - After a lateral out of bounds

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III. Coaching Points (When tied or behind) A. Saving Time
1.) Tap the snap button to get your players to hurry to the line 2.) Do not try and adjust the play using hot routes or motion 3.) No huddle offense 4.) Call plays to allow the runner to get out of bounds 5.) Do not cut back up field, get as many yards as you can and get out of bounds 6.) Only spike the ball when completely necessary (Tap the Square button at the end of the previous play) 7.) Punt out of bounds or over the goal line 8.) Allow 15 seconds for field goal unit to get on the field when you can’t stop the clock 9.) Move QB to the sideline as much as possible (Sprint out) 10.) Never get sacked, throw the ball away or out of bounds

B. When we want to score a touchdown
1.) 4 Down zone all over the field 2.) Do not take a sack 3.) Do not hold on to the ball on 4th down (Give your self a chance) 4.) Must score on the last play, keep the ball alive with pitches

C. When we want to score a field goal
1.) Do not take a loss, throw it away 2.) Maneuver the ball to the middle of the field in definite field goal zone 3.) Do not take risks with the football 4.) Run down the clock as far as possible before kicking

D. When we want to run out the clock
1.) Always huddle up 2.) Snap the ball with 3 seconds to go on the play clock (7 with pre-play motion) 3.) Do not run out of bounds 4.) Run wide but stay in bounds 5.) High percentage passes only, if any 6.) Never call a timeout 7.) If you must kick, do not kick out of bounds or out of the end zone, kick to an area where the ball will lie dead. 8.) If less than 25 seconds is on the game clock after a play, let the clock run out. 9.) Hold R1 to cover the ball 10.) Fourth down is not an automatic kicking down 11.) Know the number of time outs your opponent has

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Goal Line Offense
If you ask offensive coordinators about calling plays near the goal line (10 Yard line and in), they will say one of the major concerns is that the field is too small, and there is no room to operate. Knowing this, in this offense we spread the field even more, and go into our 5 wide set, and use 4 plays to get into the end zone. The first is spacing, its such an easy read, and can usually net 10 yards when you execute correctly against zone defense. The next is mesh, which will usually leave a receiver running free against man coverage. Then we might run QB Draw against man coverage, because the middle of the field will be vacated, and finally we can call WR screen to get us 3-5 yards against a zone defense.

No Huddle Offense
I like to use the no huddle offense a lot, because usually the opponent will not have the plays they like to use on their audible list, and it helps keep pace up and disorient them. With the advent of formation audibles, this gives us a run play and a play against man coverage in every formation (Down on R3 to audible to Run, up on R3 to audible to Quick Pass). Counting the play we call out of the huddle, there are 6 plays we can call from the line of scrimmage with out huddling, for the 5 audibles we can set, I like to utilize a screen pass, vertical stretch (Against 3 deep), and 3 horizontal stretch plays, all from the same formation as to not give them a tip off as to what the play is. This gives you 16 possible plays (2 formation audibles, 1 base play, and 5 audibles, plus the flip the play option) to call from one formation with out huddling, more than enough to get into the end zone on every drive.

I. Coaching Points
1.) Hold the Triangle button immediately after the previous play to trigger the no huddle A.) Things that stop the no huddle from being triggered 1.) Timeout 2.) Injury timeout 3.) Pause menu 4.) Penalty on either team

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Notes on the Spread Option Offense
This guide seems very lengthy, which is a good thing, but this is still one of the simplest offenses you will see, in fact, I employ no huddle in some games, it really helps disorient your opponent, because more likely than not, they won’t have the answer for it in their set of audibles. I will do one of two tactics for no huddle, either A set audibles to all different formations so I can call the formation audibles to change the play (Not recommended, they didn’t pick the best plays for them, but it can work), or B pick one formation, get three horizontal stretch plays (All Curl, Drive, Stick), a HB screen, and a vertical stretch (Cover 3, you just won’t see Cover 2 online). I’ve found that the no huddle can cause people to panic much earlier, and I’ve even had one person try and imitate it without being properly prepared. I don’t find it entirely necessary to have a mobile quarterback, although I won’t lie, it’s a huge bonus, being able to run the speed option is a big plus, but I’ve found that I pass more often than not, and that when I read man coverage, a zone run play will work just as well.

Special Thanks To
http://smartfootball.blogspot.com/ (For many articles on horizontal and vertical stretch concepts) HookemHorns (Used his coverage breakdown pictures as a template for mine) (Also adopted his coverage reading concept “Reading the square”) FoleyLions (No-huddle inspiration) Rich Rodriguez (For getting his playbook ripped off and put on the web so I could use his coverage breakdowns)

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