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want to thank the AFCASummer Manual Committee for giving me an opportunity to share some of our offensive ideas at St. Olaf College in this year’s manual. St. Olaf’s mission is to provide a world-class education where athletic success and faith development are key components. We believe balance is the key to a successful life and a successful offense. A balanced offense means multiple things to us: Personnel bundles, varied formations, schematic innovations, as well as a specified run/pass ratio. A big part of keeping our package balanced is the quick passing game. What I want to do in this article is discuss diversity within our quick passing game. I will break out our package in terms of the three-step package and the shotgun quick roll package. Formation We like to have the option of throwing either to the field or into the boundary with our quick passing game, so we use a balanced double slot, double split end formation. In the three-step game, we run mirror routes and give the quarterback the option of throwing to either side based on the coverage. In our quick roll package we predetermine the side the quarterback will be rolling and throwing (Diagram 1).
Quarterback Fundamentals From the Gun To run the three-step game from the shotgun, you must have a quarterback who has a quick release. We treat the shotgun snap as the first two steps. The quarterback must be able to catch the snap without staring it into his hands. His eyes must get to the read. On the catch we make an aggressive turn with our right foot to get square to the target and drive forward off that step. Three-Step Protection
Description This is our one-step and three-step quick passing game protection. In this protection system, we utilize a six-man scheme. The concept is that the inside four offensive linemen will block the inside defensive tackles and inside linebackers, while the one-back will cut block the defensive end to the side of the call. The back-side tackle will cut block the defensive end opposite the call. We must protect from inside-out. We will utilize a slide concept, in that, a lineman blocks a defender in his gap, keeping his shoulders square and making contact on the line of scrimmage. Objective Our goal is to protect the quarterback’s set up point, (two yards deep on one-step and four-and-a-half yards deep on threestep or gun) giving him two-and-a-half yards on every side. That means the tackle/guard/center/guard must establish their protection on the line of scrimmage and the one back/back-side tackle must cut the defensive end on the line of scrimmage. Protection Rules Playside Tackle: Step inside with your shoulders square and protect the B-gap. If you have a three-technique defensive tackle, double team him with the play-side guard. If you have a one-technique nose tackle, step inside, but don’t chase because someone will come to you. Playside Guard: Versus a 40, step inside with your shoulders square and protect the A
Three-Step Package Quarterback Fundamentals From Under Center I do not want a false step in the onestep or three-step passing game. To eliminate this negative step, I emphasize weight distribution. I want my right-handed quarterback to put 75 percent of his weight on the ball of his left foot. By doing this he is in position to push off with great explosion on the first step. In the threestep game, I want the ball thrown on the third step, which means we need to use the second step to stop momentum as well as gain depth. The third step is firm, but not heavy, and is the point from which we drive forward.
gap. If you have a three-technique defensive tackle, double team him with the playside tackle and have your eyes on the playside inside linebacker. If you have a one-technique nose tackle, quickly step inside and secure the Agap from quick penetration. Versus a 50, step inside and watch the inside linebacker over you. If he rushes, block him. If he loops around the playside tackle, leave him. Help the nose guard if your inside linebacker drops. Center: Versus 40, take up space and help with A-gap defensive tackle. Keep your eye on the backside inside linebacker and stay hame. You are responsible for the backside A gap. Versus 50, block the nose guard. Backside Guard: Versus 40, step inside with your shoulders square and secure the A gap before working back to the B gap, which is your responsibility. If you have a three-technique defensive tackle, step inside and then lock onto him. if you have a one-technique nose tackle, step hard inside while keping your shoulders square and secure him, knowing the center will also be blocking him. Get your eyes on the inside linebacker because you are responsible for the B gap. Backside Tackle: Step inside and then cut the defensive end. On a one-step drop, cut immediately. On a three-step drop, step slide and cut. One Back: Banana route to the inside knee of the defensive end. Your aiming point is the outside hip of the guard and then banana out to the defensive end. You must throw the cut every time, even if the defensive end is playing soft. Three-Step Game Routes The quarterback can chose either side to throw the three-step game since the receivers will be running mirror routes and both defensive ends will be cut. Versus any type of man coverage, we will throw opposite the one back. Bubble The bubble is great if the defender over
the slot is playing soft and the linebacker is inside the box. This is a play that helps the quarterback gain confidence and gets the ball to a playmaker with some room to run. Quarterback Read Description Versus All Coverages: The quarterback takes a one-step drop and throw a forward pass to the upfield shoulder of the slot keeping the ball behind the line of scrimmage. Perimeter Assignments Split End: If the cornerback is attacking, cut block his outside leg. If the cornerbackis soft, collision his outside number and then cut him. Slot: Bubble. Keep your shoulders square to the line of scrimmage as you run full speed toward the sideline. Let the quarterback’s throw lead you upfield. Slant Bubble The slant-bubble is a great complement to the bubble. By completing the bubble route, we force the alley defender to get width immediately, which creates a large window for the slant. We like this combination versus a three-deep secondary where we can stress the alley player.
versus man coverage, we should score a touchdown. Perimeter Assignments Split End: Five-step slant. Outside foot back. Explode off the line of scrimmage for two steps, stem to the outside on your third and fourth step, and stick your fifth step. This is not a speed cut. Come off the cut under control and ready to hold the hole between the alley player, inside linebacker and safety. Slot: Bubble. Double Slant The double slant is a great route versus umbrella coverage. We isolate the outside linebacker and force him to make a decision.
Quarterback Read Description Versus Cover 3: Read the outside linebacker on the snap. If he widens with the slot on the bubble, throw the slant to the split end on your third step. If the outside linebacker sits inside, turn your shoulders and fire a dart to the slot on the bubble. Versus Cover 2/4: Read the outside linebacker (Sam or Will) on the snap. If he widens with the slot on the bubble, throw the slant to the split end on your third step. If the outside linebacker sits inside, look to throw the bubble. Make sure you identify the location of the cornerback. If he is rolled up hard, hang on the slant a little longer. This is a tough defense to run this play into. we would prefer to get to the double slant. Versus Cover 0/1: If you can hit the slant
Quarterback Read Description Versus Cover 3: Read the outside line backer on the snap. If he widens, throw the inside slant to the slot on your third step, keeping the ball away from the inside linebacker. If the outside linebackersits inside, press on your third step and deliver the outside slant to the split end. Versus Cover 2/4: Read the outside linebacker (Sam or Will) on the snap. If he widens, throw the inside slant to the slot on your third step. If the outside linebacker sits inside, press on your third step and deliver the outside slant to the split end. Indentify where the safety is playing. If he is robbing, ensure you don’t lead the split end into him. Versus Cover 0/1: If you can hit the inside slant versus man coverage, we should score a touchdown. Perimeter Assignments Split End: Five-step slant. Slot: Inside slant. Outside foot back. Immediately stem off the line of scrimmage and stick your third step. Explode inside, but stay vertical. Look for the ball off your third step. Double Hitch The double hitch is a great route versus umbrella coverage with soft corners (Diagram 6).
make a play. Throw to the receiver with the best matchup. Perimeter Assignments Split End: Four-step fade. Stem to the inside on the first three steps, plant and explode off your fourth step. Get width and separate from the defensive back. Slot: Three-step slant. Shotgun Quick Rollout Package We have gained a great advantage in big games by running the rollout package from the shotgun. This package has increased the efficiency of the 3-step game because it has added an edge threat to the quick game. It is a package that is nearly unstoppable when the one back makes his cut and the quarterback throws on time. Quarterback Fundamentals From the Gun The quarterback catches the football, opens parallel to the line of scrimmage with the playside foot, crossesover with the second step, turns his shoulders and throws. The quarterback will throw on his third step to his throwing hand, fourth step to the opposite side. Rollout Protection
Quarterback Read Description Versus All Coverages: Read the outside linebacker on the snap. If he flies to the flat, throw the inside hitch to the slot. If he sits on the slot, throw the hitch on your third step. Perimeter Assignments Split End: Five-step hitch. Explode vertical, threatening the fade, stick your fifth step and snap your head to the quarterback. Expect the football to be thrown to the sideline shoulder. Do not drift. Slot: Five-step hitch. Explode vertical, threatening the inside seam, stick your fifth step and snap your head to the quarterback. Expect the football to be thrown to the sideline shoulder. Do not drift. The Fade The fade is a great route versus man coverage. We throw the football to the outside shoulder at 20-24 yards. Versus a hard corner with a safety over the top, we will throw the football with great velocity to a point 18-20 yards downfield 1-2 yards from the sideline.
Quarterback Read Description Versus Cover 3: Make sure you keep this throw wide and let the receiver fade to it. Don’t try to place it perfectly where the cornerback can make a play. Versus Cover 2/4: This is a more difficult throw. You need to hold the safety on the hash inside, be looking him to the slot on the vertical and then fire the football into the side pocket (18-20 yards on the sideline) with a low trajectory. Versus Cover 0/1: The fade is the best play we have versus press man coverage. Give the receiver a chance to go up and
Description This is our timed rollout series. We utilize turnback gap protection with our front. The one back is responsible for cutting the outside leg of the C-gap rusher. This is a series where the routes are timed with the quarterback throwing on a specific step, based on a defender read. Objective Give the quarterback a clear throwing lane by cutting the edge rusher. Protection Rules Playside Tackle: Versus 40 4i/three-/twotechnique defensive tackle, step down under control and secure the B gap. Once you have established your block on the defensive tackle, you must not let him roll across your face.
Versus 40 2i/one-technique nose tackle, step down under control and look for an inside linebacker plug of scrape. Hold your ground and let the defensive tackle come to you. Versus 50 four-technique defensive tackle, step direction at him with your outside foot. If he takes a contain rush, leave him for the one back. If he does anything else, lock on and workto get to his outside shoulder. Playside Guard: Step and punch to the side of the rollout and then drop your inside foot and protectthe A gap. You can give ground but you can’t let the A-gap defender roll across your face. Center: Step and punch to the side of the rollout and then drop your backside foot and protect the backside a gap. You can give ground but you can’t let the A-gap defender roll across your face. Backside Guard: Step and punch to the side of the rollout and then drop your backside foot and protect the backside B gap. You can give ground but you can’t let the defender roll across your face. If the backside defensive end slants, take him and allow the backside tackle to pick up the C-gap blitzer. Backside Tackle: Use dropback technique on the backside defensive end. If an outside linebacker is aligned in a blitz look, give the backside guard an “outside” call alerting him to the potential of a defensive end slant. Be especially alert versus a 50 front. One Back: You are responsible for the C-gap rusher. Versus a 40, this will be the defensive end. You must explode through his outside thigh and roll two times. Versus a 50, be prepared for the fourtechnique to slant. In that case, you can work outside linebacker to inside linebacker. If the outside linebacker blitzes, cut his outside leg. Rollout Game Routes Quarterbacks love the quick rollout package because it is either a single defender read or a two receiver progression. The side we are throwing is predetermined and the ball is thrown within three seconds. The Out Hitch The out hitch is a great route combination vs any type of soft corner coverage Diagram 9). Quarterback Read Description Versus All Coverages: Look to throw the out on your third/fourth step. If the outside linebacker jumps the out, throw the hitch to the slot.
Perimeter Assignments Split End: Four-step spped out versus all coverages. Expect the ball off your cut. If you don’t get the ball, stay on the sideline. You will be open if the quarterback works back to you. Slot: Five-step hitch. Gain width and expect the ball off your pivot. The Fade Out The fade out is a great combination against either man or zone. Depending on the coverage, the out from the slot changes slightly.
Quarterback Read Description Versus Cover 3: Throw the ball to the wing back off his cut. Expect the cornerback to bail with the split end fade. Versus Cover 2/4: Get your eyes on the cornerback immediately. If he jumps the flat, throw the fade to the split end in the side pocket before the safety can get over the top. If the cornerback bails, throw the out to the wing back. Versus Cover 0/1: If the cornerback is in press, throw the fade to the split end. If the corner back is off, throw the out to the wing back off his cut. He will run a smashout versus man. Perimeter Assignments Split End: Four-step fade. You must take an outside release versus all coverages. Slot: Speed out versus zone, smash out versus man. On the smash out, close the cushion, get the outside linebacker to turn inside and then explode outside. The Hitch Sail The hitch sail is a great combination against umbrella coverage. Quarterback Read Description Versus Cover 3: Throw the hitch to the split end on time. The outside linebacker will not be able to get under it. The hitch will be up against the boundary. Versus Cover 2/4: Get your eyes on
the cornerback immediately. If he jumps the hitch, throw the skinny sail in the seam inside the cornerback who is rolled up and outside the outside linebacker/free safety. If the cornerback bails, throw the hitch to the slit end on time. Versus Cover 0/1: Take the best match up considering down and distance. Both receivers will beat the defender off the cut. The hitch is the higher percentage throw, but if you like the match up on the sail, take it. Perimeter Assignments Split End: Five-step hitch. Get to within one-two of the boundary. Slot: Skinny sail. Explode vertical for 10 yards, give an inside lean and explode to a point 20 yards on the numbers. If you would like to discuss any of these concepts, please contact us at St. Olaf College. We would love to here from you.
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