STATE COLLEGE SHOTGUN VEER Several years ago the shotgun formation was something that teams got

into, almost exclusively, to throw the ball. Placing the quarterback 41/2 to 5 yards from the line of scrimmage improved his pre snap and post snap reads and vision, as well as making protection somewhat easier; thus if the quarterback was not under center the defense was pretty much assured that they were going to pass. Recently, innovations on the collegiate level, and the usual trickle down to high schools the shotgun has almost become a run first formation. Imaginative offensive coordinators realized that, through the use of motion and different formations, they could operate almost any run oriented offense (wing-t, power, or option) out of the gun; especially if the quarterback was a run threat. The play that almost everyone began running, and is the base play of most gun offenses, is what we will call the “read play” where the running back crosses the quarterbacks face, and the quarterback reads the DE away from the direction of the running back; while the line usually blocks zone. If the DE pursues the running back the quarterback will keep the ball. If motion is employed the quarterback can pitch and this becomes a triple option play. “Read play”

For almost a decade at Reading and State College High Schools we were an under center triple option team; running veer, midline and misdirection runs and passes that came off these actions. It seemed easier to find a quarterback who could pitch the ball five to seven yards than one who could throw a twenty yard post on the money. In 2005 and 2006 we were blessed with two quarterbacks who were excellent throwers with good running ability, but would not have been good under center option quarterbacks. We decided to go to the shotgun to take advantage of their throwing ability, but did not want to abandon our love of option football. We explored the possibility of running veer (running back dives into the line of scrimmage on the same side of the quarterback that he is lined up on), and found out that after experimentation, and a trip to Texas A&M that is was possible; thus it became an integral part of our offense. Base veer option from shotgun: QB is lined up at 4 ½ and the FB at 51/2.

Assignments and coaching points: Offensive line-same assignments as veer under center except backside tackle must hard step cup into B gap to protect the quarterbacks back because the play takes longer to develop than veer under center. Take big splits to make quarterbacks read easier (OT 3-4 feet). Quarterback-Receive snap and take a long 45 degree step towards the LOS, extend ball and mesh with the FB, ride FB while taking another deep step into the LOS. Read first man on or outside the tackle… give the ball to the FB every time unless the read man doesn’t let you (we don’t read any special landmark of the read man ie. far shoulder, near number). If you gave the ball to the FB snap your hands

together at your chest and cradle an imaginary ball and option #2 ..never look back. If you kept the ball get down hill immediately and take first vertical seam…pitching off #2. Coaching point: The mesh must take place as close to the LOS as possible; otherwise the read man can sit and play dive and quarterback…you must make him commit. Never look back at Fb on give, be an actor. Fullback-The first step is a 12 “ straight ahead step with your outside foot, placing all of your weight over this foot (this is the same first step that we utilize on the “read play when the FB crosses the QB’s face, thus both first steps by the FB look the same to the defense). On this first step he momentarily pauses and watches the QB catch the snap…this allows for the time that the QB needs to receive and form the ball, and it is essential to time up the mesh. After this delay or timing step the FB should explode into B gap. As the mesh occurs the FB should put a soft fold over the ball taking it only on a give … on a pull roll over imaginary ball and get tackled… if you don’t get tackled continue through LOS and block LB to safety. Left slot-Full speed motion on cadence down the LOS to point 2x2 from offensive tackle then back to depth of 51/2 yards…ideal he gets one to two steps on ground and ball is snapped. Run through ghost of FB and get maximum width and maintain pitch relationship with QB. Other wideouts-Permiter blocking rules. Run man off vs. man to man. To avoid any type of key we can run the same play with the slot running the dive and the FB becoming the pitch man. All other assignments remain the same.

Even though we throw the ball pretty well we still get a lot of man coverage so the defense can get an extra man in the box. In that case we want to run off the perimeter defenders and get the ball pitched. In order to achieve this we do the following.

Quarterback-Quick fake to FB and get on corner to option next man as soon as possible. Do not get As much depth into the LOS on ride; which will give you more room to maneuver Fullback-Same steps as veer good roll over fake… try to get to LB level and block LB to safety. Offensive line-Playside OT-down block DT. Playside OG-pull and log DE

Wide receivers-run your defenders off then stalk…especially vs. man The shotgun veer series has been very good for us and just like veer under center some of our biggest gains have come from plays that come off this action for example: play action passes, counter trey, and in the future we would like to experiment with a counter utilizing the wing-t “Sally” blocking scheme. Shotgun veer and other option schemes are taught at “Your Only Option” option football camp…contact information below “Your Only Option” option football camp will take place July 22, 23, and July 24 at Millersville University. It is a team and individual camp that teaches the skills and fundamentals of option football from under center as well as shotgun. The best aspect of the camp is the informal evening clinic sessions where the coaches get together to discuss all aspects of option football. It is not too late to register For more information contact Al Wolski at 814-867-0851 or Joe Walsh at 610-436-0180

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