Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Point Method-Part III

Ok, so we know the history of the Point Method, and we now know the methodology of the Point Method as it relates to the Inside Veer (ISV), but how about the other options that are out there?  Well, that's what this article is about.  There are some coaches out there who use the point method on ISV only and then use RD for everything else.  Well, I'm here to tell you, the Point Method is for any mesh option out there.  I did it out of the shotgun even (though I find it far less deceptive in the gun, but don't get me started on that) running both ISV and midline.  Basically put, any mesh option can use the Point Method.  In this article I'm going to explain some of the differences and adjustments you have to make when utilizing this technique with both Midline and Outside Veer (OSV). 

The midline is my favorite option play in the book.  Some coaches run it as a double option, others run it as a triple option.  No matter, the Point Method can be used for this type of option play.  The main difference is the steps.  The only thing I did differently with the steps, was to reverse them from what I taught on ISV (see here).  When running ISV, the QB steps with the playside foot first gaining ground and pointing the toes at 2 o'clock (if running the play to the right).  The 2nd step, or "come to balance" step, is in the ground at 1 o'clock.  So on midline, the QB will just reverse that order.  If running midline to the right, the QB pushes off the right foot, setting the left foot in the ground with the toes at 1 o'clock, and then gets his 2nd step in the ground with his right foot being pointed at 2 o'clock.  Again, we want the QB's feet to be pointing into the LOS, so that on a pull read, the QB can attack the defense downhill. 
Again, we have the QB extend his arms at the handoff key and read the far shoulder pad, and earhole to get his read.  More experienced QB's can make "cloudy" and "clear" instead of fixing their eyes on landmarks.  None of the reads change for the QB from ISV to midline.  This keeps things simple for your option QB. 
The most important coaching point is getting the QB to "clear the cylinder" of the center so the FB can run the midline unimpeded.  A good test of this, is have your QB take a live snap from center and take his midline steps.  With the ball extended at the handoff key, have him drop the football.  The ball should hit the center in middle of the buttocks.  This way you know, your QB is "clearing the cylinder" so the FB has a clean shot at the midline track. 
One alteration we did the past few years was to have the QB actually "hop" backwards setting his feet in the ground with the proper relationship.  I had a QB, who was actually just a backup, that had trouble with midline for some reason.  He was always getting dinged or bounced around from being to close to the mesh.  I saw Georgia Tech utilizing this hop method for their QB Josh Nesbitt, and thought maybe I should try it for midline and see what happens.  Well, it worked, and many of the other QB's used it from then on out.  I taught both, but most of the QB's preferred to "hop" instead of step out.  All of the QB's who used this hop, said it helped them get their reads quicker than stepping.  Nothing like building a better mousetrap!!!

Outside Veer
The OSV, for me, was a little used weapon.  That had to change with the reemergence of some odd front nemesis such as the 3-3/3-5.  Rarely did we use a TE in our offense, as we usually never had one, so our answer was to use Navy's "Heavy" formation, or for us what we called "Tackles".  Basically put it's just a tackles over unbalanced formation. 

Tackles Over Formation (Navy/GT's "Heavy")

From this set, we ran the OSV.  I will honestly say, we cheated on this one here!  What I did was instead of teaching my QB all new steps, I reduced the distance he had to travel, yet kept the play hitting 1 hole wider than ISV.  Our offensive line was taught anytime we were in tackles, the heavy side was to reduce their splits down to 1 foot.  This put the mesh between the QB and FB at the exact same position as ISV, however the way we blocked it was for OSV and we read 1 defender wider than ISV.  This kept things simple and easy, so that the QB's steps were identical to ISV.  I'm no genius, I stole that idea from, what was formerly a free site to go and exchange flexbone ideas, the Flexbone Association.  Don't expect to get anything from there if you don't want to pay for it.  An even better site is The Option Football Society.  Sites like this helped me see, that OSV doesn't have to be real complicated.  I can honestly say, it was a big ticket item for us against those odd fronts, and it really made their lives miserable defending that play from our Tackles formation.

In my next post, I'm going to go over some of the drills and techniques I used when coaching the point method to the triple option QB.  Keep yer' ears peeled for my next installment!