Post #2 Guest Blog: Complimentary Runs/Non-Option Runs the Santo Way by Tayler Jones
BIO & BACKGROUND ON OUR GUEST BLOGGER, TAYLER JONES:
This is my 10th year coaching overall. I began my coaching career as a student coach at (DIII) Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. In my last year there we began running the Flexbone Triple Option Offense. After my time at HPU I was hired to teach and coach at Santo High School in Santo Texas and have been here ever since. All while running the Flexbone offense. We are the smallest classification of 11 man football in Texas with an enrollment of 147 kids in our school. In a program that had only made the playoffs three times in its existence, we have done so every years since 2014 and advanced past the first round in four of the last five.
Big 5 Complimentary Plays
Before I begin, I’d like to thank Matt for inviting me to share with you guys how we operate offensively at Santo High School. Furthermore, I’d also like to thank him for reviving this blog. I know I speak for all readers when I say it serves as an excellent resource for option coaches across the country. In this article I will share the plays we used this year to compliment our big 5. I will also share when we run them, how we run them, and why. Nothing we do at Santo is original. We have borrowed techniques and plays from other coaches and programs over the years and molded them to fit our program. It is my hope that with this article you can take something from us at Santo and apply it to your offensive attack.
Prior to telling you about our complimentary plays we need to talk about our Big 5. These five plays never change and serve as the lifeblood of our flexbone system. These 5 are our identity. We used to throw as much as possible at our kids during the season and see what stuck. What we’d typically end up with is a offensive unit that ran a multitude of different plays, but was not great at any of it. This year we decided we were not going to add anything until these 5 were perfect.
Our Big 5 consist of:
If at the end of the year one of these five plays is not (A. one of our top five run plays or (B. over 50% +4 efficiency, then we have some serious issues. We have had this happen in the past. As a matter of fact this previous season was the first time in 7 years all of our Big 5 plays were executed with efficiency. We truly believe as a staff it is because what I mentioned above. We put kids in a better position to be successful.
Our philosophy on complimentary plays could not be anymore different than it is for our Big 5. As stated earlier, Big 5 will never change. We make improvements as needed, but they are the foundation of our offense. Complimentary plays change year to year based on personnel and how defense’s are playing to stop our Big 5. We even changed complimentary plays during the season due to lack of execution. The important thing to be cognizant of when adding complimentary plays is the amount of practice time they will take to execute. If they take away from the Big 5, then I’d advise you to find something a little less expensive.
This year our complimentary plays consisted of:
Jet Sweep (48/49 Solid)
The Jet Sweep was our number one complimentary play. However, we didn't start running it until about 5 games into our season. Because of this we feel we are still in the elementary stages of this concept. Our offseason will consist of a lot of talks about the jet. We ran it 32 times for 348 yards and 5 touchdowns. It’s +4 percentage was 57%.
Rules for Offensive Line:
Center: Toss Rules
PSG: Toss Rules - Pull and wrap where you see daylight. Have eyes inside.
PST: “Solid” tag - Block #1
Rules for Skill Players:
At the snap work flat down the line.
Take the handoff from the QB and read the block of the PSA.
If he kicks, get North and South now! Once to the second level work hash-number-sideline.
If he wraps “hit the 200” - gain depth and curve like running the 200m in track. Get outside of everything.
Fake midline opposite of the play call, unless tagged otherwise.
Slide and square to carry defenders away from play direction.
Take midline steps facing the ball carrier.
See the ball into the belly of the BSA.
Block most dangerous (typically #2 unless we crack with receiver) - Wrap unless he crosses your plain.
*We kicked 99% of the time based off of defenses alignment to stop Rocket.
Stalk the corner unless we align in Flex
If in Flex - Work to safety unless you hear a crack tag.
Our Rocket toss, as is with most flexbone teams, is absolutely deadly. It is the #1 play opposing teams fear when we play them. In years past teams were able to take away our ability to attack the perimeter by simply widening their force player. We teach our A-Backs on toss to “catch it, stretch it, & duck it”. A phrase we learned from Kenny Wheaton at Harding University. The entire philosophy behind this play is to stretch the defense horizontally and hit the vertical crease. This was great for us, but the issue became not being able to “duck it” soon enough because of the alignment and aggressive play of the force player. The vertical crease was essentially inside of where we were catching the toss. Jet sweep soon became our answer.
A typical adjustment for Rocket toss when we cannot get to the perimeter is to align in Flex and crack the force player. Well, defensive coaches are smart too! Opponents have started to align their force player outside of our Flexed receiver. There is now an immediate bubble on the edge of the formation that we can take advantage of. We felt the fastest way for us to attack that bubble is with Jet Sweep. Outside Veer would be another great answer to this problem, and we use it often. This year we had a All-State A-Back who could score at the drop of a hat, so we opted for jet sweep more in this situation.
We do not use pre-snap motion when running jet sweep. The big reason why is we want to give our ball carrier enough space react to the block of the A-back. I know a lot of teams use motion and it works great for them. However, we feel if we were to use motion it would hit just as fast as rocket and we’d have the same problem of not being able react fast enough to the block of the PSA; resulting in us out running the vertical crease.
As stated above we run jet sweep when we need to attack the perimeter and the force player is aligned to take away rocket toss.
An issue we ran into in one game this year was the opponent found our B gap run-through and we did not have an answer. We are looking at way to fix this issue during the off-season.
Another issue that we saw was the jet is one of the only plays we have that does not contain pre snap motion. To break tendency we added false orbit motion and sent the B-back to kick most dangerous player.
Outside Veer (14/15)
2017 was the first time we fully committed to running outside veer efficiently. We ran it the traditional way with everyone blocking down, b-back aiming for the inside leg of the tackle, & quarterback working down the LOS to the mesh. It was good to us and was our #1 play overall in 2017. However, we did not feel completely comfortable with our technique; more importantly the kids did not feel comfortable either. That paired with personnel changes due to graduation we needed to go back to the drawing board with the main focus being to make it easier for our kids to execute. What we decided on made this play incredibly similar to Inside Veer. We had actually partially ran it this way in 2016. I say partially because we did not take the time to solidify rules for the PSA. It hurt my confidence in the play which is why we went to the traditional version in 2017. We felt as a staff to fully grasp what we were trying to accomplish with this play we had to start completely over. Because of this we were able to, for a lack of better terms, reinvent our 2016 version and make it a solid play. Our kids were comfortable, it was easy to execute and provided a sufficient answer to a problem. This year outside veer was our #1 complimentary play the first 5 games of the season. We ran it 30 times for 200 yards and 1 touchdown. It’s +4 rating was also 57%.
Outside Veer Option Count:
First man outside of the playside tackle
First man stacked to outside of #1, UNLESS we tag Dallas
If Dallas is tagged we will pitch off of who shows, typically will be a safety.
Safety, UNLESS we tag Dallas
Dallas tells PSA to load the PSLB
We tag Dallas to account for PSLB’s alignment and technique
Rules for Offensive Line:
Center: Base to Chase
PSG: Tag (Tag = combo the b gap player with PST)
The PSG will take over
We consider a 3 technique or a 4i a b gap player
PST: Tag (Tag = combo the b gap player with PST)
The PST will deliver to the PSG and work to 2nd level
Rules for Skill Players:
Inside Veer Rules
1st step at the hands of the b-back, 2nd step at the hands, 3rd step at the heels of the b-back.
Same path as Inside Veer
On his 4th step the b-back will “Slide & Square”.
Another good term for this is “Y-off”. I had heard about this about 5 years ago and never understood what it truly meant until I learned it in great detail from Tony Rodriguez at 3phasefootball.
It is crucial that your B-back does not slide & square or y-off while in the mesh!
Same steps as Inside Veer
Take up ½ of the A-gap
Get eyes on #1 now!
If pull - push off the collision and replace #1
We never teach our QB to attack or work to the pitch player, it allows the defense to string us out.
We teach to get vertical and keep, unless you lose inside leverage.
Inside Veer Rules
Arc to #3
If tagged Dallas
Load play-side inside linebacker
* We tagged Dallas most of the time
*We will run this to both 2 man and 3 man surfaces.
There are many reason why we run Outside Veer, however I will give you the 3 big reasons that come to mind.
We cannot handle a 3 technique when running Inside Veer. When we cannot handle a 3 technique our first adjustment is to run the Midline and read him. However, in doing so we lose our pitch phase, unless we call Mid-Triple.
We are struggling in the pitch phase when running Mid-Triple. Due to the pitch phase of Mid-Triple happening so much faster than inside or outside veer we tend to struggle with execution earlier in the season. Outside Veer allows us to adjust to handle the b gap player without losing our pitch phase. As the season progressed we began to execute our pitch phase more and more, so we called outside veer less and less.
When playing an odd front with a 3 technique or a 4i, and the overhang player is being overly aggressive to stop the pitch. This player has been taught all week that he is the pitch player, so we make him the dive key and run underneath him. It allows us to take advantage of that bubble, without abandoning our pitch phase.
Cannot handle a 3 technique on Inside Veer.
4i is creating mesh issues.
Struggling to execute pitch phase on Mid-Triple.
The dive key is the overhang player and is responsible for the pitch.
When to tag Dallas:
If the PSLB is making the play on the B-Back.
Counter ISO (22/23 Counter)
Counter ISO is a play that we repped a lot in fall camp, but as we got into the season teams were not keying our B-back as much as previous years so we did call it as much as we anticipated. Even though we were not getting the reaction we wanted by the defense we should have ran this play more due to its high +4 efficiency percentage, and as stated earlier, All-State A-back. The base way we run this play our A-Back will get the ball, however we can tag it to where our Quarterback is the ball carrier. We also have a tag to send our B-back play-side and it now becomes a double iso play. We ran Counter ISO 14 times for 68 yards. It’s +4 percentage was 71%.
Rules for Offensive Line:
Center: Base to Rev Ace (Rev Ace = combo the backside a gap player with BSG)
PSG: 1st man outside of the center
Take him where he wants to go
PSG: 2nd man outside of the center
Block him out
Rules for Skill Players:
At the snap run to the heels of the B-back then get downhill
Take the handoff and follow the PSA
Run Inside Veer opposite of the play call
Slide & Square to pull defenders away from the ball
Take Inside Veer steps opposite of the play call
Get the A-Back the ball as deep as possible
Leave on the “S” in set - Get two steps in the ground after the ball is snapped
Run your hands, open towards the LOS, and find the open gap
If PSG blocks down fit in the b gap
If PSG blocks out fit in the a gap
Block fold player
The reason we run this play is to take advantage of the Mike or BSLB making the play on the B-back when running Inside Veer and Zone Dive.
An issue we faced while running this play was as the year went on is we did not spend as much time practicing it as we had earlier in the year. The lack of preparation showed up on film as the season progressed. Our aiming point by our A-backs was off, as was the timing by our Quarterback.
Lastly, the most important thing I will leave you with as I end this article is make sure your complimentary plays serve a purpose. It’s easy to get lost in the plays we see on TV. I more than anyone have been guilty of this and it hurt us offensively. Make sure what you do has a purpose, make sure you can practice it without taking away from the Big 5, and most of all, make sure it builds on your athletes skillset. If that is all you take from this article then it was worth your time.
I appreciate being able to share with you our complimentary plays and I hope there is something in this article you can use to improve your offense. If nothing else, I hope it reaffirms what you already do. Feel free to contact us at Santo ISD anytime. We have a great coaching staff here and we love to talk football. Good luck to you as you attack the off-season. Go Cats, ETS!