The double options are essential to the success of the triple option. These plays allow for the offense to do several things based on what the defense is doing to attack the triple option. There are several reasons to run a double option, some of these are listed below:
· To focus on, or keep are particular player carrying the football
· To take a difficult or cumbersome read away from a young quarterback
· To get the ball into one phase of the triple option that the defense might be taking away
· To attack overaggressive read keys
These are just a few of the reasons, why double options should be run. The double options focused on in this article, are those that mimic the base play, the triple option.
Load and Toad
Anytime the handoff key is blocked, whether it is by an offensive lineman, or a running back, is called a load block. There are two types of load blocks in the Flexbone offense, the load block by the B back (simply referred to as load) and the load block by the offensive tackle, which is referred to as toad. When running the load or the toad scheme, the offense will execute the play as though they were running the inside veer play. The play can also be tagged arc or switch to predetermine the perimeter blocking scheme.
The quarterback will fake the dive phase of the triple option, but will execute the pitch phase as normal. If load was called (Figure 6-1) the B back will block the handoff key after faking the dive phase of the triple option. This does not have to be a crushing block, but must be effective. The idea here is to log block the handoff key, however the main coaching point is to stay on the defender.
Figure 6-1 (Load)
If the offense chooses to run the toad block (Figure 6-2), then the offensive tackle will block the handoff key. Now the B back will wrap around this block, and block the first linebacker to the play side.
Figure 6-2 (Toad)
The “Q” Play
Veer or Loop Q is to the pitch phase of the triple option, as load and toad are to the dive phase. What the tag Q tells the offense is that the dive phase is live, however the pitch phase is not. Simplicity is the key here, and the idea is that the play will be blocked exactly as the triple option, with the pitch back blocking the pitch key. From the base formation, the backside slot will have to go in tail motion to effectively execute this block. This is why the author recommends running the Q play from trips formations. This puts both slot backs in a better position to execute their blocking assignment. Veer Q is shown in Figure 6-3 and Loop Q is show in Figure 6-4. Both plays are blocked as the tag calls it. The offensive line will execute either the veer or loop schemes, as the dive phase of the triple option is still live.
Figure 6-3 (Veer Q)
Figure 6-4 (Loop Q)
Putting it all Together
These double option tags can even be put together to put the ball in the hands of exactly who the coach wants it to be in certain situations. For instance, the play caller can run 14 Loop Load (Figure 6-5) to run the loop scheme with the offensive line, but load block with the B back. Another good play is Load/Toad Q, (Figure 6-6) where the handoff key is blocked and so is the pitch key. Technically this is not a double option play, yet it looks like the triple, and is a way to keep the ball in the hands of one of the best runners, the quarterback.
Figure 6-5 (Loop Load)
Figure 6-6 (Load Q)
However the coach chooses to run the double options is up to them, but some rules to remember as to why to run them are needed to understand the value of these double option plays. First off, a good rule to use is if a defender is easy to read, then he’s hard to block, thereby making a defender who is hard to read, easy to block. What this means is if the quarterback is having a tough time reading the handoff key, it means that this defender is doing something out of the normal reactionary movement for the defense that would allow him to be blocked. When this occurs, the coach, can help out the triple option quarterback by calling a double option where the handoff key is blocked. Of course this is not an ideal situation as the coach should always want to run the triple option, but, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results. The idea here is to let the quarterback know, there is a way around this problem. This is the idea of when and where to call these double option plays.