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THE SH HOOTBONE E OFFENSE E FOR F EA SPO ORTS NCAA 14 14

By Ligerbo orn

Table of Contents
Introduction..1 Setting up your Playbook.2 What is the Shootbone?......................................................................................7 Personnel......9 Playbook...11 Strategy..13 Running Game.13 Passing Game17 Audibles...27 Conclusion...28 Appendix A: Play Creation..29 Appendix B: The Playbook.36

Introduction
So it is that time again, where I discuss the Shootbone offense with the new version of NCAA college football by EA Sports. It seems a bit weird this year as this will be the last version of the game for the 360/ps3 console, and also the last with the backing of the NCAA. Given those factors plus plain old factors of life I most likely wont be moving forward to the new consoles. Why? Well, mainly because that is a lot of money to put down for a system that I play one game on. Things being what things are with the economy and the nation, one has to start to prioritize what needs to be paid, what food one is going to eat, and what luxuries one can afford. By the time the systems and games come down in price the next generation after that will be out, so yeah you see the vicious cycle. Off of that I sort of hoped this version of the game would be a fun game to play and EA would have fixed things I personally had issues with in the last few versions of the game. That way I could grow old gracefully with a couple copies of the game and a backup 360 or two. Luckily it did do that, with a just a few minor quibbles for me. So all in all, I am happy with the game which is a good thing given the circumstances I have to look forward to. With that this will probably be the last Shootbone write-up; I may add more appendixes as I add things that work, or figure stuff out. The concepts I discuss are tried and true ways to win football games. So as long as a company puts out a college football game one should be able to use these concepts with success. I havent changed the core concepts of this offense since EA put in Hot Routes and gave us detailed playbooks. If you learn the concepts, practice them, run them correctly you should have a strong potent offense. As with any offense you have to adjust for personnel, AI, and mechanics of the game. But in the end Football is football, whether its played on a sandlot, grass field on in digital pixels. So now on to the fun stuff Custom Playbooks are a great thing in the game. They allow me to craft and refine my offense to its key components with little to no fluff. This yea EA didnt expand on how one makes them or what people can do in them for this years game. However, a few things did change in what works and doesnt work in their setup. So where we shouldnt have had to test the system and lab things out for how things look. We get to. (Yes, this is one of my quibbles.) From my experience everyone uses the playbooks differently. Some want to just add or remove a few sets, or a base formation. Others want to pack as much variety in as possible, and others yet, want to narrow down to just what they need. Then there are folks like myself, who basically gut a playbook and create their own offense. How the custom playbook app works and how it chooses to handle the changes you make to your base playbook can be confusing, aggravating, downright fist shaking, and controller thawing maddening. But if you take time and exercise patience you can usually get what you want. But it might take you forever to get there. Such are the joys of working within someone elses architecture. I do believe EAs idea for this feature was to give folks the ability to simple add or remove things on a small level, add a formation, or set add remove plays, and really not to gut and start fresh. If they had, then adding a simply empty playbook in the create screens would have been installed. So for those of us that tackle the idea of a custom offense with full intention of coming out with something the game didnt give you. Here are some guidelines for getting it to look, feel and play how you would like it to.

Setting up your Playbook Terminology Offensive Style generically what type of offense it is, Pro, Multiple, One back, etc. which of these you choose
determines what your minimum requirements per position is, and how your coaching philosophy impacts recruiting in dynasty mode. This will be established as you start a dynasty and wont change even if you change playbooks or styles over the years. The only out I have seen is to delete yourself and create a new coach.

Formation this is the base formation, i.e. Ace, Shotgun, Pistol etc. Set this is the sub-formation within a base, so Ace Bunch is a set in the Ace Formation. Alignment this is the trickiest one as it describes where the players are in relation to the formation. Example
Bunch is a 4 receivers on the field alignment that occurs in Ace, Shotgun and Pistol.

Personnel The game uses a 2 digit number that indicates the number of backs, tight ends and wide receivers that
are on the field for a play. The first digit is number of running backs, so is between 1 and 3, and the second number is number of tight ends. Based off this number you know how many wide receivers there are, since you can subtract the 2 digits from 5 and get the number of wide receivers. For example, I Formation Normal is 21 personnel so if you subtract 2 and 1 from 5 you get 2 so you will have 2 wide receivers. Looking back at Bunch alignment, there are 10 sets across 3 formations with 4 different personnel groupings. Starting with the most backs and working to least: Bunch Base in Ace is 21 personnel as it has 1HB, 1FB, 1TE & 2WR. Bunch in Ace, Pistol & Shotgun is 11 as it has 1HB, 1TE & 3WR. Bunch Swap and Spread in Ace, Bunch TE in Shotgun also use 11 personnel. 5WR Bunch is 00 personnel as there are no backs or tight ends on the field. Bunch Quads is 01 as it has a TE and 4WRs. So if you wanted to run a primarily compression offense using condensed sets like Bunch youd already have 4 groupings for 1 basic alignment. Given how you call plays in the game and manage the play clock using the groupings menu to call plays might be a bad idea as you could easily have 3 to 5 more groupings depending on the other formations you use. For this offense I use 4 groupings: 10 1RB & 4WR there are 2 sets in 1 formation in this group. 20 2RB & 3WR there are 2 sets in 1 formation in this group. 30 3RB & 2WR there is 1 set/formation in this group. 31 3RB & 1TE there is 1 set/formation in this group. That being said, you can really break my offense down as either all 10 or 30 except for 31. I tend to think more in the terms of 30 since I use 1 true back, 2 Slotbacks and 2 Split Ends. However, I truly view my offense as I having my Base personnel and a Big package for goal line/short yardage, since I substitute a OL in the TE spot of my 31 formation. There are no true Tight Ends in this offense.

Formation Setup
In the custom playbooks there is a predetermined order in which formations are loaded, and this year it seems each school has their own grid as even teams with the same Style can end up having different setups of how formations look in game. In previous version of NCAA all the schools had a similar grid based on their style of offense. So one could get a similar result by choosing the style, and then picking a book that was closest to your ideas in scope. Not this year it seems. Example: Air Force and Army are both Option teams. Both use Flexbone and Wingbone in their offenses in the Game. However, how the App handles formations is very different. Air Force: Stock book: Ace, I, Maryland I, Flexbone, Wingbone, Shotgun, Goal Line & Hail Mary However, if you create custom playbook and add no extra plays, sets, or formations you get this: Ace, I, Shotgun, Maryland I, Flexbone, Wingbone, Hail Mary & Goal Line If you create a custom playbook with every base formation you get this: Ace, I, Shotgun, Wishbone, Maryland I, Weak I, Power I, Flexbone, Empty, Wildcat, Split Backs, Wingbone, Pistol, Strong I, Hail Mary & Goal Line. So yeah what a bloody mess to try and get from one set to the next logically Now let us look at Armys book. Army: Stock Book: Wingbone, Flexbone, Wishbone, Split Backs, Goal Line & Hail Mary However, if you create custom playbook and add no extra plays, sets, or formations you get this: Flexbone. Split Backs, Wishbone, Wingbone, Hail Mary, & Goal Line: If you create a custom playbook with every base formation you get this. Ace, Shotgun, I, Weak I, Power I, Flexbone, Empty, Wildcat, Wingbone, Wishbone, Maryland I, Split Backs, Pistol, Strong I, Hail Mary & Goal. So now depending on how you feel about your order of formations could have a grand effect on what book you use as a base. If you only add 1 formation might be ok, might not. Since I am only using 2 base formations I can actually use any playbook I want except GT and Navy since they put the Pistol first and Flexbone second. Which is highly ironic since its the book closest to what I really do So yes, this offense revolves around Flexbone and Pistol. I use a Spread base book since it gives me what I want when it comes to recruiting: SPEED at all positions.

Set Ordering
Here things are as they have been. You can order your sets by adding and removing to get the order you want. However, do not empty out an existing formation as sometimes it will show up in a different place when reentered. An example is in Memphis book which is a Spread style offense I did look at as a base book. If you remove the last play in the last set I, or Pistol, it will think you have deleted that formation, and when you re-enter plays the formations will move to a new location in the in game call screen. The I Formation will move to the beginning of the order and Pistol will move to the end.

Play Ordering
This works as before: You click on and off plays to add or remove them and then arrange them to taste by grabbing and dragging.

Formation & User Audibles


User Audibles handle and carry on like they always have; I do notice that the ability to call a flipped audible in game is better. Formation Audibles also havent changed in how you get what you want to be you audible. In reality it is at the same time easy, hard, time consuming, and frustrating. Anyway here are the rules and example plays that typically lock in formation audibles. Run Audible this is the easiest, if you have 1 run in the formation it will go there regardless. If you have more it will pick the run closest to a primary inside run. If you have a choice between HB Dive, HB Power, and HB Draw, the game will usually choose the HB Dive, unless its a short yardage, or Strong overload formation in which it will typically choose the HB Power. Short Pass is another pretty easy one, in that there are really only a couple choices. What EA determines as a Slant play will always get top bill, then a Screen pass. Although unlike last year where a HB Screen got higher bidding than say a Bubble, this year its a bit more willy-nilly. Basically if you dont have a Slant or Stick play, but have a screen in the set you get a screen. Deep Pass If you have a 4 verticals play you neednt worry its going to always go there. If you dont want that play, then you pretty much have to remove it to get what you want. Even then that play prolly should be your only deep pass, or it can be a crap shoot fast. PA Pass Any PA pass will go in first then, any Option based pass, and lastly if you dont have a screen in the Short a non-PA based screen will go there. Anomalies: wouldnt be EA without some strangeness. If you have a slant play and a stick play it typically will pick stick over slant. If you have too many deep passes but not 4 Verticals I have seen it put slant or stick there if you have the other in Short. In Triple Option Sets I have seen it load up with 3 PA/Triple Option plays. If you want to make full use of the 10 Spread 2z2 sets you can set up and run an offense that gets you your most critical passes and runs under your fingers. You can also do this with the myriad of 4 WR trips sets, most any formation scheme truthfully. This offense is a variation on that theme of having your most crucial plays at your fingers for the game. It is much like the placard system where the players have a wristband with the plays on it and after initial alignment they look to the sidelines to see any adjustments the Coach wants to make. What makes this system work is a small amount of plays from fairly limited formations that the plays can get in and out of quickly. It does take some extra planning and time homeworking the playbooks, CPB App & lots of labbing. In the end, it is worth that time to be able to counter just about anything the defense throws at you.

What is the Shootbone?


The Shootbone is about getting your base personnel involved in all phases of your offensive scheme. It's about spreading the field, taking the ball where your opponents aren't and putting up a lot of points. I have run this offense for a long time, but it wasnt until EA added Go and Choice to the pass plays of the Flexbone offense that I was really able to craft it how I wanted, and then truly it is this year that it works how I want it since EA finally go the Option routes to work right when a play is flipped. It is a hybrid of run and shoot passing mixed with a Flexbone running scheme. In truth it is closer to the original Run & Shoot than any other offense.

Origins
High school coach Glenn Tiger Ellison is the originator of this offense. Long story sort of short, he took a losing team, and with some playground/sandlot ingenuity. He crafted an offense that through the use of motion, and a simple motto, was able to turn his team into one of the strongest prolific offensive attacks in Ohio High School History. Through the years several coaches have adapted, modernized, and revolutionized the scheme Coach Ellison created from his Lonesome Polecat & Double Slot formations. Darrel "Mouse" Davis brought the Run & Shoot into the 70s with his attack coming first from Portland St. and then into the USFL with the Houston Gamblers in 84. He revolutionized Coach Ellisons attack by applying expanded rules for the receivers reading the secondarys coverage. Through the 80s and 90s he used a 3 step passing game along with 5 Classic "Shoot" packages he developed; Go, Choice, Slide, Switch, & Streak. He also implemented route tags to the plays to get broader variation. On a flip side of the coin Coach Ken Hatfield of Air Force also used Coach Ellisons book to help create his "Flexbone" attack using the Cowboy and Gangster packages from Coach Ellisons version of the Run and Shoot to create his triple option based offense that he used for over 25 as head coach of Air Force, Arkansas, Clemson and Rice. Coaches Erskine Erk Russell, Tim Stowers & Paul Johnson at Georgia Southern used their combination of their 2WR Wishbone concepts and Mouses Run and Shoot to lead Georgia Southern to 6 National Titles and the first 15-0 college season in the 20th Century. Coach Johnson has also used this system at Hawai'i, Navy and Georgia Tech, resurrecting the programs at all three schools in the process. An Option based offense focusing around the Inside Veer Triple Option that was created by Darrel Royal at Texas. The Flexbone also makes great use of the misdirection and constraint plays as it relies on motioning the Slot Backs into the backfield to run a majority of the offense. I like to run my offense with a focus on a small number of plays that have multiple ways of being run. The Run & Shoot and the Flexbone are perfect for this. One because at their heart, both are 1 formation offenses, The Double Slot formation created by Coach Ellison. A base formation with changes in backfield alignment and the use of motion to determine defensive coverage is employed to make what is a basic formation more robust and hard for a defense to adjust to. The running game consists of inside runs by the primary back, sweeps and misdirection plays by the Slot Backs. Double and Triple Options ensure that all your backs get into the offense.. The passing game consists; of a small 3 step passing game, the classic 60 series from Coach Davis, a series of modern offense staples that are 5 step drop passes, the 90 series from Coach Davis, and a small package of Screens. The actual playbook for the game consists of 72 plays across 6 formations. However, many plays are variations of a base play, or are used to create variations of the Run & Shoot plays to help confuse the opponent. You can view the full playbook in Appendix B.

It all starts with Tiger's Motto:

The Choice Read for the game: If the CB is backed off and there isnt a defender in the slot or that person shows blitz, hot to a Slant If the CB is backed off and the defender in the slot is inside Hot to an Out/Deep Out If the CB is backed off and the defender in the slot is outside Hot to a Curl If the CB is in tight and the secondary is in a Blitz or Cover 1/3 look Fly If the CB is in tight and the secondary is in a Man or Cover 2/4 Look Comeback The main philosophy of the Run & Shoot is spread the defense out and attack it where it is weak. It's a scheme of numbers and punishing the defense for doing the wrong thing. It is rare that a Run and Shoot offense not put up large numbers in yardage, and scoring. Now one may ask why I include a Triple Option running game with the Shoot? The main reason is Coach Ellison did it, and it worked well for him. There might not be a Flexbone or Spread Option offense without Tiger creating his play series that had a very early version of a triple option play. The main goal with this offense is give the defense a look but give them plays they arent expecting or cant stop. One game it might be the rushing attack that wins the day. The next the passing game rules the field. The ideal is a 50/50 blend of plays. Through 7 seasons of an offline dynasty with ODU, I am averaging 27 passing attempts with a 62% completion percentage for 214.7ypg, and 32 rushing attempts with a 5.74 ypc for 183ypg. The team record is 66 27 with 4 conference championships and a 3-3 bowl record.

Personnel Offensive Line:


It all starts here! If you don't have a good O-Line in this game you might as well forget about being competitive. For recruiting I want balanced guys. They need to be able to do both run and pass blocking well.

Quarterback:
He needs to be a decent runner, not only for the option but also for scrambling if no one is open. He also must be able to throw hard and accurate or you limit yourself, wimpy throw on the Out read on choice and its pick 6 city.

Running Backs & Receivers:


First and for most of all the Skill Positions. Players must have good hands, route running, catch in traffic, and awareness. I prefer the Split Ends to be taller and more powerful, and the slots to be quicker and have good rushing skills. Z - is always your Right SE, he is WR1 on the depth chart X - is always your Left SE, he is WR2 on the depth chart W - is always your Left Slot, he is WR3 & HB3 on the depth chart Y - is always your Right Slot, he is WR4 & HB2 on the depth chart H is your Primary Back he is HB1 on the depth chart F is your Power Back. He is FB1 on the depth chart

Specialized Skills:
X & Z Receivers: These guys are pretty interchangeable I like them tall (6' 2" to 6' 4") and powerful (60+ str by the time they start), Speed is important but their catch in traffic and spectacular catch is more important as they will be catching a lot of passing via the out, slant, fly, jailbreak screen or switch routes. W & Y - the lynch pins in the offense. I like shorter guys that are fast, agile and be able to make plays in space. I rely on these positions a lot to move the ball. They are hybrid players by definition. I tend to recruit athletes and small WRs for this position. H & F I like them to be in the 5"11 210 to 220 range. They need to develop good pass blocking, 85 to 93 spd/acc/agi. H is the faster of the 2 backs. Basically they are the same type of super back/B back the run and shoot and triple option attack teams use. For this years game I set my roster this way. O-Line I keep 10 to 12 linemen depending on how many folks I have graduating. Up to 3 can be redshirted, but I like to have 9 linemen available for games. X & Z I have 4 on roster that fit this role. The starters are WR1/2. The backups are WR5. I try to have 1 redshirted Y &W I keep 4 on roster that fit this role. The starters are WR3/4 and HB2/3 this puts them in the slots in both Flexbone and Pistol. I try to keep one redshirted. H I keep 3 on roster that fit this role. The starter is HB1 his backup is HB4. I try to keep 1 redshirted. F I keep 2 on roster that fit this role. The starter is FB1, the backup is FB2 if one of the H players can also be a FB then I will try to have the second FB redshirted. That leaves TE, there are no TE in this system. Well there is on one set, but I use my Swing Tackle subbed in there as He is covered, so is only a blocker. On my Roster the 2 TE spots are used to groom the Y & W position.

So my depth chart should ideally look like this,

Now is this what happens? Most times yes. However, sometimes due to injury, bad recruiting, and the taking over of a team, it will be different. But EA uses a Pro offense model for their player position base and so yeah we get to deal with it. In EA land my roster minimums are broken down like this: QB: 3 HB: 3 FB: 2 WR: 6 TE: 2 OT: 3 OG: 3 C: 2

Occasionally, a positions number will be higher if the starter is a Sr and the backup looks to be overtaken by the 3rd stringer. I will then have a 4th on roster redshirted as he will take the spot of the backup who will be cut. This can also happen if the starter and backup are Srs. So if the QB is a Sr, and his backup is say a Jr, but not progressing and the 3rd stringer, is a (RS) Fr. Then I will have a fourth QB on the team redshirting so he can be the backup next year. The other scenario can happen pretty often and that is at WR. Both starting Split Ends are Sr.s as are both Slots. When this occurs I could have 7WRs on roster and 3 TEs with multiple redshirts at both positions, setting up for the next year. So for recruiting, how does my oddness to EAs vanilla structure work out. I typically try to recruit: 3 linemen, a Tackle, Guard, & Center 2 Slots 2 Split Ends 2 Backs, 1 H and 1 F By doing this I should be able to keep a good team on the field. I dont keep a huge stock of players on roster, mainly because it keeps transferring down. Usually my roster is in the 55 to 60 range.

The Playbook
This offense predicates itself on simplicy and repetition. Coach DeMeo preaches in his 101 ways to run the Option book that it isn2019t wise to mix up mesh points between your QB and the Backs in your offense. Another consideration is how much is too much, whether it be option based or Run & Shoot. Both require a lot of practice time to master in the game let alone in real life. I try very hard to be as Sim as possible and there is only so many practice hours a college team can practice a week. So with that in mind I designed this system that would be easy to learn, complete in scope, but not more than a real college team would use. In Mouses Run & Shoot outside of the base formation (Double Slot and later Double Spread) all others are called by using the term Early or another term to denote the change with a motion type/direction. For the giggles of it, I have what mine would be called included. Although it really means nada given the formations titled by EA, I feel the need geek out a bit more than usual and to be Sim accurate. Motions: Across: backside Slot motions across the formation and align between the frontside Slot & SE to create a 3 x 1 look.. This is denoted as Rip or Liz. Inside: backside slot motions to a position between frontside tackle and the slot to create a 3 x 1 look. This is denoted as Rex or Lex. Tail: backside slotback will motion to a position behind the FB. This is denoted as Rook or Look. Whirly: frontside slot motions to a position to the side of the FB for the Wingbone and in Misdirection plays like Trap Option or WB Misdirection. This is denoted as Rock or Lock. By adding the term Spread the QB lines up at Pistol Depth. Pistol Trips 4WR Spread Early Lex or Spread Early Rex So. Flexbone Normal no name giving Flexbone Trips Lt/Rt Early Liz or Early Rip Pistol Spread Spread Pistol Trips 4WR Spread Early Lex or Spread Early Rex Flexbone Split Wing Z - Over Left or Over Right

Formations & Sets

Strategy Running Game


The running offense is based around what is as close to the concepts Coaches Ellison & Davis ran as I can in the game. Coach Davis while at Portland State ran a much larger running game than what most of us know from his days with the Gamblers, Gold, Lions and Knights. The goal is to have all four backs handle the ball, to create misdirection and confusion off the motion schemes. I break my running game down into components: Primary Back Runs, Slotback runs, & Option Runs. FB Dive: 20/21 Dive

You will notice that FB Sting has the FB going in the 3 hole in the diagram, but in the game they are actually going up the 1 hole so I include them as 20/21 Dives. Flexbone Trips Lt has the FB Dive as well. FB Draw: 20/21 Draw

WB Dive: 31/40 Dive

WB Misdirection: 35/44 Sally Trap

Speed Sweep: 35/44 Fly

WB Toss/WB Toss Wk: 37/46 Rocket

Flexbone Trips Rt also has the Rocket Sweep Tr Option Str /TR Option: 22/23 Veer

Flexbone Trips Rt also has the Veer Trap Option: 22/23 Counter Veer

Midline QB Iso: 20/21 Iso

Midline Triple: 22/23 Midline

Read Option: 20/21 Zone

Speed Option: 25/24

So how do I use and execute these plays to keep the defense on their heels, trying to guess whether its going to be a shoot play? An option play? Or a misdirection? A big part of it comes in how I set up my user audibles and the quick audibles. Also I dont try to overload any one type of play until I see what the defense is going to focus on and even then I will try to find a couple complementary plays to work off of that may be the the primary run. The best way to explain this is from how in a user v. user game I would handle the option on defense. With the game setting a defender to be the dive read man, and then if its a triple option, one to defend the pitch read. I would control a player to spy the QB and this would effectively give you a strong way to stop of the option. Ok, so you have to know that the team is going to run the option all day. Well yeah, with its effectiveness this year, that is a likely possibility. So given that knowledge, on offense one has to then use the plays that complement the option to get the D to loosen up on the option. Since so this means whether under center or in Shotgun or Pistol depth you have to have plays that use similar motions to give the defense multiple looks. Lets take a look at 23 Veer from the base formation.

The play runs fairly accurately to the Veer in real systems. The Frontside Slotback gets goofy most of the time looking for someone to block instead of blocking the defender he needs to, but oh well. If the D starts to shut this play down, I can use the Counter Veer to take advantage of over pursuit, or the Sally Trap that also uses Whirly Motion, I can even use the Sting version of the Dive and user Motion the backside Slot in Whirly motion, or I can quick hit them with the Toss. I try to present a balanced attack. The goal is 20 to 25 runs and passes a game. Of course that is never quite what happens. One game might be pass heavy the next run heavy it all depends on the defense and game situations. Over the 7 years of the off line dynasty using ODU I am currently running I have averaged 2100 yds rushing and 2900yds passing a year. The best year running was year 4 where I rushed for 3100yds in 14 games, best passing was year 2 where I passed for 4600yds in 13 games. I took stats from 2 separate games from my ODU dynasty both in year 5. This year my starting Offense looked like this: O-Line was rated at a 77.5 average with the C, and RG being the best players with one being an 81 and the other being a 79. Split Ends - X was rated at 77, Z was rated at 83, both were decent WRs. Slots - W was rated at 86 and Y was rated at 81, these guys were both (RS) So. and would be beasts. H - was a sophomore rated at 77, he also went on to be a beast finishing out at a 91 overall. F was rated at 84 and a (RS) Sr. QB - 93 a RS (SR) low 80s running stats, but had high Awe, Tha & Thp from being in the system for 5 years and the starter for 3. We were 12-2 that year, winners of the Conference and the Liberty Bowl.

Game 1 vs. conference opponent: D was rated as a 78 Play Carries Yds TDs -Yd Carries 20/21 Dive 12 84 1 1/-2 TD 21yds 20/21 Draw 6 41 0 0 31/40 Dive 1 9 0 1/-3 35/44 Sally Trap 7 77 2 0 TD 56yds TD 9yds 37/46 Fly 0 0 0 0 37/46 Rocket 2 6 0 0 22/23 Veer 10 126 2 2/-8 TD 47yds Pitch TD 71yds Pitch 22/23 Counter Veer 1 4 0 0 22/23 Midline 7 17 0 2/-6 20/21 Zone 3 12 0 0 24/25 Speed 1 3 0 0 Sacks 1 0 0 1/-5 Total 47 376 5 8/-25 So 54 carries for 351yds 5tds for a 6.5ypc with 199yds are on the 5tds. By removing those big scores, 172 yds on 49 carries including 8 for loss adding up to -25yds in losses, equates for a 3.61ypc which is very pedestrian. The big hit plays to the Slots were the big deal as they accounted for 222yds with W accounting for 139yds and 3tds. Game 2 vs. non-conference opponent: D was rated at 84 with 2 OLBs in a 3-4 that were both upper 80s Play Carries Yds TDs -Yd Carries 20/21 Dive 11 45 2 0 TD 11yds TD 0yds 20/21 Draw 10 89 0 0 31/40 Dive 7 22 0 1/-4 35/44 Sally Trap 2 2 0 1/-3 37/46 Rocket 6 7 0 3/-14 22/23 Veer 7 11 0 3/-11 20/21 Zone 3 13 0 0 Sacks 4 0 0 4/-34 Total 50 189 2 13/-66 50 carries for 123yds 2tds for a 2.46ypc, yup plum cruddy, H and F did run for a combined 23 carries and 129yds for a 5.6ypc average. However, with 13 carries for a total lost yardage of 66 yards, if wasnt great day running. I wasnt able to get the option going. Nor was I able to get the outside running game to be productive. Now which game did I win and which did I lose? The final score in game one was 53-55 a loss in triple OT, game two I won 45-13 as my QB went 35-51 for 425yds 3tds 0ints. Game one the QB passed for 226yds 2tds 2ints, he was 19-36. I also had 2 missed extra points and lost the game on a 2 point conversion. What does this show? That this game much akin to life and football played on the field sometimes what you think will happen does and vice versa. The OT loss was brutal, and as bad as it was to lose the win was just as thrilling. But the bigger statement here is with this offense you can always be in the game if you keep balance and diversity across the plays.

Passing Game
The passing game is what really has become more streamlined as time has passed from the first version of the offense to now. A lot of that change has to do with EA finally getting the option routes where they are flippable, another part is if you are going to have a triple option game that takes a lot of practice time to run, you have to limit your passing game, and if that passing game also takes a lot of time with option routes, then you really have to limit things. The passing game is based off 4 of Mouse's early concepts with multiple variations off those concepts including Play Action, a simple quick passing game, a simple 5 step drop game, and a small screen package out of Pistol Spread & Trips 4WR for times when one needs to defend blitz heavy teams.

Terminology

Looking at the 2 diagrams above, you can see they are based out of the base formation and Early Rip. The same terms are used for Spread and Spread Early Rex. You will notice that the backside Slotback when moved Early is called the Slot Read.

Passing Series
I use a standard 2 digit system where the first digit is the series type and the second number indicates to which side of the field is the QB leans toward on his drop. An example using Rip 60 Z Go, The play is ran from the base formation (Flexbone Normal) so there is no designation of formation. The backside slot motions to the frontside which is to the right. (Rip) The QB leans on his drop to the frontside. (60) The frontside SE is the Primary receiver. (Z) Multiple plays can be run as play action fakes; I notate this by adding a 2 in front of the series number. So running play action off of Go with tail motion would be: Rook 264 Z Go or Look 265 X Go. The Passing plays are broken down into 5 categories, 50 Series are 1 to 3 step drop under center passes. 60 Series are your standard 60 series plays from the Shoot, with some variation. I run them as 5 step drop with slight lean toward the Primary receivers side, not really a semi roll but all not a straight drop back. 70 Series these are also 5 step drop passes but without route adjustments. 80 Series is a 7 step deep series again not exactly a rollout, nor is it a straight drop but I lean towards the frontside as I drop back to end up at the edge of the tackle box. I do shift my line to that side pre snap. 90 Series These are my screens they are called by the receiver getting the ball and type of screen. So Spread 91 W Bubble would be a Bubble screen to the backside Slotback from the Spread formation (Pistol Spread)

Route Adjustments The Choice Read is a pre-snap hot route read for the backside SE. There are two versions, one for when he is the
sole receiver on his side and one when there is a Slot to his inside. Sole Receiver Rules: If the CB is backed off, there isnt a defender in the slot or that person shows blitz. Hot route to a Slant If the CB is backed off and there is a defender in the slot. Hot route to an Out or Deep Out If the CB is backed off and there is a defender shading the tackle. Hot route to a Curl If the CB is in tight and the secondary is in a Blitz or Cover 1/3 look. Hot route to a Fly If the CB is in tight and the secondary is in a Man or Cover 2/4 Look Hot route to a Comeback Slot Inside Rules: 2 x 2 Look If the CB is backed off, hot route to a Curl If the CB is backed off and the defender is over the Slot. Hot to an Out/Deep Out If the CB is in tight and the secondary is in a Blitz or Cover 1/3 look. Hot to a Fly If the CB is in tight and the secondary is in a Man or Cover 2/4 Look. Hot to a Comeback

The Seam Read for Choice, Choice X & Touchdown X is a read that can be left in the play if you have a slot
receiver with good route running, awareness, & play recognition. If you dont then you can make it a pre-snap read using plays that have a Post route for the receiver that runs the read. If the Defense is in a 2 / 4 Deep Look. Run/hot route to a Seam/Post. If the Defense is in a 1 / 3 Deep Look. Run/hot route to a Dig. If the Defense is in a Blitz look. Hot route to a Hitch. When the Switch is called for Choice and Touchdown the SE and Slot will change assignments. For Choice that is the frontside Slot and SE, for Touchdown it is the Backside Slot and SE.

The Frontside SE (FSE) Read for Go & Touchdown this is a pre-snap read for the frontside SE. There will always
be a slot to his inside. If the CB over him is backed off hot route him to a Curl. If the CB is Tight and the secondary is in a single high safety look run/hot to a Fly If the CB is Tight and the secondary is in a 2 Deep look hot him to a comeback route

The Seam Read for Go & Touchdown is a read that can be left in the play if you have a slot receiver with good
route running, awareness, & play recognition. If you dont then you can make it a pre-snap read using plays that have a Post route for the receiver that runs the read. If the Defense is in a 2 / 4 Deep Look. Run/hot route to a Seam/Post If the Defense is in a 1 / 3 Deep Look. Run/hot route to a Curl If the Defense is in a Blitz look. Hot route to a Hitch. When the Slide is called for Go the Slots will change assignments.

50/51 Slants - This ran from the base formation: It is your simple slant flat read to the frontside with a slant and tail motion to the backside.

At the line I see which side I think has a better chance of coming free and read the progression from there. If the single side slant is the more "open" looking side; The read is for 5051 is Slant Slant - Flat If the single side slant is the more "open" looking side: The read is for 50/51 is Slant - Flat Slant Assignments Backside Split End runs a Slant route. Backside Slot runs Tail motion and helps block the Frontside. Frontside Slot runs a Flat route and sits when he gets to the side line. Frontside Split End runs a Slant route. Variations: 52/53 Slants: the backside SE runs a Post route. (You Hot route (B) to a Slant)

56/57 Trigger - the oldie but goodie still makes its way into my offense, I have had a lot of luck with it down at the goal line.

The read for 58/59 Trigger : Slant - Curl - Flat Assignments Backside Split End runs a Curl route. Halfback Motions to the frontside slot and runs a Slant route. (Hot (A) to 1st down or to a Slant) Frontside Slot runs a Flat route and sits when he gets to the side line. Frontside Split End runs a Slant route. 58/59 Under - This is a trips based route that Mouse has used as a variation of Slide. I use it as a nice quick hitter out of Trips.

I hot the inside Slot to a Whip Route and re-hot the frontside SE to a slant so that it is run deeper. The read for 58/59 Under: Slant - Whip - Flat Assignments Backside Split End runs a Slant route. Backside Slot runs a Whip route. Hot route (A) to a Whip Frontside Slot runs a Flat route and sits when he gets to the side line. Frontside Split End runs a Slant route. Hot route (B) to a Slant so the slant is run deeper

60/61 Go - is the first play installed by most shoot coaches every season. Coach Jones has stated at several clinics that it is the most successful play in his shoot offense year in and out. It consists of 3 vertical routes plus a flat route that is the check down. The play is run to the frontside.

Read for 60/61 Go: To the frontside Go Read - Seam Read - Flat - Scramble Assignments Backside Split End runs a Go route with an outside release to draw his CB plus any deep help away from the Seam route. Backside Slot motions across the formation and runs a Seam Option route if the Secondary is in Cover 2 or 4 he runs a Post, if they are in cover 1 or 3 he continues up the Seam. Frontside Slot funs a Flat route to the frontside sideline and sits. Frontside Split End runs a Go route with an outside release giving separation from the Seam route. If the CB over him is backed off I hot route him to a Curl. If the CB is Tight and the secondary is in a 2 Deep look, I will hot him to a comeback route. Variations - These will be detailed in the Created Plays section. 62/63 Go: is a created version of Go where I pre-read the Seam Route. 64/65 Go: is a created version of Go with Tail motion. 66/67 Go Slide: is a created play where the slots trade assignments, the Flat Slot runs a Bubble.

60/61 Choice - The direct compliment to Go and probably the next most important play in the shoot arsenal. The 3 vertical routes with a check down scheme varies from Go in that it is run to the backside and the backside SE has a "Choice" route. The check down is a In that crosses to the backside and the Seam reads is a Post/Dig combo.

Read for 60/61 Choice: To the backside Choice Read Seam Read In - Scramble Against the Blitz Choice read In Seam Read - Scramble Assignments Backside Split End runs the Choice read which was explained in the origins section, I pre read this as I want to know what he is doing and with multiple reads in the game often he wont run the route I want him to. Backside Slot motions across the formation and runs a Seam Option route if the secondary is in Cover 2 or 4 he runs a Post, if they are in cover 1 or 3 he breaks off and runs a Dig. Frontside Slot runs an In route across to the backside. Frontside Split End runs a Go route with an outside release to draw his CB plus any deep help away from the Seam Route. H/F can run to the frontside flat this is denoted with the tag S Flat. Variations - These will be detailed in the Created Plays section. 62/63 Choice: is a created version of Choice where I pre-read the Seam Route. 64/65 Choice X: is a created version of Choice where the Frontside SE and read Slot switch routes.

70/71 Flood Flood is a staple in most passing offenses and is a play that has been a play that has been in Mouse's playbook in various forms since the beginning.

Read for 60/61 Flag: Corner Flat Dig/Post Scramble Assignments Backside Split End runs a Post or Dig route sitting in the Area empty in the middle of the field. Flag Slot runs a Corner route finding an open hole in the coverage. Flat Slot runs a Flat route to the sideline and sits. Frontside Split End runs a Go route with an outside release to draw his CB plus any deep help away from the Corner Route. H/F can run to the frontside flat this is denoted with the tag S Flat. Variation: These will be detailed in the Created Plays section. 70/71 Flag: is the base play. 72/73 Flag: is a created play where the Flat Slot stays in to block with the QB doing a full rollout 74/75 Flag: is a created play based on Tail motion with the motion slot running the Flat.

70/71 Shallow - This is a West Coast/Air raid staple. Why does it show up here? Well cause I like it, and it is an easy play/concept to install and run.

The read for 70/71Shallow: Drag - Dig - Post - Flat Assignments Backside Split End runs a Post route. Backside Slot runs a Deep In route. Frontside Slot runs a Drag route Frontside Split End runs a Fly Route H/F runs a Flat route. 70/71 Levels - This is a West Coast/Air raid staple..

The read for 70/71 Levels: Drag - Dig - Post - Flat Assignments Backside Split End runs an Out or Fly route. Frontside Inside Slot runs an In route. Frontside Outside Slot runs a Deep In route Frontside Split End runs a delayed In Route

80/81 Touchdown - is a 4 vertical concept from a balanced set. This play can be very successful in the game. The Switch concept which is the second staple of the Balanced 90 series in the offense was originally called Touchdown Switch so I use it the game that way. The biggest reason is to not confuse it with Choice X.

Read for 90/91 Touchdown: Seam Read Seam - Go Read - Scramble

***I dont use All Go in my playbook for TD instead I use Flexbone 60 Go*** ***and hot route the slots to their assignments.***
Assignments Backside Split End runs a Go route with an outside release to draw his CB plus any deep help away from the Seam route. Backside Slot runs a Seam read if the Secondary is in Cover 2/4 he runs a Seam, if they are in cover 1/3 he breaks off with a Curl. Frontside Slot runs a Seam read if the Secondary is in Cover 2/4 he runs a Seam, if they are in cover 1/3 he breaks off with a Curl. Frontside Split End runs a Go route with an outside release giving separation from the Seam route. If the CB over him is backed off I hot route him to a Curl. If the CB is Tight and the secondary is in a 2 Deep look, I will hot him to a comeback route. H/F can run to the frontside flat this is denoted with the tag S Flat. Variations. These will be detailed in the Created Plays section. 82/83 TD X: is a created play where the backside SE and Slot swap assignments.

90/91 - The Screen game is something of an issue for under center teams in the game and especially ones that run primarily out of Flexbone. I tried using the slip screen in Wingbone normal but that formation is so nerfed for the Shootbone what I finally conceited defeat and now I use the S Flat calls a lot more to get my H and F into the passing game. My primary screen game is out of my Pistol sets I run them as they are intended except I break the Play Action fake on the ones that have it. For the Mid and Bubble Screens I will Hot route the backside SE to a Slant in case the CB crashes down on the Screen man.

So like I did for the running game here is the same 2 games passing breakdown Play Cmp/Att Yds TDs Ints Sacks 50/51 2/3 17 0 0 0 58/59 1/1 7 0 0 0 60/61 Go 7/11 94 1 0 1 62/63 Go 3/4 41 0 0 0 64/65 Go 0/1 0 0 0 0 264/265 Go 1/3 16 0 0 0 60/61 Choice 3/4 34 1 0 0 62/63 Choice 0/1 0 0 0 0 70/71 Flag 0/2 0 0 1 0 90/91 TD 0/2 0 0 1 0 92/93 TD X 1/3 11 0 0 0 H Slip 1/1 6 0 0 0 Totals 19/36 226 2 2 1 Base 17/31 175 1 1 1 Pistol 2/5 51 1 1 0 Play 52/53 54/55 58/59 60/61 Go 62/63 Go 264/265 Go 60/61 Choice 62/63 Choice 64/65 C X 72/73 Flag 74/75 Flag 274/275 Flag 82/83 TD X 90/91 H Slip 90/91 Bubble Totals Base Pistol Cmp/Att 1/2 0/0 1/1 5/8 7/9 3/4 5/7 3/4 2/4 1/1 1/2 1/1 3/5 1/2 1/1 35/51 28/41 7/10 Yds 18 0 7 77 78 84 44 32 26 16 3 14 47 5 7 425 370 55 TDs 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 1 Ints 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Sacks 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 4 0

So you can see that Go and Choice were the top getters in both games, which isnt really uncommon for me as If I call one and the other is open I will audible/hot to it. The inclusion of a Flat hot for slots/TEs really helps with this. The only 2 routes you cant get in the game now from Hot Routes is the Post and Corner. So there is a lot you can do with hot routes if you are fast in seeing what needs ran and getting the combos done to change the routes.

Audibles
User Audibles:

Quick Aucibles

Play Action

Short

Deep

Run

Conclusion
Offense like any strategic goal is a situation where you set a goal or goals and then attain it/them. If you dont have any goals going in you cant achieve anything. Now yes the goal of any football game is to win. However, what was the goal for the offense: To score? To not turn the ball over? To win games/Conference/National title? At once those are all true, and can be attained, but how do you go about it. That is the question that all coaches think about, what works, not just what you like but what works for the athletes you have on your roster. What is working within the sport? Quickly, a lot of time can be divested to simply deciding what you want to run, what your obstacles are, and what scheme and utilities will be needed to succeed. All too often, I see guys asking for help with their offense, but they are asking the wrong questions. Even within the Sim world, you get guys that dont understand what needs to truly be addressed for their offenses to be successful. So in closing I guess the thing I would like to impart is: Know your team. Know your opponents. Truly investigate if what you want to do if a fit with the situation you are given. If those two dont meet and connect then you need to rethink either how you go about doing things or what type of personnel you have and what personnel you need. Fortunately, for this offense, since most of the teams in the game run a variation of a Spread offense speed is in high quantity. It a good offense to run since Speed is a huge factor in making this offense work. I hope this write up is useful for folks, and that everyone continues to enjoy playing football be it on the field of green on in the digital world. Ligerborn

Appendix I Created Plays


Ok after much deliberation I have decided that I will use the button assignments in the photos as keys to which receiver does what in this section. So (X) = X button, (A) = A Button, (Y) = Y Button, (B) = B button, (RB) = Right Button 62/63 Go this is a play where I make a pre-snap read the Seam read. I use multiple plays to create this look. If the play is run to the left as the frontside (Trips Left) I will sometimes audible to it from Flexbone Normal to simulate across motion.

Some of the plays I use to create 62/63 Go.

For Curl Flats you can see that I need to Hot the backside SE to a Fade, and then pre-snap read the Read slot and the Frontside SE. So Hot (RB) to Block Hot (B) to a Fly/Fade Seam read (A) (See Rules on Page 17) FSE read (X) (See Rules on Page 17) For 4 Verticals you can see that I need to Hot the frontside Slot to a Flat, and then pre-snap read the read Slot and the Frontside SE. So Hot (Y) to Block Hot (A) to a Flat Seam read (RB) (See Rules on Page 17) FSE read (B) (See Rules on Page 17)

64/65 Go uses Tail motion by the backside slot. I incorporated this to help strenghten the passing game from the standard flexbone offense. I chose to keep the play within the scope of my 4 passing concepts for ease of repetition and learning given a Sim Context.

The play I use to create 64/65 Go.

I Hot route the backside SE to a Fly/Fade & pre-snap read the frontside Slot and SE. So Hot (RB) to Block (for play action leave on) Hot (X) to a Fly/Fade Seam read (A) (See Rules on Page 17) FSE read (B) (See Rules on Page 17)

62/63 Choice this is a play where I pre-read the Seam Read & the Choice Read. I use multiple plays to create this look. If the play is ran to the left as the frontside (Trips Left) I will sometimes audible to it from Flexbone Normal to simulate across motion.

Some of the plays I use to create 62/63 Choice.

For Curl Flats you can see that I need to Hot the frontside Slot to an In, Hot the frontside SE to a Fade and then pre-snap read the read Slot and the backside SE. So Choice read (B) (See Rules on Page 17) Seam read (A) (See Rules on Page 17) For 4 Verticals you can see that I need to Hot the frontside Slot to an In and then pre-snap read the read Slot & the backside SE. So Choice read (B) (See Rules on Page 17) Seam read (A) (See Rules on Page 17)

262/263 Choice this is a Play Action version of Choice where I pre-read the Choice Read. If the play is ran to the left as the frontside (Trips Left) I will sometimes audible to it from Flexbone Normal to simulate across motion.

The play I use to create 262/263 Choice.

You can see that I need to Hot the frontside Slot to an In, and pre-snap read the backside SE. With the Deep Crossing route I dont Pre-snap read the Read Slot. So For Tr Cntr Pass I will Hot (RB) to Block (Leave on for play action) Hot (Y) an In. Choice read (B) (See Rules on Page 17) A note on this play even though it is supposed to be the Counter version of the Triple Option the QB doesnt not reverse pivot out to the mesh with the FB. I prefer the Triple Option Passes for Play action as the Mesh happens at the line instead of deeper which gives a different look and feel for an offense that the FB mesh is usually close to the line.

64/65 Choice X this is a version of Choice where the frontside SE and read Slot change routes. I presnap read the Choice read. I use multiple plays to create this look. If the play is ran to the left as the frontside (Trips Left) I will sometimes audible to it from Flexbone Normal to simulate across motion.

Some the plays I use to create 64/65 Choice X.

Ok, so I have to take care of the FB to block, Hot the Frontside Slot to an In and Choice Read the backside SE. I dont Pre-snap read the Read Slot. So For Post Curl I will Hot (RB) to Block (Leave on for play action) Hot (Y) an In. Choice read (B) (See Rules on Page 17) So For PA Switch I will Hot (Y) to Block Hot (A) an In. Choice read (X) (See Rules on Page 17)

70s Flood while this play has no reads other than setting the frontside Slot to block if its a blitz situation, (only from Trips Left) which is also called 72/73, you do have to make a couple hot routes to create it how I run it. I also have a version using tail motion that can be playaction as well listed as 74/75 and 274/275.

Some the plays I use to create 70s Flood.

You will notice in the diagram that I have what looks like route adjustments to the backside SE and Read Slot. However, this play doesnt have any option routes. They are because the plays I use sets both routes. So For Slot Corner I will Hot (RB/R1) to Block Hot (A/Triangle) to a Flat. Hot (X/Square) to a Fly/Fade So For Z Spot I will Hot (Y) to Block so that he is out of the way of the QBs path Hot (A) to a Flat. Hot (B) to a Fly/Fade So For Strong Flood I will Hot (B) to a Fly/Fade74/75 and 274/275

There are no route adjustments for this play except to cancel the Play action for 74/75

80/81 Touchdown This 4 vertical concept every receiver has a read assignment so I have to work fast to get theings adjsuted once I see how the D is gonna react to the play. Undercenter I use 60 Go with adjustments and from pistol I use Vertical read. I also shift my line to the direction of the semi roll I do.

Some the plays I use to create 80/81 Touchdown.

I use Go since the 2 SEs are already runnign outside release Fly routes and hotting the motion SE to to Fly has him veer out and then up giving him seperation off the End man on the line. So For 60 Go Seam read (Y) & (A)(See Rules on Page 17) Choice read (X) & (B) (See Rules on Page 17) Use the Choice read with inside Slot rules. So For RNS Vertical Read Seam read (Y) (See Rules on Page 17) Choice read (X) & (B) (See Rules on Page 17) Use the Choice read with inside Slot rules.

82/83 Touchdown X This 4 vertical concept every receiver has a read assignment so I have to work fast to get theings adjsuted once I see how the D is gonna react to the play. The backside recievers swap assignments.

The plays I use to create 82/83 Touchdown X.

With the backside switch happening the Backside SEs Seam read is a Dig/Post read same as Choice. So For Tr Cntr Pass Hot (RB) to Block (Leave on for Playaction) Seam read (Y) (See Rules on Page 17) Seam read (B) (See Rules on Page 17) Choice read (X) (See Rules on Page 17) Use the Choice read with inside Slot rules. So For RNS Vertical Read Seam read (A) (See Rules on Page 17) Seam read (X) (See Rules on Page 17) Choice read (B) (See Rules on Page 17) Use the Choice read with inside Slot rules.

The Full Playbook


Flexbone Normal : 4 WR package: X W - H Y - Z

Flexbone Trips Left/Right : Twin HB Package: X W H Y Z (Y is Always the frontside Slotback)

Pistol Spread : WR Flip: X W H Y Z

Pistol Trips 4WR : X W H Y Z

Flexbone Split Wing Z : HB Flip : W F Y Z (Swing Tackle at TE)