Author Topic: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team  (Read 3560 times)

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Offline coachnick

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thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« on: October 08, 2013, 10:33:27 AM »
I know this is a very general question.  But do you have any thoughts on defending a true flexbone team from double wing, double split ends.  Defending inside veer, outside veer, rocket toss, and counter plus the quick passing game.  coverages? assignments?  when you get a chance to answer......I know it is the season so people are busy..thanks

Offline MHcoach

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 12:04:54 PM »
Nick

We just played our arch rivials in a huge district game. They are & have been a true flex bone team for years. They use a TE though, & will give you x over as well as both wings on the same side, almost any variation you can think of. This season they tended to run more outside veer then inside veer, we had a decent game plan & gave up less then 100 yds total offense. We are a base 3-3 team, we did run some 4-4 intergrated into the package.

The key to defending them is always to force them to pitch, since it's what the do the worst. We also never gave the QB the same reads so he never could get comfortable. Flex bone teams hate movement & penertration we gave them a lot of both.

Joe
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Offline JrTitan

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2013, 05:22:09 PM »
I know this is a very general question.  But do you have any thoughts on defending a true flexbone team from double wing, double split ends.  Defending inside veer, outside veer, rocket toss, and counter plus the quick passing game.  coverages? assignments?  when you get a chance to answer......I know it is the season so people are busy..thanks

This is where we start.   Coach Mountjoy was a big help on this a few years ago.



Secondary:  Inverted Cover 2
Corners 2x9 inside #1.  Deep half; secondary pitch support; deep pursuit on flow away
Free:  7 yds splitting the #2 receivers.  Slide to motion.   If #2 blocks the DE or walls off inside, play pitch.  If #2 arcs to OLB, play QB to pitch.  Play deep hole on no motion.  Look for #1 running route to the inside.  Cover any vertical release by #2.

Sam & Rover:  2x2 off the wings (wider than what it looks like in the diagram).  Read release of the wing.  If arc release, play through outside shoulder to pitch.  If wing blocks down or walls off inside, take QB on option.  Flat coverage.  On flow away, cross key far wing looking for counter/cutback

Inside LBs: align on the heels of the DTs.  On motion to you, step up to the nose and play through the centers neck to that side.  Opposite LB slides and stacks behind the up LB and keys FB.  Play dive to QB to pitch (first threat).  Take any vertical release by FB man to man.  Drop middle looking for crossing routes vs pass - mirror QB.  Alternative:  get in NOSE defense and pre-stack LBs.  Align up LB in 0 or shade tech according to game plan.

DTs:  align in tilted 3 tech.  Play through the near neck area of the guard.  Tackle dive of anything that shows.

DEs:  align head up on wings (6 tech).  If unblocked, play first threat to QB.  If blocked, fight pressure and play football (C gap player).  Play bootleg-counter -reverse on flow away.  Contain on pass rush.

Can also play Cover 1:
  • Free -  deep middle playing most dangerous vertical threat.  M/M on any release of #2
  • Corners:  M/M on #1
  • S - drop back: #2 M/M; play action: outside release by wing, take #2 M/M otherwise take QB
  • R - motion away look for crossing routes from other side
  • MLB - #3 M/M.  If he blocks, rush

« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 06:22:57 PM by JrTitan »
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Offline coachnick

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 11:16:11 PM »
Jr I thought I remembered you saying you prefered two 2 techniques verses the flexbone?

Offline JrTitan

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 11:27:11 PM »
Jr I thought I remembered you saying you prefered two 2 techniques verses the flexbone?

We would move them around according to game plan.  The tilted 3 tech is useful when facing a midline option series.  The big thing for them is to prevent any veer release by the guard.
"They call it coaching but it is teaching...You do not just tell them...you show them the reasons"

"You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important."

“…you have no bad habits to break...We either coach it or are allowing allowing it to happen.”

Offline coachnick

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 09:49:42 AM »
got it thanks!!

Offline coachbcherry

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2017, 11:06:28 PM »
Coach would you mind sending this again I would love to see this alignment but it is no longer showing

This is where we start.   Coach Mountjoy was a big help on this a few years ago.



Secondary:  Inverted Cover 2
Corners 2x9 inside #1.  Deep half; secondary pitch support; deep pursuit on flow away
Free:  7 yds splitting the #2 receivers.  Slide to motion.   If #2 blocks the DE or walls off inside, play pitch.  If #2 arcs to OLB, play QB to pitch.  Play deep hole on no motion.  Look for #1 running route to the inside.  Cover any vertical release by #2.

Sam & Rover:  2x2 off the wings (wider than what it looks like in the diagram).  Read release of the wing.  If arc release, play through outside shoulder to pitch.  If wing blocks down or walls off inside, take QB on option.  Flat coverage.  On flow away, cross key far wing looking for counter/cutback

Inside LBs: align on the heels of the DTs.  On motion to you, step up to the nose and play through the centers neck to that side.  Opposite LB slides and stacks behind the up LB and keys FB.  Play dive to QB to pitch (first threat).  Take any vertical release by FB man to man.  Drop middle looking for crossing routes vs pass - mirror QB.  Alternative:  get in NOSE defense and pre-stack LBs.  Align up LB in 0 or shade tech according to game plan.

DTs:  align in tilted 3 tech.  Play through the near neck area of the guard.  Tackle dive of anything that shows.

DEs:  align head up on wings (6 tech).  If unblocked, play first threat to QB.  If blocked, fight pressure and play football (C gap player).  Play bootleg-counter -reverse on flow away.  Contain on pass rush.

Can also play Cover 1:
  • Free -  deep middle playing most dangerous vertical threat.  M/M on any release of #2
  • Corners:  M/M on #1
  • S - drop back: #2 M/M; play action: outside release by wing, take #2 M/M otherwise take QB
  • R - motion away look for crossing routes from other side
  • MLB - #3 M/M.  If he blocks, rush

Offline JrTitan

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 04:58:05 PM »
I think this is it

"They call it coaching but it is teaching...You do not just tell them...you show them the reasons"

"You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important."

“…you have no bad habits to break...We either coach it or are allowing allowing it to happen.”

Offline blockandtackle

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2017, 02:16:06 PM »
As someone who's coached the Flexbone and a 4-4 at the HS level, here's my $0.02:

Defending the Flexbone or any triple option team is all about coaching up your defensive fundamentals and applying them to the option.  It's probably the single best way to gauge your defense's discipline and how good they are in the 4-4.

For us, we are a spilling defense.  That means our DL and ILBs want to squeeze down any running lanes, wrong arming kick out blocks, and cause the runs to spill sideways to our OLBs who will force them back inside.  The rule for the DL is "Block Down, Step Down" or BDSD.  Basically they attack the OL across from them and get hands on him.  If the OL across from them leaves them alone and blocks down, they will squeeze his hip and get eyes inside immediately, looking for either a dive or a kick out block (trap/power/counter/whatever).  If they see a dive coming at them, they tackle the dive.  If they just see a QB, they take him.  Against option teams, we stress really attacking and mashing the OL so they can't get a clean release to the LB, but this is part of our fundamentals anyway.

The short version of how we play a Flexbone or Option team is to play a Virginia Tech style Robber Coverage with the FS reading the #2 receiver away from the motion and the CBs bailing to deep 1/2s.  We try to set the 3 tech to the field, since it's hard to run ISV with a 3 tech parked in the diveback's path.  That helps us keep the offense pinned to a short field.  We play "first threat defense," which sounds complicated but is really just an extension of the base rules we drill and use on every single play.  We want to make the offense pitch the ball, since a lot of option teams aren't that good at pitching and will be hesitant to do it properly or turn the ball over.  You cannot let an option team have the dive/keep phases of the triple or they will simply run over you all night long.

So we start by eliminating the dive via first threat defense, which is actually pretty straightforward and was described above: if your OL blocks down, squeeze down to his hip, get your eyes inside NOW, and attack the first thing that shows (kick out block, dive, maybe QB on double option).  The LB behind them, seeing the DL squeezing down and no gap to fill, will "scrape exchange," meaning he slides out just a little bit and fits off the DL's butt.  He will then take the first threat to show outside the DE.  This means he will pick up up the inside of the QB on Veer and Midline.

The Force player in the coverage has to have Pitch.  Because we try to keep our OLBs in force on every coverage, they will have Pitch here.  We want them hitting the Pitch back in the mouth on every single option.

From the secondary, since we're in Robber coverage, the FS will align at about 10 yards and key #2 (if it's Flexbone, this is the slot that the offense is motioning toward).  If he sees #2 blocking, he will get downhill in a hurry and take the Dive to QB to Pitch.  If he sees #2 turn and run across the formation, he'll take that as a run read and go the other way, looking for an option or to fit and tackle #2 on a counter.

The Deep Defender (CB in his deep 1/2) will run the alley late from QB to Pitch as well.  He has to come late to the party after getting a clean run read because he's the only defender to that side for Veer PAP.  His job is to just make that if something (deep pass, keep, or pitch) somehow gets through, it doesn't make it far.

The cutback player (backside OLB in this coverage) will slow play things to backside A gap until the runner declares.  BSDE will stay home for BCR.  Backside LB will fast flow, keying the near back, and pick up dive-QB if something somehow slips through.  BSCB will rotate over the top and check for throwbacks/run to the ball late.

The best part about this is that it works against pretty much EVERY option: ISV, OSV, Midline, Zone Read, etc.  The rules hold up!  It seems complicated on paper, but teaching it this way (again, as an extension of our usual base defense) actually makes it a lot easier for us week in and week out and keeps the offense from just adjusting their blocking to pick up one guy and take off to the races untouched.

If you look at it in terms of the old "assignment football" thing, we have 3 players who are coached to be in position to play Dive (DL, BSLB, FS), 3 players on QB (FS, LB, CB), and 3 players on Pitch (OLB, CB, FS).  A well executed Flexbone offense can and will still find ways to keep triple alive and get plays in small chunks, but that's ok.  Usually they'll have a penalty, a fumble, or otherwise get in a long yardage situation and then the drive will stall--what you want to avoid is letting someone slip through for a big run.    You have to be patient, disciplined, and fundamentally sound.  They may score here and there, but they are in for a long night if you do this right.

Add 2-3 simple stunts to mix up responsibilities and pressure the QB into fast pitches or reads and we're in good shape.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 02:22:54 PM by coacharnold »

Offline MHcoach

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2017, 09:07:19 AM »
We play a very good Flex-Bone team every year. One thing everyone has overlooked is determining what they do best. If it's the FB then focus on stopping him, the QB or the Pitch. We have subtle little changes we will make to take one or the other away.

The next thing is to have change ups to never let the QB get comfortable in his reads. If you stay static eventually they will gash you.

Joe
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Bill Walsh

Offline Dimson

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Re: thoughts on defending a true flexbone team
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2017, 11:53:22 AM »
We play a very good Flex-Bone team every year. One thing everyone has overlooked is determining what they do best. If it's the FB then focus on stopping him, the QB or the Pitch. We have subtle little changes we will make to take one or the other away.

The next thing is to have change ups to never let the QB get comfortable in his reads. If you stay static eventually they will gash you.

Joe

You forgot about setting rivalry scoring records.