Sorry for the delay in getting this blog post out.  It took some time to get through our cutups to find good examples for you guys.  Today we’re going to go over the Mid Triple play versus the 50 Defense.  We start with the 50 Defense because the play is very effective against this front for a few reasons.  First, it’s a good answer to help block an Odd front (0 NG).  Second, it’s very good against 2 high safety where they’re rolling the safeties with our motion.  Lastly, it sets the table for Counter Trap Option and Trap.


We run this play as a “counter” to Inside Veer and to take advantage of defensive flow.  The 50 Defense relies on Safety and ILB flow to defeat the option and get more defenders to the playside.


  1. Struggling to block the NG.  He is reading the Center and beating us playside.

  2. Struggling to block playside Safety (#3) because he’s rolling down so hard with motion and the backside Safety is rolling over the top to stop the Play Action.

  3. ILB’s are both scraping with motion/veer action.

  4. Defense is blowing up the mesh, or running Blood stunts (#1 & #2 crashing down at the snap).


We can run this play from just about every formation.  We usually will not run it to a 3 man surface.  A 3 man surface almost guarantees them rolling Cover 3, so it would not give us an advantage to run where we’re outnumbered.  It is a great play to the “nub” side (formations where A-back is #1 eligible).  We usually run a lot of Over or Trips formations against a 50 defense due to it being a 7 man box, 2 shell defense.  Those two formations will cause most 50 teams to roll to Cover 3.  When they do this, we’ve gained a numbers advantage to the nub.  If they stay in 2 high look, then we gain a numbers advantage to the formation strength.

  • SPREAD:  You can run the play either way out of Spread.  You might decide to run away from a particular player, or you might pick up that the defense is slanting to the field, etc.

  • FLEX:  This formation is good because you can change up your perimeter blocking with a couple of TAGS (see below).  It is also good because you can run a lot of other complimentary plays from this formation.

  • OVER:  This formation will force the defense to make an adjustment.  They will either roll Cover 3 to the formation strength or they will stay in a 2 shell.  You simply count and attack the number advantage.

  • TRIPS:  This is another formation which will force the defense to make an adjustment.  Once again, we will count and run to the numbers.

  • HEAVY:  We can run a few plays out of Heavy against a 50 defense and we will work on running Mid Triple to the nub side in case we see a number advantage.


We can run the SWAP tag and SWITCH tag, but those are usually out of the Flex formation.  The SWAP tag puts the WR on #2 and then we would either wrap the PSA around for the CB or send the PSA across the formation in motion to get the secondary to motion a guy out of position.  We really will only use the SWAP tag if #2 is playing off the LOS and can be easily blocked by the WR.

The SWITCH tag is also usually run out of Flex formation.  We will use that when the CB is playing wide outside of the WR and #2 is on the LOS.  The WR will struggle to block the CB’s outside number, so we will send him to #3 (Playside safety).  The PSA will wrap and block the CB.








  • SLICE – The Center/PSG must move the NG out of the cylinder.  The Center works thru the backside hip and the PSG works thru the playside hip.  This is really a sellout block by both of them.  They have to run off the ball.  We stress the 3&3 Drill technique (see OL Drills) on this play.  If the NG slants either way, there’s the possibility for the free man to work to BSLB.  The priority, however, must be on blocking the NG.  We must make this block look like a SCOOP block.

  • PST – The PST has best release to PSLB.  The PST must work a vertical veer release thru a 5 tech before closing down inside for the PSLB.  Don’t let the PST angle straight down inside for PSLB.  This will shorten the edge for the DE.

  • PSA – We usually don’t worry about counting to #3 on this play.  The PSA will be responsible for an area, not a specific person.  The PSA must block what shows after 5 steps (flat defender).  If nothing is there, he will keep circling.

  • BSA – Pitch path is critical on this play.  The BSA must sprint thru the hand of the B-back towards a point 5 yards deep behind the PST.  The BSA must be in the QB’s vision once the QB comes off the mesh.  If the BSA gets the ball, he must sprint towards the sideline.  Do not turn upfield, unless the PSA is kicking out the flat defender.

  • QB – Clear the cylinder.  Do not attack #1 & #2.  Be patient and suck the defenders in.  The QB must learn how to read the defenders’ shoulders and execute leverage pitch (defenders’s shoulders turned in).  The defender will have no chance to tackle the pitch man if his shoulders are turned inside.

  • B-Back – The B must go playside if he gets the ball and cut off the PST’s block. At times, it might look like there’s a hole backside, but it’s a mistake to go back there.  The OL is trying to move defenders in that direction, so you’re going to get maybe 2 yards back there.  If the B-back doesn’t get the ball, he must go backside to bring the Read key inside and it also helps to hold the ILB’s.

  • OL – They must sell SCOOP blocks on the play to get the defense to move.

  • 3-2 EXCHANGES – In instances where we get 3-2 Exchange (#2 goes outside and #3 fills inside for QB), the PSA and QB must recognize what’s going on.  The PSA must block #2 (who becomes the new #3).  The QB will see #2 flow outside and will come off the mesh thinking Keep.  The QB will then see #3 flying downhill and will pitch off of him (the new #2).

  • CB SPIKE – If they spike CB, our PSWR and PSA basically SWITCH block.  The WR bends off the butt of the CB or thru the area he vacated and continues to the Safety.  The PSA has to get his eyes moving once he comes out of the TWIRL and begins his ARC.  He’s got to check outside-in.  If he does this, he’ll see the CB spike and be able to kick or hook the CB, depending upon how the CB reacts.

If you have any questions, please let me know.  You can also look at some play cutups vs a 50 defense by clicking the button below.