Guest Blog: The Rocket Toss by Tony Rodriguez
Bio and background on our guest blogger, Tony Rodriguez:
Tony is the offensive coordinator at East Bay High school located in Gibsonton, Florida where he has run a triple option system now for 10 years. Tony is also a high school Social Studies teacher at East Bay where he attended and played high school football. Tony started @3phasefootball, which is a twitter based account devoted to the Triple Option = the greatest offense ever invented. If executed properly, it’s unstoppable! @3phasefootball does several things such as host weekly chats on Monday called “Mesh Point Monday” which allows triple option coaches to network and learn from each other. @3phasefootball has also hosted several webinars in an effort to help coaches get the help they need with specific techniques. The @3phasefootball website (3phasefootball.net) is a place where you can buy apparel to show pride in your offense like “Fear the Veer” or “Mesh Point”, football equipment and other resources.
Why we run the Rocket Toss
1. Answer for the blitz!
-We want to run Inside Veer, but if teams take that away with the blitz, we simply check to rocket.
2. It’s a predetermined!
-You can get the ball into the hands of 1 of your fastest players, and get him out on the perimeter.
3. Rocket > Jet
-”We don’t have to block any defender from the C-Gap back”
4.If fits our philosophy!
-#’s, angles & grass!
5. We love it’s companion plays!
-Belly, Counter & Boot
BASE RULES for the OL on ROCKET
We do NOT have to block anyone from the C-Gap back!
The OL will all rocket step towards play side. This means push and pivot of their inside foot, throw their outside elbow back to open their hips and drop step with their outside foot & run FLAT play side trying to get around outside shaded defenders and up to their landmarks while not allowing defenders to cross their face. Defensive lineman from the C-Gap back do NOT need to be blocked because the pitch is so wide eliminating them from being a factor, but it is absolutely crucial that these defensive lineman can NOT cross the OL’s face or they could be a HUGE factor in making a play on Rocket. The DL MUST be forced to go back door. The technique we teach the OL is to “Steal 2nd base.” We tell the OL to get there helmet face mask and outside toe pointed to the sideline and then run FLAT 100 mph toward the sideline. Once around an outside shaded defender they can turn-up. In some cases where there is a crack block on an overhang OLB, we teach the tackle to “run the hump” around the pile created by the crack block.
Play side Tackle will arc outside any defender covering him head-up to outside. Landmark is to go block the Safety. We want him to win outside leverage!
Play side Guard will arch outside any defender covering him head-up to outside. Landmark is to go block the play side LB & win outside leverage!
Rest of the OL will all reach and run through their play side gap and go try and cut-off a 2nd or 3rd level defender.
BASE RULES for the Perimeter players on ROCKET
Play side WR from a wide alignment will Stalk block or Run-Off his defender.
-When facing “Off & Soft” Coverage = Stalk Block the DB over you
-When facing “Press/Man” Coverage = Mandatory outside release & run the defender off.
Play side WR from a tight alignment will crack block the force player.
Backside WR will have a “cut-off” block
-vs. 1 high = cut-off the corner over you
-vs. 2 high = cut-off the backside safety to your side
Backside WR in OVER formation will be aligned as the #2 WR and he will use a tight alignment and will crack block the force player.
Play side Slot (Wing) will be responsible for blocking the force player’s outside number by winning leverage. We will teach the Slot to 1st arc step. This means to push and pivot off his inside foot and, throw their outside elbow back to open their hips and drop step with their outside foot. We MUST have depth on the Slot’s 1st step to adjust to a hard force player.
- It gives us time to adjust our path. The Slot should take an outside path to win leverage on the force player’s outside number.
Play side Slot (Wing) to a nub, the Slot will arc and block the 1st defender outside of the EMLOS.
Play side Slot (Wing) to same side as a tight aligned WR who is going to crack block will arc to the corner or 1st defender outside the crack block.
BASE RULES for FB and the QB
FB has the easiest job on Rocket. He simply is faking his inside veer path through the butt of the guard away backside of the play.
On boot, FB will do the same thing and then he will slip out into the flats
SPECIAL = We will incorporate the FB play side with the word special. He will cheat up and into the B-Gap. He will arc to the perimeter using the same technique as a Slot/Wing. He will go around the block on the force player and his landmark will be the safety or opposite 1st color he sees.
QB will 1st stagger his play side foot based on the direction of the play to gain depth. If we are running Rocket right, he will have his right foot staggered back. If we go Rocket left, he will stagger left foot back.
QB gets the snap, he will then take a small punch step with his foot that is already staggered back to gain momentum for the toss. When he plants the punch step foot, he will only plant the ball of his foot in the ground and keep air under his foot so that he can pivot.
With 2 hands on the football, the QB will pivot around and lunge into the toss. We want the QB to follow the toss 3 steps before he boots. The lunge and the 3 follow steps puts enough velocity on the toss so the ball doesn’t die. Another key is that the QB should stay low through the lunge which will keep the ball from sailing on you.
The landmark for the TOSS is 1 yard outside of an imaginary TE. We want the ball to be tossed outside and in front of the ball carrier.
Timing wise, the QB should send the Slot/Wing into motion and Do NOT start his cadence until the Slot in motion disappears outside of his peripheral vision.