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The Explosive

for Winning Football
Don Morton
Publishing Company, Inc.
West New YoriL IBRAAY
1980, by
West Nyack. New York
All rights reselVed. No pari of this
book may be reproduced in any form or
by any means, without permission in
writing from the publisher.
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Wacker. Jim
The explosive veer offense for winning football .
Includes index.
1. Football-Offense. 2.
Morton. Don. joint author.
ISBN 013298018-5
Football coaching. I.
II. Title.
Printed in the United States of America
To our wives, Li l and Sue, whose love and support
malle it all worthwhile.
To all the coaches we have worlled with-Rolph
Storenllo, Jiggs Westergard, ond Tom Muel ler in
porticular-for thei r core and concern for young
To our players, for their commitment and
dedication to excell ence, both on ond off the
How You Can Profit from the
Veer Offense
A balanced running and passing attack that can score from
any place on the field-that's the veer or triple option offense.
Many of the teams that are properly executing this offense are
breaking offensive records at an unprecedented rate. They are
piling up points like never before.
What is it about the veer offense that makes it so explosive?
Why have long runs and passes again become such common
occurrences? Basically, it is because a relatively new offense is
ahead of the present defenses-a phenomenon that has occurred
many times before in the history of this great game. In nearly every
football clinic across the nation, defensive coaches spend the
majority of their time trying to explain how they plan to defend the
triple option. Several years ago it was the wishbone offense. Today
it is the inside and outside veer executed from a variety of
This book examines fully and comprehensively the veer attack
against every conceivable defense. In analyzing the offense, all of
the important coaching pOints and strategies are identified in a
very concrete and simple fashion. After reading and studying this
book you will be able to teach and employ the veer offense at any
level of competition.
Several factors must coincide in any winning football pro-
gram. First, it is obvious that talented athletes make coaching a
lot easier. You must have the horses! But proper teaching tech
niques and drills can be a great equalizer, and a big part of our job
is to develop the talent of those with whom we have the privilege to
work. Secondly, you must also be a motivator of men; you must be
able to get the "great effort" out of your players. But a third factor
is often the one that makes the difference between winning and
losing-between a .500 season and an undefeated season. It
revolves around your knowledge of the game. Is the system sound?
Is the system current and ahead of the defenses? Can you out-
coach your opponent because you have a better offense and a
better defense? And most important, can your players execute your
system properly during the game? It is what they can do, not what
the coach knows, that wins the football game.
Finally, the threat of the pass must be present in order for you
to have a completely sound offense. More than any other offense,
the veer lends itself exceptionally well to the play action passing
game. With a dive back on playside, you have an extra blocker,
enabling you to choose from a variety of blocking schemes to fit
your personnel. In the following pages you will be exposed to the
advantages and disadvantages of several blocking schemes. Some
basic rules regarding seven-man and eight-man fronts will also be
Every offense must be able to convert on those critical third
and long situations. A play action pass is seldom effective under
these conditions. In Chapter 10, you will read about a simple
dropback series and a short sprint-out a t t a c k / ~
Rather than just a discussion of pass patterns, you will be
exposed to a thorough system of quarterback reads. You will be
able to train your QB to read secondary coverages prior to the
snap of the ball by reading a couple of keys. For those defenses
who disguise their coverages, you will find a simple system
enabling your QB to read the secondary as the play develops.
When you teach your QB secondary reads, he will be able to
anticipate open receivers. You will be able to turn your QB into a
high percentage passer. Not only QB reads, but also QB technique
is presented with each pass series.
A thorough discussion of many pass patterns is presented,
enabling you to choose those which fit your personnel. A complete
passing game allows you to throw to any of your five receivers. You
will find several patterns for each eligible receiver.
Teams are winning with the veer offense because it is sound. It
is an offensive package that can put a tremendous amount of
pressure on the defense with both the running and the passing
games. In defending the veer, the opponents become spread out
across the entire field and good defensive pursuit and gang
tackling are impossible. Because of the powerful running threat,
the passing game opens up and long passes are probable even
against good zone secondaries.
The other key to the success of the veer offense is that it is
relatively simple to learn and to execute. It entails very few plays
and the blocking patterns readily adjust to any defense. The
running and passing games are also fully coordinated, and they
complement each other. Above all else, play execution wins
football games, and this book covers every minute detail in the
execution of the veer offense.
Jim Wacker
Don Morton
How You Can Profit from the Veer Offense. . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1. Exploding with the Veer Offense ....... / '/';: . . . . . . . 15
The outside veer (17) ... Continuity in the running and
passing attack (18) ... Simplicity and execution (19) ...
Two tight ends and a flanker (21) ... 1f it works, use it (22)
2. Coordinating the Running-Passing Attack
with a Simple Numbering System. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Dive, veer and option (25) ... Line splits (25) ... Aligning
personnel (26) ... Calling the play and using automatics
(27) ... Calling the "automatic on one" (29) ... Changing
the snap count (29) ... Analyzing defensive strength and
weakness (30) ... Establishing sound blocking patterns
against any defense (35) ... Using the 8 call as the base-
rule block (35) ... The double team block with a 4 call
(37) ... Fold blocks for dives and counters (40) ... Pulling
the playside guard (43) ... Tackle calls for the passing
game (43)
3. Stretching the Defensive Perimeter
with the Outside Veer.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 48
A great short yardage play (49) ... Quarterback execution
on the read (50) ... Teaching the mesh by the dive back
(52) ... Key coaching points for the outside veer
(53) ... The pitch relationship is critical (54) ... Executing
the pitch (55) ... Blocking patterns for the outside veer
(55) ... Attacking the stack-gap defense (57) ... Blocking
the pro 43 defense (58) ... Blocking patterns against split
:. .,.01',._". ,_ ~ , .. _ _ _, ... '
defenses (61) ... Use an 88 call against a split 6 defense
(62) . The near shoulder block (63) ... Adjusting to a 53
or 71 defense (63) .. . Attacking the 65 goal line defense
(64) ... Blocking adjustments with the 44 call and a doo-
dad block (66) . . . Why the outside veer is our bread and
butter (67)
4. Teaching the Execution of the Inside Veer . . . . . . . . . 68
New defensive innovations to stop the veer (69) ..
Offensive adjustments to changing defenses (69) ... Use a
check veer release against a fire end (71) ... Reading the
veer with scoop blocking (71) ... Get to the pitch against a
slant tackle (72) . .. The doo-dad block and the inside veer
(73) . .. The 44 call or 11 call to seal the linebacker (74) ..
Blocking the veer against pro 43 defense (75) ... The
inside veer will beat the split defense (77) ... Plays which
complement the veer (78) ... Making two plays into one-
the dive and cut-back (78) ... Blocking the tackle on a
44-45 option (79) ... Three key factors in executing a
successful veer offense (80) ... The execution of the veer
release block (81) ... Blocking the secondary with the
stalk block (82) . .. The quarterback read for the inside
veer (83) ... Beating the fire stunt by a defensive end
(84) ... Attacking the slow-play end (84) .. . Optioning
against a boxing defensive end (85) ... The veer continues
to evolve (86)
5. Breaking Long Runs with the Counter
and Counter Option. . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. 87
The double dive counter (88) ... A consistent inside attack
with the 22-23 dive (89) ... Blocking the dive against an
even defense (90) ... The problem encountered with the
split defense (91) . .. Use a 1 and 2 call against a gap-stack
defense (93) ... Executing the 22-23 counter option
(93) ... A good pitch relationship is essential (94) ... The
key is slowing down pursuit (94) ... Never give a lineman
an impossible block (96) ... Pulling the guard to block
secondary force (96) ... Variations in blocking split de-
fenses (98) ... A quick-hitting counter option without
counter steps (100) ... Tie in the run and the pass for con-
tinuity (101) ... Review ofthe main coaching points (101)
6. Coordinating the Lead Option
Within the Veer Offense. . . . .. . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . .. 102
The quarterback action on the lead option (102) ... Block-
ing force with an arc block (103) ... Establishing the
proper pitch relationship (103) ... Great pursuit can hurt
the lead option (104) . Blocking the offside linebacker
(104) ... Perfecting the scoop and slip blocks (105) ...
Advantages of scoop blocking (105) ... The scoop block
against even defenses (l06) . Does the scoop block give
linebackers a quick read? (107) .. . Blocking the entire sec-
ondary (107) ... Devising ways to block the free safety
(108) . The offside tight end must get the offside corner
(109) ... Why not combo block the defensive tackle?
(109) . . . Use a G call against gap-stack and short yardage
defenses (110) ... Blocking the 65 defenses with a 4 call
(111) ... Running the lead option toward a split end
(112) ... Blocking the lead option against option switch
(112) ... A review ofthe key coaching pOints (113)
7. Teaching the Crazy Option
with Trap Blocking. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . .. . . . . . . .. 115
The quarterback reads the pulling guard (116) . .. Execut-
ing the doo-dad block (116) ... The tight end uses a check
veer release (118) .. Block the Okie with a 4 call (118) ...
Blocking the wide pro 43 defense (118) ... Trap blocking
the split defenses (120) ... X call by the flanker
(120) ... Blocking the 65 goal line (121) ... The 28-29 trap
slows down pursuit (121) ... Reasons for including the
crazy option (122)
8. Complementing the Veer Offense
with Three Additional Power Plays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 123
Blocking technique for the lead back (124) .. . Executing
the handoff and the bootleg fake (124) ... The running
back squares into the hole (125) ... Blocking the various
defenses (125) ... Pulling the offside guard and tackle
(126) ... The 46-47 power sets up the outside veer (127) ...
Bootlegs help slow down the pursuit (127) . .. Countering
with the B46-B47 (128) ... An isolation play to keep the
linebacker honest (130) ... Why include the 50 series?
9. Attacking the Secondary with Veer
and Counter Action Passes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 132
Establishing a play action passing attack (132) .. . Advan-
tages of play action passes from the veer offense (133) ...
Nomenclature and pass routes (133) ... Simulating the
running game up front (135) ... Playside tackle calls
(137) ... Backside tackle calls (138) ... Blocking play ac-
tion passes hitting the 6 and 7 holes (138) ... Blocking
stunts seven-man fronts (138) ... Blocking an eight-man
front (143) .. . Line technique (144) ... Troublesome stunts
for the offense (145) ... Blocking variations (147) ... The
tight end dump pass (148) ... Quarterback execution on
the dump pass (149) ... Defending the dump (151) ... De-
fenses vulnerable to the dump pass (152) . .. The tight end
flag (154) ... Reading the secondary on the flag route
(155) ... Quarterback execution on the flag route (156) ...
The flag as a good pattern into the short side of the field
(158) ... The flanker's fly route (159) ... Flanker execution
on the fly route (160) ... Quarterback execution on the fly
route (160) . . . Throwback pass off play action (162) .. .
Throwback post (163) ... Throwback circle (164) .. .
Throwback fly (165) ... Other game-winning patterns off
play action (166) . , . Tight end delay (166) ... Quick postto
the flanker (167)
10. Adding a Dropback Passing Attack ................ 170
Nomenclature (170) ... Quarterback set-up (171) ... Hot
receiver principle (171) ... Simple line blocking (172) . . .
Line technique in a dropback passing attack (173) .. .
Reading the secondary for man or zone coverage (176) .. .
Dropback flood series (178) ... Flood patterns to strength
(179) ... The flanker's curl pattern (179) ... QB execution
and secondary reads (181) ... The flanker's fly pattern
(184) ... QB execution and reads (185) ... The tight end's
deep sideline (186) ... QB execution and secondary reads
(188) ... The offside end's deep across pattern (189) ... QB
execution and secondary reads (190) . .. Delay patterns off
flood passes (191) ... Throwback off the strongside flood
series (192) . . . QB execution and secondary reads (194) . ..
Flood patterns to the weakside (195) ... The tight end flag
pattern (196) ... QB execution and secondary reads
(197) . . . The weakside back's flag pattern (198) .. . QB ex-
ecution and secondary reads (198) ... The curl pattern
(199) . .. QB execution and secondary reads (200) ...
Screens off flood action (200) .. . Attacking an eight-man
front with flood series passes (201) . .. Running a flood
series with no hot receiver (203) ... Running a draw off
dropback action (203) ... Pressure the backside with a
divide series (205) ... The quick out (205) ... QB execution
and secondary reads (206) ... Throwback flood to the
weakside (207) .. . QB execution and secondary reads
11. Coaching Bootleg Action . .. . .......... ......... . .. 210
An excellent zone pattern (210) ... Line play for bootleg
passes (211) ... Quarterback execution on bootleg passes
(212) .. . Running back must fill for pulling lineman
(213) . . . The bootleg off the power action (213) ... Two
other effective bootleg patterns (215) .. . Why include
bootleg passes with the veer? (216)
12. Pressure the Defense
with Multiple Formations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 217
Formations with two wide receivers (217) ... Employing
the twins formation (218) ... Incorporating an unbalanced
attack with a minimum of new learning (219) ... Spread-
ing the defense with backfield motion (221) ... Motioning
to a trips formation (222) ... Why multiple formations?
13. Prepari ng the Veer Quarterback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 224
Keying the free safety in a sevenman front (224) ... The
free safety key in an eight-man front (225) ... Attack an
eight-man front with the free safety cheated over to
strength (226) . .. Play selection when they shift a lineman
over in a seven-man front (227) . . . Down and distance
considerations (228) .. . Make up a play list for down and
distance situations for each game (229) . . . Develop a
sideline notebook (229) ... Using the hashmark to your
advantage (230) .. . Field position zones and analysis
(231) . .. Get the first down zone (232) . . . The wide open
zone (233) .. . The four down zone (233) .. . The must score
zone (234) .. . Play selection according to score and time
remaining (234) ... When to take a safety (235) . . . Attack-
ing a reading defense (235) ... Play selection against pen-
etrating defenses (236) .. . Will the weather affect the
game plan? (236) . .. No one ever said it would be easy
14. Teaching the Veer Offense
with Effective Drills. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 238
Backfield drills (238) .. . Offensive line drills (239) . . .
Receiver drills (244)
Index .. . .. . .. .. .. ... ... ... ... . . .... . . .... ... . . ....... . 247
Exploding with the
Veer Offense
Each year you must again decide on the type of offensive
system you will use as the new season approaches. Many factors
will affect your decision. Your own knowledge of the game and
your familiarity with a particular system are important considera-
tions. Also important are the abilities and talents of your returning
players. But there is one other consideration that should always be
of primary concern with regard to chOOSing an offense: Is your
offensive system sound? Are the passing and running games fully
coordinated? Can the offense effectively attack the defensive
perimeter and spread out the pursuit so that long runs are more
likely to occur? Is it an uncomplicated system that the players can
readily learn to execute? All of these questions can be answered in
the affirmative when you use the veer offense. It is rapidly
becoming one of the most popular and exciting offenses in the
nation at the high school and college levels.
A brief analysis of the veer offense may help to clarify some of
the basic reasons for its present effectiveness. The first advantage
of a veer offense is that it outnumbers the defense at the point of
attack and hits with lightning quickness. The two basic plays are
the inside and the outside veer. The inside veer allows the offensive
tackle to double team down to the inside. The quarterback first
reads the defensive tackle and then the defensive end (Diagram
Diagram 1-1
Inside Veer
Because the offensive tackle is free to block down, he seals off
pursuit from the inside, and the offensive blockers outnumber the
defensive players at the point of attack. The quarterback then
meshes with the dive back, hitting quickly over the outside hip of
the offensive guard. If the defensive tackle closes down to tackle
the dive back, the quarterback simply pulls the ball, goes down the
line and options the defensive end. If the defensive tackle elects to
take the quarterback, then the quarterback will give the ball to the
dive back, who should break free into the secondary where only
the free safety will have a shot at him.
executed, one of the backs will break free into the secondary, and
the defensive pursuit is reduced to a minimum. Since pursuit and
gang tackling are prime prerequisites for sound defensive play, the
offense has now gained a tremendous strategic advantage. Long
runs are the inevitable result.
the outside veer
The rationale for the effectiveness of the outside veer is very
similar. In the outside veer, the dive back hits the tackle-end gap
and the tight end double teams down. sealing off the inside pursuit
(Diagram 1-2).
Diagram 1-2
Outside Veer
Most teams have found that they must stop the dive back and
they assign the tackle to close down. The quarterback then The execution of this play is even easier for the quarterback as
options the defensive end. If he elects to take the pitch, the he now reads the defensive end, and the defense cannot force a
quarterback will break into the secondary. If the defensive end quick double read as it can on the inside veer. If the defensive end
takes the quarterback, a long run should be possible on the pitch closes down and takes the dive back, the quarterback can sprint
since both the playside safety and the corner have been blocked by around the defensive end and option on the defensive safety. If the
the flanker and the tight end. Very few other plays in football are defensive end elects to tackle the quarterback, the dive back
designed so that the secondary is blocked by two players from the should break a long run because the safety must be responsible
playside of the attack, and this is a primary reason for the for the pitch. If the safety keys the tight end and closes for the
explosiveness tlf the inside veer (and the counter option). dive back, the quarterback keep or the pitch should break for long
Another reason why so many long runs develop from the veer yardage. Defensive personnel at the hole are again outnumbered
is that the defense must assign specific players to stop the dive by a 2 to 1 ratio. The long run is now a very real possibility because
back, the quarterback and the pitch. This forces the defense to defense must assign specific responsibilities for each offensive
spread out along the line of scrimmage, for they must be com- Tack, the defenSive pursuit is again reduced to a minimum.
, ____ I.. ro<nnn.ihilitlJ. When the play is prop_e_rl;.. Y ........... __ veer has also been extremely effective in short yardage
situations. and the reason for this will be fully explained in Chap-
ter 3.
Another advantage of the veer offense is that it does not
require a massive offensive line that can consistently whip your
opponent's defensive personnel on a one-to-one basis. There are
several reasons for this. First. the plays hit the line of scrimmage
with amazing quickness and the linemen do not have to hold their
blocks for as long as they do in the traditional power offense. In the
second place. there is either a double team block or a good angle
block at the point of attack; therefore. the offensive linemen can
handle defensive players who are much bigger and physically
stronger than they are.
continuity in the running and passing attack
The veer offense also has certain advantages inherent in the
passing attack. Since the basic running plays (veer and counter
option) have the tight end and flanker releasing immediately from
the line of scrimmage. this same release is extremely effective in
setting up play action passes which look identical to the running
offense. This puts an excessive amount of pressure on the defensive
secondary and forces them either to be late on their run support or
to take the chance of opening up a receiver for a big gain on a
dump pass or quick post. This type of play action pass also has the
advantage of a good play fake at the interior linebacker. which
helps to remove the defensive under-coverage (Diagram 1-3). The
fact that it is a very quick. short pass also increases the percentage
of completions and reduces the danger of the quarterback getting
The dump pass has been very effective. but there is another
factor that causes even more concern for the defense, and that is
the explosiveness of the long touchdown pass. One of our teams
was fortunate enough to throw 18 touchdown passes in 11 games,
even though we only threw the ball about 20 percent of the time.
There were several reasons for this. First. the running game put
tremendous pressure on the defensive secondary. They were
to play too close to the line of scrimmage. which resulted 10
unsound pass coverage. Our best passing formation employed two
tight ends with a flanker. The tight end away from the flanker was
consistently able to get in behind the defensive corner on
throwback action passes (Diagram 1-4). Chapters 9 and 10 fully
Diagram 1-3
Dump Pass
Diagram 1-4
Dump Fly
explain the passing game and also analyze the advantages of
passing from this formation.
Simplicity and execution
The veer offense has another inherent advantage that is
emphasized by nearly every coach who has successfully employed
the triple option attack-simplicity and execution. A minimum
number of plays and one alignment for the offensive backs form a
critical part of the total offensive system. Any option attack
demands precision and timing. and this means that the coach
must Simplify the offense and cut the number of plays to a
Because of this principle. we decided never to change
alignment of our two running backs. We always have a split
backfield alignment with both backs lined up directly behind the
offensive guards 5 yards back from the line of scrimmage (Dia-
gram 1-5). We will move our receivers around to create dIfferent
formations, but precision and demand that our. backs'
relationship to the quarterback remaInS the same. tIme .we
practice any play, the pitch relationship and the backfield actIon
will always be identical. Repetition eliminates mistakes and re-
duces fumbles, and that is a primary key to winning football
0000 0tO 0
: 0 : 5 YARDS
I 1+
o 0
Diagram 1-5
Many teams run the veer or triple option from the wishbone or
I formation and have had considerable success. We decided to use
the split backfield alignment for several reasons. First, it is the
formation that is ideally suited to the outside veer, and the outsIde
veer is football's most difficult play to defend. A second advantage
is that our backs can get out faster on pass patterns than if they
were in an I formation. The limitations of the wishbone are even
more obvious in attempting to establish an effective passing
attack, since the offense will only have two receivers on or near the
Diagram 1-6
Inside Veer-Split
line of scrimmage. In the wishbone or I formation, the quarterback
also has to step back off the line of scrimmage to mesh with the
dive back on the veer (Diagram 1-6). With split backs, the
quarterback operates more along the line of scrimmage. The dive
back can also hit the seam quicker, and it is easier to cut back
the. grain because the angle approaching the line of
scnmmage IS less severe (Diagram 1-7).
Diagram 1-7
Inside Veer-Wishbone
two tight ends and a flanker
We also selected the two tight ends and flanker formation,
which we simply call "tight right" or "tight left," as our basic
formation because of the simplicity of its execution for our line
(Diagram 1-8). The tight formation allows us to use exactly the
same blocking rules to either side; therefore, any play can be run
identically to either side. It is especially important that the outside
veer can now be executed effectively to either side. This would not
be feasible from either the pro or slot formation because there
would not be a tight end on both sides.
o 0
Diagram 1-8
Ti ght Left Formation
The greatest advantage of this formation is that it makes your
game plan incredibly easy. We have one rule. If the defense adjusts
to fl anker strength, you simply direct most of your plays away from
the fl anker. Of course, if they do not make any major adjustments,
then you run primarily toward your flanker. How this is imple-
mented is fully explained in Chapter 2. An additional advantage of
the tight formation is that it reduces the number of stunts that you
are likely to see since you no longer have a split end side. Most
defensive teams prefer to gamble with stunts on the side away
from the tight end. It also helps on play action passes since you
can keep the tight end in for pass protection on the back side
whenever this is necessary. And finally, it is the hardest formation
for you to defend and that always helps to make you a believer.
if it works, use it
In concluding this chapter, we would like to reemphasize one
important point: simplicity and execution win football games.
Teams actually beat themselves more often than their opponents
beat them. Fumbles, interceptions, missed blocking assignments
and busted plays generally spell defeat. Comparing two seasons in
which different offenses were used made our coaches realize the
importance of this particular concept. Before going exclusively to
split backs, we had a 6-4 record. We ran the power I, split and I
formations from pro, slot and tight alignments. The plays were the
same veer offense. On paper it looked easy; but our execution
suffered Significantly. The next year we ran only the split backs
primarily from the tight formation. Our total offense in yardage
gained increased from 339 yards to 457 yards per game. We
averaged 38 pOints per game as opposed to 26 points the previous
season. Our turnovers were also reduced significantly. The end
result was an 11-0 season and the NAIA Division II National
Championship. Simplifying our offensive formations certainly was
not the only factor that contributed to such a drastic change In
offensive proficiency, but all of our coaches are in total agreement
on one point: the most significant coaching change that was made
was to use a split backfield alignment exclusively.
Coordinating the
Running-Passing Attack
with a Simple
Numbering System
In setting up any offense one f th fi
terminology and numberl'n ' t 0 h erst considerations is the
gsys emt at yo It
pays. There is no magical 5 st . U P an 0 use In calling
principles should certainly: em for this, but several
prime requirement Th t
use as gUIdelines. Simplicity is a
. e sys em must q . kl d
e hole or area in the I' h mc y an easily identify
and the type of is planned, the backfield
Will also have to identify th g will be employed. A pass play
plays must be identified routes for all the receivers. The
standing. A very vivid 'ct y to reduce any chance for misunder-
mind so that he k PI ure must be painted in each player's
. nows exactly what t d .
an In any game situat. T . 0 0 agamst every defense
terminology should be f he thud consideration is that the
as ne and as concise as possible so that
. kly in the huddle or at the line of
the plays can be called qUlC tic or audible is necessary.
scrimmage in case an g plays was established with these
Our entire or 10 mber the holes in the line so
three principles in mmd. Ftrst
, wehnu
the play or the play fake is
h I
knows exact y w er
that eac P . 2-1). All of the even-numbered plays go
designed to hit (Diagram b d lays go to the left. The last
to the right and the c::I:d rs always the hole where the
digit of any number wh.lch IS f e any play ending with a 4 will
initial back will hit the Ime
; :e'guard-tackle gap to the right
have a back hitting the 4 0 e 10
3 2 4 6 8
o 0
Diagram 2-1
Hole Numbers
. . d termined by the series number of the
The backfield action e fi t umber called for any running
play, and this is always t e rs n I these two numbers plus one
. g plays use on y d
play. All 0 our runnm. . . The 40 series is our dive, veer an
or two .for side back always dives into the hole
option senes 10 which p :ack always runs an option course for
that is called and the b 44 dive where the back on the
the pitch. An example wou d a left back runs the option course
right dives into the 4 hole an. e
to the right for the pitch (Diagram 2-2).
Diagram 2-2
44 Dive
dive, veer and option
The word "dive" simply signifies a predetermined handoff to
the dive back in the designated hole. Thus, the 43 dive would be
the left halfback diving into the 3 hole. A 42 dive would be the
right halfback diving into the 2 hole. If the word "veer" is used, the
play will be a triple option with the quarterback having the option
of giving to the dive back, keeping or pitching. An example would
be a 47 veer, which would be the outside veer with the left halfback
diving at the 7 hole. The defensive end is then read to your left
(Diagram 2-3).
Diagram 2-3
47 Veer
Whenever the word "option" is used following the two play
numbers, it means that the line base-rule blocks the defense. The
quarterback will then simply fake to the dive back in the desig-
nated hole and proceed to option the defensive end. The three
plays are the 44 option, 44 veer and 44 dive. They will have
identical backfield action. Other running plays that are numbered
in a series are the 20 series for counters and counter options, the
30 series for the lead option, the 50 series for powers and bootlegs,
and the 80 series for the draw plays. These will be explained
further in the following chapters.
line splits
Our line splits are somewhat different from those used by
most veer teams. Normal line splits used in the veer offense require
3foot splits between the linemen. We prefer to use 2\1'2foot splits in
most situations, which helps in the execution of the vast majority
of our running plays. Our tight ends take 3 to 4foot splits.
Smaller line splits have reduced the distance for the backs hitting
in the offtackle area; this means we have a shorter distance to go
to attack the perimeter of the defense. If the inside veer is the
mainstay of the offense, then it would be better to retain 3foot
splits. In our veer attack the best three plays are the outside veer,
the lead option and the counter option. All of these plays attack
outside the offensive tackle; therefore, it is advantageous to cut the
splits to 2\1'2 feet (Diagram 24). In short yardage and goal line
situations, we will generally cut down the line splits to 1 foot in
order to eliminate the danger of penetration by the defensive line.
3' 2'h' 2'h' I 2'h' 2'h' 3'
SE 0 TE 0
aligning personnel
Diagram 24
Line Splits
In identifying our offensive formations, we simply call "right"
or "left." This always designates the two receiver side of the
formation. We also f1ipf1op our offensive line according to the
"right" or "left" call. The tight end generally goes to the strong
side, and the split end to the quick side. Therefore, in a tight right
formation the flanker and the strong side of the line will be lined up
to the right. The quickside guard, tackle and end will be lined up to
the left (Diagram 24). Two other basic formations that we employ
are pro and twins. In the pro right formation, we have our
strongside and flanker to the right with the quicks ide linemen and
split end to the left (Diagram 25). Of course, pro left is just the
opposite. If we call a twins left formation, the flanker and split end
are aligned to the left as is the quick side of the line. The
o TE
o 0
Diagram 25
Pro Right
o 008 000
SE 0
o 0
Diagram 2.6
TWins Left
side of the line goes opposite the f .
(Diagram 2.6) Th b I ormatIOn call to the right
Chapter 10. . e un a anced formations will be explained in
The alignment of the two runnin b .
the type of play that has been call d ih vanes. according to
formation side is the fullback' th e b k
ack hnes up to the
formation strength is the who hnes up away from
two backs interchange posT 1M g games, however, these
and qUicker back runnin Ions: e generally want the smaller
percent of the time and course for the pitch about 75
dive back approximatel 75 e Igger and stronger back will be the
Ie so that we can so percent of the time. The reason for this
on the option when metlmes our faster back for the pitch out
we are runnmg away from formation strength.
COiling the I .
P ay and uSing automatics
,---The quarterback calls th I .
-nnallon, 2) play 3) e p ay m the follOWing sequence' 1)
, snap Count. He always repeats the
count twice, then calls "ready . .. break," and the line then sprints
up to the line of scrimmage. We ask the players to repeat the snap
count one more time in their minds after they break out. This helps
them tremendously in remembering the snap count. After the
quarterback reaches under the center, he calls "set." The line must
be in a ready position for one second before the quarterback calls
"set" so they can go on "first sound" at times from the ready
position. If the play is not called on the "first sound," the line and
the backs go down into their stance on the "set" command. The
quarterback yells out a color and this designates the automatics at
the line of scrimmage. If blue is the hot color and he calls "blue,"
then the automatic call is on. If he calls any color other than blue,
we run the play that was called in the huddle. It is obviously
important to change the automatic color from week to week and
even during the game if you have been using automatics
Following the color, the quarterback calls out a number play
twice, such as "44-44." The quarterback then calls "hut 1," "hut
2," or "hut 3" and the team fires out on the designated snap count
that was called in the huddle. All automatic calls are an exception
to this and the ball will always be snapped on "hut 1." This makes
it easier for the players to remember the snap count once the play
has been changed at the line of scrimmage.
One other important point of clarification needs to be stressed
at this time. When the quarterback wants to automatic to a 44
dive, he simply calls the hot color, followed by "44." Since three
different plays are run with the same backfield action, he must call
"44-0" in order to automatic to a 44 option, or "44-V" to
automatic to a 44 veer. (Example: Using blue as the hot color and
changing the play to a 44 option with an automatic- "Set, blue,
44-0, 44-0, hut 1." The team then executes the 44 option, firing off
on "hut 1.")
Nearly all pass plays can also be called automatically at
line of scrimmage since we use numbers to identify our ten
pass patterns. To call a basic pass pattern, we simply call
number of the pass prior to the play action that will be
Therefore, if we call a "744," it means that we will use a 7
pattern with 44 play action. The 7 pattern happens to be a
pass to the tight end (Diagram 2-7). This makes it possible
automatic to any basic pass pattern and to coordinate it with
nlav action fake quickly and efficiently at the line of
Diagra m 2-7
also makes it possible to call pass la s . .
this has been instrumental in sim qUlhCkl
10 huddle, and
p I ymg t e passmg attack.
colling the "automatic on one"
There is another automatic roced .
during a game If the team . p . ure that IS sometimes used
forCing us to the plays and
the quarterback Simply calls" t at the Ime of scnmmage,
au omallc on a ". h
e team then proceeds up to the line of . ne 10 t huddle.
the quarterback to call the play at the Ii scnm?,age and lIstens for
has several advantages First I ne. ThIS type of automatic
listen for the c II' b
p ayers must concentrate and
S Id
' a ecause they k ' . .
e am WIll anyone miss this k' d . now It IS commg.
the line of scrimmage. It is also it is called at
since very little time is used in our hurry up" offense,
changing the snap count
Other types of quick sn
defense off-balance If t ap counts are also used to keep the
huddle, the line expiode he calls "first sound" in the
QIJI.Ifthe quarterback s " rom the ready position on the "set"
stance on the sll secdond sound," the team goes down
..... I' ca an fires out th I
- me goes down' "Blue" I' . on e co or. (Example:
'IIOunts are another -tmef fires out.) These quick snap
offense. par a any "two minute" or "hurry
One final point should be made in regard to the snap count. A
series of tackle calls are used to identify the type of blocking
scheme that will be called at the line of scrimmage. Therefore, the
quarterback must hesitate after he calls the two automatic plays
at the line of scrimmage when using the regular snap count, so
that both tackles have time to make their calls. The left tackle
always makes his call first. This is followed by the call of the right
tackle. Of course, only the playside tackle call is live. (Example:
"Set, blue, 744, 744"; quarterback hesitates. Left tackle call and
then right tackle call, "hut 1, hut 2.")
The preceding explanation of our snap count and automatic
system may seem rather complicated at first, but the players have
been able to adapt to it quite readily. The advantages of this
system are rather obvious. First, it is possible to use a wide variety
of change-ups in regard to the snap count. This really helps to
keep the defense off-balance because they never know when the
ball is going to be snapped. The second advantage is that we can
audible to any running or passing play in our entire offense at the
line of scrimmage. The use of audibles has become an increasingly
important part of the game during the past several years because
so many opponents are using the multiple defensive system. When
a team elects to employ multiple defenses, they are trying to
change the defensive weaknesses and strengths around so that it
becomes impossible for the quarterback to know what play to call
when he is in the huddle. This forces the quarterback to wait until
he is at the line of scrimmage to call his play. He must then
analyze the defense and direct his attack at the primary weakness
of the defense. Any offense that cannot make this kind of adjust-
ment at the line of scrimmage is going to have trouble establishing
offensive consistency against a good multiple defensive system.
analyzing defensive strength and weakness
The wide variety of defenses that are being employed at the
present time have also forced the offensive coach to devise a
simple system of identifying defensive strengths and
The first consideration is to determine whether a particular
defense is balanced or unbalanced. If any team is running a
balanced offensive attack with a T or a wishbone formation,
opponents will usually employ a balanced defense. Teams whl
are using a tight or pro formation as their basic formation have
elected to go with an unbalanced offense that is stronger to the
side o.fthe formation strength. This can readily be seen by simply
countmg the number of people on each side of a mid-line going
through the center and the quarterback. The T formation is
balanced because there are exactly 5V2 players on either side of the
mid-line (Diagram 2-8). If we draw the same mid-line through a
pro or tight formation, it can readily be seen that there is a 6 to 5
ratio which is stronger to the flanker side (Diagram 2-9). If the
offense uses an unbalanced formation, the ratio can actually
become 7 to 4 (Diagram 2-10). This kind of offense will force any
sound defense to make a radical adjustment in order to compen-
sate for the strength of that particular offensive formation.
Diagram 2-8
T Formation
0 I
Diagram 2-9
Pro P.ight Formation
..... The same numbering system can now be employed by the
UIIense to det . d f .
ermme e enSlVe strength. The same line is drawn
4 I
00 OJ 0 0 00
Diagram 2-10 .
Unbalanced Slat f',ight Formation
. . the center and quarterback and
through the mldpomt?f. the defense is using an Okle 52
up through the defensive line. if t ould be a balanced defense
defense with a f:rmation has a 6 to 5 ratio,
with a 5V. to 5V. ratio. a g t f the offense toward the
the quarterback should noW elects to roll the
flanker (Diagram 2-11). I t monster on or near the line of
secondary into a strength, there be a
scrimmage at the side of ff The quarterback will now
. 6 5 (ototheo ense. h
correspondmg to ra I k to and away from his strengt ,
run a more balanced h Id probably be directed away
although the majority of s. oU
less man to block and the
from formation strengtfu\ I ere ::e therefore increased (Diagram
chances for a success p ay
5'. C
Diagram 2-11
. 01 52-4 Defense
Tight f',ight Formation vs. "e

Diagram 2-12
Tight f',ight Formation-52-3 Deep Monster Defense
Another common adjustment the defensive team may employ
is to slant the defensive line toward the formation strength
(Diagram 2-13). If they do this using a four-deep secondary, it
would again result in a 6 to 5 ratio toward the formation strength.
If they elect to slant the line to formation strength using a 52
monster defense, the ratio would now be changed to 4V. to 6V.,
favoring the strength ofthe formation (Diagram 2-14). "Bingo" is
terminology which simply means that the defense is slanting
toward the flanker. Whenever the defense has a 6V. to 4Vz ratio
favoring our flanker side, we will direct every play in the offense to
the Quick side of our line away from our flanker. The reason for this
Is obvious. If the defense has made a major adjustment, any play
we run to our strength will have little chance for success. This is
one reason why it is imperative for us to be able to use automatics
or audibles at the line of scrimmage. The offense must be able to
attack the defensive weakness if it is going to be successful.
Numbering the defense in this way is a valuable teaching tool
for the quarterbacks. It increases the effectiveness of both the
running and passing attacks. In many games, we have been able to
run more than 80 percent of our plays either to or away from our
flanker strength. This is based entirely on the defense that was
employed and the adjustments they used. It is obvious that the
chances for success are increased tremendously if the vast major-
Ity of plays are directed at the defensive weakness.
A prime example of this was a semi-final game in the NAIA
llltional play-offs. Our opponents were undefeated and had posted
o 0
Diagram 2-13
52 l3ing
p Secondary
IS 6'h

5 I 6
Diagram 2-14
52 l3ingo Defense-3-Deep Secondary
d d' the regular season. They
an excellent defensive indicated that we had
made one mistake. Their sco d d.
ted the majority of our play'
strong offensive tendencies an. lTecopponents whom they had
toward the flanker. Our defense. To stop our attack.
scouted, had employed a
b;lan d defense with a 6V2 to 4V2 ratio
they elected to use an u\ a a;ce directed over 90 percent of our
toward our flanker. We, t ere ore, 52 8 A major factor
. k'd d the final score was '. .
plays to the qUic Sl e an . the ability to exploit
contributing to this offensive success was
defensive weakness. f b' the defense is also used
. tern 0 num enng .
This same sys h' \I'ng automatics agalO
the quarterback when e IS ca I
defenses. Whenever the quarterback recognizes a defensive weak-
ness, he must use an audible to attack that particular area. The
ability to do this is an essential part of any sound offensive system.
It is certainly a significant factor in winning football games.
establishing sound blocking potterns
against any defense
Afj:er the defensive weakness has been identified, the offense
must establish the type of blocking pattern that will be used by the
offensive line to attack each particular defense. Making these
necessary blocking adjustments at the line of scrimmage is the
most difficult and complicated challenge facing today's football
coach. The offensive line coach has the toughest teaching job on
the entire staff. The blocking scheme that is selected must fulfill
two basic requirements: First, it must be capable of setting up the
best blocking pattern for each offensive play against every con-
ceivable defense. Second, it must be simple and precise. The
following system of tackle calls was established on the basis of
these two principles.
using the 8 call as the bose-rule block
The base-rule block is an 8 call. This is the most basic
blocking pattern used in the entire offense. It is sometimes referred
to as "closest man" blocking. When blocking an 8 call, each
offensive lineman's rule is the same: Block the man "head up"
away from the hole; if there is no man head up, then block the first
man lined up away from the hole. A defender is head up if either of
his feet is aligned on or between an offensive lineman's feet
(Diagram 2-15). The only exception would be against a split 4 or
Iplit 6 defense. Against a split defense, the center and offside
auard and tackle "scoop block" the middle and reach for the
plaYSlde gap (Diagram 2-16). The playside guard and tackle are
"'POnsible for the playside defensive tackle and linebacker. The
pial/side tackle blocks the area to his inside gap. If the defensive
tackle loops out, he blocks him; otherwise, he seal blocks the
laebacker to the inside. This blocking adjustment will effectively
Diagram 2-15
44 Dive-8 Call
Diagram 2-16
44 Dive-Scoop

Diagram 2-17
44 Veer vs. Stunts
. a ram 2-16) and will also coverth8
handle the straight linebackers (Diagram 2-17) ad
two common stunts by t d f the call \/Jill be 88 mste
If the defense is using a e e blocking on any 2, 3,4
of 8. On the 88 call, the line 2-18) and will
or 5 hole play play outside the offensive hole
down on any 6, 7, or bl k is a two-man apex at the
(Diagram 2-19). The wehdge th
blockers all reach and block
hole on 45 dive), and teo er
Diagram 2-18
45 Dive-Wedge
Diagram 2-19
47 Down
playside gap. On any play hitting outside the offensive tackle, the
tight end and playside linemen "block down' \ on the man in the
Inside gap and the center blocks the gap away from the hole. The
linemen generally cut their line splits down to 1 foot on all 88 calls
to reduce the possibility of defensive penetration.
the double team block with a 4 call
The second most common tackle call in the offense is a 4 call.
The 4 call is always a double team at the point of attack, and it is
&enerally "8 rule" blocking for the other players. A 4 call is used
:!:never. there is a defensive lineman on the offensive tackle and
play IS an outside veer, a lead option or a power play. This
means that the tight end and tackle double team the defensive
tackle and the other linemen block the defense using the 8 rule
(Diagram 2-20). The only exception is for the center and offside
linemen on all power plays. The plays ide linemen will have the
same blocking assignments, but the offside guard and tackle pull
up through the hole. The center's rule is to block the lineman on
him; if no lineman is on him, he blocks the first lineman to the
offside (Diagram 2-21).
Diagram 2-20
38 Option-
Diagram 2-21
56 power-4 Call
The 4 call may also be used on a 44 or 45 veer. This signifies
double team on the first defensive lineman inside the 4 or 5
Against an even defense, the guard and tackle double team
on the defensive lineman on the offensive guard (Diagram
Against an odd defense, the center and the playside guard
Diagram 2-22
45 Veer-4 Call
Diagram 2-23
44 Veer-4 Call
down on the noseguard and
Inside (Diagram 2-23). the tackle blocks the first man
The double team includes a
defensive man who is to be and a pivot block. The
post blocker. To set up the d bl med IS always aligned on the
:d drives his head e the post blocker fires out
turns him away from th e
of the defensive man and
ngs his hip toward the . 0 e. After making contact he
splitting the prevent. the
for efenslVe man back off the I' . e IS responsible for driving
It the pursuit will be
Ihould man with his ins'd f . e p.lvot blocker steps
mto the defensive man!s oot dnves his head and
-. th the post blocker and d . ar He gets as close as
iIIId e ole. If the defensiv nves ternan back and awa
e, he reacts off the d e bml an slants or closes down to
ou e-team bl k d oc an screens the
Diagram 2-24
Area on Double Team
linebacker to the inside (Diagram 2-24). This is called an "area
block," and it is always used in any double team situation.
fold blocks for dives and counters
Five other tackle calls are used primarily on dive or counter
plays when a cross block sets up a better angle block for the
offensive line. The I, 2, 3, 11 and 22 calls all involve pulling a
lineman through the hole to block a linebacker. These are
commonly referred to as "fold blocks" and are only used when
there is a linebacker at the point of attack. The playside guard is
the number "one" man, the tackle is the "two" man, and the tight
end is the "three" man. A single-digit number means he is folding
to the inside and a double-digit number means he is folding to the
outside. The 3 call is a fold block between the tight end and the
tackle. The tackle blocks out on the lineman on the tight end, and
the tight end pulls around the tackle and blocks the linebacker
(Diagram 2-25). A 2 call is when the tackle pulls through the hole
on a linebacker to the inside, and the guard blocks out the
defensive lineman to his outside (Diagram 2-26). This call is
used on dive and counter plays hitting inside between the
(2, 3, 4 and 5 holes), and both tackle calls are "live" on any 2 or
hole play. The playside tackle call is "live" on all 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
hole plays and the offside tackle's call is "false:'
A 22 call may be used to set up a fold block or an exchange
assignments between the tackle and the tight end. The tight
blocks down on the man on the tackle and the tackle pulls
the end and blocks an outside linebacker or strong safety
Diagram 2-25
44 Diye-J Call
Diagram 2-26
22 Diye-2 Call
J 6 'J ik'
Diagram 2-27
46 Diye-22 Coli
::: 2-27). If a 22 call is used on .
end and tackle just exch any or inside veer, the
lIOnnalIy uses a veer relea ange assignments. The tight end
Ilaepitch.1f a 22 call is plays and blocks force for
to the inside and the t Ig t end blocks down on the first
This is a very effect. ahc e pulls and blocks force for the
sa{ t lVe c ange-up and k .
e y or monster t k . ma es It difficult for a
o ey your light end on the options.
The 1 call is when the offensive guard pulls up through the
hole to block the linebacker. On all 2 or 3 hole plays. the center
blocks out on the defensive lineman on the guard. The guard pulls
around his block to the inside and blocks the nearest linebacker to
the hole (Diagram 2-28). Diagram 2-28 is an example of a 1 call by
the offside tackle. On all 4. 5. 6 and 7 hole plays. the 11 call may be
used between the playside guard and the tackle. The tackle now
blocks down on the first defensive lineman to his inside and the
guard pulls up through the hole and blocks the nearest linebacker
(Diagram 2-29).
\ 0
Diagram 2-28
22 Dive-1 Call
o to
Diagram 2-29
44 Dive-11 Call
A 5 call is the other cross block used by the offensive line. This
is only used when there are two down linemen on either side ofth.
hole that is being attacked. On a 4 or 5 hole play. it involves the
guard and the tackle. and on a 6 or 7 hole play. it involves the
tackle and the tight end. The outside blocller always goes firat
(Diagram 2-30). The inside man drop steps and kicks out the
defensive man to the outside. This call should only be used
the defensive player aligned on the inside man is favoring
outside; therefore. the inside blocker could not block him in
5 call with a crosS block would be more effective.
Diagram 2-00
44 Dive-5 Call
pulling the playside guard
One other call used on 0 tio ' ..
pulling the playside and dIVes .IS the G call. which
kIcks out the defensive end on ali plays Ide guard pulls and
secondary force on all G options A .dlves. He pulls and blocks
blocks the man on or first rna .'. gamst odd defenses the tackle
first linebacker inside (D' n mSlde and the tight end blocks th
t kl d lagram 2-31) Ag' t e
e an the tight end both bl k' ams even defenses the
(DIagram 2-32). This may be a down on the first man inside
tight end. me man or a linebacker for the
46 G D' Diagram 2-01
IVe-G Call (Guard DEl
iockle co lis for th .
e passing game
Tackle calls are also u d
Pllslng game. An 8 call 0:: set I
blocking pattern for the
ss p ay would be similar to an 8
Diagram 2-32
23 G Option-G Call (Guard [llodls Farce)
B B ,.
E V -;, + V ,1./
o 6 ifQ/ 0 c;/ a-----"'"
Diagram 2-33
944-8 Call with Area [lIod,ing
call on a run. The line will still use closest man blocking rules
except against a stunting defense. The offensive linemen then
block the defensive players coming into their area. This is referred
to as 8 call with area blocking (Diagram 2-33). The 88 call is also
used for play action passes against gap defenses. The line blocks
the first man or gap away from the play action. (Example: On
even-numbered play action-block gap to the left. See Diag
2-34.) The center and offside lineman cup block to the back side.
One other type of pass protection is a 2 call and can be
with certain dropback passes or on play action passes. Our
series is a flood series off dropback action with a hot receiver.
playside tackle call is now a 2 call and the offside tackle call is a
r"ll . The rule for the center and playside guards is to block
Diagram 2-34
256-88 Call vs. Split 6 Stunt
or first man offside "Man 0 " I . . n a ways refe t
scnmmage-not a lineback If h rs 0 a man on the line of
block him but key the : a man on, they will
block (Diagram 2-35). If it is a er-If he stunts it is an area
the playside linebacker and hits reads
action passes, the dive back si ck hot if he stunts. On
lInebacker if he comes. This will be ex I the playside
when the passing game is covered it fully In later chapters
A big advantage of this block. etad.
on the noseguard or on the i.s the double team
e ac e If It IS an even defense.
012 Diagram 2-35
(Q Pattern)-2 Call and 1 Call

You have great angle blocks and it is easy to pick up stunting
linebackers. When the offensive lineman blocks down. this also
freezes the playside linebacker because the blocking scheme looks
just like the inside veer.
The following is a brief and concise summary of the tackle call
system and blocking patterns:
tackle calls:
1 call-Guard through the hole on a linebacker. Cross block
with center on 2 and 3 hole plays.
11 call-Guard through the hole to the outside on a linebacker.
Tackle blocks down and guard pulls around and blocks
the linebacker (4. 5. 6 and 7 hole plays).
2 call_Tackle through the hole on a linebacker. Guard blocks
out on the lineman on your tackle (2. 3. 4 and 5 hole
22 call_Tackle through the hole to the outside and blocks
linebacker or force. Tight end blocks down on first man
to inside (6. 7. 8 and 9 hole plays).
3 call-Tight end through the hole on a linebacker. Tackle
blocks out on the lineman on tight end.
4 call-Double team at the hole. Others block 8 call rules.
44 call-Double team near linebacker to the hole.
5 call-Cross block at the hole. with outside man going first.
Use this when the two offensive linemen on either side of
the hole have down linemen on them.
8 call-Man head up. block him away from the hole.
_No man head up. look to the inside or away from the
hole for a man to block.
_GenerallY. if there is a head up stack (or split look) on
the guard. the playside guard and tackle must block
them; if on the center. the guard and center will block
88 call-In the 2. 3. 4 and 5 holes. it is a wedge block. In 6. 7, 8
and 9 holes. each man blocks down on the first man to
the inside or away from the hole.
G call_Playside guard pulls and blocks out the defensive end on
G dives and blocks force on G options.
pass blocking:
1 call-Tum-out block' G mg. uard a d t k
second down linemen awa t ac Ie take the first and
Oman. y rom the center. Center takes
8 call-Man blocking . 10 your area If
you block him . man comes to your area
88 call-Used on play act
'd IOn passes Block fi t
Sl e away from the I '. rs man or gap to the
r b p ay aclion Eve b
ac lon, lock gap to the I ft Odd' n-num ered play
block gap to the right C
. -numbered play action
2 calI-A double-team bl k' up on backside. '
b oc on a noseg d d
y playside guard or tackle or efensive tackle
have a linebacker oil th 109 down when they
play action, on 12-13 (Onffl
. used on plays ide. on
call.) IOn-o Side call is always a 1
live call rules:
1. On 2 and 3 holes-both tackl
to be careful not to use a d e are "live." Tackles need
2. 4. 5, 6. 7, 8 and 9 h I ou e call.
" 0 es-calls ar "r "
an false" on the offside e Ive on the playside
3. Tackle calls will be mad . ft
and the line goes do er the quarterback yells "set"
call first and the left tackle always makes his
second sound" I'S second. Any play on "first
an automatic 8 II or
tackle calls out a d'ff ca unless the playside
"set." I erent call before quarterback yells
The offensive tackles are r .
pattern for each run esponslble for setting the block'
del or pass pia' 109
. The tackle-call system every conceivable
aItI Ito every defense or stunt at th s pOSSible for the offense to
part of the entire offense me of This is a
tack angles on nearly ever ecause It msures optimum
the Ie IS often more important therefore. the call by the
quarterback. Intelligent tackle an actual play selection by
s rna e coaching a lot easier.
Stretching the
Defensive Perimeter
with the outside Veer
. ensive team has one play that they
Nearly every off. They select one single play. as
depend upon in critical situatIOns.. e system-it is the play which
the backbone of their entire offenstl
The play in our offense that
d f nse cannot sop.
they believe tee . the outside veer. 01
fits the above IS d the outside veer for a number. h
Our offense was bUIlt h ttacks the off-tackle hole
reasons. First, it is a running back can hit the 0
amazing quickness.. e p an other offensive back
tackle hole the offensive line
his close proximity. \ for as long before the bre: . s an I
have to secure thetr oC
s ff . de running back or tallbac In
the secondary .. A fullbhac distance to go when
formation obviously .as a 1
the off-tackle area option at the point o\le
A second advanta.
defenses, the playside tac all
This means that, agamst ble team down and seal
the tight end will be able will then read the defense
in.ide pursuit. The quarter ac
Diagram 3-1
46 Veer
either give to the dive back, keep it himself or pitch to the offside
back. The fact that the play can hit in anyone of three places
outside the defensive tackle helps to stretch the defensive perime-
ter to the breaking point. In order to stop the play, the defense
must have a player to tackle the dive back, the quarterback and
the pitch back, plus a deep back to cover the flanker on a possible
pass pattern. Four defensive players must therefore be outside the
defensive tackle, and this is an impossibility in any sound defensive
alignment. If the defense loosens up their inside linebackers to
help take the dive back or quarterback, then they will be extremely
vulnerable to a counter play up the middle or to any kind of
bootleg or reverse. It may also be possible for the offensive
lineman to drive the linebacker past the hole on the outside veer
whenever they play this loose technique.
Another inherent advantage in developing a great offtackle
play is that it tends to open up the middle and/or the outside of the
defense. When the defense knows that they must stop an offense in
the off-tackle area, they often overcompensate and create a
weakness either up the middle or on the outside containment. In
other words, when the wide veer is effective, then all of the other
plays become more explosive.
Q great short yardage play
The final reason for selecting the outside veer as the bread-
play in our offense is that it is our best play in short
and goal line situations. Offensive proficiency is critical
whenever the ball is inside the 10 yard line or in any third and
short yardage situation. A bad play or a mistake at this point often
makes the difference between winning and losing. Our best play
over the past six years in these critical situations has been the
outside veer. In fact, it is the play we will run between 60 and 80
percent of the time when we are in a "make it or break it"
situation. An example of the play's effectiveness in short yardage
situations was vividly apparent in our final statistics several years
ago. We were inside the opponent's 10 yard line 24 times, and we
scored 20 times. We fumbled twice and we were stopped twice by
penalties. Our opponents were inside our 10 yard line 13 times and
they only scored twice. This means that we scored 83 percent of
the time compared to our opponent's 15 percent scoring, and that
is what wins football games.
Most defensive teams will use either a variation of a gap 8
defense or a 65 defense in short yardage situations. The defense
must stop any quickhitting play between the tackles and cannot
afford to hit and read. The offensive line splits will now be cut down
to 1 foot to help eliminate defensive penetration and to shorten the
distance to the defensive perimeter. This also helps to set up wedge
blocking in case the quarterback elects to run an inside play. On
the outside veer, the offensive line now blocks down to seal off
pursuit. Against a gap 8 defense, the play is nearly unstoppable
(Diagram 32). The offensive line has great angles on the defense
and it is easy to cut off penetration. If the defensive end takes the
dive back, you can score on either the keep or the pitch. Against
the 65 defense, it is equally effective (Diagram 33). Here, the
quarterback keeps or pitches depending on the play of the
linebacker. He will, of course, give the ball to the dive back if the
defensive end does not tackle him. The amazing thing is that the
outside veer has been effective a number of times even when the
quarterback has made a poor read.
quarterback execution on the read
One very important coaching point should be stressed at
time. We tell our quarterback that we only expect him to make
proper read 75 to 80 percent of the time on any triple option.
if he guesses every time, the play would be successful 50 percent
the time, so he only has to be right half the time to hit 75 or
Diagram J.2
46 Veer vs. Gap 8-88 Call
Diagram J.J
47 Veer vs. 65 Defense
percent. This takes the p
the fi Id Th ressure off the mo t .
e . . e quarterback is human a s Important player on
DefensIVe players are getting better .nd poor reads are inevitable.
!/Our quarterback's confidence' B false keys. Do not destroy
Iuccessful 100 percent of the Tell him that no play is
:ecuted proper/y, the back will g '. but when the outside veer is
OU will score on the play fro 0 mto the end zone standing up
:-50 percent of the time s';; inside the 10 yard line
Bys and you will score!' on worry about it. You have four
.. __ Another fact that the tea
--Inevitable. Thi . m should realize is that fumbl
t s IS not a negative es are
has ever gone throu h is only realistic.
are a part of life' G h season WIthout a fumble
The important t Its by the defense will
OUr entire squad before ev:C orget about it once it occurs.
y game not to worry about the
mistakes, just to have fun and play with reckless abandon, because
when a play does break in the veer offense, it results in a
touchdown. One common criticism of the veer offense is that
fumbles are more apt to occur. This simply is not the case. In one
season, we ran the ball 582 times and lost 13 fumbles; our
opponents had 388 running plays and lost 20 fumbles. This means
we fumbled one out of 45 running plays and our opponents
fumbled one out of 19 running plays. Many other veer offensive
teams can statistically validate this same point.
The coaching points for teaching the outside veer to the
offensive backs are relatively uncomplicated. The playside back
dives at the outside hip of the offensive tackle. The quarterback
must stay on the line of scrimmage as he goes down the line and
meshes with the dive back behind the offensive tackle. His arms
are fairly extended and he rides the dive back with the ball and
keys the first defender outside the block by the tight end. If this
defensive player tackles the dive back, he then pulls the ball and
options on the next defensive player who shows. The dive back hits
the mesh area behind the tackle with his inside elbow high and his
outside arm at a 90 degree angle extending along his waist with
the palm up. This forms the pocket for the ball. The dive back
must run through the ball and is primarily responsible for a good
mesh with the quarterback. The quarterback is reading the
defense and therefore cannot look the ball into the pocket the way
he can on a predetermined handoff on a dive play. The dive back
then puts a "soft squeeze" on the ball as the quarterback rides him
through the decision-making area. The dive back must assume
that the quarterback is giving him the ball until he actually feels
the ball being pulled away by the quarterback. At this point, it II
critical not to "over-coach" in regard to the mesh and the read by
the quarterback. This is one of the most common mistakes made
by coaches teaching the triple option. Do not make the play mOIl
complicated than it actually is! The only way for the quarterback
and dive back to properly learn to mesh is through constant
tion and drill. Run the play in practice a thousand times with
backs going against a single defensive end, and the
execution will develop naturally.
teaching the mesh by the dive bock
key coaching points for the outside veer
. Several coaching points need t b .
WIth a coach playing the def . 0 e emphaSIzed. First begln
. enslve end H hI'
commItments between taking th d. . e s ou d make obvious
a quarterback is initiall le:r back or the quarterback.
IS Imperative that easy read/hI to read the outside veer it
the play. As his execution imp e p 1m develop his confidence'in
defensive end in pads who the is replaced by a
to destroy the play and for hIS techmques and actually tries
. hI ce poor reads Th d 11
Ig Y competitive and the d f. . e n now becomes
. k e enslve end II
except nock the quarterback t th IS a owed to do anything
ing point, requiring more .e The primary coach-
quarterback must stay on the any other, is that the
mesh must always remain constant The pOint of the
for the quarterback to move back fro IS a natural tendency
approaches the dive back and th. m the Ime of scrimmage as he
pl ay. teaching the play: have one will destroy the
the pomt of the mesh clearly id mlltal alignment and
that the players hit that same e .on the ground, and insist
The reason why thO . pomt every time
h . IS IS so critic I h .
w. 0 IS removed from the point of thea IS t at a defensive player
gIve or the keep by the qu t b mesh can wait and read the
. ar er ack Th 11 d
since one defender can then h . IS WI estroy the play
3.4). When the play is t e first two options (Diagram
the point of the mesh will be t on the line of scrimmage
will have to take either the to the defensive end, and
simply not have sufficient time t d or the quarterback. He will
either the give or kee Thi ? . the mesh and then react to
defensive tackle on thPe. .d
pomt IS Just as valid when readlng
mSI e veer. a
Diagram 3-4
46 Veer-Q[3 Too Deep
'b'I't after the
dditional responsl I I Y
The dive back has one a He must either get tadded or else
quarterback has pulled the the first defensive
explode through the hole bl k generally on an tnslde hne-
shows from the inside. between a 3 yard gain a
backer, often makes the dlffere:
to all of the backs that ktnd
touchdown. The coach stre s It requires a combination of
of extra effort wins ga;: unselfish attitude.
toughness, pride, teamwor an
the pitch relationship is critical
t . de veer has one primary respon-
The pitch back on the ou Sl t back as far as possible and
'blty' to get out in front of the quar er A good pitch relation-
Sl I I t back turns up. .
turn upfield when the quar er and the pitch back is essential ?n
ship between the quarter.bac\ack must sprint to the opposite
any option play. The pitch to et outin front ofthe
sideline and make every effort the pitch. If the pitch back IS
b at least two or three steps he defender has time to fOf(:e the
directly behind the the pitch back on the hne of
itch and still react out an d
. d r the play can attack the
uicker an WI e
scrimmage. e t the chances for success.
defensive perimeter, the grea er
Diagram 3-5
46 Veer (Turn Upfie\d)
. d he itch back must turn
Once the quarterback turns ,tutsirle at a distance:
up with him and try to to this kind of pit
approximately 5 yards. the line of scrimmage,
relationship can be matntatne
chances for long runs increase tremendously. One of two' things
can happen. Either the secondary collapses on the quarterback
and the pitch breaks for big yardage, or else the secondary elects
to cover the pitch and the quarterback is free. A quick fake pitch
by the quarterback can also help to break him free for a big gainer.
To help perfect this relationship, instruct the quarterback to
always pitch the ball after he is 5 or more yards downfield when
the backs are practicing this play against a single defensive end.
Later, you may add a defensive safety who is optioned off down-
field. Repetition and drill are again the keys to execution.
executing the pitch
Once the quarterback has pulled the ball from the dive back,
he gets ready immediately for the pitch. He adjusts the ball so that
it is in his hand nearer the pitch back. (Example: right hand on 46
veer.) The fingers are on top ofthe ball and the thumb is pointing
down. The pitch is made with a flick ofthe wrist, and the extension
of the elbow and the thumb should be pointing down after the
release of the ball. This type of pitch has a much quicker release
than the old "push pass" lateral which ended with the fingers and
thumb all pointing up. The quarterback must also be ready to
pitch immediately after the initial read because of the threat of a
safety or corner blitz. A stunt in the secondary could force a quick
double read which requires an instant reaction on the pitch.
Generally, the secondary support will be further removed from the
read and the quarterback will then turn upfield. Once he is in the
secondary, he must relocate his pitch back and execute the option
In the open field. It is generally safer now to fake the pitch and
keep the ball, but he will pitch if he is attacked and if a good pitch
relationship has been maintained with the trailing back.
blocking patterns for the outside veer
The line play for the outside veer is identical to the blocking
rules for the lead option and is similar to the power plays. The
4647 veer will be diagrammed against every conceivable defense.
These diagrams will also be helpful in identifying the blocking
patterns for the lead option and the powers in the following
Against an Okie 52 defense, the tight end and the tackle
double team the defensive tackle, and the quarterback reads the
defensive end (Diagram 3-6). Ifthe linebacker is tight, the playside
guard fires out and blocks him away from the hole. There is a good
chance that a tight linebacker will get tied up in the double team.
The guard has several options against a linebacker who plays a
loose technique several yards back from the line. The guard may
elect to fire out and drive him past the hole, or else he may pull
around the double-team block and lead up the hole. The double
team by the tackle and the tight end is an area block. If the tackle
can block him by himself, the tight end slides off and blocks the
inside linebacker.
Diagram 3-6
46 52 Defense
Against an Okie slant defense, the tackle may use an "8
switch" call. The tight end fires out on the monster, the guard
reach blocks for the slant tackle, and the tackle blocks the scrape
linebacker to the inside (Diagram 3-7). The tight end blocks the
defensive end if he is playing anchor or "6 technique" head up on
your tight end. The center and offside guard then area block the
noseguard and offside linebacker. The guard reach blocks and the
center cuts off the offside linebacker.
Another call the tackle may use against a slant defense is an
11 call. The tackle blocks the man on him since he is slanting down
and the guard pulls around the tackle's block and picks up the
scrape linebacker. The tight end again blocks the monster or
anchor end (Diagram 3-8).
The blocking against a pro 43 defense is nearly identical to
tho hlockin!l against an Okie defense. The tight end and
Diagram 3-7
47 Veer-8 Switch Slant Defense
Diagram 3-8
46 Veer-11 Slant Defense
again double team the defensive
(See Diagram 3-5) and the center blocks the
linebacker again and the t' ere may be a loose middle
hole. cen er may have to block him past the
attacking the stack-gap defense
Against a stack-ga d .
lIlalic to the off-tackle tole eaense, It is generally better to auto-
to block this t
.noseguard. There are
Ide, it is better to use G . e e enslVe end is shading the
the play (Diagram fUll. the playside guard to
e, an 11 call may be . e e enslve end is head up or
and blocks The guard pulls around
sive end. The k er. The tight end blocks the
ac IS generally able to keep and
Diagram 39
47 Veer-G Call
th lay is run toward the defensive
option the safety or corner. .;:the center so that both guards
strength, it is better to :1 kers This would require a 4 call
have angle blocks on the me ac .
for the double team (Diagram 310).
Diagram 310
46 Veer-4 Call
blocking the pro 43 defense
ral additional problems for th;
A defense that poses seve t. es referred to as a 26 or 2
.. d" 0 43 some 1m t II
46.47 veer is a WI e pr r ' on the offensive tackle, so I
defense. There is no down team. Three different
more difficult to execute a ff ctively against this defense. aIlv
variations of the tight end, it is tilt
defensive end IS s a The tackle's man on an 8 ca
better to use an 8 ca .
linebacker. He can fire straight out and block him, but if the
linebacker is outside conscious, it is better to pull around the tight
end's block (Diagram 311). The tight end blocks the defensive end
either in or out and the dive back cuts off his block. The
quarterback reads the defensive end and gives the ball to the dive
back if he sees daylight. He pulls the ball if the defensive end fights
the block and tries to tackle the dive back. This blocking pattern
generally works better against a defensive end who is penetrating
hard in the endtackle gap because the quarterback can stay on
the line of scrimmage. The play is ineffective whenever the
quarterback is forced too deep off the line and the block on the
defensive end will prevent this from happening.
Diagram 311
47 Veer-8 Coll-Tocil le Leads
The second blocking variation is a 44 call. A 44 call is a
double team on the linebacker, as opposed to a 4 call which is a
double team on a lineman. The quarterback reads the defensive
end for the give or keep (Diagram 312). If the defensive end is
head up or favoring the outside, it may be better to use an 88 call.
The tackle then combo blocks on the defensive tackle and inside
linebacker (Diagram 313). The quarterback again reads the
defensive end. This blocking pattern is more effective in sealing off
pursuit from the inside and should be used whenever the offense
cannot handle the defensive tackle or middle linebacker.
The 4647 keep has also been effective against a wide pro 43
defense. The dive back hook blocks the defensive end and the
quarterback sprints the block and options the safety or
::r. The blocking pattern is a 44 call or an 88 call and the key
that must be secured is the block by the tight end on the
.... _ _ -s
Diagram 3-12
47 Veer-4
Diagram 3-13
46 Veer-55 Call
Diagram 3-14
47 Keep-44 Call
3 14) This is another effective d
outside linebacker (Diagram . - . . g problems on the rea
handle a defensive end who IS causm
_ .. 'n tho ,mel-tackle gap.
blocking patterns against split defenses
Against a split 4 defense. the tackle will call either 8 or 11. The
playside tackle and guard are always responsible for blocking the
defensive tackle and inside linebacker. The tight end blocks the
outside linebacker. The center and the offside lineman reach block
toward the playside gap (scoop block) so that they can effectively
pick up any stunts by the middle linebacker (Diagram 3-15). The
dive back may have to cut outside the tight end's block if the
outside linebacker closes to the inside. The tackle should try to
combo block the defensive tackle and inside linebacker. This
means he would first hit the defensive tackle with his inside
shoulder and then slide off the block and seal the linebacker to the
inside. If the linebacker is quickly flowing to the outside, or if the
defensive tackle is in the gap, then an 11 call may be necessary
(Diagram 3-16).
Diagram 3-15
46 Veer- 5 Call
Diagram 3-16
46 Veer-11 Call
If the defense elects to stunt the inside linebackers, the
blocking patterns remain the same. The playside tackle and guard
block the defensive player (linebacker or tackle) who attacks their
inside gap. The center and offside guard and tackle all reach to the
playside gap. This scoop block technique eliminates the danger of
penetration by the defense (Diagram 3-17). Stunts also hinder
defensive pursuit and increase the probability of a long run. For
this reason, most defensive coaches are reluctant to run stunts
against a veer offense. The gamble involves too much risk against
a veer team that effectively uses the scoop blocking scheme.
Diagram 3-17
47 Veer-Split 4 Stunts-Scoop
use an 88 call against a split 6 defense
Against a split 6 defense, the blocking pattern remains the
same for everyone except the playside tight end. The tackle uses
an 88 call so that the tight end knows to block down on the
defensive end. This defense is extremely vulnerable to an outside
veer because all of the playside linemen have excellent angle
blocks (Diagram 3-18). If they stunt the middle linebackers, it
simply becomes a gap 8 defense, and the chance for breaking a
long run increases tremendously. The tight end's block is the key
to the success of the play. When blocking down, he must step first
with his inside foot and fire his head in front of the defensive man',
near hip. He makes contact with his far shoulder and must drive
the man laterally to the inside. His head is positioned in front of
the defensive man to prevent any penetration. Penetration by the
defensive player will force the quarterback off the line of scrim-
mage and this can destroy the play. This block is referred to as B
"far shoulder block" and should be used by any offensive lineman
who is blocking down on a hard-charging defensive lineman. Th.
entire offensive line should practice this block for at least several
Diagram 3-18
46 Veer-Split 6 Defense
minutes every day. Players will not I .
of their men by Simply being told th get theIr heads in front
they must experience it! a It IS the proper technique_
the near shoulder block
There is one exception in wh h t
not be used. If the defensive man f block should
becomes imperative to use a" p a soft technique," it
reading lineman is not penetratin near s block." A soft or
pursuit will be much better Th ga
hard and his lateral
. e ouenslVe line
IS near shoulder into the hip of th d must now drive
head will be between the man and e e enslVe so that his
defenSive player from slipping off th ThIs. prevents the
Penetration is no longer a dan e oc fillmg the hole.
technique. The near he IS playing a waiting
blocking down on a linebacker s. also be used when
lineman must not only be abl mSlde. Any good offensive
blocks, but he must also be to pro.perly execute each of these
block at the right time Th. to IqUlckly react and use the right
repetition in practice on through constant
up on their charge. enslve memen who are changing
adjusting to a 53 or 71 defense
Blo k
1_. c 109 a 53 defense requires 8 II
P-yside guard must handle th . ddal
ca, and the center and
e m1 e stack. This will be another
area block if they stunt to the gaps. The defensive tackle must
generally favor the inside and this sets up good angle blocks to
seal off the inside pursuit. The tight end blocks the outside
linebacker and the dive back cuts off his block (Diagram 3-19). If
the defense tightens up into a 71 defense. the tackle would be on
the guard and the defensive end would be aligned on the offensive
tackle. This is again a gap 8 situation. and an 88 call would be in
order. The playside linemen would all block the first man to their
inside with the playside guard and center still responsible for the
middle stack.
Diagram 319
46 Yeer-8 Call-53 Defense
attacking the 65 goal line defense
Against the traditional 65 goal line defense. a 4 call should be
used and the line must cut down to I-foot splits. The tight end and
tackle double team the defensive tackle. The plays ide guard
generally blocks the middle linebacker. and the center and offside
guard reach block the playside gap (See Diagram 3-3). The
quarterback reads the defensive end for the give or keep. The
46-47 veer is definitely our most effective play against the 65
There are two common stunts often used by teams who
employ a 65 defense. The most common stunt is to crash the two
safeties through the guard-tackle gap. The blocking pattern reo
mains the same but the playside tackle must constantly be aware
of this danger. He keys the safety as he starts his post block on the
double team. If the safety crashes. he reacts to the inside and
knocks him to the middle. This is a relatively easy block becaU18
Diagram 3-20
46 Yeer-65 Defense-Safety 13li tz
the I-foot splits jam up the middle a .
becomes almost impossible (D' nd
enetratJon by the safety
Th th lagram -20)
e 0 er stunt from the 65 d f .
sive ends and tackles crash th : when the defen-
used in very short yardage sit t e InsIde gaps. This is often
the middle. When this protect against a wedge up
it were a gap 8. The tight end t:
blocks as if
The tackle will be able to handle th de t
. as he pInches Inside.
and the quarterback should have e e enslve tackle by himself,
The safety must now stop II th an read (Diagram 3-21).
impossible. Against a which is virtually
most of the plays toward thee ense. the quarterback di
lInebackers or slant the I' h flanker. If they shift the
W'th Ine. e attacks aw f h
I two tight ends the bl k' ay rom t e flanker.
either side; it is ;ng patterns remain identical to
weakness in any goal'line to attack the defensive
Diagram 3-21
47 Yeer-4 Call vs. 65 Tight
blocking adjustments with the 44 call
and a doo-dad block
The offense often evolves according to defensive adjustment
and this has certainly occurred with the outside veer. Defensive
coaches began keying the release of the tight end and. if he
blocked down. the defensive end would close for dive and the
linebacker would scrape outside for quarterback (Diagram 3-22).
The defensive end would also align head up on our tight end. He
would deliver a hard blow to the tight end when he closed inside
and this made the double-team block far more difficult.
Diagram 3-22
46 Veer-4 Call
To counteract this defensive adjustment. you can change from
a 4 call to a 44 call. The 44 call means that the tight end and
offensive guard will double team the linebacker. and the offensive
tackle will single block the defensive tackle. The tight end noW
uses a "doo-dad block." which means that he first base blocks the
defensive end for one count before releasing inside to block the
linebacker. This doo-dad block accomplishes several things. First.
it makes it impossible for the defensive end to keep your tight end
off the linebacker. You will get the linebacker sealed inside and the
quarterback will be free if the defensive end takes dive. The second
advantage is that the doo-dad block prevents the defensive end
from penetrating and hitting the mesh between the dive back and
the quarterback. The quarterback has time to read for give or keep
and he is not forced back off the line of scrimmage. If the defensive
end fires inside through the end-tackle gap. the tight end locks up
on him and blocks him down to the inside. This will be a give read
for the quarterback since the \' b
t he outside. me acker will usually be fl ying to
final advantage of a doo-d .
confusIOn for the defense Wh th ad b!ock IS that it creates
is generally responsibie e defenSive end is base blocked.
If the tight end releases 'In'd W.qhuarterback. but takes the dive
SI e. It thed d dbl
onger sure of his assignment and in . ?O- a ock. he is no
aggressiveness (Diagram 3-2::i). decIsion always takes away
Diagram 3-23
46 Veer-44 Call
an utter why the outside veer is our bread d b
As we stated before. the outside .
In .our entire offense. We work on IS most critical play
dnll more on the execution of th p 46 ectmg It 10 practice. and we
play. We ran the play 111 times in :1 -4
than on any other
more than any other play It games 10 one season. 28 times
we f . averaged 6 5 yard
re ortunate enough to score 18 tim ' . s per and we
players believe it is almost im . es with the outside veer. Our
make it happen. The pia to stop. and believing it
penmeter of any defense Th y f too much pressure on the
out because each player pursuit becomes spread
of the veer-the dive. the kee to stopping one phase
gOing to break big! p or the pitch. When it breaks. it's
Teaching the Execution
of the Inside Veer
.. t d from running the inside
The triple option e The offensive line double
veer from a split a The quarterback then
teams down to the .mslde to .se
uard-tackle gap and reads the
meshes with the dIve bac; m
b 11 off if the tackle doesn't close
defensive tackle. He s t:e defensive tackle does take the
down and take the dlvbe akc . II the ball and options the defensive
dive back, the quarter ac pu s
end (Diagram 4-1). I this same triple option concept to
Coaches went on to apPhY . hb ne The inside veer became
. d then to t e WIS 0
the I formatIOn an. . ff nsive football. At first many teams
a play that revoluttonlzed 0 e b t then the defenses began to
experienced s :ere developed which caused
catch up. New tec nlque ief anal sis of some of those
roblems for the mSlde veer. A br I. y how the inside veer
. . 11 help to exp am .
defensive mnovattons WI . t f the total veer offensIVe
adapted and evolved as an effectIve par 0
Diagram 4-1
45 Veer vs. Ollie Defense
new defensive innovations to stop the veer
The first major defensive innovation was to bring the defensive
tackle and end hard to stop the dive and the keep. Quick
penetration by the tackle and the end forced the quarterback off
the line of scrimmage and made the double read much more
difficult. Fumbles plagued many veer offenses. The secondary
support also improved with the development of nine-man fronts
and a two-deep zone or a quickly rotating four-deep secondary.
Many teams also loosened up their linebackers, who flowed
quickly to the outside to help on the keep or pitch.
The "slow play" defensive end was another effective defensive
innovation that caused problems for the veer. The slow play end
would freeze on the line of scrimmage, force the pitch, and then
sprint to the sideline for support on the pitch. When this technique
was executed properly, one player could take away two options-
the keep and the pitch. When this happens, the veer or option is no
longer a viable play.
Another adaptation against the inside veer was to remove the
defensive player from the pOint of the mesh. A linebacker who was
far enough removed from the point of the mesh could read the give
or keep and again effectively stop two of the options.
offensive adjustments to changing defenses
Each new defensive innovation caused the offense to make
adjUstments to restore the play's effectiveness. The first change
. t liminate the possibility of the fast
many coaches was 0 e do this was to no longer run a true
double read. The easiest way to b k would call a dive or an
triple option. Instead, the quarter d The quarterback would
redetermtne .
option and the p ay was f h d' was called and would always
always hand the ball off i t e The line would simply use 8
fake the dive if the play an way the tackle was always
call or closest man blocktng. d hit the point of the mesh
blocked and he could not an me much safer from the
Diagram 4-2). The offense noW en coat nearly as explosive as it
. f s but it was d h
standpotnt 0 turnover , h d been eliminated an t e
once had been. The double tea; ff :s effectively as it had been
inside pursuit was no longer cu 0
with veer blocking.
c \ 8
E6 V
Diagram 4-2
44 Option-8 Call
h' losest man blocking scheme,
Other teams elected to use tl IS Ct' The quarterback would
trip e op ton.
but still read the p a.
as a kl If he was effectively blocked the
still read the defensive tac
;i the defensive tackle whipped the
quarterback would hand 0 b k Id pull the ball and option the
offensive tackle, the wou
the chances of the play's
end. This innovation than the old "dive and
success when proper y. back can read it, because there Is
option" concept If the quarter k s of a particular defense.
. tt ck the wea nes kl
more opportumty to a a. II better if the defensive tac e
The give to the dive back IS genera Y 't h is better if he is playing
is outside conscious, and the keep or pi c
tougher to the inside.
use a check veer release against a fire end
The inside veer can be blocked in a variety of ways against
each defense. We prefer to 8 call the veer the majority of the time
and still read the first man on or outside our tackle for the give or
keep (Diagram 4-3).
If the opponents like to "fire" their defensive end, our tight
end will use a "check veer release:' This means that he check
blocks the defensive end for one count before veer releasing to
block force. It is important to make this adjustment in order to
give the quarterback time to complete his first read and still have
time to pitch the ball as he reads the crashing end on a fire stunt.
Diagram 4-3
45 Veer-8 Call vs. 52 Defense
reading the veer with scoop blocking
The next offensive innovation was to incorporate the scoop
block with the inside veer read. The plays ide tackle uses a slip
technique, by which he fires out hard through the outside shoulder
of the defensive tackle. If the tackle hits him straight on or loops
out, he blocks him out. But if the tackle slants inside, he slips off
the block and then continues on upfield and seals the linebacker.
The playside guard uses the scoop technique. He scoop steps with
a 45 degree angle to the guard-tackle gap and reads the near foot
of the defensive tackle. If the tackle steps at him, he puts his head
across his numbers and gets his tail turned upfield and scoop
blocks him. If the defensive tackle doesn't slant inside, he simply
goes out and blocks the defensive tackle and gives if
The quarterback. now rea s s i; he slants inside. The give is
he plays to the or laying outside because the
generally good a ta . !tside after keying the scoop
playside linebacker IS .often fiymg ft spot as long as your center
block ofthe guard. ThIs creates a so d (Diagram 4-4).
can get a good piece of the noseg

Diagram 4-4
44 Yeer-8 Scoop vs. Read
get to the pitch against a slant tackle
. . d you have a chance for a
If the defensive tackle now be able to hook the
big play on the pitch. The guar oU
block on the linebacker
tackle and the tackle has a grea an
(Diagram . b k d noseguard are also sealed off with
The offsIde Ime ac er an d . enerally going in the same
scoop blocking since the your quarterback can get
direction as the slant tac e: defensive end, you have the
the ball cleanly to I the The veer release block on the
potential of breakmg the. bIg break the play. The other key
corner or strong feels the quarterback pull the ball,
block is by the dIVe bac . bl cker He checks tackle, to
he must immediately become a outside and blocks the
linebacker, to free safety as he tackle have done their job,
unblocked defender. If your gafuar d that can put 6 points on the
he will get a shot at the free s ety an
Diagram 4-5
44 Yeer-8 Scoop vs. Slant
One more factor may be considered at this time. A missed
read by the quarterback on a give against a slant tackle can
develop into a big play. The dive back has broken loose for some
big gains by cutting off from the guard's block on the slant tackle.
This is an added bonus in the veer offense because even the
mistakes can work out if the line is effectively scoop blocking the
defense. For this reason the quarterback's rule on the veer is
always, "When in doubt, give to the dive back:'
the doo-dad block and the inside veer
Against the great noseguard we still prefer to use the double
team with a 4 call. To do this and still eliminate the threat of the
tackle penetrating and hitting the mesh requires a doo-dad block.
The tackle's rules on the inside veer are identical to the tight end's
rules on a doo-dad block on the outside veer. He base blocks the
offensive tackle for one count and then releases inside and blocks
the linebacker. The linebacker's rules are generally to step up and
plug against a double team because of the traps and isolations.
This makes him vulnerable to a seal block by the offensive tackle.
The defensive tackle almost invariably closes and takes the dive,
and the quarterback is again out to the end with an excellent seal
on the inside pursuit (Diagram 4-6).
If the defensive tackle slants inside, the offensive tackle will
lock up and drive him hard down to the inside. This will be a give
read at first, since the linebacker behind slant tackle will generally
Diagram 4-6
44 Veer-4 Call-Doo-Dod
t s u and takes the dive. then the
overrun the dive back. If he e
p pull the ball and go out and
quarterback IS n will again be sealed and you
option the defensIve en. e pur
should have a good play.
the 44 call or 11 call to seal the linebacker
. h I you may prefer to let the
If the linebacker is stOPPlOg t e p aY'd d ble team the line-
h guard alone an ou
. center hand e t e n.ose is la ing outside, your tackle can
backer. If the fhe
linebacker. If the defensive
doo-dad and release. IOSI e. :acker is loose and fl owing fast to
tackle is head up, or Ilf th.e
-dad release outside and block the
the outside. your tack e WI 00 ,
linebacker (Diagram 4-7).
Diagram 4-7
44 Veer-44 Call vs. 52 Defense
This is a 44 call whenever we are double teaming a linebacker.
Most teams assign the defensive tackle to take the dive back. If he
does, and we can block the linebacker, then a big play is again
possible on the keep or pitch. One of the primary keys to the
explosiveness of any kind of option or veer attack is getting to the
linebacker. We believe that whenever we can effectively block the
linebackers. we are going to move the football.
One other very effective blocking scheme against the Okie
defense is to use an 11 call. The tackle now blocks down on the
linebacker and the guard pulls around and seals the linebacker to
the inside (Diagram 4-8).
Diagram 4-8
44 Veer-11 Call vs. 52 Defense
When the tackle releases inside he generally brings the
defensive tackle down with him and he will almost always take the
dive back. The guard should be able to screen off the linebacker
and the keep or pitch is again wide open. If the tackle pinches
inside, he should block him and take him down hard. When the
quarterback reads this, he will give to the dive back because the
guard will kick out the linebacker and there should be daylight for
good yardage. Many teams now use the 11 call as their basic
blocking scheme against the Okie defense.
blocking the veer against pro 43 defense
In blocking the pro 43 defense, we use either an 8 or a 4 call.
On the 4 call. our tackle combo blocks down to the inside on the
. r backer but must make sure he
defensive tackle and mIddle the pro 43 defense, we
gets to the linebacker. of our best plays because there
generally use an 8 call. Thld
Ifs a forcing a Quick double read
is no possibility of the e ense
(Diagram 4-9).
Diagram 4-9
45 Veer-8 Call vs. Wide Pro 43
t handle the defensive tackle, the
If the offensive guard the d'lve for good yardage. An
. t' break mSI e on d
play WIll some Imes that the tackle can block down an
11 call could also be tackle. The guard then pulls
have the angle on the he r b cker The key block is the center
around and kicks out on t e a have to take him past the
on the middle linebacker, e m
hole if you are getting the dIve read.
Diagram 4-10
44 Call
Another way to stop a middle linebacker and defensive tackle
from flowing too fast is to run the 44-45 cutback. The dive back
takes two steps toward the 4 or 5 hole, but then cuts back up the
middle. The line uses an 8 or a 1 call against a pro defense
(Diagram 4-10). This play has also been effective against an Okie
defense with an 8 call or a double 2 call, and the back simply cuts
off from the center's block. This helps to slow down pursuit, which
is critical when you run the veer offense.
the inside veer will beat the split defense
The other defense that the inside veer has been very effective
against is the split 4 or split 6, particularly if the opponent tries to
stunt the inside linebackers. The center and offside guard and
tackle scoop block the middle, and the playside tackle and guard
block the defensive tackle and playside linebacker (Diagram 4-11).
Diagram 4-11
45 Veer-8 Call vs. Spl it 4 Defense
The tight end veer releases and blocks force (outside line
backer, corner, or free safety). Generally the defensive end has the
quarterback and the outside linebacker takes the pitch if the tight
end veer releases. The quarterback then keys the outside line
backer and the give is usually wide open to the dive back. This play
can almost force a team out of a split defense and will definitely
stop them from stunting. If the safety is in the middle we run it
toward the flanker. If he is shifted over on the tight end, we run it
away from the flanker.
ploys which complement the veer
The other plays which complement the inside veer are the
44-45 dive and the 44-45 option. The dive is simply a predeter-
mined hand off, and it is used in short yardage situations or when
you know that your tackle can simply whip their tackle. If this is
the case, you want to stay as basic as possible and take what you
know is yours. On a 44-45 dive the quarterback will hand off to the
dive back as deep as possible so that he has time to cut to
daylight. The 44 dive will often break in the 2 or the 6 hole and the
back must read the block of your tackle and break accordingly.
making two ploys into one-the dive and cut-bock
The 44-45 dive and cut-back can also be incorporated to-
gether by using 8 read blocking. This play has been particularly
effective against the Okie slant defense. The dive back hits at the
or 5 hole and the quarterback gets him the ball as deep as
possible. He then reads the defensive tackle. If the tackle slants
down inside, he accelerates straight ahead and cuts outside off the
tackle's block (Diagram 4-12). If the tackle is reading or looping
outside, the back cuts at a sharp 45 degree angle and breaks it
behind the noseguard (Diagram 4-13).
Diagram 4-12
44 Dive-8 f\eod-Guord Puli s Around DT
The tackle blocks the man on and takes him the way he is
going. The guard drop steps with his outside foot and reads the
near foot of the defensive tackle. If he is slanting inside, the guard
pulls around the tackle's block and .
4-12). If the tackle doesn't slant the gets hnebacker (Diagram
on the linebacker after his goes straight out
read pass when this happens mebackers generally
(Diagram 4-13). Both tight ends sta IS .ma es for an easier block
end. The offside tackle tries y ,.n and block the defensive
is slanting hard he will just tackle, but if he
break outside him. 1m own mSlde and the play will
s " I
E I v...
Diagram 4-13
44 Dive-8 f\eod-Cut-[lacll on Key
The 8 read variation of the 44-45 dive has hid k .
much more consistent la Th b I .. e pe to rna e It a
the soft spot of the carner IS now always hitting
the wa the . . e me can always take their men
the tactle Agamst an even defense, the back reads
will always is 1
call. The
Just breaks for daylight Th e ac e s ants mSlde; then he
. e center and plays'd d
ock the tackle and middle linebacker. I e guar scoop
blocking the tackle on a 44-45 option
On the 44-45 optio f k
block the defense W n, we a a 44 or 45 dive and base-rule
get the pitch and ifb
are sure that we can
a play if the can .. e I.nsl e me ackers. We do not have
or the pitch \he get tanffmSI?e hnebacker out on the quarterback
h . mos e echve way for us t th 44
as been to pull th t kl f 0 run e -45 option
end. This is a 22 c:lla(c
. eon or
ce and block down with the tight
mgram -14). .
Diagram 4-14
44 Option-22 Call
This play has complemented our offense because, when the
tight end and safety see the tight end block down, they read
outside veer. The tackle then has time to get outside leverage for
the force block on the safety and the pitch often breaks for good
yardage. This is also excellent against a split 4 or split 6 defense.
The tight end blocks the man head up against a split 4 and blocks
the first man inside against a split 6.
three key factors in executing a successful
veer offense
The blocking schemes are obviously a critical part of any
offense, but there are three other critical phases that must be
properly executed if a veer offense is going to be successful: 1) the
veer release block; 2) the stalk block; and 3) the pit ch relationship.
The remainder of this chapter will deal with these three phases,
and this may be the most important part of the entire book. The
timing and coordination of these three factors are what make the
veer a big play offense. You must first be able to comprehensively
understand and teach each technique and then drill, drill, and drill
some more. Constant repetition in practice is the only way to get
the job done.
As was stated earlier, one way in which the defenses have
limited the effectiveness of the veer is with great secondary
support against the pitch. Teams have done this with quick keys
and by selling out to stop the run. One way to counteract this Is
with a great passing attack. This aspect will be discussed in
Chapter 9. But the other way is to teach t
the veer release and stalk block. he proper techniques on
the execution of the veer release block
The veer release block is b th .
responsible for secondary y e tight end on whomever is
corner. On the side of the fl support-usually a safety or a
which is called "sky" Awa fan erhyou usually get safety support
. y rom t e flanker y II '
support, which is called "clo d" (D' ou usua y get corner
u lagram 4-15).


Diagram 4-15
Veer Releose VS. and Cloud
As the tight end starts his veer I
for three steps and keys the f t re he pulls. to his outside
blocks him. If the safety is dro e Yb :he safety IS coming, he
on the flanker side in cloud ppmg ac to deep third, as he does
and attacks the corner. If he simply flattens out
corner and the safety must fi t t se IS 10 man coverage, both the
the easiest kind of seconda rs re reat and cover the pass. This is
almost impossible for a tea ry to block for the pitch. It is
against a good veer offe: 0 stay in man coverage
support. e ecause of the weak secondary
The most important coachin .
tell the tight end to "g t 'd h g pomt on the veer release is to
take his three lateral WI t ,not depth." That means he must
the line of scrimmage Th
:nd belly back 1 yard behind
upfield too soon and IS for the tight end to turn
this (gets depth) he is e' ac t e force man. When he does
he is forced 'to throgw out in front of the pitch back
e m t ff e oc too soon E e k
3 os e ective open field block' h . v ryone nows that
to 5 yards ahead of the b II W en the block is thrown just
a carn,er. This is the great blocking
relationship that exists in the wishbone offense and is a key reason
for its effectiveness. The same thing applies to the veer release
block. The tight end wants to pull wide, keep outside leverage on
the force man, string him out, and make the block near the line of
scrimmage. The block should be made about 2 or 3 yards from the
line of scrimmage and never more than 5 yards downfield unless
the back calls "go, go," which means he has the pitch and is
running up on the tight end. This "go, go" call should always be
made, as in a screen pass, so that the blocker knows when to
throw on the defender. This is also true for the stalk block by the
wide receiver.
In the block on the safety or corner, the tight end should aim
for his opponent's numbers, run over him, and keep his feet at all
times. The back can then cut inside or outside of the block and you
are assured of getting good wood on him. The only exception
occurs when the force man tries to crack hard and quick inside his
veer release block. When this happens the tight end can throw
hard, cut him, and roll three times to be sure he ties him up. We
also let him throw sometimes on a corner coming hard in cloud
coverage on the flanker'S side, but this may not even be necessary.
The key points for the veer release block are as follows: Take
three lateral steps and belly back 1 yard; read secondary for sky or
cloud coverage; wait and block the force man near the line of
scrimmage so that the ball carrier is no more than 5 yards away
when you hit him; keep your feet and run over him. This is a
relatively easy block if the tight end will abide by these rules. We
have had some small tight ends who were great veer release
blockers simply because they were disciplined and took great pride
in the proper execution of the block.
blocking the secondary with the stalk block
The stalk block is the block by the playside wide receiver and
is used on all options or veers. The first coaching point is the one
that is the most difficult to sell and yet may be the most important
part of the block. The wide receiver must come off the line
smoking. He has to start on a "fly" pattern and explode off the line
just as if he were running a deep pass route. If it is cloud coverage,
the corner will try to bump him hard to the inside. He must never
let this happen. He should come off the bump to the outside and
continue to run a fly pattern down th . .
safety to sprint hard and dee f th e sldelme. This will force the
his pass responsibility in or e outside third because this is
down as the safety reads run The flanker then breaks
stalk block. rea s own, and he will use his
If the corner retreats the . d .
that it is either sky or co WI e knows immediately
in the same way He cont' vet rage, an he will block them both
. mues 0 sprint h d h'
keys the corner When the c d ar on IS fly route and
must break before he s that the play is a run, he
wide receiver must break d n As .he breaks down, the
critical coaching point. St own mlTror him. This is the other
shuffles back toward the' II'n
fW he stops! The wide receiver
. e 0 scnmmage th
1m to attack the ball carrier Th b as e corner comes at
as possible. Just as before I e should be thrown as late
he throws, the easier the oser e IS to the ball carrier when
The block itself is merely a "m'" .
the wide receiver should block .. As the opponent
him, gomg where he goes He h td' pound hiS feet and mirror
face up, and aim at hl's' b
ou H Just screen him if he comes
num ers. e sh Id I
unless he sees the corner commit t not eave his feet
corner tries to get past him h h
Side or the other. If the
times and wrap him up If h ' t e s ou d Just throw and roll three
stick with him and let the be s k
up, the receiver should just
him head up if he hears th:?' cut 0" his block. He should attack
This is not a difficult block from. the running back.
schooled and have enou h ride' receivers are properly
a selling job. Be y: 10 Part of it is just
spring more big plays than WI find that this block can
can effectively block the I . dyt g else you do. Whenever you
carrier near the blocks p and safety and get the ball
running room. ,ere IS go 109 to be a lot of grass for
the quarterback read for the inside veer
The third key factor in executin th . .
proper read and pitch t h' g e mSlde veer involves the
points for the read by the quarterback. The coach-
dive back are identical to those f quarterback and the
mesh now takes place t th or t e outside veer except that the
a e guard-tackle gap. The dive back
again uses a soft squeeze on the ball. The quarterback first reads
the tackle for the give or keep and then proceeds to option the
defensive end. A primary difference between the outside veer and
the inside veer is the number of times you will get the pitch. The
outside veer will be a give or keep read more than 90 percent of the
time, and the pitch back will get the ball less than 10 percent of the
time. The inside veer is just the opposite and the pitch back will get
the ball most of the time; therefore, it is much more critical to
work on the correct pitch relationship for the inside veer.
beating the fire stunt by a defensive end
As the quarterback proceeds to option the end, there are
basically three types of defensive end play he must be ready to
attack. The first thing he must recognize is the fire stunt-a hard
crashing end. This means that as he reads the tackle he must also
be able to key the end, and if both come hard he should pitch the
ball as quickly as possible. This is the most difficult read a
quarterback has in learning the veer offense and constant repeti-
tion in practice is the only way he can beat it. If your team gets the
pitch it should be a big play because you get around the perimeter
so quickly. A note of caution should be made at this point. If the
quarterback didn't read the fire stunt soon enough he should give
to the dive back or keep it himself and get what he can. He should
never pitch the ball unless he is certain that he can get it away
safely. If a team is constantly firing their ends it is better to call
fewer inside veers and run more options instead, especially the
lead option. This eliminates the double read. The quarterback can
key the defensive end immediately and should have no problem in
getting the pitch off.
attacking the slow-play end
The second type of defensive end play that the quarterback
must be able to attack is the "slow-play" or "wait-and-skate" end.
This is the most common type of end play against most option
teams. The slow-play end always waits on the line of scrimmage,
keeps his outside foot back, makes the quarterback pitch the ball,
and then sprints down the line and catches the pitch back. It is
possible for a quick defensive e d d . .
pitch back do not have a n to. 0 thiS If the quarterback and
this possibility the relationship. To eliminate
and give the pitch back th h mus s ow play the slow-play end
turn upfield. In other word: get around the corner and
the line of scrimmage with the c be parallel to
out in front ofthe quarterback (D. ta the pitch about 5 yards
too often the quarterback gets to The problem is that
back is able to get the e e enslve end before the pitch
happens, he slow plays When this
feet, and turning his shoulders y eakmg pounding his
While he does this (it only t k squ:re to the Ime of scrimmage.
has time to get 5 yards out a second) the pitch back
longer take both the quarterba k ,adn h
end can no
o c an t e pitch
ne other technique used effectivel b .
to dip inside as they get c\os t th r y some quarterbacks is
him commit to take the quart: b
k e s ow-play end. This makes
then steps back out and keep. quarterback
same-a viable play. e a and the final result is the
Diagram 4-16
Proper Pitch Relationship vs. Slow-Play End
optioning against a boxing defensive end
The third type of defensive e d I .
effective as the fire 0 th I n p ay IS generally not as
quarterback wh h res ow but it can cause problems for a
box their ends as neve.r practiced against it. Some teams try to
but then slap at the quarterback all the way,
a w en It IS pitched. An athlete with quick
hands can become quite proficient at this and the resulting
fumbles can be disastrous. Against the "boxing" end. the quarter-
back must first fake the pitch and then quickly cut up inside on the
keep. This type of defensive end is generally vulnerable against the
keep if he has come across the line 2 yards or more. If he has not
penetrated for at least 2 yards. the quarterback can dip inside and
then come out and pitch the ball. This type of end can never help
on the pitch because he must be facing the quarterback to slap at
the ball. He is therefore taking the quarterback all the way and the
pitch should be a good play.
the veer continues to evolve
A final summary may help to review the essential coaching
points on the inside veer. First. the quarterback must learn to
execute the double read and get the proper mesh with the dive
back. Second. the blocking scheme must somehow tie up the
inside linebacker so that he cannot take the quarterback or pitch.
Third. the stalk block and veer release block must be properly
executed so that secondary force is eliminated. Finally. the proper
pitch relationship must be established against the different types
of defensive end play. The inside veer continues to be an excellent
play for those teams who have been able to make the proper
adaptations to the defensive innovations that were designed to
stop the play. As is true for any play in football. it must either
evolve or die. The inside veer is sti1l evolving and is very much alive
as it continues to add an important dimension to the total veer
Breaking Long Runs with the
Counter and Counter Option
The pursuit factor in modern d f . f .
primary concern for every offensive e enslve has become a
for the coach who is runn. th coach. ThiS IS particularly true
which teams can stop the v
veer The only way in
is by turning the defensive tea I eer. outSide veer and lead option
pursue from sideline to sideli: getting all 11 players to
depend on quickness for their ese tree basic veer plays all
everyone on the field knows in after the first step
Defensive pursuit and quickne directIOn the ball is going.
offense. Because of this . ss are a must for containing the
pnmary emphasis on def .
e counter action plays hav b enslve pursuit.
The counter option is more and more effective.
veer offense. For thre g Iy the most explosive play in the
.th h e years we averaged over 9 d
WI t is play. which accounted for n I . yar s per carry
as any other play in our offens y tWice as many long runs
most consistent inside r . e. e counter play has been the
plays is identical and thUennmg pl.ay. The backfield action for both
veer offense Why is thO y the best series in the entire
. IS senes so explosiv ? Wh t
present effectiveness? This ch . e. a accounts for its
tions and outline th. apter Will try to answer these ques-
e pnmary coaching points.
the double dive counter
We actually have three types of counter plays which hit up the
middle. The 44.45 cutback was explained in the preceding
chapter and has been particularly effective against even defenses.
Another play we use is the 2425 counter. This play can be very
effective against a team that flows quickly on the initial action of
the quarterback. The quarterback opens up for one step and fakes
to the dive back away from the hole. He then reverse pivots and
hands off to the ball carrier behind the playside guard. The ball
should be given deep enough so that the back can cut for dayli ght.
The ball carrier takes a quick counter step to the offside and then
dives at the playside guard and cuts off his block (Diagram 51).
The tackle can use an 8, 3 or 1 call against the pro defense, and an
8 or 2 call against an odd defense. The blocking schemes for all
three counter plays are identical, so only the 2223 counter dive
will be drawn against a variety of defenses.
'8 CALL"
"3 CALL"
Diagram 5-1
24 Counter-3 Call vs, Pro Defense
Many veer teams use this same action for their counter option
and have experienced excellent success. The only difference is that
the offside back takes a jab step straight ahead with his outside
foot and then swings to playside for the ptich. The quarterback
then fakes to the counter back and options the defensive end
(Diagram 5.2). We have run this play with a limited amount of
success but it is not a part of our basic offense. Our offensive line
was relatively small and the counter steps slowed the play down
too much. Our offensive line had trouble holding their blocks, so
"'D the play and instead ran the 2223 dive and option as
Diagram 5 2
24 Counter Option- 8 Call vs, Pro Defense
our basic counter and counter 0 tion Th .. "
dropped from the play because
e was
option" were considered too wo nter and counter
the 22.23 dive or 22.23 oPtion.
. We now sImply call this series
a consistent inside attack with the 22-23 dive
The 2223 dive has been the best d ..
play in the entire offense It is an t ani most consIstent mside
and that may account the h. reme y simple play to execute
back dives directly at the tail egree of success. The playside
The reverse pivots and
his block.
possIble. The quarterback . 1m e a as deep as
that he doesn't crowd the be to go straight back so
able to go straight for the ack. The dive back must be
pitch route and he and th 0 e The offside back runs a
option after the handoff ack continue to fake a 2223
the quarterback th IS s. ould be emphasized strongly to
watch the ball carrier after IS a tendency to stop and
call with fold blocks b h
(DIagram 53). A double 2
h on ot Sl es has be bl
sc erne against the Okie or 53 def a great ocking
release and block the f ense. The tight ends can always
play will always break sa et
on any fold block because the
a 8 e ween t e tackles
ur call has also been u d t . .
effective if the play breaks ba tImes and is particularly
happens quite oft c ehmd the offside tackle. This
In and block the ;ni an.d therefore the offside tight end must stay
the play breaks on all 8 calls (Diagram 54). When
IS ar to the offside, it serves the same
Diagram 5-3
. D ble 2 Call vs. Ol,ie 52 Defense
23 Dive- au
Diagram 5-4
23 Dive-8 Call vs. Ol, ie 52 Defense
I s to slow down defensive pursuit. The
purpose as a reverse and he the opening as it breaks in the
back must be able to 8 call may hit in the 3 hole
defensive line. The 23 or 6 hole. The offensive line IS
break behind the center to t e , t to go and the back will
told to take their men important thing for the
read the daylight .t and maintain contact.
linemen is to stay WIt elr
blocking the dive ogainst an even defense
kle call will be either an 8 or a
Against an even defense, th.e tac in break at almost any place
1 call. On the 8 call, the play wIll a ainst the Okie defense.
along the line of scrimmar' n ;he guard and center and
The 1 call would be a fold bb
h e tackle (Diagram 5-5).
it should usually be called y teo
Diagram 5-5
22 Dive-1 Call vs. Pro 43 Defense
A note of caution: The tackles must be aware that they can
never use a double 1 call, because it is obvious that the center
cannot fold block with both guards on the same play. This has also
been an excellent blocking scheme for the 44 cut-back.
the problem encountered with the split defense
Blocking the split defense causes some additional problems
for the counter plays. The split 4 or split 6 defenses have four
defenders aligned on the two guards and center and the offense is
outnumbered up the middle. Many split defensive teams also run
the middle stunts and attack the four gaps between the tackles. It
is very difficult to run any kind of dive or trap play up the middle
against the stunts. Basically, there are three rules for our tackles
to follow in selecting the proper blocking scheme, and intelligent
guessing becomes important here. If the tackle expects the
defense to stunt (according to scouting reports or a short yardage
situation), he should call "88" and wedge block it (Diagram 5-6).
We will now have a two-man apex at the hole, and the other
lineman will reach block to the playside gap. We also use an 88
call against a true gap 8 or 65 goal line defense. A 2 call on the
Offside is good if the tackles are fairly sure the defense will not
stunt (Diagram 5-7).
If the tackles do not really know what to expect-straight or
stunt-we tell them both to use 8 calls. The guards always block
out on t he defensive tackles on an 8 call. The center's rule is, "Step
to playside, but block away." This means that the center steps to
" 88 CALL"
Diagram 5-6
23 Di ve -88 Call vs. Split 6 Stunt

"8 CALL"
Diagram 5-7
22 Dive-2 Call vs. Split 4 Defense
the playside gap and blocks either the linebacker or the tackle if
they stunt into the playside gap. He can read this on his first step. If
no stunt develops, he turns back and blocks the offside linebacker
(Diagram 5-8). This is a good blocking scheme because if they
stunt the linebackers in the guard-center gaps, our guards and
center have great angle blocks. We turn the offside linebacker free
but he generally runs by the ball carrier because he penetrates too
hard in the offside gap. He may hit the quarterback, but this
always occurs after the handoff, and the play really breaks clean
when this happens. The key block is by the playside tackle
whenever the defense doesn't stunt. His assignment is to get to the
legs of the playside linebacker and cut him if possible. This is often
not a difficult block because the linebacker steps to playside with
the flow of the play, knowing he must be able to help stop the
counter option. The center and guards again have good angles and
the play should break up the middle.
8 E
Diagram 5-8
23 Dive-8 Call vs. Split 4 Defense
use a 1 and 2 call against a gap-stack defense
The other defense that th t kl
stack" defense. You should ue:e mut is a "gap.
great angle blocks on any counter a ca and a 2 call for
know that the play will always b anhd the ball carrier must
rea In t e open h I (D
-9). This is a super play against th d 0 e lagram
should be able to audible to it at and the quarterback

"1 CALL" Q ---=-
Diagram 5-9
22 Dive-1 and 2 Call vs. Gop-Stocl\ Defense
executing the 22-20 counter option
The 2223 opt . th
The quarterback IS e play to the 2223 dive.
a es to t e dIVe back and then options the
defensive end for the keep or pitch. The only difference is that the
dive back now hits the playside gap instead of aiming at the tail of
the center. This gives the quarterback a little more operating room
and lets him get out quicker on the defensive end. He should also
try to stay as close to the line of scrimmage as possible (Diagram
The dive back should either get tackled or fight through and
get out on the free safety. He usually has a better chance than the
offside tackle has of getting to the free safety, and this block can
mean the difference between a good gain and a touchdown. That
kind of extra effort on the part of each player is what often
distinguishes an average team from a great team. For the dive
back to simply carry out a good fake is not enough. You should
demand the great second effort and play those at hletes who are
willing to demand it of themselves.
a good pitch relationship is essential
The pitch back must again sprint hard to get out in front of
the quarterback by 5 yards and turn upfield. This is fairl y easy to
do on the counter option because he doesn't take any counter step
and, as the quarterback reverse pivots, he has time to get well out
in front of him. Because of this it is impossible for a slowplay end
to take both the quarterback and the pitch. Even a slower back
can maintain a good pitch relationship on the 22-23 option. It
must be emphasized once more that the proper pitch relationship
is the single most important factor in the success of any option
play. The only way that the players will learn t o consistently
establish that relationship is through constant repetition in prac
tice. Run the playa thousand times with just the backs. Drill and
drill some more. Demand perfection whenever you are working on
the pitch.
the key is slowing down pursuit
The blocking on the counter option is generally an 8 call by
the line with the tight end using his veer release rule. As on aU
options, a primary key to the success of t he play will be the
proficiency with which you tie up the inside linebackers. The main
reason for this play's success is that the dive fake to the inside has
" natural tendency to freeze the linebackers and it sets them up for
easy blocks by the offensive line (D'
by the quarterback, and the fact 5-10) .. The reverse pivot
to the offside, forces the linebackers to 22-23 dIVe usually breaks
center and the guards. If they don't h step uP. and take on the
best play in your offense. Th f k ,t e 22-23 should be the
the linebackers in this way. 44-45 option doesn't tie up
the dive back hits the 4 or 5 h I h opens up and
along the line immediately e, t e Imebackers start Sliding
(Diagram 5.11). an are much tougher to block
Diagram 5. 10
22 Opti on- B Call vs. O/Iie 52 Defense
Diagram 5.11
44 Option-B Call VS. O/Iie 52 Defense
This basic difference was d
vear we ran the veer offense. e vei clear t o us during the first
Our statistics on each play Th of t.he season we compiled
per carry as opposed to 1 3' e . optIOn averaged 8.7 yards
all of us the 44-45 option. This really
lid been identical Aft e .oc mg schemes for the two plays
. er we revIewed all of our films, the reasons
for the difference became apparent. On the 22-23 option, we were
nearly always able to tie up the linebackers and noseguard, and
the pitch relationship was a natural in defeating the slowplay end.
Because of this, we drastically cut down our dependence on the
4445 option and instead worked much harder at perfecting the
2223 option. This has really paid big dividends in increasing the
explosiveness of our offense.
never give a lineman an impossible block
One other very important coaching point should be empha
sized when teaching the counter option. We tell our plays ide tackle
that we want him to block the defensive tackle to the inside if it is
at all possible. This generally is not a difficult block because of the
good inside fake by the dive back, but once in a while the defensive
tackle is outside conscious and can't be blocked in. When this
happens, the tackle should simply maintain contact and drive him
out as far as possible. Several long runs by the quarterback have
broken inside the tackle's block when this has happened. It is
always important to take what the defense gives you, and you
never want to give a lineman an impossible block.
Another way to handle a defensive tackle who is outside
conscious is to use a 22 call and pull the tackle on force. The ti ght
end blocks down on the defensive tackle and should be able to
block him to the inside. This also helps confuse defensive keys
because many defensive teams key the blocks of the tight end for
their option responsibilities. Quite often, a team will have the end
take the quarterback if the offensive tight end blocks down, and
take the pitch if he veer releases. When we use a 22 call, we know
that the opponent using this scheme will always take the quarter
back on the option and it makes our reads and execution that
much easier.
pulling the guard to block secondary force
One other blocking scheme has also been used effectivelv
against an Okie defense. When we pull our onside guard on force,
we use a G call. This play is called 2223 G option in the huddle.
Our tackle will still block the defensive tackle against an Ok"
defense but the tight end will release inside and block the
linebacker. This scheme has b
flow hard to the outside with against teams who
great angle block on the Iineba k
(IDn: ackers, for it provides a
c er lagram 5.12).
B (. C
Diagram 5. 12
23 G Option-G Call vs. O/Iie Defense
The guard should get a ard d .
defensive end and then turn y, epth pulhng around the
h d h up on IOrce He should t h
ea on t e numbers and let the t h b k JUS put is
defensive end comes across and PI . ac cut off his block. If the
him. The quarterback then ct ge .s I? his way, he should block
runs may also result The k u h
up .mslde his block. Several long
. . ey ere IS to take what th .
gamst a pro 43 defense we 11 ey gIve you.
the tight end. The coach in '. WI use. an 8 call and veer release
for the 22.23 G option 0 g almost identical except
tight end block down OPtion, the playside tackle and
erst man to their inside (Diagram
Diagram 5.13
22 G Option- G Coli VS. Pro 43 Defense
5-13). The guard still pulls and blocks force. and he must be able to
recognize sky or cloud coverage and block accordingly.
variations in blocking split defenses
Blocking the 22-23 option against a split defense entails very
few changes. On an 8 call. the playside guard and tackle are again
responsible for the defensive tackle and inside linebacker; the
center and offside lineman scoop block (Diagram 5-14). The only
exception involves the tight end. He blocks the linebacker head uP.
instead of veer releasing. His rule on all options is to never veer
release if he has a man head up and another man outside him on
the line of scrimmage. He simply blocks the man who is head up.
This rule is necessary because. if he does veer release. the offense
does not have a play-one of the defenders will take quarterback
and the other will take the pitch and the offense will be in real
trouble. Teams with the split defense caused several fumbled
pitches before we implemented this rule.
Diagram 5-14
23 Option-5 Coli vs. Split 4 Defense
Blocking the split 6 defense requires an 88 call by the tackle.
Blocking the split 6 for the options is therefore not different from
blocking the outside veer or lead option. The guard and tackle rule
is the same as for a split 4 defense. but the tight end here must
block down on the man on your tackle. This is the same rule for
him as on all outside plays against a split 6 defense and Is
therefore not difficult to remember (Diagram 5-15).
Possibly a better blocking scheme against a split 6 or a split 4
defense is a 22 call. The playside tackle is able to pull and block
Diagram 5-15
22 Option-55 Coli vs. Split 6 Defense
force. This becomes a critical block a. .
have elected to go with man Covera ga.mst a spltt defense if they
free safety is over on the tight d m the secondary and the
en lagram 5-16).

Diagram 5-16
22 Option-22 Coil vs. Split 6 Defense
The inside fake is counted h
enough for the center to et a i on to . old the linebacker long
stunt the middle Iinebac:er th ece of hIm. If the defense elects to
block will pick up the stunt t':!' in trouble. The scoop
good blocks on both th e PI c s ould be a big play with
against a split 4 defense a;d. the safety. On a 22 call
up, and all other t g en. sImply blocks the man head
Option. the guard pulls 0 ;n s remam the same. On the 22-23 G
defensive tackle. All orce .and the tackle blocks down on the
III'IIJJJ 5-17). except that remain the same (Dia-
against a split 4 d Ig e?d must block the man head up
defense. This is a t
the first man inside against a split 6
defense when they are ay away from flanker against a split
man coverage or m a four-deep rotating
Diagram 5-17
23 Option-G Call vs. Split 6 Defense (Middle Stunt)
zone. In either case. the defense is unbalanced by a 6 to 5 ratio and
there is one less block to worry about away from strength.
The blocking schemes against all other defenses are basically
the same. The G block works best against a 53 defense because
the inside fake should freeze the middle linebacker and keep him
from getting out on the pitch. We use an 88 call against a gap 8
defense and an 8 call against a 65 goal line. but the outside veer
and lead option are better plays against these short yardage
The key blocks that will largely determine the success of the
22-23 option are the stalk block by the wide receiver and the veer
release by the tight end. The coaching points for these blocks were
discussed in detail in the previous chapter and must be empha-
sized again while teaching the counter options.
a quick-hitting counter option without counter steps
The most unique aspect of this particular counter option is
that none of the backs take counter steps. The dive back hits the 2
or 3 hole as quickly as possible and the pitch back sprints
immediately for the sidelines in order to quickly establish the
proper pitch relationship. The quarterback reverse pivots. fakes to
the dive back. and gets out to option the defensive end as fast as
possible. The advantage of this is that the play hits much faster
than most counter options and the line does not have to hold their
blocks as long. We have found that the fake in the 2 or 3 hole is
sufficient to freeze the pursuit; therefore. the counter stepS are
tie in the run and the pass for continuity
One other important reason for thi I '
frequently pass off 22 23 I . spay s success is that we
- p ay actton. A ba . tt .
pass to the tight end who' T II SIC pa ern IS the dump
that he takes on his 'veer y a route. identical to the one
for the strong safety to read run 'or a It .extremely difficult
actor- he must make the two p tight end is a good
possible. In this way the pa . posslblhttes look as similar as
, ssmg game compl
game by slowing up the s d ements the running
. econ ary run sup t Th
coor mate the running and' por . e more you
both become. passmg games. the more effective they
review of the main coaching points
The major coaching . t f
as follows: pom s or teaching the 22-23 options are
1. Get a good mesh on the fak b
the dive back to freeze the e q.uarterback and
2. Establish th . pursUit 0 the mSlde linebackers.
e proper pitch relationsh' .
ble to destroy the slow-play end. Ip as qUickly as possi-
3. Coordinate the timing between the itch
blocks by the tight end and ' d back and the
WI e receiver
best blocking scheme against def
. Dnll, dnll. drill-especially with th ff' ense.
wide receivers running co teo enslve backs and
sive ends and a full SU d
er options against two defen-
econ ary.
6. Be sure to pass usin th .
dive and option are e action .. The 22-23
offense and are an essential art f aSlc m the veer
fact, we believe that th p 0 the enttre package. In
most explosive running pfa option is presently the
an exciting brand of co ege football. It makes for
Coordinating the
Lead Option Within the
Veer Offense
Coaches are always looking for plays to into
ff s that will add a new dimension and yet reqUire very If e
o ense. his is basically what the lead option has done or
new T The blocking rules for the offensive line are very
the outside veer. The backfield action is as
as any play in the entire
ears our average yardage per carry or . I b our
has become an integral part of the total offensive system.
the quarterback action on the lead option
res an initial
The quarterback action on the lea optIOn Th does
counter step with the offside away
two things. First, it slows down t e ok S nd it gives the
when they attempt to key the quarter ac. eco ,
pitch back adequate time to sprint out ahead of the quarterback in
order to establish a good pitch relationship. Some coaches prefer
to have the quarterback take one step back and show pass instead
of taking the counter step. But there is a problem with this because
the quarterback is removed from the line of scrimmage. We
therefore try to keep him as close to the line of scrimmage as
possible, because we believe this is more advantageous on any
option play. The pitch relationship also remains more consistent
and it is easier to get upfield more quickly if the read is keep.
blocking force with an arc block
The playside back is the lead blocker and always runs an arc
and blocks force. His rule is identical to the rules for the tight end
on the veer release in reading man, sky or cloud coverage. Against
man or sky, he blocks the safety, and against cloud he blocks the
corner. He sprints toward the sidelines for five steps as he reads the
secondary support, turns upfield, and runs over the defender who
is attacking the pitch back. This is not a difficult block because the
player is always directly ahead of the pitch back by about 3 to 5
yards and the ball carrier can cut quickly off the block (Diagram
Diagram 6-1
38 Option-44 Coil vs. Ollie 52 Defense
establishing the proper pitch relationship
The pitch back sprints hard to the sidelines and gets turned
upfield to take the pitch about 5 yards out in front of the
quarterback. We try to establish the same pitch relationship as on
any other veer or option, and the quarterback must be prepared to
slow play the slow-play end, as explained in Chapter 4. If the
defense elects to fire their defensive ends, this becomes the best
play in the veer offense. The quarterback quickly pitches the ball
and the pitch back is around the perimeter of the defense with a
lead blocker in front of him. A general rule to follow is, the more
the defense fires their ends, the more the offense will run the lead
great pursuit can hurt the lead option
The lead option does have one disadvantage when compared
with all other option plays. Great pursuit by the defense can really
limit the effectiveness of the play because there is no dive fake to
slow down the defense. Because of this, the play is often more
effective against a big, slow team as opposed to a smaller and
quicker defense. It also forces the coach to strongly emphasize the
importance of sealing off the pursuit of all the linebackers. The
blocking scheme that does this the best is the 44 call, which tells
the tight end to double team down on the first linebacker to the
inside. Since this generally gives the tight end an excellent angle
block, the playside linebacker should be taken care of (Diagram
The proper call is easy for the tackle to learn, because a 44
call should be used for the lead option against any defense that
would require a 4 or 44 call for an outside veer. This similarity in
the line blocking between the two plays is another primary reason
why the play fits so well into the veer offense.
blocking the offside linebacker
In an Okie defense, the offside linebacker becomes the major
concern. A close study of game films reveals the importance oft his
offside block. During the first year in which we ran the lead option,
this offside linebacker was involved in nearly 80 percent of the
tackles. In fact, against almost every play in the offense he was
causing problems, even though the offside guard was always
assigned to block him. This resulted in two major changes. The
first change was actually mental rather than physical. The offside
guard's blocking assignment did 't h
that the offensive line coach only change was
of this particular block. He told the phaslzmg. the importance
critical block on the field Th' guard that It was the most
. IS may not see .
was a major factor in improvin the .. m very Important but it
Before this, the offside line meg h effiCIency of the entire offense.
n w 0 were remov d f h
never realized how critical thei bl k e rom t e play
itsel.f was not really that t
s actually were. The block
reahzed this. 0 execute once the players
perfecting the scoop and slip blocks
One other change was made in th bl . .
secure the blocks on the lineba k ockmg scheme to help
the defensive lineman and the k any teams began slanting
the slant. This made it difficult
would scrape off behind
blocks. The scoop and slip t h ' e guards to secure their
counteract the slant. ec mque was then developed to
The scoop technique referred t th
men with linebackers over them) to. e uncovered linemen (line-
They would key the defensive r s eppmg toward the playside gap.
slanted toward them Th' . memlan and scoop block him if he
. IS IS a re ativel bl k
(Di agram 6-2). Both guards in th d' Y easy oc to secure
scoop block, and the center e are shown using the
block. The slip block is alw and playsldde tackle are using the slip
d f ays execute by the cove d r (
e ensive lineman is on them) Th fi re memen a
knee ofthe defensive lineman o.ut .at the. playside
up or slanting toward plays ide If th \hlm If he IS playmg head
offensive player simply tries e e slants away, the
continues upfield and picks u th i. t a pIece of him and then
angle on the linebacker and if sh: II;ebacker. .has an excellent
off the pursuit. u not be a dIfficult block to cut
advantages of scoop blocking
This blocking scheme affo d d
advantages On th I d r e the offense several other
outside and read the tight end is able to release
lively blocked h e oc 109 pattern. If the linebacker is effec-
(Diagram 6-2)' Th: upfield and blocks the free safety
. er reason for the scoop and slip technique's
Diagram 6-2
38 Option-4
Call-ScooP and Slip vs. Slant
improvement of the offense was that the line was able to fire out
hard on the snap. Too often against a slanting defense, the
offensive linemen begin to "sit in a hole" and hesitate on the snap.
This is necessary because they have to block a defensive lineman
who may play head up or slant either way, and they often miss him
completely if they come off the ball hard. With the scoop and slip
technique, their blocking responsibilities are reduced by one-third
because, if the lineman slants away from playside, they let him go
and get the linebacker. It is possible to fire out hard on the snap
because, by aiming at the playside knee, they will always make
good contact against a read tackle or a tackle who loops outside.
Since firing out on the snap is the first requirement of good
offensive line play, this blocking scheme has become increasingly
important for nearly all of the outside running plays. We now use it
extensively on all our options and on the inside veer.
the scoop block against even defenses
The same scoop and slip blocking scheme is used against
even defenses. The center steps to the playside gap and scoops the
defensive tackle if he slants toward him. If not, he continues out on
the linebacker. The guard slip blocks the tackle. He aims at his
outside knee and, if he slants away, slips off the block and picks up
the linebacker (Diagram 6-3). The tight end can check for the
linebacker and release for the free safety if the guard has blocked
him effectively. The stunt by the middle linebacker used to caUse
__ - 8
c c
Diagram 6-3
39 Option-44 Call vs. Pro 43 Middle Stunt
problems for us before we went to th
now we actually prefer to have th de f scoop and. slip block, but
e e ense run thiS stunt.
does the scoop block give linebackers a quick read?
One common criticism of sco d I
lead step by the uncovered r op an s Ip blocking is that the
playside key. This criticism m;eman gives the defense a quick
step also helps the lineman t y some validity but the lead
the line doesn't slant An th 0 gfe wood on the linebacker when
. 0 er actor that k th I
onest is that we generally fold bl k h e mebackers
On the fold blocks, the uncover:: I. w en runnmg up the middle.
down linemen. If the linebacker k also. step toward the
outside, he will be useless i t t IS and qUickly flows to the
blocks initially look so simil:r middle game. The two
defense to recognize th d.ff I IS virtually impossible for the
. e I erence. One oth I h
t e hnebackers honest. By usin th er p ay elps to keep
veer, we also mess up the I. : e scoop block on the 44 and 45
gives to the dive back 0 read when the quarterback
slants their defense the ne mg IS certain-the more a team
technique. ,more we will use the scoop and slip
blocking the entire secondary
Two other important bl k h
point in order for a tea t oc s ould be emphasized at this
m 0 consistently break the long run. They
f t and the offside corner. The
are the blocks on the e X the veer release block on the
importance of the stalk oc an
emphasized and these are
playside secondary has een too often fail to realize that
obviously critical blocks. But p ays the last line of defense
the offside secondary person
a w often reduces the chances
against the run: Pursuit by never be satisfied with
of a play breakIng all the wa

: Id have made it a great one.
a good play if just one more b oc cou
devising ways to block the free safety
ffside tackle is generally assigned to
On all outside frequently he simply cannot get
the free safety. ThIS IS fine, . .t is helpful to block the free safety
there in time. Because of thIS, I .ble One effective way to do
with a plays ide end. Whenever the
this on a lead optIOn wIth t the tight end is free to
scoop and slip block ttes up e ker who may get to him is the
release on the safety. The o:h er does not slant away. The
plays ide guard . e cker against an Okie defense, but
guard'S assignment IS the has help from the tight end.
he knows that on a 44 ca h k block the linebacker to set
Actually, the guard only has to c etc ct he can come off the block
h . ht nd makes con a
him up. As t e fe the free safety (Diagram 64).
and release OUtSI e or
Diagram 64
. 44 Call vs Ollie Defense
380pllon- .
the offside ti ght end must get the offside corner
Once the lead option has been properly executed, and t he ball
carrier picks up his blocks and breaks into the open, only one
player still has a shot at the tackle, and that is the offside corner.
The offside corner is generally the one who saves the touchdown.
His coaches tell him that this is his primary responsibility when a
run goes away-to take the proper pursuit angle and make the
tackle. For several years we really didn't worry about this defender.
The belief was that, once a back gets into the secondary, it's his job
to use some moves and break it on his own. The offside lineman
went downfield and sometimes got in someone's way, but not a lot
was said about it. This is no longer the case. For two years we
watched this one player- the offside corner-stop more long runs
than anyone else. He always seemed to have a good angle tackle
and even our best backs cannot put a move on a player who hits
them from the side. Therefore, we assigned the offside tight end to
block the corner (or the strong safety if our tight end is on the side
of the flanker). The block is not an easy one. It takes place out in
the open field and he really has to hustle to get between the
defender and the ball carrier. But he can make the key block fairly
conSistently if he is willing to make the great effort play after play.
This takes perseverance and dedication. We may run 50 plays in a
row before we break loose in the secondary where his effort can
pay any dividends. But that one time when it breaks can win a ball
game. It all boils down to salesmanship. Keep preaching about the
importance of this block and hopefully you will develop a believer
who will be willing to pay the price. We have found that the blocks
on the offside secondary have become increasingly important to
our entire offensive system over the past several years .

why not combo block the defensive tackle?
We are often asked why we double team the linebacker and
not the tackle on the lead option. In other words, why not block it
Just like the outside veer? Initially, we did combo block the
defenSive tackle and then tried to slip off the block and take the
linebacker. This worked at first but then the linebackers started
flOWing too fast and we were completely missing the block. The
bnebacker could take the quarterback and the end could take the
pitch and we didn't have a play. At this point we decided to forget
the tackle and concentrated entirely on getting off on the line-
backer. This made it possible to reduce the pursuit by the
linebackers, and the quarterback was able to simply run away
from the defensive tackle. The tackles always have dive respon-
sibility; they are generally much slower than the linebackers and
have not been much of a factor in stopping the play. They really
only cause problems when they loop hard to the outside, but then
the tackle simply takes them out and the quarterback cuts up
As noted earlier, we want to use a 44 call when blocking the
play whenever possible; therefore, we use this call against the
Okie, pro, pro tight, eagle, and wide tackle 6.
use a G call against gop-stock and
short yardage defenses
When the lead option is run away from a gap-stack defense,
the G call is the best blocking scheme (Diagram 6-5). With the G
call, the tackle and the tight end have great angle blocks. When
the guard is pulled, two lead blockers are on force and there is a
great chance for the guard to block the free safety. The G call is
also excellent against the Okie 52 defense if the offensive tackle
knows that his tackle is slanting inside. The guard's rule is to pull
around the defensive end and block secondary force, but if the end
gets in his way he should run over him. This gives the quarterback
an opportunity to cut up inside the guard's block on the keep. The
play has been so effective for us to the weak side that we tell our
quarterback to always try to audible to the lead option whenever
the opponent shifts the gap-stack toward our flanker.
The other defenses that can be effectively attacked with a G
call are the 71 and the split 6. Both of these defenses are variations
of a gap 8, and the center and offside line can scoop block the
middle if they stunt. Since the guards and tackles are both covered
by defensive linemen in either defense, blocking the inside line-
backer becomes a problem. By blocking down and pulling the
guard around the tight end's block, we get a good shot at the
linebacker. The lead back is blocking force for the pitch and will
pick up the free safety if he shifts over and plays man-to-man on
our tight end (Diagram 6-6). Any form of gap defense is weak off-
tackle and outside. Since this one play can attack either vulnera-
s C
Diagram 6-5
.39 Option-G Call vs. Ollie Gop-5toc/1 Defense
Diagram 6-6
.39 Option- G Call vs. Split 6 Defense
ble area, it is ideally suited to short '.
are forced to use this type f d yardage sltuatJons when teams
o e ense to shut off the inside game.
blocking the 65 defenses with a 4 call
In blocking the lead option th .
defenses-the 65 goal line and't e 4 callIS used against only two
the double team on the d f . he 62. The reason for this is that
the stunt by the it possible to pick
h lnce both the guard and the er m the guard-tackle gap.
ead-up lineman. A stuntin' e are covered, they block the
can drop the quarterback b g ("nebacker therefore breaks dean and
::ll.against these th; even gets started. With a
stdl key the linebacker. 'If cakn start his post block
____ e me ac er stunts, the tackle
simply slips off the post block to the inside and drives the
linebacker into the middle. The tight end finishes the block on the
defensive tackle and the keep or pitch should be a great play
(Diagram 6.7). This blocking scheme is also used against both
defenses for the outside veer. This minimizes the new learning for
the line, part icularly since these are the two most important plays
in our goal line offense.
Diagram 6-7
.38 Option-4 Coli vs. 62 Glitz Defense
running the lead option toward a split end
It was mentioned earlier that you may sometimes want to split
an end out wide in order to enhance the passing game. We use the
pro and twins formations when it is advantageous to spread the
defense, and the lead option is our best play toward the split end.
The split end in pro or the inside receiver in twins cracks back on .
the linebacker to free safety. The lead back then hlocks secondary
force (Diagram 6.8). We use either an 8 or a G call. On the G call,
the guard pulls and seals inside and his rule is also "linebacker to
free safety:' If the split end has blocked the linebacker, then the
guard turns up for the free safety. It is a very easy play to execute
and yet it has been very effective.
blocking the lead option against option switch
One other common defensive adjustment used against option
teams is the "option switch:' This occurs when teams switch their
Diagram 6-8
.39 Option-G Call- Pro Right L . rormotlon, by SE
option responsibilities and put the d f .
strong safety or corner on quart b e end on pitch and the
at first for the quarterback b er ac . This can create confusion
then he turns up and the str'o ecaufse end key is to keep and
ng sa ety IS' h' f 0
can counteract this is to switch the . 10 IS ace. ne way you
and the blocking back. Have the t. of the tight end
force while the lead back a b:
t end veer release and block
the defensive end or u h back inside and blocks
sibility. You now have two r'l
ever one has pitch respon
b k peop e ocking for h
ac will just go to the t kl ce, so t e quarter
regardless of who is taking h?C gap and pitch the ball
block on a slow. play end or e ead .back has a great angle
and he should be able to roll asslg?ed to take the pitch,
(Diagram 6.9). 1m up hke a window shade
There are two other factors t k .
option switch The dump pa t h
eep 10 mind when facing
. ss 0 t e tight end . d .
ecause the safety must h f h IS now wi e open
you will have success t e The other play
strong safety is looking for th outsIde veer, because when the
veer generally blows right b the give on the outside
y 1m.
Q re .
view of the key coaching points
The lead option add I
It Is the quickest play f;r aa':. dimension to the veer offense.
pitch, and it is particularl defensive perimeter with
W en teams are loaded up . y . d ua
e 10 short yardage situations
mSI e. asy execution is another big
Diagram 6-9 .
:\8 Option-8 Call vs. Option SWitch
I action for the passing game, It
plus, and it provides excellent p ay ainst a team that likes to fire
is also the play because you can get
their defensIVe ends har. O\h k to making the lead option
so quickly to the outside. : and if you do this it
effective is the seal block on t e In
should consistently be a good play.
Teaching the
Crazy Option
with Trap Blocking
One of the recent innovations in college football is the advent
of the "crazy option." This is a severe counter option play that
incorporates trap blocking with the option attack. Another inter-
esting aspect is that the playside back is the pitch back. On the 28
crazy option, the quarterback and the right halfback take lead
steps with their left feet. Each then takes a full step with his right
foot, plants the foot and hesitates, then reverse pivots and sprints
out to option the end (Diagram 7-1).
This is a severe counter fake since the quarterback and pitch
back take two misdirection steps, and the dive is faked to the
offside back. The dive back hits at the 5 hole, fills for the pulling
guard, and then hustles downfield to block the safety or anyone
else in pursuit. Normal keys are destroyed for the linebackers and
the free safety, and they are often pulled out of position.
Diagram 7-1
28 Crazy Optian-4 Call and Guard Logs Defensive Tackle
the quarterback reads the pulling guard
After the quarterback reverse pivots, he stays as close as
possible to the line of scrimmage and reads the block of the pulling
guard. The guard will try to log or hook the defensive tackle. If he
logs the tackle, the quarterback will be able to get to the defensive
end for the option. You should tell him to get to the pitch if at all
possible. The pitch relationship is excellent because the playside
back can get well out in front of the quarterback, and the slow-play
ends and linebackers have a tough time catching the play from the
Several things may occur to change the guard's assignment.
The first situation is that the defensive tackle may penetrate hard
and make a log block impossible. When this happens the guard
will simply trap block him and the quarterback will cut up inside
his block (Diagram 7-2). This is an easy read for the quarterback
and he has a good chance to break clean right up to the free
safety. The long runs generally occur if he "cuts the grain" and
breaks behind the free safety.
executing the doo-dad block
Another possibility for the guard is that the defensive tackle
may slant inside. The tackle's rule is to doo-dad the defensive
tackle just like on a 4 call on the inside veer. This means that he
Diagram 7-2
28 Crazy Option-Guard Traps Penetrating Taclile
hits the read tackle and the I
' . n sea s the Iineba k b 'f
e.enslve tackle slants inside h '111 k c er, ut I the
The doo-dad block accomplish e WI oc on.and bl?ck him down.
hit on a read tackle stops his pes steveral things. First, the initial
bl k
' ene ration and sets I
oc .or the guard. The second adva . up an easy og
will always be blocked by your tackle that a slant tackle
around the block and seal the Iineba' : oWing the guard to puU
always get out to the end for the t" c er. Your quarterback will
play increases immensely the possibility of a big
Diagram 7-3
28 Crazy Option vs. a Slant Taclile
One temptation for th U
lUll/ be to block th d' pu Ing guard against a slant tackle
Itu e e.enslve end partie I I 'f h .
nt. This will dest th I ' u ar y I e IS on a fire
roy e p ay because you want to option the
end. If the guard blocks him, the linebacker is free and he will
usually stop the play. The key against the fire end is for the
Quarterback to anticipate this stunt and pitch the ball right after
his reverse pivot. The pitch back should be wide open if the guard
seals the linebacker.
the tight end uses a check veer release
The tight end's rule is to "check veer release." This means
that he first base blocks the defensive end for one second, but if the
end fires inside, he lets him go. After the check block, he veer
releases and blocks force just like on any other option. The initial
check block slows the key of the strong safety or corner. With
action going away, they will start to back-pedal, which is what you
want. Without the check block, the secondary could attack with
Quick force by a fast key on your tight end's veer release block. The
check veer release makes this impossible.
block the Okie with a 4 call
The blocking scheme against most defenses will be a 4 call so
that you can seal off the inside. This means that the center and the
playside guard will double team the noseguard against an Okie 52
defense. It is an area block so that the guard tries to slide off to the
offside linebacker (Diagram 7-3). The only time he doesn't do this
is when the noseguard slants into him; then the center tries to
bounce to the offside linebacker.
blocking the wide pro 43 defense
The wide pro 43 defense is also blocked with a 4 call. The
playside guard and tackle initially double team the defensive
tackle. The guard now uses the doo-dad concept. He hits the
tackle for one count and then slides inside and blocks the middle
linebacker. The linebacker will do one of two things. If he keys
backfield flow, he will initially step away from the play and the
guard will have an easy block. If he keys the center, he may step up
since the center is blocking offside. The guard must anticipate the
by the linebacker because he . .
mIssed (Diagram 7-4) Th " will kill the play ifthis block .
b . e on y tIme th d IS
me acker is When the tackle sIan . . e guar does not block the
and the tackle will slide off and ':Ie should then lock on,
tackle have great angle blocks e Both guard
Ideal for Picking up the stunt b th' thIS blOcking scheme is
7-5). The offSide guard p "y e mIddle linebacker (Diagram
linebacker. u s around and logs the outside
Diagram 7-4
29 Crazy Option vs Wd P
. le ro43
2 Diagram 7-5
9 Crazy Option vs. Pro 43 Stunt by MU3
The blocking schem .
nearly the same a regular pro 43 defense is
pulling guard will log or trap t-h )'I!he only difference is that the
no doo-dad bl e meman on yo t kl
Ilkel ock by your tackle d ur ac e. There is
y to OCCur. an penetration is therefore more
trap blocking the split defenses .
the offense to change Its
The split defenses often the crazy option is that the
blocking scheme. One u
can still use a 4 call, and the
blocking rules do not change. 0 block the play just as they do
layside guard and tackle can.are:
7-6). The split linebackers
a pro 43 and the guard is able to seal the
generally slide with the mltlal layside linebacker are blocked
playside linebacker. by P .. .
. st as they are agamst a pro fi t man offside. ThIs also
JU ,. "Man on, rs . d
he center s rule IS, blocks the offsIde guar -
b t he noW area d th
covers the split defense. d u r backer stunts straight ahea , kl
center gap. If the offsl e me. he blocks the defensive tac e
k h OtherwIse,
center will bloc even defense.
just as he would agamst an t s the lineman on your tackle
The pulling guard or. split 4 defense, he logs
against a split 6 defense. fensive end_whichever one IS
traps the outside linebacker or e
playing to the inside.
. Call by Fl onher
28 Crazy Option vs.
x call by the flanker
.. can help to improve the ex-
One other blocking n have your flanker make an
f h Y
option. ou ca . ments.
plosiveness 0 t e craz d the tight end change assIgn d
X call. This means that he an safety against a seven-man front
The flanker cracks.the front (Diagram 7-6). The 119
the free safety agamst an elg
end will still check veer release, but he knows he will always be
blocking the corner. Both the tight end and the flanker have great
angle blocks and the likelihood of a big play is definitely enhanced.
blocking the 65 goal line
The crazy option is also very effective against goal line and
short yardage defenses. Against the 65 goal line defense, the
blocking rules remain the same. The center and playside guard
both have great angle blocks on the defensive tackles. The
playside tackle doo-dads and seals the middle linebacker. The
offside guard pulls and logs the defensive tackle. The tight end
check veer releases and goes after the corner if the flanker calls
"X" (Diagram 7-7). If the tackle slants inside, the tackle locks on
and closes him down and the pulling guard logs the linebacker.
The dump pass (729) to the tight end off this play action is also an
excellent complementary play and will keep the secondary honest.
Diagram 7-7
29 Crazy Option vs. 65 Goal line-X Call by Fl anller
the 28-29 trap slows down pursuit
The ot her complementary play is the 28-29 trap. This play is
blocked just like the crazy option with one exception-the tight
end blocks the defensive end and the pulHng guard traps the
defensive tackle. The quarterback simply hands the ball off to the
dive back and then fakes the crazy option (Diagram 7-8). The dive
back cuts behind the center's block and will even bounce outside
the defensive tackle if he slants inside. The blocking rules against
Diagram 7-8
29 Trap VS. 52
f th
e crazy option. It is a
. 'd ticalto t ose 0 . b
every defense remalO I en d.t omplements the crazy option y
. I I to execute an I c
sImp. e Pd
the pursuit to the outside.
siowlO9 own
reasons for including the crazy option
h ou may want to add the
There are two basic reasons w Yk
e First it is the best
total veer pac ag ., t
crazy option to your . f tball To stop the veer, mos
misdirection option play In 00 't . This play takes advantage
. aximum purSUl . h d
defenseS WIll stress slow down the defense. T e
of that pursuit and to. I is the simplicity of the blockmg
reason why the play 10 de guard makes it possible to get
rules for the line. pulhng t .; 0 playside guard and the
an extra blocker to piaysl e. . . d veer and no new learntng IS
block the play exactly as in I:ays blocks down gives your
required. The fact all, it is a play that has
linemen excellent ang e. 0 . 'th a minimum of new learntng.
a new dImenSIon WI ff
the veer 0 ense I d it may really pay o. .
Add it to your play arsena an
Complementing the
Veer Offense with
Three Additional Power Plays
Although we are committed to a veer-option offense, there
have been years when several additional power plays helped to
balance the running attack. There are several conditions that must
be present before we add this series to our offensive system. The
first concerns taking pressure off the quarterback. If we do nO.t
have a good running quarterback, or if we want to reduce the
chance of injury because we only have one quarterback, then the
powers are a welcome addition. On the power series, the quarter-
back hands the ball off deep to the running back and is seldom
Involved in any physical contact. It is also a very simple play to
execute, and the running ability of the quarterback is of little
We are also more apt to put the powers into our system if
many of our opponents like to box their defensive ends, because
they become so vulnerable to the kick-out block by the back. In
addition, powers provide an excellent play action fake for bootleg
runs or passes. These are all good reasons for implementing the
powers in your offensive system, but this should be contingent
upon how well you are executing the basic veer attack. If execution
becomes a problem, then the first plays to eliminate are the
powers. Keep this in mind as you select the plays you will use
throughout the season.
blocking technique for the lead bock
The power series is the 50 series and the basic play is the
56-57 power. The lead back sprints to the end-tackle gap and
sprint blocks the defensive end. This means that he gets in tight to
the end and tries to "step on his toes" before dipping and exploding
through his numbers with his near shoulder. He must keep his
head between the defender and the hole, accelerate his feet on
contact, and extend through the man without leaving his feet. He
should maintain contact, uncoil through his legs and keep his feet
executing the handoff and the bootleg fake
The quarterback opens up to the ball carrier with a reverse
pivot and hands the ball off behind the playside guard (Diagram
8-1). He then carries out a bootleg fake, keeping his hands on his
far hip and hidden from the defense. After the handoff, he should
never look at the ball carrier. He carries out his fake and looks
immediately for the offside defensive end. This way he can check
on every power to see if the bootleg run or pass is open, and if the
defensive end is rushing or dropping off. He can also protect
himself from a cheap shot and should try to avoid contact.
On the hand off, the quarterback's arms should not be ex-
tended and his hands should never show past his body without the
ball. You want a close mesh with the ball carrier so that the
handoff takes place with the quarterback's body completely hiding
the ball. A good way to check this is for the coach to playa middle
linebacker and have the backs practice the hand off or bootleg
fake. He calls out which player has the ball as soon as he can
recognize it, and makes corrections if he can ever see
player's hands without the ball. This emphasizes the importance
Diagram 8-1
57 Power-4 Coli
the mesh and the fake and h I th
their play execution. A b t
to develop pride in
pursuit. 00 eg ake will definitely slow down
the running bock squares into the hole
!he running back takes a crossov
the Ime of scrimmage. The uarte b er a?d runs parallel to
the playside guard and he q t ack gIVes hIm the ball behind
behind the tackle. 'He wa t CUt s s arply for the hole when he is
r dt ff n s 0 square up int th h I
oun I 0 This way he hits th I. 0 e 0 e and not
cut in any direction. It also at a 9.0 degree angle and can
to get through the pulhn.g guard and tackle a
IDslde the kick-out block by th I ad of hIm. He tries to hit up
through the hole following the and then accelerates
end has really jammed the b k h g meman. If the defensive
outside around the block but . ard, he may bounce to the
, IS IS only a last resort. .
blOcking the various defenses
The playside blockin in th I" .
;;eer. It will always be a g4 calle me WIll be similar to the outside
on YOur offensive and a team if there is a
8-1). This is the IS shading the outside
alDst an Okie 52 or a 61 d f mg sc erne that is always used
slants to the inside Itt. an area block if the
seal the linebacker to th . Ig t end would then slide off
e InSI e.
For the blocking schemes against all the other defenses, you
can refer to the diagrams used with the outside veer because they
are exactly the same. The blocking calls against each defense are
as follows:
1. G call vs. a tackle-linebacker stack in the guard-tackle gap.
2. 88 call vs. wide pro 43, gap 8, split 6, or 71.
3. 8 call vs. split 4, 53, or 44 stack.
4. 4 call with a 4 read by the offensive tackle vs. 65 goal line or
pulling the offside guard and tackle
The offside blocks on all powers are always the same. The
center blocks the "man on, first man offside." The offside guard
and tackle both pull and lead through the hole. Each will take a
lead step with his inside foot and then sprint flat along the line of
scrimmage and pull up tight through the hole. The guard always
looks inside first, and he will generally block a linebacker as he
comes around the tight end's block ..
The tackle is pulling right behind the guard. His first respon-
sibility is to stop any stunt or penetration. If a defender tries to
chase the guard, the tackle will cut him down so that he cannot
catch the play from behind. If no defender comes between him and
the guard, the tackle pulls up the hole and looks straight ahead for
someone to block who will generally be a corner or a safety. His
block is the one that can break the play for a big gain, but his
speed will determine his effectiveness.
Many coaches believe that this is an impossible block and
therefore never pull the tackle. We continue to pull the tackle for
several reasons. First, our tackles have been able to get t hrough
the hole about half of the time. The key is a combination of their
innate quickness and the discipline of the ball carrier to square up
into the hole. The second reason is that they have often stopped
penetration from the inside that would have killed the play before
it ever got started. We also seal block with the offside tight end.
This means that he pulls and blocks whomever is chasing our
The 56-57 power is a steady and reliable play that usually
between 3 and 5 yards per attempt. It is not an explosive
because of the pursuit but th
a wall of blockers. The onl ' I e does hit the line behind
pulling of the offside I' y new earmng for the line involves th
bl k Inemen but it . e
oc ers because of its similarit thIS or the playside
y 0 t e outSIde veer.
the 46-47 power sets up the outside veer
Several years ago we de I d
fit well into our veer schem a variation of the power that
just as they do on a 56-5/' e Ine and lead back block the play
the big difference. We had thPower. The quarterback's execution is
. 46 47 e quarterback g d h
In a - veer, but when he t t 0 Own t e line just as
the line and handed off th to II 0 ;he tackle, he stepped back off
route on a 56-57 power bet ;'d ' he ball carrier ran the same
making his cut for the hole u(o . I n t get the ball until just after
46:47 power is that it initially The advantage of the
ThIS makes the kick-out block b the nhcal the outside veer.
corner or safety don't fill insid y back a little easier, and the
for the pitch first. e as fast because they have to play
Diagram 8-2
46 Power-4 Call
bOotlegs help slow down the pursuit
Two bootlegs fit nic I . .
: 56 power. The The 856 is set by
n t e power. He must not mes es wIth the back exactly
::lIIentarily at the man t h hurry the fake and he should look
OPPOSite defenSive w he faked. Then he explodes at
an reads the block of the pulling
lineman (Diagram 8-3). We pull the center against an even defense
and the offside guard against an odd defense. The quarterback
must first try to cut up inside the center or guard's block. If the
defensive end comes upfield, the play will break off-tackle. If he
stays on the line of scrimmage or crashes shallow, the pulling
lineman will hook him and the quarterback will go around the
outside. This play has always had an excellent average yardage
per carry.
Diagram 8-3
1356 Run-8 Call
If a bootleg pass is to take place, the quarterback takes three
quick steps and sets up behind the guard-tackle gap (Diagram
8-4). We used to try to make this a "run first-pass second" type of
read, but then the timing was off on the pass. In this way, the
quarterback sets up and the timing on a I5-yard sideline is almost
perfect. After he sets up, he may still scramble on his' own, but only
if the receivers are covered or the protection breaks down. The
bootleg passes will be described in more detail in Chapter 11.
countering with the 046-047
The bootleg off the 46-47 power is a crazy kind of waggle
that was put in for the sole purpose of slowing down pursuit.
first, we ran the 46-47 power without any bootleg action,
players started to sell out and just fly to the football. The
waggle was developed to prevent this. The first time we ran
play in a game, it broke for 56 yards and the winning tOilChdol1lll
A great All-American quarterback by the name of Mike
Diagram 8-4
Ington was perfectly suited for th' I
be a great runner for I't t b IS pay, and the quarterback m t
'd' I 0 e succ ful us
rt ICU ous, but it sure wa ess . On paper 't I k
W bl k . s pretty When M'k . I 00 S
e oc thIS play just as in the 46 I e ran It (Diagram 8-5)
both pull for two steps and th power, but the PUlling linem .
the defenSive end and the re;erse pivot. The tackle
end. The tight end closes down a the quarterback around the
reacts back-either the defenSive kf
the first defender Who
ac e or the linebacker.
.... this is a special I
Diagram 8-5
1346 Woggle
nt of Surprise p ay and it should not be run ver
pursuit d makes it effective It t k y often. The
an it will slow people a es advantage of a
on isolation ploy to keep the linebacker honest
The other 50 series play is the 5455 "iso." We use this play
just to make people step up with their linebackers when we double
team down on the inside veer. It is the basic isolation play where
t he lead back blocks the linebacker and the ball carrier cuts off his
block (Diagram 86). This is another fairly consistent play but it
seldom breaks for a long run.
Diagram 86
55 150-4 Call V5, Read
The blocking is always a double team (4 call) by the un
covered lineman (guard or tackle). If both the guard and the tackle
are covered by linemen, it is an 8 call and the back just leads
through the 4 or 5 hole. The plays ide linemen take their men the
way they want to go and both backs read their blocks (Diagram
why include the 50 series?
The powers and isolation plays are technically not , a part cf
the veer offense. It is logical to question the wisdom of including
them as part of a system that claims a fundamental strength in
I minimum number of plays. The reason for their inclusion is
supplemental. When teams are obsessed with stopping the
they become vulnerable to plain old "power football:' The
also take pressure off the quarterback and can sometimes
Diagram 8.7
55 150-4 Call V5, Slam
incorporated into the off, .
/'t f I ense WIthout a s 'fi
qua I y 0 p ay execution If Igm cant reduction in th
. so, Use them-if not throw th e
, em out.
Attacking the Secondary
with Veer and
Counter Adion posses
. an integrated running and play
e veer offense gIVes yoU t the skill positions must .be
The players a k PI y action
action passing game
force for the pitch bac t: ht a end and
able to honest, they assilll'
passes eep h . blocking asslgnmen s
flanker to execute t elr
ilate their pass routes.
. passing attack
establishing a play action ful play
'11 ive yOU a success ck
Three key ingredients WI ski play action passing att
First a suc
S cond the ro
passing game. running game. . e . dnm
contingent on an es h Id be similar to theIr aSSI the
the primary s playside linebacker s:e or pass.
running game. Flna y, dless of whether the play IS ru
blocking scheme reg
advantages of play action passes
from the veer offense
In the veer offense, your tight end's basic block is a veer
release block on the force man in the secondary. Thus, it becomes
easy for you to integrate the tight end into the passing game. Your
tight end's basic block is easily turned into a pass route. When this
is executed properly, the defender cannot distinguish between run
and pass, and the defense is presented with momentary indecision.
An offense which has the tight end blocking inside, double
teaming a defensive tackle or aSSigned to a linebacker, cannot
effectively incorporate the tight end into a play action passing
game. The offense becomes limited in the number of receivers
involved in the passing attack.
The flanker's basic block in the veer offense is a stalk block.
Thus, a simple pass route off the stalk block is the fly pattern. Your
flanker's stalk block and fly pattern look the same to the defense.
Again, one of the key criteria has been established, since the pass
route and running game assignments are similar.
nomenclature and pass routes
As discussed in Chapter 2, we use a threedigit number to
communicate pass. All of our patterns are numbered from 0 to 9. A
simple number conveys each receiver's pattern. This method
Involves rote memorization by your players. The 1, 3 and 5 patterns
are three-man patterns involving the tight end, the split end, and
the flanker (Diagrams 9-1, 9-2, 9-3).
The 0, 2 and 4 patterns are two-man patterns involving. the
Banker and the end on the strong side. Depending on the tackle
call, the backside end will either stay in and block or run his basic
backSide pattern. Your basic backside pattern can change from
game to game (Diagrams 9-4, 9-5, 9-6).
The 6 pattern is a one-man pattern run by your flanker.
Everyone else stays in to block. The 6 pattern is the flanker's basic
play action pass (Diagram 9-7).
two. The 7, 8 and 9 patterns are routes run off play action. They are
man patterns. Again, depending on the tackle call, the back-
lIde end will either stay in to block or run his basic backside
PIIItern (Diagrams 9-8, 99, 9-10).
o 0
Diagram 9-1
The 1 Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-2
The ::l Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-3
The 5 Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-4
The 0 Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-5
The 2 Pattern
simulating the running game up front
It is imperative for you to convince the playside linebacker
that the play is a run. Most linebackers will read run when the
offensive lineman directly in front of them blocks down to the
Inside. The linebacker will usually step up, looking for trap or
Inside veer. You can give the linebacker this look by incorporating
backSide gap blocking and making the dive back responsible for
blOcking the linebacker.
With a 2, 3, 4 or 5 hole play, the dive back can be assigned to
the playside linebacker. On 6, 7, 8 or 9 hole plays, the dive back
Diagram 9-6
The 4 Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-7
The 6 Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-8
The 7 Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-9
The 8 Pattern
o 0
Diagram 9-10
The 9 Pattern
hits too wide to block a linebacker. Backside gap blocking can be
used only on 2. 3. 4 and 5 hole plays.
Basically. our linemen are each assigned a specific man to
block depending on the tackle call. but they will end up blocking
area when the defense stunts a linebacker.
playside tackle calls
The tackle calls are 2 or 8 on playside and 1 on backside. With
2 call. the tackle blocks "man on." If there is no "man on." then
he blocks the first defender to the inside. A "man on" is defined as
down defender. Whenever there is a "man on" both the playside
and the tackle. the tackle call is 8. An 8 call means that
guard and tackle will block "man on" (Diagram 9-11A).
backside tackle calls
The backside tackle call is a 1 call. A 1 call means we will
number the backside defenders. The center blocks the number 1
defender to backside, the guard blocks number 2, and the tackle
blocks number 3. With the defense in a seven-man front and a
four-deep secondary, all defenders are blocked. Consequently, with
a seven-man front, you can release your backside tight end and
give him a pass route (Diagrams 9-11B and 9-11C). A seven-man
front also allows you to split your backside end if you prefer the pro
formation. However, if the defense aligns in an eight-man front
with three-deep secondary, you must keep your backside end in to
block. Now all defenders are blocked. As mentioned previously,
the backside tackle blocks the third defender. When he sees a
fourth defender, the tackle simply tells the tight end to stay. It is a
simple "stay" call (Diagram 9-11A).
This blocking scheme, using a 2 call on playside and a 1 call
on backside, can only be used with 2, 3, 4 and 5 hole plays.
Remember, a three-digit number communicates pass. The first
number is the pattern, the second number is the series and the
third number is the hole. Thus, "742" is the 7 pattern off 40 series
action, hitting the 2 hole. Put in another way, you have the 7
pattern with the 42 action in the backfield.
blocking play action passes hitting the 6 and 7 holes
With the dive back hitting wider, he can no longer be
responsible for the linebacker. You can block 6 and 7 hole passel
in the same way as in the run. All of our 6 and 7 hole passes
run like 46 and 47 keep. The tackle call can be 4, 44 or
(Diagrams 9-12, 913, 9-14).
Remember, the 46 and 47 keep has the dive back
blocking the defensive end. Consequently, the mesh and fake
not very effective.
blocking stunts seven-man fronts
Blocking stunts is Simplified when using backside gap
ing. With a dive back hitting into the 2, 3, 4 or 5 hole, gap

." CAl l "/STAY/ "8 CAl l "
Diagrom 911 ( A)
Pl oy Action Poss Protection vs 8 M F
. - on ront
.. , CAll"
"2 CAll"
Pl oy Action Pass
. - on Front (Ollie 52)
.. , CAll"
" CAll"
Play Action Po P Diagram 9-11 (C)
ss rotect'on vs 7 M
. - on Front (College 43)
"8 CALL"
"4 CALL"
Diagram 9-12
646 vs. Oll ie 52 with a 4 Call
"8 CALL"
Diagram 9-13
646 vs. Pro 4.3 with a 44 Call
"8 CALL"
") CALL"
Diagram 9-14
946 vs. Coll ege 4.3 with a 7 Call
can be used. since the dive back can be assigned to the playside
linebacker. When the linebacker is aligned on the playside tackle.
as in a college 43. then all the linemen block backside gap. With
the linebacker aligned on the playside guard in an Okie 52. the
playside tackle has to block a man directly on him. Thus. your
playside tackle does not have the great blocking angle as do the
rest of your linemen. Consequently. this could be a difficult block.
To help your plays ide tackle. have him take his man wherever the
defender wants to go. Your dive back can adjust his route to block
the linebacker (Diagram 9-15).
"1 CALL"
Diagram 9-15
\3loclling Stunts from the Ollie 52
An important coaching point when blocking stunts is to have
your linemen shorten their initial' steps. By taking a shorter first
Rep. the lineman will be under control. This is especially impor-
tant for your playside tackle who has to react to an inside or
outside move by the down defender over him.
As illustrated in Diagram 9-15. the playside guard and the
:enter work as a team in blocking the noseman and backside
Bnebacker. Any stunt which has two defenders crossing will alert
the center and guard to switch men. Basically. your center and
auard are going to block any defender coming into their backside
"p. A stunt involving the backside linebacker and defensive tackle
~ ~ find the center and backside guard working as a team
", .. gram 9-16).
~ e backside guard and backside tackle will also block
ever comes into their backside gap (Diagram 9-15).
Diagram 9-16 S
nac!lside Guard [3lac!ling the Eagle tunt
The Center on u
. d by a linebacker, as he
. d t kle IS covere bl k
When your playsl e. ac II e 43, all of your linemen oc
will be with the defense a have great blocking
backside gap. All
th;e::: is not stunting, you will end up with
(Diagram 9-17). I defensive tackles.
a double team on 0
8 M 8 E }

Diagram 9-17 43
[3lac!ling Stunts from the College
. d by the play action, but your
The backfield action is determm:ibility when running a 2, 3'd'
backs always is assigned to the

or 5 hole play. our I . if he is coming on a stun. d to
linebacker and blitz, the dive back is dl"..
a main
to hold the fake and change
coming on a stunt, your Ive
route to block the linebacker.
Your offside back, the pitch back, has to block the defensive
end. Consequently, he does not run a pitch route but must run a
path directly at the defensive end.
Another coaching point for blocking stunts is to get your
offensive linemen to anticipate stunts. They should never be
surprised by a blitz. For example, your pitch back has a difficult
time blocking a fire end, so he should always anticipate a fire end.
blocking an eight-man front
The principles of blocking stunts are the same for seven-man
and eight-man fronts. Your linemen are assigned defenders, but
end up blocking area when the defense stunts. It was the eight-
man front that caused us to assign specific defenders to our center
and backside lineman as opposed to simply blocking backside
gap. Remember, the center blocks the number 1 defender to
backside, the guard blocks number 2 and the tackle blocks
number 3. Ifthe tackle sees that there is still a defender left, he has
the tight end stay in and block.
We previously had our linemen block backside gap, and we
would leave a defender free. A seven-man front didn't pose a
problem, but an eight-man front caused confusion (Diagram 9-18).
As you can see in Diagram 9-19, the backside linebacker is
left unblocked. By numbering the backside defenders, this mistake
can be eliminated.
Diagram 9-18
llIodling an 8-Man Front with a [3ac!lside Gap Rule
and Resulting Confusion
"8 CALL"
Diagram 9-19
an 8-Man Front by Numbering the Defenders
Against an eight-man front, the playside tackle call is an 8
call. The playside tackle has to differentiate between an eight-man
front and a seven-man front. An 8 call in the passing game"
different from an 8 call in the running game. For the guard It
makes no difference because an 8 call is the same regardless Ii
whether the play is run or pass. It only changes for the
When used on a running play, an 8 call means that the tackle
block "man on." On no "man on," he then blocks inside. In
pass offense, an 8 call tells the tackle to block "man on." On
"man on," he then blocks the first defender to the
(Diagram 9-20).
line technique
In a play action passing attack you must have your
use an aggressive block. Particularly your playside linemen
block just as they do on the run. The reasons are twofold.
your quarterback is operating along the line of sClrimlmail1
opposed to getting off the line of scrimmage as in your dropbl
sprint-out attack. Second, aggressive blocking convinces
fense, especially the playside linebacker, that it is a run.
On a 2, 3, 4 or 5 hole play using backside gap
linemen can take a 45-degree step into their backside gap.
an aggressive upfield step. An aggressive step backside
set up the down defenders for the adjoining offensive
noseman in the Okie 52 and the tackles in the college 43
"8 CAU."
., B CALL"
Diagram 9-20
Calls vs 8 M F
. - on ront
If these defenders use
vulnerable (Diagram technique, they become
e actual block executed b ..
1IIed in the running game. y the linemen is the drive block as
stunts for the offense
As with any play .
In your offe h
a?d stunts which can tb ere
will be defensive
Ith backside a rea down in Your
be easily blocked. A all backside
to cut down the e enslve team will cause yOur
step can lead to missed of their first step. An all-
Ignments against a blitzing
stunt that can be ve
IIr (Diagram 9-22). The (' is the TX stunt from
and the back ha h p ayslde tackle Usually end
end H sa ardtimeg tt sup
. oWever, with th th e Ing over to block the
e reat of the inside veer, the
B 1 E
"1 CALL:'
"1 CALL: '
Diagram 9,,21
the Ol\ie 52 and College 43
Diagram 9,,22
The TX Stunt from on 52
defensive end should take a hard, flat route, usually tackling the
dive back. We school our offside back to go after the defensive
tackle in this instance.
Exceptionally quick defensive ends are always difficult for the
offense to block. With backside gap protection, your offside tackle
will sometimes encounter problems with the defensive end. By
using an aggressive upfield step, your backside tackle really opens
up the outside rush lane for the defensive end. We have compen-
sated by having the backside tackle use a fan action to get off the
line rather than stepping aggressively (Diagram 9-23).
Diagram 9-23
Opening the Outside Rush Lone with on Aggressive Step
Change in Technique in which the Tacl\\e Fans
By fanning your back ' d 147
rush lane and mak h Sl e tackle, you close t h .
takes longer for th: 1 t end go around e Th-
e enSlve end. . IS nat urally
blocking variations
There are several good blo .
ment your basic backs'd ckmg variations that c
"I d " I e gap pr t ct' an comple
oa , your playside tackl d? e Ion. By adding th "
ments. This can bean dIVe back can e word
tackle is pia' e an especially good chang assign-
The only a down defender
dive back. The remainf a call are the playside ta
(Diagram 9-24) ng memen use backside c e and
. gap protection
"L lag ram 9-24
oad" vs, on 52 and Split 6
Ifthe down d f d
locks on e en er slants to the i .
and the dive back blocks th your offensive tackle
e me acker (Diagram 9-25).

742 9-25
ad vs. a Slant
The threat of the load block gives the defensive tackle another
blocking scheme to think about. The load is also a good comple-
ment to the inside veer.
Another effective change-up is a G scheme. With a G call, the
offside back, the pitch back, is no longer involved in the blocking
but can run his pitch route (Diagram 9-26).
1 1

Diagram 9-26
742 G vs, on Ollie 52 and Coll ege 40
The simplicity of the G scheme lies in the fact that it is
blocked just like the G option, with the exception of the plays ide
guard, who blocks the defensive end rather than secondary force.
By using a G call, your offense can take advantage of a defensive
secondary who keys the offside back's route for run or pass.
Without the G scheme, the route of your pitch back becomes a
good key. The back who cuts his pitch route short gives away pass
although we will sacrifice backfield action to use backside gap
protection. Even by cutting the pitch back's route short to block
the end, the defense is still initially misled.
By having a variety of blocking adjustments, you can keep the
defense off-balance and destroy keys.
the tight end dump pass
The basic play action pass in the veer offense is the
to your tight end (7 pattern). The tight end's veer release
fundamental to any veer option attack. While being a basiC
in your offense, it is also a difficult block. It is a block that
nlace in the open field, where finesse and quickness are
factors. In addition . 149
athlete who is I' light end is usually blo k'
Without the th p aymg because of his ab'n c an excellent
reat of the dum I I Y agamst the
corner can play very a . p pass, the strong safet run.
man causes real ggressIVely. An aggressive y or weak
block. The du problems for your tight end force
honest, thus g7Jnpass a fast flowing veer release
,,;,ruH', h. _, ""'," ::,; :::::-:::
WI eWxPhenence momentary hesitatio: rong safety or weak corner
en executing h' .
width and not head release, your tight end
the key coaching point i e t too soon. In running the du must get
like a veer release blocks Oft have your tight end make 't T

this results in an r
end will get toOo

:;' "I,
backer will fly to the from the playside linebackerOO{h he
(Diagram 9 27) ump area after finally '. . e me- , . recogmzmg pass
o 0
o o
The Tight End H Diagram 9-27
as to Get Width Initiall
hen Running th D Y, Not Depth,
e ump Route
execution on the d
ump pass
e key q
dl uarterback fu d
ve back, resulting a good mesh with
a e. The ability of your
quarterback to operate on the line of scrimmage will go a long way
toward establishing a successful play action passing attack. Be-
cause of the tight end's wide release, the dump pass does take time
to develop. Your quarterback has plenty of time for a good mesh
and fake to the dive back.
After a good fake you want your quarterback to stay on the
line of scrimmage. The success of his plays ide tackle will deter-
mine how long your quarterback can operate along the line.
Ideally, we strive to get the quarterback to throw the ball while on
the line of scrimmage. However, many times his throwing lane is
blocked and the quarterback has to step back to throw. You will
find that your young quarterbacks want to hurry their fakes and
get off the line too early.
When throwing the dump pass, the tight end is your only
receiver. He is both the primary and secondary choice. We don't
expect our quarterback to read the secondary for several reasons.
First, a play action fake won't tell your quarterback much about
the secondary. He cannot read man coverage or zone. Second, it
becomes a difficult task to read the secondary when operating so
close to the line of scrimmage. You simply want your quarterback
to determine whether the tight end is open on his dump route.
Your tight end will be open as long as there is no defender between
the quarterback and the end. The play opens for an easy gain
when the secondary force man goes on a hard flow to pitch. This II
an easy read for your quarterback. .
A somewhat tougher situation is presented by the strong
safety or weak corner who reads pass. As long as the tight end
get between the defender and the quarterback, you can still get
ball to him. There are two reasons for believing that we can
the defender who reads pass. Number one, we have been for1lum.
enough to have big tight ends. Number two, the dump pass
short pass; consequently, the ball is not in the air for very
The only situation in which your quarterback cannot
ball to the end on his dump route is when there is a
between the quarterback and the tight end. The tight end is
instructed to turn his dump route into a sideline. Your
back's progression becomes dump, sideline, run. Ifthe tight
still covered as he breaks to the sideline, your quarterback
time and turns the play into a run with himself as the ball
As a coaching point, your playside tackle can be
always block for the third alt . 151
assume a run by th ernalJve. The tackle h I
e quarterback (Diagram 9-28). s ou d always
c c
The ' Diagram 9-28
QOs Progression on the Dum R
the dump
As With eVer I
y p ay in your oU
present problems. there are defensive adjust-
y, a man-to-
se d
con ary
is good against most play action passes. The secondary is now
playing a man regardless of backfield action. While it is strong
against play action passes, a man-toman secondary is weak
against the option.
An adjustment which disrupts the timing of your dump pass is
the secondary force man who collisions your tight end on his veer
release. Any maneuver which throws off timing puts the pressure
on your quarterback. Your tight ends have to be made aware of
this collision technique and work to avoid contact. You may have a
tight end who is of such physical stature that he can take a hit and
Many defensive teams will work their keys so that with certain
reads the playside linebacker has no dive responsibility. These
linebackers can get to the dump area quickly, getting between the
tight end and the quarterback. Especially troublesome are outside
linebackers aligned on the offensive tackles as in the college 43.
These linebackers can create havoc with your dump pass but
become vulnerable to the predetermined dive (22 dive, 42 dive,
Finally, teams that assign the defensive end to pitch will have
him cushion the dump area. This type of defensive end will
actually release downfield for several steps with your tight end.
With the defensive end on pitch, the secondary is playing pass all
the way. This defensive scheme really stretches a seven-man front
alignment and in big plays by your dive back or
defenses vulnerable to the dump pass
Just as there are adjustments that are effective in del'enllilll
the dump pass, there are a couple of defensive schemes that
most susceptible to this route. As with many plays in any offense.
becomes a calculated guessing game with the defense.
An effective defensive variation against an option team Is
stunt which we have labeled "option switch:' This particular
was discussed in the earlier chapters. Option switch is a
in which the secondary force man and the defensive end
assignments. The secondary force man has the quarterback
the defensive end takes pitch. It is an excellent change-up
the run, but is
defense against
(Diagram 9-29).
weak against the dump
The Dum Diagram 9-29
p Pass vs. Oprion SWirch
Teams using this stunt .
their free safety. The safety try to compensate with
any down-the-line action b th es responsible for the du
a!so has weakside e quarterback. Usual/y, the
eIther strong or weak A 'd y and cannot cheat his al" y
bec . WI e release b th Ignment
element in the y e tight end once mor:
en s WIde relea SUCcess of the d y,
cannot break up the P::s the safety
after the reception F . mIght get a great hit e
Our tig'ht r;: a:
A e Y 10 a truly gOod
nother defensive ad'
leCondary I J ustment is a
defense is '. n Our nomenclature this . corner rotation in the
... t sImply changing the sec' d IS cloud Coverage. The
the rotation as he ,force. The tight end now
lor any zone e eases Th' .
JOur r h secondary b t . IS IS a basic
t is not well schooied
one which stops the option if
a WIde split by Your t1a k'
... rotatio? before the t;e defense is forced to give
10 order to cover th natJPped. The strong safety
th Your tight d e anker on a tJ tt
e snap of the b en can often read cloud Y pa
The d all. coverage pnor
ump pass takes d
seCondary D t a vantage of a tremend
and d . e enders responsible f h' ous void in a
e enslve ends Who initial/ or t IS area are line-
y must play the run. The
dump pass will probably become a favorite audible of your
quarterback when he spots a corner rotation (Diagram 9-30).
Diagram 9-00
The Dump Pass vs. a Corner Rotation
An eight-man front with a three-deep zone secondary also
depends on defenders from the inside to cover the dump pass area.
These inside defenders also have run responsibility and become
vulnerable to play action passes, especially the dump pass.
In the veer offense, the dump pass is an integral part of your
system. It is an important tool for your tight end in the execution of
his crucial block. It is the tight end's block which turns a 2-yard
gain into a 20-yard play. Without the threat of the dump pass, your
end's blocking success rate would be extremely low.
The dump pass can be thrown either strong or weak, and off
any play action in your offense with the exception of the outside
veer. Given a chance, it will become a high percentage pass in your
the tight end flog
The flag pattern by the tight end is an effective play
pass. It ties in very well with your play action passing
Initially, it looks like the dump pass. For us, the flag has been
basic weakside pattern from our two tight end alignment or
twins. It has evolved into a three-man pattern with the other
as a secondary receiver. In our system it is the 3 pattern (Diilgrl
9-31). The 3 pattern is a read pattern for your weakside
route will vary according to the secondary.
Diagram 9-01
The J Pattern
reading the secondary h
on t e flog route
The 3 pattern can be run off a
the dump pass, the 3 pattern is d ~ 2, 3, 4 or 5 hole play. Just like
overly aggressive weak 'd eSlgned to take advanta f
Sl e o r n e ~ Whe h ge 0 an
run support, your end runs his fl . b h" n t e corner comes up for
9-32). ag e md the defender (0"
ss c
The Tight End R . Diagram 9-02
Unnlng His Flag [3ehind an A .
" ggresSlve Corner
Getting b h' d
.... !el1n. I e 10 the corner is wh
f t ~ e corner is not fooled b at yOU strive for with the 3
Your tight end turns his fla y t ~ e play action and plays
g route mto a sideline (D'
Diagram 9-33
The Tight End Turning His Flag inro a Sideline
When Corner Does Not Get Fooled by the Run Action
The coaching point for your tight end is not to break his flag
route too soon. He should not sideline until the corner has stopped
back-pedaling. The corner who is still in his back-pedal has a good
chance of reacting up to the sideline route.
quarterback execution on the flog route
The quarterback execution is very similar on most play action
passes. You will want a good mesh and fake to the dive back. Since
the flag is a deep pattern, the quarterback will continue down the
line for a couple of steps, then drop back 3 to 5 yards. The
quarterback reads the secondary, keeping in mind that his second
ary receiver is running a post.
Let's review the reactions of the weak corner. Remember that
your first situation had the corner coming up to support the
Your end easily gets behind this corner and runs his flag.
quarterback must now read the free safety. If the free safety Is
position to cover the flag, the quarterback goes to the post
the middle (Diagram 9-34).
Diagram 9-34 shows the 3 pattern against a four-deep
zone team. Unless the safety has cheated weak, he will
difficult to cover the flag pattern. If the safety has cheated
Diagram 9-34
ees rhe Sat C
ery an COver rhe Flag
and covers the fla
runnin g, you have a good h
A against a rotating tith your other end
I ep secondary will _ e y-
ook, and the read on the Your quarterback th
s ety IS the same (D' e same
lagram 9-35).
Diagram 9-35
The .3 Pottern vs. a Two-D Z
eep one
deep quarterback should reali .
lWeIe has covered the flag, in a twa-
In analy . e mIddle will be
... IrtE!rbclck zmg the weak c
:..: should d ?Tner who stays in the d .
COverage. In thIs as a pre-rotated th thIrd, Your
e, er case, Your quarterba k rhee- eep zone or
c s auld anticipate
throwing to the playside tight end as he also reads the secondary
and breaks to the sideline.
The mistake your young quarterbacks will make is not
reading the free safety properly. They will think that the flag is
open when the safety is actually in good position. Their mistake is
in not realizing how long the ball is in the air on a flag pattern. This
error in judgment can be eliminated by having the quarterback hit
the tight end as soon as he breaks open on his flag route. In order
to accomplish this task, your quarterback will have to hurry his
fake to release the ball sooner. Now the safety is seldom a factor.
the flag as a goad pattern into the
short side of the field
The 3 pattern is one of the few plays in your pass offense
which can be run into the short side of the field. There is one basic
change which must be made. Your tight end has to use an inside
release to give himself enough room. The read remains the same
for your tight end and quarterback (Diagram 9-36).
\ E
Diagram 9-36
The J Pattern into the Short Side of the Field
Many times an inside release coupled with a good play
gets the corner in a fast flow to the pitch.
The 3 pattern can be developed into a good weaks ide
attack. With a few simple reads, your quarterback can elliIIOIL ..
By adding the word "throwback," your quarterback can
tho p.nd aligned with the flanker the primary receiver.
be 159
comes an especially good
involved in weakside pattern when the free saf t
vulnerable to the A two-zone tloo
. ' am
. pnmary receiver's .
runnmg a post, your end ru!attern IS modified and instead
post over the middle alerts the a seam pattern. Too often of
We have had a great sa ety, causing him to la a
outside veer action I deal of success with this pP tYt pass.
th b k W . n our terminolo ' a ern off
row ac . ith a right-handed gy, It is the 346 or 347
throwback easier to execute (D' quarterback, you will find the 346
lagram 9-37).

Diagram 9-37
346 Throwbacll VS. a Two-Zone 5 d econ ary
Your tight end can use a .
right down the seam H outside release and th
:oulder .. Any play acti'on ball over his
e playslde end in to block. R g outSide veer action will kee
off 46 or 47 action you will block
load blocking the defe 10 the outside veer, with
p ay Ike the 346 th b nSlve end.
a wide sl throw ack can be
alfensive taO k7 ere the slot back splits the effective out
c e and the split end. I erence between your
1he flanker's fly route
Ig yardage in you
V:arrflies the football. r veer offense is gained when the pitch
ur anke h
lire d r, w en prope I
a y good play into a stalk block, will turn
y. e y pattern is the pass
route which complements your flanker's stalk block. In our num-
bering system, the fly route is the 6 pattern and it can be run off
any play action. It is the threat of the fly route that enables your
flanker to successfully execute his stalk block. Veer option teams
have used the 6 pattern with tremendous results. The success of
this pattern lies in its simplicity.
flanker execution on the fly route
Just as in his stalk block, your flanker will use an outside
release. The releases on the stalk and fly patterns must be
identical. Our 6 pattern is run as a read pattern by the flanker. If he
can get even with the corner, the flanker will continue to run his fly
pattern. Once even with the corner, he will start to fade toward the
sideline and catch the ball over his inside shoulder.
The corner who keeps a cushion between himself and your
flanker will take away the fly pattern. A corner playing zone and
responsible for the deeP third is especially difficult to beat on a
deep route. In this situation, your flanker simply turns the pattern
into a 12- to 15-yard stop route. Your flanker stops and turns to the
inside (Diagram 9-38).
Against a corner rotation (cloud coverage or two-zone), your
wide receiver must not let the corner force him inside. To run I
successful pattern, your flanker has to get outside the cloud
As a coaching point, you can instruct your flanker to cut down
split versus a corner rotation. This will give him more room
maneuver on his outside release.
With the secondary in cloud coverage, the flanker can
pate getting the ball as soon as he breaks past the corner.
a void in the defense which we refer to as the "side
(Diagram 9-39).
quarterback execution on the fly route
With any play action pass, your quarterback's
depends on the play action. The same fundamentals always
He must get a good mesh and fake with the dive back.
When executing a 6 or 7 hole play action pass, such
will take longer to develop. Consequently, it will take
nents a few more seconds to recognize pass. For this
Diagram 9-38
The Fl y Portern Deep and rh S
e rap Roure
Hirting rhe S'd R Diagram 9-39
I e oeiler A .
gOlnsr a Corner Rorarion
has a reasonabl
corner in y good chance to be
as . a three-deep zone Th at even the most
qUIckly as SOme of your' e defense is not able to
passes that are run off inside
back execution.
d 'th your quar
One final point has 1
blocking the defensive
b k who IS oa . g OUtSI e . ou
t the pressure on
have really pu . (Diagram 9-40).
has a pass-run option
. End \-\oohed
Q{} Execution on
ide veer action, the
route 0 ou k v
When he throws t e Y sh with the dive bac . our
' 11 ot get as good a me h' load block. The
a little wider to e :nd drop straight
dive bac WI '11 me straight down t e 10
end's original is also
bac :t the flanker reads the route. When your
. Ju corner to anticipate. the uld hit the flanker lUll
keymg k reads a corner rotatIOn, A good, strong
past the too long.
safety can cover the deep Y
cf n
throwbacK pass off play a 10
d be able to throw to the A
A good pass offense shOUlcially effective off play acti"but
back attack can be espe t ' n the secondary,
trOW . ou movemen 1 rd your
fake not only gives Y ets caught flowing
backside linebacker also : ck attack, yOU force your
. With a good throw a
action. . Id I
defend the entire fte . give yOU a comp ete
Three basic patterns can are designed for your
offense. These three patterns
receiver. Consequently, throwback patterns can be run off any
pattern involving your strongside receivers. Generally, any suc-
cessful pattern involving the flanker and the tight end will provide
good throwback action. For example, if the free safety is cheating
on the dump pass, you will want to have a throwback off the dump
pass. A simple communication system involves calling a particular
pattern and adding the word "throwback" along with the particu-
lar throwback pattern. Thus, "742 throwback post" would have
the weakside receiver running a post route off the dump pass.
throwbacK post
The throwback post is designed to take advantage of a fast
Rowing free safety. This type of free safety not only gets involved in
the running game, but also overcommits in defending the pass. If
you are successful with a particular play action pass, you may find
the free safety eager to help his teammates. The throwback post is
designed to settle down an active safety.
Our post pattern is not the traditional post route run into the
deep middle third. We run it more as a seam route with the receiver
running in the seam between the deep middle third and deep
outside third. It can be run from both split and tight alignments by
your backside end. A split end will make a move toward the middle
and break up the seam. Your tight end will use a quick outside
release and run straight down the field (Diagram 9-41) .
The throwback post will be successful only if the cornerback
has to cover your end with no free safety help. The pass fake to
formation strength has to fool the free safety. It is important for
WOur quarterback to give an arm fake to the appropriate strongs ide
receiver and look the free safety off for as long as possible. Looking
the free safety off involves concentrating on the receiver whom
JOUr quarterback wants the safety to cover. He must not look
1IIckside until he is ready to throw. Your quarterback should be
to keep his throw to the inside, for the defensive corner
have no free safety help. You want your end' to catch the ball
his inside shoulder.
U the free safety has not been fooled and is still playing his
middle position, your quarterback should tuck the ball and
a runner. To throw the post with a safety in the middle
o 0
o 0
Diagram 9-41 r Ali nment5
The P05t from Tight and Sp It g
. h b II I'S in the air for so long.
t ' smce tea . be
third is a sure intercep Ion b ks will throw the interceptIOn .
Your inexperienced ac is open. Your quarterback hash tOt
thO k the receiver I ng even w a
cause they m 'th the ball in the air for so 0 d' b the free
remember that, WI. ceiver is soon covere y
to be a wide-open re
post to
We have oun flanker runmng a qUIC . Ii
our 9 pattern, ha;. to any post pattern with the Idea
free safeties react 13 e
punishing the receIVer.
12- to IS-yard pattern with the receiver circling into the middle of
your formation (Diagram 9-42).
, c

Diagram 9-42
7 42 Circle
Your end uses a quick veer release and circles into the middle
between your backside tackle and center. He must never go further
than the center, for the playside linebacker can now cover him. A
split receiver will run the same route but will not get as far inside.
As the end makes his break to the inside, he simply finds the hole
In the zone. There is no set distance or disciplined number of steps
for the end on his circle pattern. He has to react to the defense. For
example, against a tight playing man-to-man secondary, he may
run a little deeper pattern and then come back to the quarterback
to get separation.
A coaching point for your quarterback in executing a
throwback circle is to look the defense off and keep the ball low.
His point of aim should be the belt buckle. Any pass into the
middle of the defense is dangerous. A high or deflected pass will
Nault in an interception.
Ihrowback fly
The "throwback fly" is the play in your offense which takes
Idvantage of a backside corner who pursues too early. It is not a
blah frequency pass. The situation and personnel have to be just
light, It is a pass used in a definite run situation while you are in
OWn territory. One of your faster ends should run the fly route.
d and the defensive
between your h
It often becomes a oot veer release and tries to run e
corner. Your end uses a qUiC d t rts to fade toward the sldehne
corner. After 15 yards, the en s a
(Diagram 943).
Diagram 94:l
7 42 Fl y
t back will execute this play better going
A right.handed er k to his left.
to his right and throwmg bac
other game-winning patterns off play action
that are good routes off play
There are several other h oute mentioned for every
action. Naturally, you will ;ppropriate patterns for a
ame. It is left up to to f d'lfferent patterns from week to
t Usmg a ew . A
particular opponen . . d the element of surpnse. s
week will give you vanety ing to do too much.
we must always beware 0 ry
tight end delay
. st teams
" . ttern use agam f
The "tight end delay IS a pa I takes advantage 0
not drop their defensive It a tight end delay Is
flowing linebackers. In our 0 ense,
hide" (Diagram 944).
Diagram 944
142 Hide
Your tight end blocks down for three counts, helping the
tackle with his block. After counting to 3, he runs across the field
at a depth of 57 yards.
Your quarterback can execute an extended ride and stay along
the line of scrimmage. He throws a soft pass to the end just as your
end gets around your backside tackle. Have your quarterback stay
on the line of scrimmage unless his throwing lane is blocked,
forcing him to step back.
quick post to the flanker
A good change up for your tight end and flanker in the
execution of their assignments on the inside veer is a cross block.
Rllther than using a stalk block, .your flanker will now crack back
on the strong safety. Your tight end will veer release and block the
comer, the flanker and end having simply switched men (Diagram

When you use this blocking scheme, the quick post to the
lanker becomes a good complementary pattern. For us, it is
labeled the 9 pattern and can be run off any play action. Your
linker, liS always, will use a slight outside release. Remember that
Wllnt the corner to see the same initial release on every play
of whether it is run or pass. Since an outside release is
bBllIc to the flanker, he should have his outside leg back. Your
should explode off the line and make his break on his third
He runs past the strong safety and then up the seam. Your
end runs a swing pattern and might be open if the secondary
Diagram 9-45
Cross [letween the and Tight End
on the Inside Veer
is in man coverage and the strong safety plays run. Also, the zone
corner who collapses inside with the flanker will leave the tight
end open (Diagram 9-46).
Diagram 9-46
post to the flanller
The strong safety is the key for your quarterback. \I the stroll\l
safety moves toward the line of scrimmage in run support Of
toward the sideline to cover the end, your flanker will be open.
strong safety who just sits or moves back is probably in some
of umbrella coverage, in which he is playing the flanker's
routes. This is not to be confused with a corner rotation
coverage), in which the strong safety moves to the deep
third. Against cloud coverage, the quick post to the flanker wiD
open. With the strong safety in umbrella coverage, the
back should look to his end to see if he is open.
When throwi ng to the fI k
the ball before his receiv:; b er, your quarterback should re-
Trehceiver to This
b k . e quarterback h rea s past
rea past the strong safet w 0 waits for the flanke
that the free safety is a . y before releasing the ball will d' r to
n Important factor (D' Iscover
lagram 9-47).
' C
sl x HERE
Th Diagram 9-47
e Q[l's P-elease on the Quidl Post
The quick post can be' .
action" With your tight end effective off outside veer
more lIkely to come up for run g the strong safety is
support (DIagram 9-48).
__ -
T Diagram 9-48
he Qud Post off the Outside \I veer- 946
Adding a DropbQck
Passing Attock ,
A dropback passing attack gives you a well-balanced offense.
The split backs in the veer offense are easily adapted into a
dropback passing game. A successful pass offense will force your
opponents to playa balanced defense. The threat of the pass wID
force your opposition out of an eight-man front .
We have developed two separate series of dropback action:
flood series with both backs and the quarterback going in
same direction. and a divide series with the backs going
opposite directions. Our quarterback sets up behind the
guard in both the flood and the divide series.
For us. the flood series is 12 when going to the right and
when moving to the left. Our divide series is labeled 14 and
flood series has the offside back blocking the playside
end (Diagram 10-1). Our divide series has the playside
the end (Diagram 10-2).
, Diagram 10-1
[lodlfreld Action in Flood Series (12)
, Diagram 10-2
[lodl fr eld Acti on in D'rvr'd S ' e err es ( 14)
quarterback set-up
In both the flood and divi .
: hind. the playside guard. our quarterback sets up
\Ie setting up behind the r. q entiy. 12 14 action would
would lind him behind the left while 13 or 15 action
PltteOrn. our quarterback will us g ard. With the exception of one
ur quarterback e a seven-step drop.
leries d opens to his right th
It II an to his left with an odd b WI an even-numbered
pass all the way. num er. There is no play fake. for
.hot Jeceiver principle
We have incorporated the hot rec . . .
_llCka.attack. Very Simply th. . elver principle into our
unblocked and hleaVing the playside
'--__ 1m Wit a hot receiver. Our
172 d' th
'd d or back depen 109 on e
h I YSI e en ' . th
hot receiver is either t epa layers will always run a route 10 e
attern. One of these p h 'f the linebacker comes on a
pass Pf the playside linebacker. T us, I ted by the linebacker.
area 0 . the area vaca . ..
there is a receiver In f using a hot receIver IS m
stun, h'
advantage 0 I k d' thO
As we see it, t e mal I' d defender unb oc e ,10 IS
tection. By leaving a p aysl e block backside and have
pass pro rnemen can b k .
the linebacker, our I . . th playside line ac er IS
case . les In addItIon, e
great blockmg ang fng
quickly discouraged is always the playside
Our quarterback s . volved in a stunt ac
backer. If the linebacker to the hot receIver (DIagram
. d' ately pulls up and It in a big play. Teams who
Imme I nd can resu . b k
10.3). This is a soft pass a nse while stunting a hne ac. are
'lI'ng to play zone defe . Some teams are wllhng to
are WI I bl t the hot receIver. k D f s
especially vulnera e 0 hile stunting a Iinebac er. e ense
gamble and give up a stunting their linebackers are as
who play man w I om the hot receiver. It IS a
susceptible to the b.lg play be completed even
short pass and advantages of the hot recetver rna e
coverage (Diagram 1 .
it well worth the gamble.
Diagram 103 .
. to the Hot (1.ecel
ThrOWing 'd Stunts
When the Ploysl e I
simple line blocking
. lour linemen can use k
As discussed prevIous y, y. Thus your dropbac
__ .'nn in UOur dropback senes. '
is identical to your play action pass blocking. Your line assign.
ments are made easy by using the same protection lor dropback
and play action passes. While the blocking rules are identical, the
technique is different. When blocking for play action, you want
your linemen to use an aggressive block. In protecting a dropback
passer, your linemen can show pass setting up on or off the line of
line technique in a dropbock passing attack
There are some basic techniques of line play that are unique in
protecting a dropback or short sprintout passer. (By short sprint
out, we are referring to the quarterback who sets up behind his
tackle.) The linemen are no longer concerned with concealing
pass. The defenders will see the ball going off the line of scrim
mage instead of down the line and will know that the play is pass.
A basic yet important skill for an offensive lineman is simply
the ability to get out of his threepoint stance and into a hitting
position. This initial phase, getting out of the stance, is where
many linemen get beaten. They are slow in getting set, thus
allowing the defensive men to accelerate to them. You can help
your linemen by emphasizing two things. Number one, they must
push off with their down hands. At the same time, have them snap
their heads back. This is all done on the snap of the ball. By
pushing off and snapping their heads, your pass protectors will
have momentum going up and off the line into a good hitting
position. A good hitting position is a two point stance with a good
base. The feet are at least shoulderswidth apart. Knees are bent,
with the butt low, back straight and elbows in. Foot movement is
atremely important. The feet should be moving in short, choppy
1Iepa. It is imperative for your lineman to be set in a good hitting
JIOIItion before the defensive lineman comes in contact with him.
1be alignment of your linemen on the ball can help give them an
lIIra split second to set up. Our linemen align as far off the ball as
the rules permit. Not only does this help our pass protection, but it
makes scoop blocking a little easier. As mentioned earlier,
blocking is an integral part of our running game.
Your linemen have to realize that pass protection is a passive
as Opposed to the aggressive blocks used in the running
A good pass blocker gets few opportunities to punish his
tor is usually easily beaten. In pass
man. An aggressive pass protec
. rtant Your linemen should
., b comes a -Impo . I'
protection, posltton e. 'fce osition. An aggressIVe meman
not do anything that wIll I offensive lineman who gets
will miss his defender. . . per position is usually
while malOtalOlOg pro
successful. I tioned offensive lineman takes
Overpowering a proper Y Piosl position usually opens up a
time. The pass protector who oses
quick lane to the quarterback
. the back of the head to the
Proper position involves defender and quarterback.
quarterback and staying between t e back keep their shoulders
The linemen closest to your quar have the luxury of allowing
square to the line of or outside rush, then using
t k
either an mSI e k Th
the defender to a e k h' past your quarterbac. e
, tum to ta e 1m f
the defender s momen k the inside rush and orce an
. further away must ta e away
outside rush. . d htting position, they have to wait
With your linemen m a goo II rox'lmity They deliver a
t within c ose p .
for the defender to ge. into the defender. Many coaches
controlled blow explodIng a "6-inch punch:' Your offensive
refer to this controlled not out. By going out instead 01 up.
people must explode up an h' balance. The 6-inch punch il
they will overextend and lose t elf b d To maintain position and
delivered with the arms and 0 remain bent. When
keep from overextending, will find overextended, oul
the legs become extended . Y blow your pass protector
of position linemen. will give up ground ID
t nd recOl. our
should retrea a.. with the defender.
order to avoid tted is to beat the pass protectar
A pass rusher s first 0 J b k Upon recognizing pass, he
between him and the quarterffac.' man striving to get to
t to the 0 enSlve, . .
taught to acce era e set in his two-point hIttIng
before the pass gets bbing the offensive lineman so eel
A basic pass rush lovo gra h allows himself to get tI
The hneman w 0 . .
turn his shou ers. '11 t beaten. For this reason, It IS
with the pass rusher WI ge d not to give the pass
to hit, retreat and recoil. I\or ;:n should keep their
something else to grab, pass offense, the
When you execute a r.op he ball. More so than
people know the of a one-on-one duel
' ng game the sltuatton ecom
runnl ' . 0
.... I
the pass protector and t he pass rusher. In a situation like this, it is
critical for the offensive lineman to use some variety in his
technique. A good change-up is to give the rusher an outside rush
lane and then use his momentum to drive him past the passer. The
offensive man opens up his hips, locks on and runs with the
defender. An important coaching point is not to let your lineman
open his hips and turn too soon. He must wait until the rusher has
his inside leg past him. With the inside leg past, the defender has
reached the point of no return and has committed himself to an
outside rush. If your lineman turns too soon, the rusher can come
back inside and have an open lane to the quarterback.
Another variation is to have your linemen cut the defender.
They can either cut right away or deliver a 6-inch punch and then
cut. However, as a general rule, don't let them cut a rusher who is
quicker than themselves. A quick pass rusher will beat a slower
player and get to your quarterback.
To throw off the timing of the pass rusher, another good
change-up is to have your lineman attack the defender and then
retreat and set up. It is a good variation against the rusher who
uses a lot of fakes. He now has no chance to use his moves.
Many times a lineman is beaten by the defensive man but
recovers and still wins the battle. There are a couple of good
counter moves that you can teach your players. The first involves
the pass protector who has lost his balance as a result of being
pulled forward by the defensive man. In this predicament, simply
instruct your lineman to "sit down" so as to regain his center of
gravity. When balance is recovered, your lineman can resume his
pass protection. The term "sitting down" means getting the butt
low so as to regain the center of gravity. The movement to regain
balance is similar to simply sitting down. .
Often your linemen will find that they have allowed their
opponents to grab hold of their jerseys in the shoulder area.
Remember that the basic pass protection stance will keep the
tIbows in. With the elbows inside, your lineman will have his arms
laeide t?e defender's arms. When the pass. rusher grabs your
:=:;an s instruct him to keep his elbows in and drop his
into t he nb cage of the rusher. The lower arm will form a 90
_ e angle with the upper arm. As the defensive player tries to
the shoulders of the offensive lineman, he will have him
_ oeq, thus keeping his shoulders square. If he keeps his fist
your lineman will not be called for holding. The oppo-
nent is neutralized because, although he has a grip on the
shoulders, he cannot get them turned.
A very popular and successful pass rush technique involves a
head slap with one hand and swinging the other arm over the
head of your offensive lineman. This is commonly known as a sWim
technique. It is technically illegal, but very seldom is the penalty
called for the head slap. The offensive pass blocker must not allow
the head slap to turn his shoulders. He must stay square and
punch with his opposite shoulder into the numbers of the defensive
lineman, while he keeps his feet moving in order to stay between
the defensive man and the quarterback.
reading the secondary for man or zone coverage
In a dropback series it is important for your quarterback to
read the secondary for man or zone. He must be conscious of the
secondary coverage in order to anticipate which receiver will be
Secondary coverage is most easily determined by reading the
defenders on your strong side or two receiver side. Against a four-
deep secondary, your quarterback will look to the strong safety.
With a three-deep secondary (eight-man front), he will read the
free safety.
We use two basic principles in reading the secondary to the
strong side of our formation.
1. When the opposition is in a four-deep secondary
man front) an inside release by the inside receiver will
your quarterback to determine man or zone.
2. With the opposition in a three-deep secondary (ei'lht-JII
front), an outside release and outside pattern by your
receiver will allow your quarterback to determine
Let's discuss the four-deep secondary. With the inside
using an inside release, a man secondary will have the
safety collapsing inside to cover the receiver (Diagram
strong safety ignores this inside release and stays outside,
zone coverage (Diagram 10-5).
An outside release and outside pattern would tell VOUlr III
h"rk nothing about the secondary coverage. If it is zone
the tight end will be covered b 177
into his zone. y the strong safety for h' .
, e IS gomg
88 C
Diagram 10-4
A Strong Safety in Man (

Diagram 10-5
A Strang Safety in Zone (overage
Many times a three-dee se
by their alignment. A safety will give the Coverage
in man Coverage. Howev 0 IS C eated to the strong side
COVerage by always cheating t't:' can disguise man or
th it up on the snap of the ety to your strong side
B ree-deep secondary, the i 'd or quarterback to
r; immediately must release
the ermme man or zone (D. e at, your quarterback
ese basic reads lagrams 10-6 and 10-7)
man or zone cov:r:;e
will be abie to
will be open. . IS wIll help him to discern
D' rom 10-6
S f ty
to 5trangside but Pl ayi ng Zone
A 3-Deep a e
Diagram 10-7 . Man to-Man
Cheati ng Over and Pl aYi ng -
A 3-Deep a
dropback flood series . .
d back flood senes IS .
We have mentioned that fur ro
patterns by insertIng
any 0 our en
12 and 13. We c:n of the series number. For Id have
appropriate num etc. These patterns wou
can run 012, 31 , h' d the right guard.
quarterback setting up .be m the playside back runs
th 12 and 13 senes passes . d the hot receIver.
I kl his sIde an IS 'd
route through the tac e for blocking the playsl e
offside back will be responsl
end (Diagram 10-8).
Diagram 10-8
The Acti an on a 12 Seri es Pass
By adding words we can change the route of the playside
back. For example, "012 flat" would have the back and the tight
end changing routes. The tight releases inside and is hot, while the
back goes to the flat (Diagram 10-9).
flood patterns to strength
There are several excellent flood patterns to formation
strength. The flanker, tight end and back will be involved in a
variety of coordinated patterns.
Regardless of the particular pattern, 12 and 13 series passes
toward the flanker will all involve some of the same basic
principles. First, the playside linebacker will be unblocked and
your quarterback will control him with a hot receiver. Next, your
quarterback will read the strong safety to determine man or zone
coverage. When they are in zone coverage, pressure is put on the
IIrong safety by putting two receivers in his area.
\he flanker's curl pattern
In our nomenclature, the curl is the 0 pattern. The huddle call
... be "012 flat:' Your tight end uses an inside release and is the
receiver. The flanker runs a curl, breaking at 15 yards and
back to the quarterback. Your plays ide back will be in the
(Diagram 10-9).
The tight end uses an inside release. He must not come too far
but must head upfield. If he comes too far inside, the
Diagram 10-9
012 Flat
backside linebacker becomes a factor and might be able to knock
the ball down if your quarterback throws hot. If he is having
difficulty releasing inside because of the defensive end, your tight
end should take a wider split. Your tight end keys the playside
linebacker. Unless the playside linebacker stunts, V';,Jr end will not
get the football. After a depth of 10 he will hook either
inside or outside in an effort to get free of the backside linebacker.
We assume that the playside linebacker will attempt to cover the
curl by your flanker.
The back in the flat is a secondary receiver in most situations.
The important coaching point is to have him run directly at the
strong safety and then break to the sideline at a depth of 6 yardJ.
By running at the strong safety, your back is heading upfield and
can make other cuts off this basic route. Consequently, in
coverage, the linebacker has to respect the threat of an
route. The strong safety is able to cushion the curl a little
but if he cushions for too long, you will have a good gain
throwing to the back in the flat (Diagram 10-10).
The flanker running his curl is your primary receiver. You
your flanker to use the same outside release as he uses on all
patterns and in executing his stalk block. The corner aligned
the flanker will see the same release on every snap of the bail
exception is when the flanker is involved in a crack back
the strong safety.
As the flanker releases, he must key the strong safety
his peripheral vision. Awareness of what the strong safety
will enable your flanker to distinguish man or zone
Consequently, by the time your flanker gets to his breaking
T ,Diagram 10-10
'f h hrawlng to the DOc/I in the Flat
I t e Strong Sofety Cushions the Curl
which is 15 yards downfi Id h
zon.e. coverage. Against e a know Whether it is man or
antrclpate sliding inside t e can round his cut-off d
get inside the defender Instruct your'
quarterback will have an open th e ?r t e flat. This is where your
should not come too far ins'd hrowrng lane. However, the flank
curl. lew ere the linebacker can
cover IS
If your flanker reads man c
Is the defender he has to beat he knows that the corner
I/Ood cut to increase his . . Our anker now has to m k
best w t . separatron from th a e a
CO :y 0 rncrease separation is tie corner. PrObably the
ack to the quarterback by 3 ; ant the outside foot and
catching the ball at around 12
Jards. Your flanker may

should square his s. After. making his cut,

to catch the bad ball. der to give him lateral
execution and second
ary reads
We want our QB to set up beh'
leven-step drop. As with all h .rnd the playside guard. He will
OVer the top and does this b
QB has to bring
.elbow even with the sh y mal.ntarnrng a high elbow. We
Will step toward his I! higher. A consistent
a IS stomach and chest
are facing the receiver. To get a tight spiral and a catchable ball,
your QB has to develop a good release, rolling his thumb to the
Before the snap of the ball, we have our QB check secondary
alignment. First, he will check the free safety. With the safety
cheated to an extreme position, either strong or weak, our QB will
be conscious of a blitz from the secondary and will use his
audibles. When the QB reads a normal alignment by the free
safety, he will look to the strong safety. A strong safety aligned
head-up on your tight end usually indicates man coverage. A Wide
alignment usually means zone coverage. A cloud rotation toward
the flanker is also easily determined by the deeper alignment of the
strong safety.
In many games your QB will be unable to determine the
secondary coverage before the snap of the football. A well-
schooled secondary will disguise their coverages. Your QB has to
read the strong safety after the snap of the ball to determine man
or zone coverage.
Let's go through the QB reads on "012 flat." Remember that
the playside linebacker is unblocked and is your QB's first read. If
the linebacker stunts, the ball is thrown to your hot receiver-the
tight end.
When the linebacker does not stunt, your QB reads the strong
safety for man or zone coverage. With man coverage, the strong
safety will collapse inside to cover your tight end.
A strong safety in zone coverage either comes up to cover
back in the flat or back-pedals to cushion the curl (Diagram
Regardless of the coverage, your flanker is the
receiver. By reading man or zone, your QB will know who
responsible for covering the curl. A zone secondary will try to
linebacker or end into the curl. Man coverage tells your QB
the corner will have to cover the curl. There will be no umlen
coverage with a man secondary. To determine if the
open, your QB simply looks for separation between the
the corner.
The most difficult read for your QB will be a zone
which has the strong safety hanging in the curl area melmllob
The strong safety will cushion the curl and then come up to
the back in the flat.
You never want the QB to throw to the flanker if the

Diagram 10-11
' The Strong Safet . Z
Covering the Flat h
us IOnlng the Curl
safety stays in the curl ar '.
Ihe back in the flat wh In thiS situation, he has to th
safety Simply thOe
OUlld be open. However if the rOt w to
8 I cur mom t . ' s rong
a , your QB should be able t th en anly and then goes to th
!::tet: makes the mistake of his flanker. If the stron;
ave to go with the shorter . g e curl too long, YOur QB
strong safety is Simply bUYing t. ga;" and throw to the back Th
curl. To your QB, this or the to get th:
normal situations. By "normal" IS best When used i
IeCond and 5 h' Sl uallons w . n
lit ' or t lTd and 4 In th .' e mean first and 10
IIld Is a gOod secondary I es: situations, the back in
L..._ 10, the back in the flat. n a ong yardage Situation tho d
-=aus h IS not ad' IT
. aDaliloe;n. e probably won't get the fi t secondary receiver
Ian't tempted to forcer:he
A' . erWen
gaIDst a team that I .
-!facIe.. pays a lot of .

the 0 patt zone With very little m

ern with a slightl d'" an
it will be "012 " Th y luerent wrinkle
IUlagraa,rnssignments with the b k e:'ayside back and the tight
Obv/ 10-12). ac ot and the tight end in the
ously th t h
b ' e Ig t end is able .
If strong safety tt
flat quicker
WI e open for a good gaO e cur too long, Your
o Our oPtion runnin m.
To change up option we do see a lot of zone
verage, the defense will Use a
Diagram 10-12
55ure on the Strong Safety
putting IncreosedhPreT" ht End into the Flat
by putting t e Ig
. e "012" or "012 flat" can be especially
lot of corner rotation. Th e since there is no secondary
effective cloud imperative that your flanke.r
who can cushIOn the cur. d not get forced t o the inSIde
uses an outside release and oes
(Diagram 10-13).

Diagram 10-13 .
012 V5. Cl oud RoTotto
the flanker's fly pattern
. alwayS
backfield actIOn, we
No matter what ttern by our flanker.
opponents to defend the Y pa
play action or dropback, we throw the fly route to the flanker. Your
entire passing game will be improved if the secondary always has a
deep threat. When using play action, your flanker sets up his fly
route off his stalk block. Dropback action has him setting up his fly
route off his curl. Your flanker can actually break down, give a
slight inside move, then take off on his fly route. This is an
especially effective pass against a tough man corner who is
playing the curl. Again, your flanker uses an outside release as he
does on his curl pattern. At a depth of 12 to 15 yards, he makes a
slight inside move and actually steps inside with his inside foot.
Next, he pushes off with his inside foot and explodes past the
defensive corner.
The fly pattern can be run off any play action and fits in well
with our strongside flood series. In our nomenclature, this is "312
flat" (Diagram 10-14).
The playside end uses an inside release and is the hot receiver.
He runs a post if there is no safety in the middle of the field. When
there is a safety in the middle of the field, the end turns his post
Into a circle pattern, where the tight end gets 15 yards downfield
and stops in the middle of the formation. The offside end rUnS a
deep flag route, while the playside back runs his flat pattern.
QB execution and reads
Your QB will again set up behind the strongside guard at a
depth of 8 yards. With the strongside end releasing inside, your QB
II able to read man or zone. Originally, this pattern was set up for
IIIIn coverage. It takes advantage of the man-to-man corner who
playing the curl very tightly. It will also take advantage of the
corner who is cheating on the curl.
As with all of our flood series passes, the playside linebacker
unblocked and controlled by a hot receiver. Your QB must
the strong safety for man or zone coverage. If he reads man
he tries to throw to the flanker. The back in the flat is
a good secondary receiver against a man secondary.
the defense in a zone coverage, your QB should now
his tight end. However, even against zone, you don't want
give up on the fly pattern too soon. Sometimes a zone
get fooled and react to the flanker's curl. For the most
Diagram 10-14
312 Flar
part, your QB should realize that a good corner playing a zone
defense will not get beaten deep. Usually, your QB throws to the
tight end who has turned his post into a IS-yard circle pattern. He
ends up right in the middle of the zone and is usually open.
A secondary often gives away cloud rotation before the snap
of the ball. Even if they can disguise their corner roll prior to the
snap, it is easy to read once the ball is in play. Against a cloud
rotation, you want your QB to throw to the flanker as soon as he
comes off the corner bump. This is the area we refer to as the
If the defense is rolling both corners and playing the
halves with the safeties, your QB now has an excellent omlortulll
for the big play. In this situation, the big play involves
strongside end running his post pattern (Diagram 10-15).
We refer to this type of secondary as two zone. Your QB
be sure it is a two zone and not a three-deep zone with
rotation. Against three zone with a cloud rotation, he
your flanker in the side pocket. There will be a safety in the
of the field to take away the post.
the tight end's deep sideline
This pattern has your primary receiver, the str,on!.-
running a 20-yard sideline. He releases inside and
further into the middle. You want your end to come mSIU- ,,!
Diagram 10-15
312 Flar VS. 2 Zone
to allow the flanker to cI th
II k ear e area y, d '
an er running downfield to th . au on t want the end d
of the end in order to clear t:
er. Your flanker has to get ah and
backside post route whl1 th e a
rea. The offside end runs h b
e e P aysid b k. IS aSIC
our system, this pattern is "812 fI t" IS again in the flat. In
a lagram 10-16).
Th . Diagram 10-16
e Tighr End's Deep Sideline-812 Flor
The strong d
Il!le Sl e end is the primar .
18 can be used as a hot of his
his patt yards deep. Against zone e want hIm to get
i ern and simply find the h J YOur end can
Coverage h hoe In the zone. With th
. Wh ' e astomake h e
en running this patt a s. arp cut and sprint
ern against a man second_
ary, we let the end break sooner because there is no underneath
coverage. He usually makes his cut at around 15 yards. Again, the
key coaching point is to have your end bend in a little on his
pattern so that he will stay behind the flanker.
QB execution and secondary reads
Your QB will again set up 8 yards behind the strongside
guard. The playside linebacker is his initial read because he is
controlled by a hot receiver. He then reads the strong safety for
man or zone coverage.
With the defense in a zone coverage, your QB is usually able
to throw to his end. Even if the strong safety cushions, the end will
be open since this is such a deep pattern. However, if the strong
safety gets a deep drop, the back in the flat is a good secondary
receiver (Diagram 10-17).
E B"""---::

Diagram 10-17
Throwing to the in the Flat
When the Strong Safety Drops Deep
The free safety will sometimes cheat and attempt to cover
end. When this happens the backside post should be an
It is obvious that our strongside flood series operates on
basic principle of flooding the strong safety's area. He has to
a decision and your QB simply reads him. A cloud
... nrn ..... "n easlJ read. On any pattern which has the
running a fly pattern our QB . h
'd , IS sc ooled to th
the Sl e pocket versus a corner roll If th row to the flanker in
side pocket by holding up th fl k e defense takes away the
diately to the tight end The er, the QB ,should go imme-
d h
. ere IS no stron f
un erneat coverage and th d f . g sa ety to provide
10-18). e e ense IS vulnerable (Diagram
Diagram 10-18
812 Flat vs, Cloud Coverage
Against a man secondary the QB h . .
end making his cut a little soo' Th s ould anhclpaie his tight
makes a good sharp cut to get noer. ;:nd at 15 yards and
outlet if your end is covered e back 10 the flat is a good
. IS IS normall h' h
pass, ecause your back is co db' y a Ig percentage
be a mismatch in speed. vere y a hnebacker, and it should
!he offside end's deep across pattern
Another route to flood the stron si .
pattern to your weakside d Yo g de IS the deep across
CII' zone coverage The en. read the strong safety for man
Clluerage to make' a the strong safety in zone
liang deep in h' . He either has to cover the fI t
I IS zone. a or
n our offense th' '
,IS route is labeled the 5 pattern (D'
Th I3gram
, primary receiver is the weaksid .
He uses an insid I e end runnmg an across
b e re ease and gaO d h
e at least 12 yards d b lOS ept. Your end
I!IIIiltioln Once across the fo eep t' y thhe time he gets across the
rma IOn, e gets into the seam with
Diagram 10-19
512 Flat
h f ter of the ends, runs the
. d depth. Our split end, teas
width an .
oute . . de and is the hot receiver.
across r d Iso releases lOSI h th free
The strongside en a st pattern throug e
, "d d runs a po d t 'de
He continues lOSI e an . fl route. The flanker an s rongsl
safety. The flanker hlfS acrosS route. Here agam, the
. Iy c1eanng or
end are simp h' basic flat route.
plays ide back runs IS
QB execution and secondary reads
B uses a seven-step
. s patterns, our ' d "nE!bacllll
As with the prevlOU H keys the piaysl e III
d are the same. e
and the initia rea s f an or zone coverage.
and then the strong is read as in the b
The strong lo ZO k the back in the flat . e
patterns. If he cushIOns who covers
An easy read is the stron
is run so deep, It IS I
Because the across pa
linebackers to cover.. iall effective when
The across pattern IS espec y It is a difficult pattern
a secondary playing man in the flat takes the
weaks ide corner to cover. e and leaves the across
out of the underneath coverag
o en. . r QB the option of
p A cloud rotation gIVes throwing to the acro
. d
flanker in the side pocket I secondary has committe
route will open because
cover the flat.
delay patterns off flood posses
A good defensive adjustment to any flood series is to drop off a
maximum number of defenders into the underneath coverage.
Okie teams will drop the end into the flat, thus freeing the strong
safety from flat responsibility. This is a sound defense against our
flood series.
We have simplified our QB reads by making them the same
for all strongside flood patterns. Because of this Simplicity, we ask
our QB to go one step further against an Okie team. He is
Instructed to get a feel for the defensive end. We want the QB to be
aware of whether the end is rushing. The end who drops into the
Oat communicates to our QB that the defense is using maximum
underneath coverage. We now get the offside back, who is respon-
sible for blocking the defensive end, involved in the pattern. As he
comes over to block, there is no defensive end. The back will turn
to the inside and make a "bingo" call. Hopefully, our QB has
anticipated the bingo call. We now have a delay to the offside back.
Our QB holds on to the ball and takes two additional steps back to
luck in the defensive rush. At the last possible moment, he throws
to the delay back. Thus, on any 12 or 13 series pass, there is always
the possibility of a delay to the offside back (Diagram 10-20).
Diagram 10 20
Underneath Coverage, so QI3 Goes to His l3ingo Cal l
anticipate maximum underneath coverage, our QB can
delay in the huddle. It can be called off any 12 or 13 series
pass by simply adding the word "delay." The offside back now
knows that he will be getting the football. The line blocking stays
the same. If the playside defensive end is rushing, your delay back
must block him for two good counts and then turn to the inside. He
catches the ball right around the line of scrimmage. By turning to
the inside, as opposed to the outside, your delay back blends in
with the pass protectors and is not so obvious to the defense.
Again, your QB must hold on to the ball until the last moment and
set a little more deeply. By holding on to the ball, your QB gives
the underneath coverage a chance to get deeper in their drops.
A delay to the tight end is also very effective. It, too, can be
run off any 12 or 13 series pass by simply adding the words "tight
end delay." There is one major change. The offside back runs a
backside swing pattern. Your playside end blocks the defensive end
for three good counts and then drifts across the middle (Diagram
1021). The line blocking stays the same and the playside back is
the hot receiver. So, on any delay, if the linebacker blitzes, your
QB will throw hot.
00 QSJ 0/
Diagram 10-21
012 Tight End Delay
throwback off the strongside flood series
As with any pass series, we want the opponents to defend
entire field. It is important to be able to throw back to the
off strongs ide flood action. We can run any of the pre'.
mentioned patterns with throwback possibilities by
pattern and adding the word "throwback." This
the weakside end that he is the primary receiver. His
be a IS-yard circle route By add' "
told to run a post patte;n. 109 throwback post," weakside is
The hot receiver, either the stro .
approximately 10 yards Thl's . nbgslde back or end, hooks at
t Q . receiver eco
.or your B (Diagram 10-22). mes a secondary choice
Diagram 10-22
. The circle route run by the weak . .
discussed in Chapter 9 It . 15 Side end IS the same route
. . IS a -yard patt . h
coming Inside no further than the " .ern Wit the receiver
Hrun from the pro format onglnal alIgnment of the
IOn, Your split e d b k .
post and then runs his circle rout (D' n rea s on a three-step
e lagram 10-23).
012 Th Diagram 10-23
from a Pro Formation
. d uses a quick outside release,
From a tight ahgnment, :.: is going deep. His cut is made
trying to convince. the id: foot at approximately 15 yards.
by pushing off wIth hIs outs the end has to make a good
in man coverage,
With the secon ary h QB Against a zone defense, your
sharp cut and come back to t e .
end will find the open spot in the zone.
QB execution and secondary reads
seven-step drop. His initial keys are the
Again, your QB a ood attern. The important coaching
same as in any fl I playside, to look off the free
point for your QB IS to keep 0
safety. tt is used when the offsi de line-
The throwback pa ern h on flood action. Against the
backer is really flowmg linebacker to determine
Okie defense, your QB k f y h r backer has not flowed very fast,
which receiver is open. I . t m: g hook area (Diagram
your hot receiver is open m t e s ron
Diagram 10-24
Reading the L[l an 012 Throwbacll
. . th middle of the field
When the free safety is leavmg be From a tight
b k t should e open.
action, the throw ac pos. k outside release, running h
ment your end uses a qUlC ..d We don't want t e
upfieid and
to the safety can
running his post mto the eep:;1 t ps getting inside the
A split end breaks inside for t 10-25 l.
and then runs up the seam (Dlagr
Diagram 10-25
The Throwbacll Post from a Tight Alignment-
812 Fl at Throwbacll Post
In executing the throwback post, your QB must keep the ball
Inside and let his end run under it.
flood patterns to the weakside
Any strongs ide flood series involves. three receivers, while a
weakside flood attack will have two receivers. The principles used
In the flood series to strength also apply to your weakside attack.
The playside linebacker is unblocked and your QB controls him
IVIth a hot receiver. The hot receiver is either the back or the end.
There are two receivers in the area of the weakside corner, forcing
hIm to make a decision. Finally, your QB attempts to read mari or
lOne coverage by reading the weak corner or weak linebacker,
depending on the pattern. It is more difficult for your QB to
determine man or zone coverage in a weakside attack. A three-
lnebacker defense or Okie defense that drops their ends will cause
JIOblems for your QB to read. .
.... The end or back always runs a flat route. With the end in the
- YOur QB can key the corner for man or zone coverage. When
back goes in t he flat, your QB reads the backside linebacker
the coverage. Remember, the flat route run by the back will
him running upfield and then breaking into the flat at 6 yards.
196 h flat is most likely in
h oes immediately to ted s to the curl or
The linebacker w 0 g . . 'f the linebacker rop
In additIon, I
zone coverage. erage.
hook, he is in zone cov
the tight end flag pattern from a two-tight-end
. b ckside pattern "
route is a baSIC a nd is "313 flat.
The flag this is the 3 pattern a k . de flood is an inside
alignment. For for the end on we: . linebacker stunts. II
The hot receiver if the wea Sl tinues downfi eld and
release. He IS t get the ball hot, he con h' s flag if he is able to
the end 12 yards. He continues beat the corner
breaks a agcorner. Only when en . The end simply
get behmd the h t urn his route mto a sd
s a flag or sideline
on a flag does e of the corner an run
reacts to the coverage
(Diagram 10-26).

J s


Diagram onsible for the .
313 Flat Against a Js Fl ag into a Sideline
Outside Third, the
ee 'de
st as in the strongS
ns his flat route. Ju breaks at 6
The back the weak corner and then at the strong
series, he runs:. running his flat route, in the same
strongside bac . ' 10 he weak corner is trea e
On the weak Side, t
the strong safety.
QD execution and secondary reads
As in all 12 and 13 series passes, your QS Uses a seven-step
drop and sets up behind the weakside guard. His initial key is the
playside linebacker. He keys the linebacker for a stunt. Against a
two-linebacker team like the Okie, Your QS can read this line-
backer for man or zone Coverage. A man SeCondary will have the
linebacker in the flat Covering the back. A linebacker in a zone
defense will drop hook to curl. A stunting linebacker forces Your
QB to throw to his hot receiver.
Your QS Usually throws to his end and anticipates the sideline
if the corner takes away the flag route. If the corner rotates up to
cover the flat, the end should be Open. However, if the safety is able
to cover the flag, your end turns his flag into a sideline.
Mliny teams playa two-deep zone with both corners rolled up.
An experienced QS can take advantage of a tWO-deep zone by
throwing to the backside end running a post pattern (Diagram
\ /
Diagram 10-27
ThrOWing to the End vs. 2-Deep Zone
Against a two zone, the playside end will also be open. We tell
l:hal the flag will be a first down While the post could be a
the weakside bock's flog pattern
. . . lar to the previous pattern except that the
ThIs IS very sImI . Th d runs his flat route
back and the end switch back runs his
while the back If does not stunt, the back
banana route an IS o . Th d is in the same 0 pattern that we
then runs his Toe weak side, it becomes "012" or
have already utes have the flanker running a post
"013 flag." The ac sd
e ro t s his basic backside circle route
pattern while the en execu e
(Diagram 10-28).
Diagram 10-28
Tight Left 012 Flag
th d your back has to beat
If the corner rotates up to t o turn his flag Into
the safety. In order t o get open, e IS I
a sideline.
QB execution and secondary reads
four QB. Naturally,
This is a simple .p.attern or Y he then keys the
playside linebacker is the Imtlal in t he flat will be
If the corner drops and deep, t d op since he can
y, QB may not get t o hIS seven-s ep r ,
and throw quickly to the end the flat. n the
Our QB throws to the back on hIS flag .whe our QB
e flat With the corner commg up, Y
up to cover .
that it is either a corner rotation or man coverage. In either
situation, he realizes that the back will have to beat the free safety.
Again, your QB anticipates the back turning his flag into a sideline
to get open (Diagram 10-29).
Diagram 10-29
Throwing to the Ooell as He Oreolls to"the Sideli ne to Get Open
If the safety is really flying out of the middle of the field to help
on the fl ag, your flanker will be open on his backside post. This
might make it difficult for your QB to go to a third receiver.
However, to help your QB, you can call the throwback in the
huddle, making the flanker your primary receiver.
the curl pattern
From the pro formation, the weakside curl is an excellent
pattern. The split end's curl is just like that of the flanker and is
IIso labeled the 0 pattern. The 0 pattern has the wide receiver
lXeculing his curl while the inside receiver is in the flat. When
running this pattern weak, your playside back has to initially run
ilia banana route. When he doesn't get the ball as a hot receiver,
he gets into the flat (Diagram 10-30).
Your strongside receivers run their basic backside patterns
lpin. The fl anker runs a post while the end runs a circle route.
The main coaching point to remember for the split end on his
Is to get inside the defender who is responsible for the flat. It
be a IS-yard pattern with your split end coming back to 13

Diagram 10-30
Pro Right 01 J Fl at
QB execution and secondary reads
This is a good pattern against a three-linebacker defense like
the college 43 zone. Your QB simply keys the outside linebacker
for flat or curl coverage. He then throws opposite the linebacker. It
is assumed that the middle linebacker cannot cover the curl. This
assumption can be made because of the alignment of your split
end, who takes a good split. For example, with the football in the
middle of the field, your split end aligns on the numbers between
the hashmark and the sideline.
By keying the weakside linebacker in the Okie defense, your
QB is able to determine man or zone coverage. A zone secondary
has the linebacker dropping to curl while a man secondary hal
him covering the back. An Okie defense will also have trouble
covering the curl with their linebacker, and your QB can anticipate
the curl being open. However, if the defensive end on the weakside
does not drop off, but is instead involved in the pass rush, your
back in the flat will be open.
screens off flood action
A complete pass offense has to have some type of
slow down the defensive rush and linebacker drops. To
simple, our linemen have the same blocking assignments
screens. For us to incorporate the same blo k' h
the hot receiver principle on screens. c mg sc emes, we use
We run a middle screen off flood a t
"013 screen." Initially, the line blocking I it "012" or
or 13 series pass The ml'ddle . n Ica 0 any other 12
. screen IS run just 1
k th d I
except that now the ball carrier has Ii . leo e e ay,
playside back is hot and will get the him. Your
in the delay, your offside back comes over d stu.nts. As
for two counts and then moves inside beh 0 d th
e e ens.lVe end
10-31). m e center (Diagram
Diagram 10-31
012 Screen
Your center and playsid d bl
walt for the "go" call f g:ar ock for three counts and
their blocks. Any line':;:; he. ack. .AII other linemen stay with
can also get into the scree ';. 0 IS to block a linebacker
defensive tackle or e d n
00 times a is stopped by
defense, we want to bl n k thO w enever possible, as in the Okie
oc ese people all the way.
Uklcking on eight-man front with flood series posses
We will attack 0 h .
Th 0 0 an elg t-man front with strongside flood
we patterns depend on the secondary. Orig-
_llaf.,tu Wh ead man or zone coverage by the alignment of
a zone in the middle of the field, we could
strongside end the safety cheated over and aligned
, IS was read as man coverage. We soon
discovered that these rules don't always hold true. A good
secondary disguises their coverage. A safety cheated over and
aligned on the strongside end is in good position to play either
man or zone.
Our basic strategy is to throw the deep post to the flanker
against a man secondary. The reason is that there is no free safety
help for the corner. When attacking a zone, we like to attack the
flat and deep sideline area.
When the defense is mixing zone and man coverage, run a
pattern allowing your QB to read the secondary. The flanker runs a
deep post while the end runs his flat route. For us, this is the 2
pattern. Man coverage will have the safety coming up to cover the
tight end in the flat. The QB should throw to his flanker who is
running a post. This is a great match-up since the corner has no
free safety help (Diagram 10-32).
Diagram 10-32
The QO !\ecognizing Man Coverage and Throwi ng to the Post-
212 Pattern
The safety who stays in the middle of the field is most
zone coverage. Your end should be open in the fl at.
Another good pattern that helps your QB to determine
or zone coverage is the 0 pattern.
With the secondary once again in zone coverage, your
should be open in the flat. Because there is no strong
cushion the curl, your flanker should be open. Man CO\leragt,1
your QB looking for the banana back deep down the
Diagram 10-33
012 vs. a Man Secondary
(Diagram 10-33). There is no free saf t
with your back on a linebacker If e
and you have a mismatch
In a zone coverage, the deep sid r-
now that defense will be
Is "812" or "813 flat." to your end IS excellent. This
with his fly pattern (see Diagram flanker clears the area
running a flood series with no hot receiver
For some reason, such as an inex .
to use some of these patterns QB, you may want
ICheme, but don't want our and thIS backside gap blocking
the word "solid" you y QB reading a linebacker. By adding
,can use some of fl
t receiver. The playside b k' your ood series without a
p1ayside linebacker as opp t IS responsible for blocking the
ling him with a hot 'receiver 0 your QB reading and control-
Everything stays th . lafgram 10-34 illustrates "012 solid"
CIII I e same or your . . .
on y changes your playsid b k' players. A solid
e ac s assIgnment.
Rlnning a d
raw off dropback action
A .
draw play serves the sam
will slow down th e purpose as a screen. An effective
has to be made and drops. The
off the line of s. he fact that Just because the QB
cnmmage, the play will not always be a
Diagram 10-34
012 Solid
. s a delayed isolation off flood action.
Our draw play IS run a ber one down defender, and the
The playside guard blocks the n:m two down defender. The center
layside tackle blocks the num ler block (8 call). We have the
'd I' emen base-ru e
and bac Sl e to 'f block and then execute an
. b k t up as I to pass . . . I
plays Ide ac se la side linebacker. QB executton IS sImp e.
isolation block on the. p Y hid between the two backs, and
b k poslte the 0 e an
b;f toOihe ball carrier (Diagram 10-35).
Diogram 10-35
A Delayed Isolation Draw-84 Draw
. our 12
. is not the same as In
Even though the draw play is present. The
13 series, the key ingredIent or e causing the
brings the ball off the line of play for us. The
read pass. The draw has been an ex
against an odd defense has the most difficult block. However, the
QB drops away from the hole and this serves to influence the
pressure the backside with a divide series
Our divide series has some points in common with the flood
passes. The QB still sets up behind the guard, but his depth
depends on the pass pattern. We label our divide series 14 and 15.
Our 14 and 15 series has the playside back blocking the
defensive end while the offside back runs a swing pattern out the
backside. Up front, the blocking stays the same as in the 12 and 13
series. We control the plays ide linebacker with a hot receiver. Pass
blocking rules are thus kept simple for your linemen. On any 2, 3,
4 or 5 hole pass, the linemen have the same blocking rules. The
only difference between the different passes is in technique. On
play action passes, you want your linemen to use an aggressive
Any pattern can be run off 14 and 15 action passes. Some have
been especially successful for us.
the quick out
The quick out is a pattern used by a wide receiver and can be
run either strong or weak. Because it is a shorter route, we teach it
as a six-step pattern. Since our wide receivers have their outside
feet back, their sixth step has them making the break outside by
pushing off with their inside feet. We want the flanker to come
back toward the line of scrimmage after his cut. This increases the
separation between the flanker and man-to-man corner. As the
leceiver makes his break, he should snap his head to find the
football, which should now be in flight.
We like this pattern off 14 and 15 action, because the playside
back is blocking the defensive end. The playside back can get to
the end quickly and uses an aggressive cut block. You don't want
the defensive end to be in a position to knock the ball down, since
1& in the line of flight.
In Our system, the sideline route by a wide receiver is the 4
A normal 4 pattern is a 12-yard sideline. By adding the
word "out," we change to a quick out. Consequently, the pattern
we are talking about is "416" or "417 out" (Diagram 10-36). In
running the quick out to strength,' the tight end runs a hook
pattern in the seam. He runs up the seam and turns to face the QB
at approximately 7 yards. Now, rather than standing still, your end
should back-pedal away from the QB at a 45 degree angle, getting
width and depth. The purpose of the back-pedal is to get away
from the linebacker.
Diagram 10-36
416 Out
QI3 execution and secondary reads
This is one pattern where your QB has no hot receiver. The
play hits fast, so your QB has a chance to release the ball even
with an unblocked linebacker coming at him. The footwork for
your QB is a five-step drop. When he goes to his left, a right-
handed QB will drop six steps.
When he throws to the strong side, your QB keys the strong
safety. If the defense has a corner rotation (cloud coverage) with
the strong safety rotating to deep third, your QB throws to his end
in the seam (Diagram 10-37).
A corner roll takes away the quick out to the flanker, but yrtfI
end will be open. Your QB also throws to the end if the
safety is aligned wide and does a good job of getting und,ernl!lllt.
the flanker's out. Any other situation will have your QB thrc:nvbII
to the flanker. '
. Diagram 10-37
ThrOWing to the End in the Seam VS. a Carner Rotation
throwback flood to the weakside
We have developed an excelle t th b k fl
and 15 action. The line blocking st: ac ood pattern off 14
hot receiver. The pattern is labeled : same because there is a
setting up behind the stron side e and' has the QB
"114 throwback" In th' g guard. Diagram 10-38 illustrates
. IS pattern, the flanker ru
weakside end runs a circle route and th b k ns a post, the
pattern. Your stron sid d . ac executes his swing
receiver. After not :elease and is the hot
getting no deeper than 7 yards. 0 , e rags across the field,

__ r-.y
Diagram 10-38
QB execution and secondary reads
Your QB reads are the same as in a strongside flood pattern.
The playside linebacker is unblocked and is controlled by a hot
receiver. The QB keys the strong safety for man or zone coverage.
As your QB reads a zone coverage, he keys the backside
linebacker in a two-linebacker defense (Okie) or the middle
linebacker in a three-linebacker defense. This is the linebacker
whose area is being flooded. He has to cover the strongside end's
drag or the weaks ide end's circle. Your QB throws opposite the
We make the assumption that the outside linebacker in a
three-linebacker defense will always hook up with our swing back,
so we key the middle linebacker. Okie teams who drop their
weakside end also have the end cover the swing back. The
backside linebacker has to cover the drag or circle (Diagram
10-39). Most linebackers are well-schooled against the tight end
drag and will usually jump on the drag. Consequently, the circle
will open up.
Diagram 10-39
114 Against a 43 Team in a Zone Secondory
This is an especially good pattern against man
because you get a mismatch with your back on a linebacker.
also difficult for the strong safety to cover the end on his
addition, the circle can be wide open with a good inside
your end since there is no underneath coverage.
Regardless of the coverage we talk
safety who cheats to help on the QB. about the free
want our QB to throw to the fl k en thIs happens, we
. an er who is r . h'
pattern (Diagram 10-40) Once a' . h unnmg IS post
the deep middle, the post b;::,n, WIt safety help in
mes a Ig percentage pass.
_ ss C
o 0 0
Diagram 10-40
Tail ing Advantage of the Safety Who H I
,nes to e p on the Circle
Coaching Bootleg Action
. e fits nicely into the veer package
The bootleg passmg gam d. ension to the offense. You caR
. dd other counter 1m . Id .
because It a s an hree different types of backfie ?CtlOR
actually run bootlegs off .t for each one. This helps to tie the
and use the same blockmg t ether and the counter flow taka
ng games og ,
running an passl e
th under coverag . f .L.
the linebackers out 0 e d ouple them with any 0 u.
We run several base an provides different 100\11
three types of bootleg o:;w learning for the
for the defense but en al s
simplicity is again a key.
an excellent zone pattern
. b tie pattern toward
The 4 pattern is the most baSIC 00 to designate
strength. The QB calls the the backfi eld actloR
action, and the play example would be
the QB rolling opposite the ow.
(Diagram 11-1). ainst zone coverage.
This is an excellent pattern ag If t is sky coverage
reads the corner and strong safet
plto the tight end
d I he goes ee
corner covers the Sl e me,
Diagram 11-1
pattern. If the corner stays deep, then he hits the sideline. The
strong safety will not get under the sideline because the play action
Is away from him. The free safety has trouble covering the flag for
the same reason-the weakside play action will begin a weak roll
or will at least freeze him in the deep middle zone.
Against cloud coverage, the tight end runs a deep curl out
pattern and settles into the "soft spot" in the zone. There will be no
bnebacker under coverage with the weakside play action. The
tight end is actually the "split end" because speed is essential to
the overall execution of the pattern. The weakside receiver runs a
post pattern to keep the free safety in the middle. Against man
(Qverage, the flanker must create a cushion on the corner. He may
break the pattern into a "sideline and up" if the corner plays too
tight. This pattern is more effective on a hashmark to the wide side
Ii the fiel d because this really stretches the defensive secondary.
play for bootleg passes
The line play is the same against all defenses. The playside
will use aggressive 8 call blocking. The plays ide tackle
not allow his man to penetrate. The center blocks "man on,"
and kicks out the defensive end. The offside guards' rule is
lame as for the center. If the center and both guards are
" I " call is necessary-the center, playside
covered, a he p d II bl ck down, and the offside guard
tackle and playslde guar a 0
pulls (Diagram 112).

Diagram 112
.31342-Help Hel p Call
quarterback execution on bootleg passes
h QB will set up at 9 yards deep
On all bootleg passes t .e. we tried to make this a "run
behind the necessary for hitting the
first-pass second u d can call a predetermined
pass made this impossIble. d end at home. This Is
bootleg run run) to kQe: :0 :cr:mble from if protection does
also a good actIOn for the th I'nebackers are often drawn
break down on the pass, because e I
out of position. . n be seen in the lint
Two of the different kinds of play achon ca . ts and fakes a
. 11 1 the QB reverse plVO B
two diagramS. In DIagram " . . ht In Diagram 112, the Q
23 dive, then bootlegs to hIS s t o his left. The ba*
opens up and fakes a 42 dIve, 3 gattern. Both tight
pattern off the weakside e! reads the corner for
read the secondary. The piaysl e Ig
a post but curls at
h ff
'd t' ght en runs
flag or sideline. Teo Sl e I. h deep middle zone
yards if there is a free safety to t e
running back must fill for pulling lineman
Both running backs are blockers first and receivers second on
all 20 and 40 series bootlegs. The dive back's first responsibility is
to fill for the pulling lineman and pick up any linebacker blitzes. If
no blitz develops, he then breaks across about 5 yards deep, going
in the same direction as the QB. He is a secondary receiver and
will be an outlet for the QB if he gets pressure. He must never get
deeper than 5 yards, because you want to hit him underneath the
linebacker drops. This also helps to influence the linebackers and
keeps them from getting too much depth.
The offside back comes across hard and attacks the offside
defensive end. This is a critical block because you never want your
QB to get hit from the blind side. If the defensive end drops off, the
back will then swing upfield and may be a secondary receiver if the
QB is forced to scramble.
the bootleg off the power action
If you are running the power series, the B5657 action can
also be very effective. The QB comes off the line more on this
bootleg and some QBs feel that this is an easier play action fake
lor the passing game. They can set up quicker behind the playside
guard. A common mistake is for the QB to hurry his fake. This is
necessary if he is throwing a quick out, but if it is a deeper pattern,
he should get a good mesh with the back. You want the QB to
open up to t he back, but he must angle back toward the offside
guard. He extends the ball to the back, meshing behind the offslde
guard, and he then puts the ball on his hip and sprints to a depth
of9 yards (see Diagram 113). He will set up at the same spot on all
IIootlegs so that there is consistency for the offensive linemen.
The 3 and 4 patterns are good from this play action, but the 5
is more consistent. On the 5 pattern, the flanker runs a fly
the playside tight end runs a deep post. This clears the free
and the corner. The offside split end (he must have speed)
across hard and fast on a drag pattern at a depth of about
yards. If he is open, the QB may throw quickly and hit him
the linebackers. If he does not get open, he breaks up into
s '/
E V 8 VI E 8 /

I 7
Diagram 11-3
51347 vs. Man Coverage, Cenrer Pulls vs. Even Defense
the funnel created by the tight end and flanker. The QB will hit him
at a depth of 18 to 20 yards. This is generally behind the
linebackers, and the only one who may be a problem is the strong
safety. The QB must be aware of the strong safety threat and
scramble if he gets back that deep. This pattern is excellent
against man coverage because the corner is always chasing a tight
end on a drag route. The strong safety and free safety would now
be cleared by the tight end post.
On the B56-57 action, the offside back blocks the near
defensive end. The faking back carries out a great fake and thea
runs a swing pattern for a possible throwback. The one problem
with this play action is that you do not have a back to plug
blitzing linebacker. The easiest way to handle this is not to use
play action against a team that employs a lot of stunts and
The more they stunt, the more we use the 20 and 40 series
on all bootlegs.
Diagram 11-3 also shows the center pulling playside for
defensive end. This has been an effective blocking scheme
even defenses. If you do not have a center who is cap,abll
pulling, it is just as easy to have him block offside and
guard. Personnel will dictate the best blocking scheme for
particular team.
two other effective bootleg patterns
There are two other particularly good atter
ment the bootleg passing series The "OB23,r .. ns that comple-
all three receivers into a curl (D' or OB43 Curl It" put
reads the linebacker under cover: Jagdram 11-4). The QB simply
ge an goes to the open man.
8 _-8--_

Diagram 11-4
01323, Curl Ir
/ s
Diagram 11-5
11322 Drag
o th "1822 drag" (Diagram 11-5). the QB reads the .free
n e h should be an opening for the tight
safety. If he stays back. 1f the drag. the flanker post will
end on the drag pattern. A run-conscious free safety may also
be a high percentage .f he freezes on the fake. The drag
get beaten by this post pa ern I e ass whereas the flag or post
pattern should be a al:o want to run a 1823 and
can be the homerun a
The drag pattern now becomes a
roll toward the flan ler. f d the 1 and 3 patterns to be very
throwback. We have a so oun
effective against two-zone coverages.
why include bootleg passes with the veer?
This entire bootleg passing concept is only com
. t I part of the veer pac age. u ere
it is not a necessary d
m egra for a coach to include the bootleg
can be several goo reasons
First it is another effective way to
series in his veer second reason is that it puts a great
counter defenSive who like to use action zones which
deal of pressure final reason would be if you are blessed
rotate on play actlO.n. d you want to expand the passi ng
with a good throwmg Q. an tt ck can definitely put additional
game. The the secondary. and many veer
pressure on
teams use them very effectively.
Pressure the Defense
with Multiple Formations
As we have already acknowledged. the tight formation is our
basic formation. We plan to use this formation at least 50 percent
of the time. But we do not want to depend on only one formation
for several different reasons. It would be too easy for a team to
prepare for us if they only had to work against the tight formation
all week in practice. "Familiarity breeds good defense." and you
do not want anyone to be able to zero in on your basic offense. The
second reason for multiple formations is to spread the secondary
out and force them to Cover more of the field. The third considera-
tion is that we want several formations which force major defen-
sive adjustments as the opponent tries to match strength with
formations With two wide receivers
The easiest variations are to Simply employ two wide re-
We do this by splitting out the tight end (our split end)
from the flanker. which results in a pro formation (Diagram

o 0
Diagram 12-1
The Pro Formation
to loosen up, and teams often
Th' f rces the wea corn .
12-. IS 0 I d r The running and passmg games
play the free a litt eat running game toward the split
to strength don t change h . . de veer and lead option keeps
. limited but t e mSI d ' h
en IS more , 'f the shift their strength towar bg t
teams honest. In fact, lYe effectively toward the spltt end.
end, you able to end has the advantage of single
The passmg game t p k with The best split end patterns
coverage and a lot of curl off play action t o the strong
have been a P II removes the linebacker under
side. The play to beat the corner one-on-one.
coverage and the spltt r y has been effective with sprintout
The 7- and 12-yard e The pro formation should be used
action t oward. the sPfltth id so that the split end has more area
more in the mIddle 0 tee
in which to operate.
employing the twins formation
. b tt two wide-receiver formation
The twins formation ;;de to the wide side of
when on a hashmark. HaVIng d linebackers to spread
the field forces the defensive secondharytan er to help out with the
ftmayevenceaov rei
out and the ree sa e y 2) Th' kes it easier to run towa
ass coverage (Diagram 12- d' h IS g offense into the sideline
. f h fi Id an t e runntn fI II
the short SIde 0 tee , f t ' The passing 0 en
. tight orma IOn. __ ......
is the same as if you were 10 a . . atterns to the -
is now capable of running If the
side and the quick post to t e sp I ften faced with a mism-
elects to use man coverage, are on our flanker. The fla'"
because their strong safety IS altgned Y safety is generally
' d . r and the strong , b--1.
is your best WI e receIve d odds in anyone 5 ..-
weakest pass defender. Those are goo
, S

0 , 0
Diagram 12-2
Twi ns f\ight on Left
These two formations may also be used often in your two
minute offense or if you get behind and have to play catch-up. An
overabundance of good wide receivers and a great throwing
quarterback would also be strong considerations for going to more
pro or twins formations.
incorporating on unbalanced attack
with a minimum of new learning
One of the advantages of using a variety of formations is that
It forces the defense to make adjustments according to the
strength of the offensive formation. By jumping into an unbal-
anced line, you definitely put additional pressure on the defense. In
an unbalanced line, the offense has two linemen on one side .of the
tenter and four on the other. Two additional blockers can make a
big difference. We wanted to be able to utilize an unbalanced
attack with a minimum of new learning.
The first consideration was to retain a split backfield align-
ment with our running backs so that execution would not suffer.
We also wanted the blocking rules on the strong side to remain
Identical with those in the tight formation. The unbalanced
formation was the net result (Diagram 12-3). The flanker was
up on the line of scrimmage and the split end was employed
IUn "up back" behind either the weakside or strongside guard.
basic plays which we run. from this formation are the 42-43

00 TE
o 0
Diagram 12-3
Unbalanced Righr
dive with an isolation block by the "up back," the 42-43 veer, and
the 46-47 veer.
On the 42-43 veer, the "up back" pulls out and leads for the
pitch so that we have two players blocking force. On the 46-47
veer, the "up back" kicks out the first defender outside our
offensive tackle (Diagram 12-4). This created the fastest hitting
power play in football, but the mesh and timing are still identical
to our regular outside veer from the tight formation. The quarter-
back still reads the defensive end. If he jams the "up back," the
quarterback keeps the ball and options the next defender. This
formation has been particularly effective in short yardage and goal
line situations when it is tougher for the defense to make major

Diagram 12-4
Ourside Veer from Unbalanced Righr
The best play away from the "up back" is for the QUi!rtl!rlMlil
to quickly fake a dive to the "up back" and then the to
.. b k'" motion either
option. You can also put t e up ac m
strong side or away from strength (Diagram 12-5). T.hls
major adjustments by the defense with no new learnmg
Diagram 12-5
Unbalanced Righr Morion Weal\-J9 Oprion
offense. Any play from unbalanced right, motion weak, is executed
and b1.ocked .like any play from pro formation. The only
exceptIOn to thiS IS that the tight end is no longer an eligible
receiver because the flanker is up on the line of scrimmage. The
passing game does have to be modified accordingly ..
spreading the defense with backfield motion
way to force a defensive adjustment is to put a back
In motion that you end up in either a trips or spread formation.
You can start out in tight right and then motion the offside back to
the weak side (Diagram 12-6). We call the weakside back going
l1II!ak, "Wally:' .

o 0
Diagram 12-6
Tighr Righr-Wally
A spr.ead formation means that there are two quick receivers
dlv Side, and this forces the secondary to balance up. We will
es and counters up the middle, the lead option toward the
and the outside veer and crazy option toward the remain-
. b k Our passing attack will be primarily dropback, 1415
mg ac. h .. g back and 12.13 action away from
action toward t e remamm ,
him. 'd b k goes in motion weak, it is called "Will."
If the strongsl e ac . tt k
" . . ht Will" gives you a stronger runnmg a ac away
k b t a balanced passing attack (Diagram 127).
from t e an b
, kUh been an excellent pass pattern using the
The 115 throw ac as . h 'f't
" ." . All of the ass patterns will remam t e same as I I
Will motton.. the motion back always running an
;:quires virtually no new. for th:
ou f th d fense to make some major adjustments If
offense, but e in their pass coverage. Both "Wally" and
they are to remal.n
. d more often in the middle of the field.
"Will" motion WI e use
Diagram 127
Ti ght [>, ight-Will- 115
motioning to a trips formation
fi I
d t' ployed is referred to
The one other type of back e mo Ion em . t to the
"s m" "Tight Right-Sam" puts three receivers ou kslde
as a . Th' quires the wea
wide side of the field in a trips set. IS re . ram 12-8).
running back to go in motion toward the and the
This unbalances the offense with 7 to 4 Bothtbl
defense must correspondingly go mto a tr p J d the flanker ....
running and passing games are very strong towar unning attack "
the "014 stop" is the basic pattern. The r nin back
identical to "Wally" motion smce the same run g
Diagram 128
Ti ght Ri ght-Scm- 014 Stop
These three types of backfield motion combine to put a great
deal of pressure on a defense. All three offensive sets change
around the strengths of both the running and passing games so
that the defense must make sound adjustments in a matter of
seconds. This forces your opponent to spend valuable practice
time working on something other than your basic veer attack. By
the same token, the offense runs only those plays where the timing
and execution are identical to those run from the basic tight
formation. With two tight ends, the blocking patterns also remain
the same. Very little practice time is required to have these three
variations ready each week in practice.
why multiple formations?
The backfield motion, together with the unbalanced forma.
tion, pro and twins, all combine to create added pressure on the
defense. The key is being able to move people around without
changing the execution for the backs or the blocking assignments
for the line. Do a few things and do them well. This is possible with
Simplifi ed version of multiple formations within the structure of
the basic veer offense. A good dictum to follow is this: Anything
that is simple for the offense, but creates complexity for the
defense, is worth considering as a part of your offensive package.
Preparing the
Veer Quarterback
If a quarterback is to
able to analyze defensIve stbre gtk to be able to audible to a better
. t our quarter ac
earher, we expec. . demands it. We also explained how we
play when the h and attempt to attack the carre-
number off defenslve( streCngth t r 2) Several other simple keys
ding weakness see ap e .
help the quarterback in his play selection.
keying the free safety in a seven-man front
Ii ke is always the free safety. If
In analyzing a defense, the rst ) Y . t the t ight formation.
it is a seven-man front (52, 61, etc. agams center When he Is
. II r ed on or near our . . to
the free safety IS usua Y a Ign. r e is reading or slanltng
on the center and the defensIve f r running attack aWllll
strength, our plan is to direct muc 0 ou more to strength. The
from strength. If the line slants ;e go monster zone or a foUl"
secondary will generally be in a tree- eep
deep man coverage with a .free ver to the weak side.
When the free safety IS cheate 0
secondary is usually in a four-deep action zone or in a t wo zone
with both corners up. These are both balanced secondaries and we
would expect the defensive line to slant more toward our flanker. If
they are slanting strong, we use a balanced running attack. If they
are in a read defense, we go more toward strength, since they have
not compensated for our flanker.
One other obvious key is when the free safety cheats over
toward our tight end just before the snap. When this happens with
a seven-man front, you can expect either a strong safety blitz or
two-strong zone. In either case, we generally want to audible to a
play away from our flanker because both defenses are very
unbalanced to strength. With a safety blitz, the secondary gener-
ally plays 31 man with no free safety help (Diagram 13-1). If you
can break a run up the middle or weak, it could be a big play.
Diagram 13-1
Strong Safety Glitz-01 Man Secondory
Ihe free safety key in an eight-man front
The free safety key in the traditional balanced eight -man front
(62,44 stack, split 4 or 6, 71, 53, gap 8, etc.) is even easier to read.
The secondary is now three-deep with four defenders on the line on
tither side of our center. If the free safety alignment is on our
center, we mainly go toward the flanker since the defense is
balanced. This is usually a three-deep zone, and the sideline to the
lanker is generally wide open.
If the free safety shifts over toward our tight end on the
side, we can expect three different kinds of secondary
The most common secondary would now be three-deep man
"",,!ra!le with no free safety. If the safety is up fairly tight, you can
Preparing the
Veer Quarterback
. . t call his own plays. he must first be
If a quarterback IS 0 hs and weaknesses. As noted
able to analyze defensIve to be able to audible to a better
earlier. we our it. We also explained how we
play when the e h and attempt to attack the corre-
number off defensIve streCngth t 2) Several other simple keys
d' g weakness (see ap er .
the quarterback in his play selection.
. even-man front
keying the free safety In a s
. ke is always the free safety. H
In analyzing a defense. the first) y . t the tight formation.
it is a seven-man front (52. 61. etc. agam:
center. When he II
the free safety is usually aligned on or slanting to
on the center and the running attack aVIIII
strength. our plan is to dtrect m k go more to strength. TIll
from strength. If the line monster zone or a
secondary will generally be m a ree
deep man coverage with a .fre
over to the weak side.
When the free safety IS c ea e
secondary is usually in a four-deep action zone or in a two zone
with both corners up. These are both balanced secondaries and we
would expect the defensive line to slant more toward our flanker. If
they are slanting strong. we use a balanced running attack. If they
are in a read defense. we go more toward strength, since they have
not compensated for our flanker.
One other obvious key is when the free safety cheats over
toward our tight end just before the snap. When this happens with
a seven-man front. you can expect either a strong safety blitz or
two-strong zone. In either case. we generally want to audible to a
play away from our flanker because both defenses are very
unbalanced to strength. With a safety blitz. the secondary gener-
ally plays 31 man with no free safety help (Diagram 13-1). If you
can break a run up the middle or weak. it could be a big play.
c, 7
\ B B I
E \ V N V E I ss
Q 0\0 @ 0/0/0/
o 0
Diagram 1:3-1
Ollie Strong Safety [llitz-J1 Man Secondary
the free safety key in on eight-man front
The free safety key in the traditional balanced eight-man front
(62.44 stack. split 4 or 6. 71. 53. gap 8. etc.) is even easier to read.
The secondary is now three-deep with four defenders on the line on
side of our center. If the free safety alignment is on our
we mainly go toward the flanker since the defense is
This is usually a three-deep zone. and the sideline to the
is generally wide open.
If the free safety shifts over toward our tight end on the
Side. we can expect three different kinds of secondary
The most common secondary would now be three-deep man
with no free safety. If the safety is up fairly tight. you can
almost be sure it is man. When this happens, we expect stunting
and penetrating defenses and try to get off-tackle or outside as
quickly as possible (Diagram 13-2). We also know that they have to
cover our backs man-to-man with their linebackers, and this is a
mismatch. A deep pattern to a back would be a good aUdible. as
would a post over the middle by the flanker, since there is no free
safety help. Our running attack would be directed more away from
the flanker, since the defense is unbalanced to strength.
\8 8 8 8
\ E \ V\ f< / EI
o 0
\ 0 /
b 0/
Diagram 13-2
Eight-Man Front 44 Man Secondary l3litz by Inside llls
attack an eight-man front with the free safety
cheated over to strength
When the free safety shifts over but lines up 10 to 12 yards off
the ball, it is usually "two-strong zone." The safety and weak
corner now each cover one-half of the field, and the corner will ba
in a hard cloud rotation. The corner support makes it tough to run
wide toward the flanker, so it is better to go weak. The best pall
pattern is 646, hitting the flanker on a quick fly pattern in the side
pocket (Diagram 13-3). This is an easy pass to complete and It II
always open against two-strong zone.
The only other coverage the defense may be in with a shlftlll
free safety is a concealed three-deep zone. Some teams move
safety over simply to confuse the offense and then drop
straight back in normal three-deep zone coverage. We would
use a more balanced running attack and attempt to hit
passes in the middle and the weak half of the field away
flanker. The sideline to the flanker is again wide open.
Diagram 13-3
646 in Side Pocket vs. Split 6 2 St Z
' rang one Secondary
play selection when they shlft a I'
. In em an over
In a seven-man front
Another common way for th d f
strength is to shift either Iinem e to adjust toward flanker
common way to do this from .ackers, or The most
noseguard to strength and close the kle d.efense IS to move the
guard (Diagram 13-4). This puts the d tackle down on the
defense with a stack on the guards an unbalanced split
quarterback to attack at th . en thiS occurs, we tell our
from strength), particularly (generally away
e ree safety IS In the middle.
8 8 S

o 0
Diagram 13-4
Okie Over Defense, 3-Deep Zone Secondary
We do the same thing if the h k
guard-center gap Th k y c the noseguard over into
. e ey now IS to audible away from the
. h f d fensive tackle is inevitably checked in
noseguard, slOce tear . e oming on a hard slant to the inside
the guard-tackle gap or IS Cit 'd
. Th t kl has an easy block on any P ay ou Sl e
(Diagram 13-5). led ahc e orne big plays here. Counter action
nd we shou ave s '11 b
1m, a . h t thO defense since the linebackers WI e on a
plays wIll also ur IS ,
fast-flow key.
Diagram 13-5
5 k
\\1 I 46 Veer Away from Noseguard CG Call)
Check toC weo \
h b
I for the quarterback to follow handles
The ot er aSlc ru eft H . Iy
h hft d defenses from a seven-man ron. e sImp
most ot er s Ie . h are in a four-deep secondary and have
counts people, and If t of the center that is where we want to
just three men on one Sl e '
down and distance considerations
. down and distance is another
Play selection accord 109 to b k The first major
. . f the veer quarter ac .
prime consIderatIOn or . ft running downs and run
. . h t '11 pass qUIte 0 en on
premIse IS t a you WI f thO 's that a defense can
. d The reason or IS I rt
more on passlOg owns. . with reat run suppo
effectively stop the outside you s;ereotype yourself
by a secondary selling out on t e run.. . the defense can
and run the ball in running ball when they
gamble and your offense will bog down. . arne will improve
the run and the runmng g
are expec 109
immensely. I ass in long yardage
By the same token, if you a P entag
and a lot
I completIOn perc
situations, you can expe a ow
of interceptions. We have been fortunate enough to break a
number of long runs on veers and options when the defense was
looking for the pass. Secondary run support is always slow in these
situations. There is one other big advantage: After running the ball
several times in passing situations, the defense cannot afford to
just drop off and play only for the pass, so when you do throw, your
chances of a completion greatly improve.
make up a play list for down and distance situations
for each game
After analyzing our offense, we make up a play chart accord-
ing to down and distance plays. We list our favorite passes and runs
for first and 10 or running down situations, for third and short, for
third and 5, and plays for long yardage situations. Then we pick
the best plays for each of these situations against each opponent
according to their known tendencies. As an example, if they
consistently use a two-deep zone in long yardage situations, our
best plays against it will be listed. We keep the list shqrt so that it
may be easily memorized by the quarterback. It is also printed on
a sheet that is kept on clipboards by the head coach and the
spotter in the box. Do not rely on your memory in a key situation.
The excitement of the game can cause too many distractions, and
one poorly selected play in a critical situation can lose the ball
game. Have a plan for everything! Write it down and be sure to
implement it exactly as you envisioned it.
develop a sideline notebook
There will usually be other adjustments to be made during the
game when your opponent has changed his plan of attack. When
this occurs, your spotter on top must be alert enough to pick up
the changes. We have a sideline notebook prepared for this
Situation. In the notebook we have a sheet listing every con-
ceivable defense or defensive adjustment, and our best plays and
blocking patterns are identified accordingly. This notebook is
revised each summer by the entire offensive staff. It has eliminated
lIIany staff arguments during the regular season because we have
all agreed on our basic game plan ahead of time.
The head coach, line coach and spotter each have a copy of
the sideline notebook with them during the game. When some.
thing occurs that was unexpected, we don't have to "grab bag"_
we open the book and attack the defensive adjustment according
to a wellconceived plan. This notebook has proven to be an
invaluable aid in getting us out of some tight situations. It is also
an excellent teaching tool for an experienced quarterback.
using the hashmark to your advantage
The alignment of the ball on a hashmark is another variable
that will affect play selection. The majority of plays in each game
are started from a hashmark and most big plays will occur to the
wide side; therefore, most defenses will put strength into the wide
side. The most common defensive adjustment when our flanker is
to the wide side is to slant the line to grass (to the wide side). Our
quarterback must therefore know what plays we want to run
toward a slant tackle with a minimum of running room on the
outside. We have these listed accordingly: 4647 G dive; 4647 veer
(G call); 3839 option (G or 44 call).
We also list the plays that are better to the wide side. On the
wide side, we want to be able to get to the pitch on all options and
veers, because the back has ample room to cut and operate. The
problem to the wide side arises in getting out to t he defensive end
for the option. The tackle generally plays in a strong outside read
or loops out, and our tackle cannot handle him. The slanting
noseguard also causes problems. The best running plays, there-
fore, are those which double team down on the noseguard and
then either read or trap the defensive tackle. The three plays that
do this most effectively are the 2425 trap, the 4243 veer, and the
28.29 crazy option (Diagram 136). The tackle does not have to
hook the defensive tackle, and this increases your chances of
isolating the defensive end for the pitch or keep. .
Breaking down your passing attack accordmg to the
hashmark is also important. We have several patterns that we only
throw from the middle of the field and others that we only throw
from a hashmark. The reason for this is simply to increase their
chances of success. Some pass patterns work only if you
enough room to spread out the defenders. An example of thiS
"414 out" (Diagram 137). The quarterback must key the strong
Diagram 136
28 Crazy Opti on to Wide Side, 4 Cali on Noseguard and Trap on
Defensive Tacil le

SS '/
Diagram 137
414 Out vs. Monster Zone
safety, and he hits either the "out" to the flanker or the "seam" to
the tight end. This pass is virtually impossible to cover from a
hashmark because the zone strong safety has too far to go. The
same pass from the middle of the field has been ineffective
because now he does have time to hang in the "seam" and still get
under the "out." To make them sound, you should analyze every
pass pattern you throw according to the hashmark criteria. It can
make a big difference.
field pOSition zones and analysis
The football field itself can be divided into a number of
unmarked zones which can also affect play selection (Diagram
138). We examine each zone moving out from our own end zone
50 YD.
Diagram 13-8
ntil we ultimately reach our opponent's end zone for the score.
first zone is the "must get out zone:' It extends from our own
goal line out to the 10 yard line. It is one ofthe smallest but
none is more critical. Play selection for the quarterback Will be
"bread and butter," and we cannot afford any such as
fumbles or missed assignments. A mistake here results In a safety
or touchdown for our opponent. We "must get out" not beat
ourselves. The opponent often gambles with a penetrating defense
to force the big mistake. We usually begin with a quar.terback
sneak if inside our 3 yard line. Any other plays selected Will be. as
safe as possible, and will include plays that can
defenses We may make a big play with an outSide veer or eha
. L t knowthatt I
option if we desperately need a score. et your earn . to et
zone is a test of character and guts, and that you are gOing g
the ball out across the 10.
get the first down zone
". h d zone coming out.
The "get the first down zone IS t e secon. . 'ck StaP
You have more breathing room here but the air IS stili stl y.
fairly conservative but do what you have to do to get two
consecutive first downs. If you get the ball to the 30, your punter
can come in, if necessary, and easily put the ball across your
opponent's 40. This will give your defense the upper hand, because
60 yards requires a long sustained drive and your defense will
never let that happen. Field position means everything to the
defense and you will give up very few touchdowns if you do not put
their backs up against the wall.
the wide open zone
From your 30 yard line to the opponent's 35, there is a stretch
of territory that is full of fun and excitement. This is the "wide open
zone," where you go for the big play. This is when you run reverses,
throw deep passes, get the pitch out on the veers, and generally
open up the offense. "Third and 1" even becomes a passing down.
You can play carefree football because, if you do not make the first
down, your punter will come in and drive the ball deep into their
territory-four plays later you will get the ball back.
Fifty to 70 yards is a long way to go on a sustained drive
without the big play. Too many things can go wrong (a penalty, a
missed assignment, etc.) so your quarterback will be a river boat
gambler and go for the big play that will break the game open or
put it on ice.
the four down zone
After you cross the opponent's 35 yard line, you can almost
smell the goal. You will not punt the ball when you're inside this
zone, so you can kick a field goal or use all four downs to get"the
first down. Your offense knows that you can average at least 2Y2
yards per attempt and you are going to score. Crank them up in
the huddle-emotion' and execution will win it for you from this
pOint on.
You will be more conservative once again. Run the basic veer
offense and go with the plays that have been good to you. The one
thing you cannot allow is a turnover or a major penalty-this is
YOur big chance to score and you will make it happen. Throw a
life pass to loosen them up, and if it is incomplete you still have
three downs for the first. Make it happen!
the must score zone
The "must score zone" is just what it says-when
inside the 10, you must score! This is s":tall but
d your proficiency at this pomt WI 0 en mean e
between winning and losing. Attitude, more than any-
i. I . hat counts. The adrenalin of all 11 players is
t mg ese, IS w db' 'bl t
. h d d the excitement shoul e VISI e 0 anyone
pumpmg ar an ff d h th
t h' the game Go into your goal line 0 ense an ave e
wa c m
k u nicate to everyone in the huddle that it is "all
quarter ac comm
on the line." h b' I
Our goal line offense is dependent upon tree aSlc p ays-
'd the lead option and the quarterback sneak. The
the OUtSI e veer, . . b
k '11 k them honest inside. The outside veer IS our est
snea WI eep . . d h d d .
ff t kl The lead option hits qUickly aroun teen an IS
play 0 - a
c load up in the middle. We will practice blocking
a great p ay I bl I (' d f h
these three plays against every e goa . me e eac
day in practice. Execution at this pomt IS everythmg. We Will thro.w
I ct at times to keep the secondary honest. We Will a p ay a Ion pass
play selection to score
and time remaining
Two of the most obvious considerations in selection are
th e of the game and the amount of time remammg. Everyone
be able to stay with their basic game plan
and time dictate otherwise. But when you are behmd an d
play "catch-up," you will obviously have to open up the attack an
throw the ball. .,. time and
Several critical decisions regardmg the kick
the score are sometimes taken for granted. When; ou oal
a field goal? When to intentionally take a safety. Thb
. e rulge to
h 'tten down a aSlc
decision is much easier, but we ave
. Ie on his clipboard
follow during the game. The spotter as IS. ru the confusion of a
since we do not want to rely on is realistic for our
game First, we write down the distance we m .th the wind. If
kicke;, going in either direction-into the, wi?d stated area-
it is fourth and long, we will kick when.we mSI e
yard line where
We always subtract 17 yards to determme t e exac
the ball has been spotted. We always kick the ball, even in the
fourth and short, if we are behind by 1. 2, 8, 9 or 10 pOints, or if we
are ahead by 4 or more points. (I do reserve the right to go for it if
it is fourth and 1 or less. ) Any other score means that we may go
for it on fourth and short or we may use a fake field goal. You may
not agree exactly with our point choices but the important thing is
to make your decision ahead of time. During the heat of the game,
it is easy to make a hasty decision that ultimately spells defeat.
when to take a safety
When are you going to take an intentional safety? It's late in
the game and you are stuck with fourth and 8 on your own 3 yard
line. Our rule is that we will always take the safety if we are behind
by 4 points; ahead by 5, 6, 12 or 13 points (especially when it is late
in the game, bad weather, or low scoring); and maybe when we're
ahead by 3, 4 or 11 points late in the game (be very careful if they
have a good field goal kicker). We have decided not to take a safety
when we are ahead by 7 points late in the game, because even if
they block the punt and score, most coaches will go for 2 points
and the odds are against them making it. If we think that the
coach will take a tie, then we take the safety. The important point
once again is to have it planned out ahead of time, write it down,
and stick to it.
Another decision that should be written down is when to go
for 2 points after a touchdown. We will go for 2 points when we are
behind by 8 or 15 points, or ahead by I, 5 or 12 points.
attacking a reading defense
A team's defensive philosophy and tendencies will also affect
play selection. Many teams believe that it is better to play a
conservative reading defense that stresses maximum pursuit. They
will sometimes penetrate in short yardage or paSSing Situations,
but otherWise they seldom stunt or blitz. Against such an oppo-
nent, we run more counter and reverse action to slow down their
pursuit. Bootleg and throwback passes are also more effective and
we try to establish more of an inside running game. Bigger line
splits may help spread them out, and it is easier to establish ball
Control but more difficult to break the long run or pass.
play selection against penetrating defenses
Some teams love to gamble on defense. They will stunt, blitz
and attack with a penetrating style of defensive play that is
designed to confuse and discourage their opponents. The quarter-
back and his ten cohorts must now remain patient and work for
the big play. Ball control becomes very difficult because they will
often stunt into your play. Audibles will help pick at their weak-
nesses. You have to remember that great pursuit is impossible
when they penetrate, and when you break a play it has a great
chance of going all the way.
You want to hit quickly and run very little counter action.
Penetrating linemen and linebackers are not going to read counter
flow. The veers are now your best plays because you can block
down and seal off the inside. You must cut down the line splits, stop
all penetration, and get off-tackle or wide just as quickly as
possible. The lead option is the other great play because it gets
around the end so fast. Either throw quick passes or keep in all but
one or two receivers for maximum pass protection, and go for the
bomb. Expect more man-to-man secondary coverage and select
pass patterns accordingly. Use the hot receiver principle to burn
them when they stunt linebackers. A couple of long runs or passes
will help to settle them down.
will the weather affect the game plan?
The final factor that often affects play selection is the weather.
Several thoughts regarding this very tangible foe may be applica-
ble. First, if the weather is bad, you can basically ignore it. The
player who doesn't worry about it will generally perf?rm much
better-it does rain on both teams! Our game plan Will be more
conservative under very adverse conditions, and we will win with
field position and defense. But we can and will throw the ball in the
mud and rain as long as the ball can be kept dry. It is tougher for
the secondary to keep their feet, and one slip can mean a
touchdown. If the receiver falls down, it's just an incomplete pass.
The wind is the one factor that can have a more harmful effect
on one team than on the other. The passing team is obviously at.a
disadvantage and this is one reason why it is difficult to wm
, hfitor
conSistently with the pass alone. Getting the wind in t e rs
third quarter can also make a big difference and th I k f
. t h ' e uc 0 the
com oss as won or lost many a game The one tho
t I' h . mg yoU can
con ro IS t e number of plays you execute during a ga h
' . 'hh mew en
you re gomg wit t e wind. The quarterback and the entire team
must hustle as hard as Possible to and from the huddl h
h h b ' e, w enever
you ave t e all. Use more quick snap counts Get .
I'b . m as many
pays as POSSI Ie. Conversely, when you're going into the wind, you
want your quarterback to slow it down. Take your time and use up
as much of the clock as POssible-this is when you want ball
control offense. Keep ball in bounds and the clock running.
The IS to punt with the wind whenever POSSible,
on first down If the quarter is ending. When gOing into the
wmd, you also want to use up the remaining time on the clock just
before the quarter ends, by running the ball and staying I'n b d
'f 'bl" oun s
POSSI I ou also be able to force your opponent to punt
mto the wmd by usmg one or two timeouts. It is up to the spotter to
keep you posted on .this and you must relay the proper information
to the players. Remmd each other on a Windy day to be alert a th
first. and third quarters come to an end-the alumni
genIUses hate to see you mess up this one. '
no one ever said it would be easy
. The poor quarterback-he is the hero if you win and the goat
If you lose. The coach may never be the hero, but the role of the
goat seems to come naturally. There never was a coach or a
who called a perfect game. There are just too many
to affect the outcome. They can both sleep well after a
and they can both blame themselves for a hundred
after a loss. It's the nature of the game-thank goodness,
;t IS a All you can do is have a plan for everything, try to
mplement It whenever possible, keep your head up at all times
and learn to live with human errors-both your own and those of
Coachi?g is the rewarding profession in the world as
ng as you thnve on excitement, love kids, and have decided that
you can't live without it.
Teaching the Veer Offense
with Effective Drills
. ffense repetition is an important key to good
With any o. . ' b t attained in small group drills. Your
t' Repetitions are es d k
execu Ion. '1 b k into three groups an wor on
offensive coaches can easl y rea
appropriate drills.
backfield drills
Our basic drill for the backs is we c.all
S mat m
arked with the Ime spacmg la
use a canva
Diagram 14-1 .
Canvas Mot with Hole Numbers and Proper Spacing
. ractice. We never
We run the veer drill for 20 every P t d "II we run in
miss one day of it. is the md his keys. At
developing a QB's confidence an a I I
first, a coach or manager can play the defensive end and make the
read easy for the QB so that he can develop confidence and
experience success. Later on, we bring the defensive ends over and
let them vary their techniques and responsibilities to give our QBs
a tougher time for reading. We run our four basic plays for five
minutes each: inside veer, outside veer, counter option and lead
option. All offensive backs are in the drill and run as many plays as
possible with a new unit each time. This is also a great conditioner
if you push them hard enough. Execution in an option-type offense
is everything. We believe that repetition is the key to success. This
is also a great drill for teaching the defensive end how to defend
the option. At times, we also bring our corners over and let the
QBs option downfield on them.
As a change-up in the veer drill, you can break it down further.
Using one line of dive backs, have your QB and dive back work on
their mesh. Your QB will mix up giving to the dive back and
keeping the ball himself. The dive back does not know whether the
QB will give or keep. By using just one line of dive backs and
rotating three QBs, this drill is excellent for getting repetitions on
the mesh. Obviously, you can work on both the inside veer and the
outside veer.
We use the same idea to allow our QBs to work on the pitch.
Again, we have one line of pitch backs, and three QBs rotate. The
play that best allows us to work on the pitch with no dive back is
the lead option.
The next drill we run is the option drill. We run the option drill
at least twice every week for 20 minutes. This is a drill involving
the QBs, running backs, tight ends and flankers going against the
defensive ends and secondary. It is one of the best drills we have for
teaching and polishing the skills needed to execute an option
offense. You can set the defense in any alignment you want to
defend the option. You can run all of your basic running and
passing plays in this drill. We also let the defense mix up their
coverages of the option so that we can read different looks_
An important consideration in this drill is ball placement.
Make sure you run from the different hashmarks.
offensive line drills
There are a variety of techniques that your linemen must
execute. Proper drills give them the repetitions they need_
A basic technique for any lineman is a straight-ahead face
block. With rule changes at the high school level, this is the
shoulder block. At the college level, initial contact can still be
made with the head so, consequently, we teach the face block. We
have broken the face block into three phases:
1. Approach
a. Lunge off the up foot and fire out with the rear foot.
b. Keep feet as wide as the shoulders and pointed straight
c. Bull your neck and aim the face mask for the de-
fender's numerals.
d. Initial movement is forward and not up.
e. Whenever the defender is aligned on any part of your
body, fire out with your back foot. If you are not
covered, then lead with the foot nearer to the man you
will block.
f. When blocking a stunting lineman, take a shorter first
2. Contact
a. At the moment of contact, snap the arms into your
opponent's solar plexus with a lifting action. On con-
tact, the body starts a lifting action which causes the
hips to sink further and adds leg power.
b. Never have the hands ahead of the forearms.
c. Keep the feet moving after contact.
d. Take the defender in the direction he wants to go.
Maintain contact.
3. Follow-through
a. Second effort is what counts.
b. If you start to lose the man, go to all fours and
Our teaching progression for the face block begins with the
follow-through stage. The linemen work in pairs, with one partner
holding a hand dummy. The blocker starts with what we call a
good fit-face in the numbers, feet shoulders-width apar:t, and
hips sunk. On command, the offensive man accelerates hIs feet,
moving the defender back until the whistle blows. We want our
linemen to know what a good fit and follow-through are like.
The next step is the approach and contact stage. We just want
a good explosion into the dummy and no follow-through. The
linemen simply concentrate on a good approach and contact.
In the third stage of our progression, the linemen execute a
complete block-approach, contact, follow-through. An invalu-
able teaching station for your linemen is a chute. This is a metal
structure with any number of individual 4 x 4 x 4 stalls (Diagram

Diagram 14-2
A 4-Mon Chute
To help your linemen maintain their base, each chute should
have 10-foot 2 x 12 boards with beveled sides. The chutes will get
your linemen into the habit of firing out instead of up.
Start with your linemen exploding through the chute from
their three-point stance. Next, have another player hold a hand
dummy on the other side of the chute. To simulate blocking a
defender head-up on your linemen, have them move into the chute
and then block the hand dummy on cadence.
While the face block or shoulder block is the starting point for
your offensive linemen, they must qUickly master other techniques
as well. A critical block for any option team is the scoop block.
In teaching the s ~ p block, we also start with hand dum-
mies. The linemen work in pairs with two pairs going at once. You
want to pair right guards with right tackles, left guards with left
tackles, and guards with centers. Opposite the offense are the
appropriate defenders-one down defender and one linebacker
(Diagram 14-3).
In this drill, we concentrate on footwork. A 45 degree step is
taken with the lead foot and the blocker gets square to the goal
line with the second step.
The inside blocker will block the slant tackle by aiming for the
outside hip and working his hips around. If the down defender does
Diagram 14-3
Teaching Scoop [lIociling
not slant, he then continues and blocks the linebacker. The initial
lead step should put your uncovered lineman (no down defender
aligned on him) in position to cut off the linebacker. Your outside
man, who has a down defender aligned on him, will take the same
45 degree step and block area. If the defensive man slants inside
he will get square to the goal line on his second step and block the
In executing this block, the biggest problem is that the
linemen make contact with their heads and, unless they work their
hips around, the defensive men simply run through their heads.
Your linemen must accelerate their feet upon contact and work the
hips around. Our linemen spend a lot of time on this drill before
going live. By working them against the hand dummies, we instill
good habits and build confidence.
Another block that your guards must master is the outside
fold block. Guards use a fold block when they switch assignments
with the tackle. When the guard is using a fold block, your tackle
will usually be blocking down. In this drill, we pair up the
appropriate guards with their tackles. We go with two pairs at a
time against hand dummies (Diagram 14-4).
Diagram 14-4
Fold Ol oclli ng Drill
As in the previous drill, the emphasis is on proper footwork.
Your tackle has to take a good lead step with his inside foot and
use an aggressive face or shoulder block on the down
The guard steps with his outside foot replacing the tackle s lead

He must not step back with this initial step since this wastes
time. As the guard steps, he wants to slap the tackle's butt with h'
outside hand (right guard slaps with right hand). This forces
guard to get his shoulders square as he goes to block th
linebacker. It is important to have the shoulders square for an
out . hit on the linebacker. Proper footwork eliminates wasted
mohon and gets the guard up the hole qUickly. To help your guard
get to the linebacker as quickly as possible, have your tackle cheat
up on the line of scrimmage while your guard cheats back.
Your tackles must also learn an inside fold block. The guard
steps with his outside foot and uses an aggressive face block on
the down defender. The tackle steps with his inside foot replacing
the guard's step. To get his shoulders square, your tackle should
slap the butt of the guard with his inside hand (Diagram 14-5). The
final drill, which has the guard and tackle working together, is a
combo blocking drill. A combo block is used by two linemen to
seal a down defender and linebacker (Diagram 14-6).

Diagram 14-5
Tacll le's Insi de Fold Olocll
Diagram 14-6
Combo Oloclli ng Drill
Your inside lineman, the guard, has to fire out, executing an
aggressive face block on the down defender. /tis important to keep
the feet moving with short, choppy steps. Do not let your guard
take a long initial step. The outside blocker steps with his inside
leg and keys the down defender's outside foot. If the defensive man
out, then your tackle locks on and you get a double team on
this defender. If the defender is in a read technique or slanting to
the inside, your tackle must get upfield with his second step and
block the linebacker. As in the other drills, we start with hand
dummies and progress to live defenders. In all the drills, your
offensive line coach stands behind the offense so that he is able to
direct the defenders as to which way they must slant.
receiver drills
Our receivers naturally spend a lot of time on catching drills.
But, with an option offense, your receivers are also very important
as blockers. The wide receiver's basic technique is the stalk block.
For the tight end, it is the veer release block.
Just as the face or shoulder block is the starting point for our
linemen, it is also where we begin with the receivers. The teaching
progression is the same. [n teaching the face block, the ingredients
of successful blocking are stressed-contact, foot acceleration,
good base and follow-through.
The wide receivers next work on their stalk block. The fi rst
coaching pOint is the one that is the most difficult to sell and may
be the most important part of the block. Your wide receiver must
come off hard with an outside release. He has to start as if runni ng
a fly pattern and explode off the line. [n sky or man coverage, the
corner will be forced to retreat. Your receiver keys the corner.
When the corner reads the playas run he must break down before
he can react up. As the corner breaks down, your flanker must
break down and mirror the corner. This is the other critical
coaching point: "Stop when he stops." Now he should shuffle back
toward the line of scrimmage as the corner comes to attack the
ball carrier. Your receiver should wait and throw his block as late
as possible.
The block itself is a mirror block. As the corner gets close,
your flanker accelerates his feet in short, choppy steps and mirrors
the corner. Your flanker should not leave his feet unless the corner
commits to one side. If the corner stays face up, he should just
stick with him and let the back cut off his block. Teach your flanker
to attack the corner if he gets a "go go" call from the ball carrier.
[n teaching the stalk, we start with receivers going against a
defender with a hand dummy. We progress from three-quarters
speed to full speed. This is where your receivers get their repeti-
tions. The option drill simulates game conditions for the receivers.
Your tight end's basic technique is a veer release block. This is
a used on the secondary man responsible for run support on
the pitch. On the side ofthe flanker, the tight end has to read sky
or cloud coverage. In sky coverage, your end blocks the strong
safety. When the secondary is playing cloud, he will blo k th
corner. c e
. The important coaching point on the veer release block
IS to width and not depth. The temptation is for your end to
turn upfield t?O soon. When he does this, he is getting too far in
front of the pitch back and is forced to throw his block too
The most effective op,:m field blocks are executed 3 to 5
of the ball carner. The end has to release wide, keeping
outside leverage on the force man.
In the actual execution of the block, have your end aim his
face .mask for the outside armpit of the man he is blocking. After
makmg contac.t, the end has to get a good base and lock on to the
As m any block, quick acceleration of the feet is
After working on their individual techniques, your flankers
and ends should come together and work against two secondary
people-the strong safety and the strong corner. The secondary
people mix up sky and cloud coverage, forcing your receivers
to recogJ1lze the coverage and block the appropriate defenders.