2 Minute Concepts within the Flexbone Offense, Guest Blog, Scott Dieterich
THE HURRY-UP 2-MINUTE OFFENSE IN THE FLEXBONE
As always, I’d like to extend much appreciation to Coach Matt McLeod for his
continued and dedicated work on flexbonenation.com as a tremendous resource of valuable
information for flex bone coaches around the country. This is an excellent website!!
“Hurry-Up” or “2-minute” offense is an offensive concept that I believe many flex
bone coaches tend to really Hope that they never have to use in a game (LOL). I may have
felt the same way earlier in my coaching career, but after having to use hurry-up offense in
some very critical games at critical moments has changed my thoughts on the subject many
years ago. Surprisingly, hurry-up offense has been tremendously successful for us at the
end of a half or at the end of games in terms of resulting in points or at least a chance for
points. I firmly believe that this success has come from us embracing hurry-up situations
and by practicing them often.
Obviously hurry-up offense is a special offensive situation that is not always used
exactly at the 2-minute mark of a half or at the end of a game, but is used at a point during
the game where the offense needs to change their pace in order to have enough time to
move the ball to score a touchdown or a field goal opportunity. Since we are not typically
an “explosive” or “big-play” team, we have felt the need to get into our hurry-up mode
around the 4:30 to 5:00 minute mark of a half depending the needs of our team during a
Most things in football are in a constant state of evolution and that is the case in my
experience at running this offense for many years. I couldn’t have predicted many years
ago that we would have won some critical big-time games because we have been able to
execute well in hurry-up situations. I really can’t give just one reason why this has been the
case for us, but I do believe it’s a combination of reasons that has contributed to our
success with this critical offensive situation; but no reason is more important than the main
reason that we make this situation a priority and work on it several times weekly. I have
also witnessed many teams that weren’t prepared for this situation lose a game that they
would have had a chance to win if their hurry-up offensive procedures were in place.
WAYS TO VIEW HURRY-UP OFFENSE
All coaches, but especially coaches in a run-heavy offense can view this as something
that they “have to practice” at the end of the week or they can view it as a procedure
that is fun & fast to practice and can and will help them win a game. I choose the
View this in terms of how much pressure it puts on the defense – the defense is
geared up to defend an offense that they don’t see very much if at all, and then
during a game, the offense starts to move faster and possibly pass more; this is not
an easy transition for the defense to change modes during the game.
A hurry-up procedure is typically used out of necessity at the end of the 1 st half or at
the end of the game, but it can also be used as a change in tempo at any point during
the game since defenses must commit so much time and effort to defending the flex
bone it can be a great change of pace. I really haven’t used hurry-up offense as a
true tempo change since we are typically trying to control the clock, but I do feel
that it could be a great addition and put pressure on defenses.
KEY TO SUCCESS IN HURRY-UP OFFENSE
1. We view hurry-up offense as a simple change in procedure rather than a change in
offense. This is basically an adjustment in how to get plays called faster and/or work
from the LOS as needed and to understand and work clock situations.
2. Hurry-up offensive procedures will become 2nd nature for the coaches & players the
more they are practiced. Communication and clock awareness will all become
routine & easy on game night if they are practiced often.
3. Run the ball if time and the defense allows; don’t become 1-dimensional. Too often
teams assume that we must start chunking the rock just because time is limited. I
have found that many times the opponent starts to play more 2-deep coverage and
thus allowing us to run the ball – especially into the boundary to work the clock.
4. Run your normal offense - I don’t believe in running an entirely different offense in
hurry-up situations. If you are a flex bone team and in a hurry-up situation you
want to become a “spread offense” and create different protection scenario’s and
limited run game for you team, this can be very difficult! You have to remember
that it may be several games before you actually run hurry-up offense, so it’s tough
for kids to execute something new that they don’t get to use much especially in a
5. Connector Plays are good to have in place for this situation – I previously wrote an
article for flex bone nation about “connector plays” such as screens, draws, & shovels. These are great plays to have on 50-50 run/pass downs or on downs where
the defense is more concerned about a potential pass play and are in a pass rush
mode – these situations occur often in a hurry-up situation.
6. LOS communication must be in place. We have a system of communication through
signals & calls at the line of scrimmage (Visual & Verbal). I don’t believe that
wristband communication is good in this situation since it takes more time to find
and read a play from a wristband than it does to see a signal or hear a call.
7. Coaches & The Sideline controls the clock; Don’t ask the QB to control the clock –
this is much easier to do as coaches and we just communicate our intentions to the
QB. By doing this it’s not important to be going towards the clock at the end of the
half or game.
CRITICAL CLOCK SITUATIONS - REMINDERS & PLAY THOUGHTS FOR THE HURRY-UP OFFENSE
CLOCK PLAY – the most obvious special play in hurry-up offense mode is the
“clock play”. The ability to line up fast & snap & immediately spike the ball into the
ground. Remember that this is a down being used so don’t call this on 4th down!
Also, we don’t line up in a true formation on this play since it’s not necessary, we
just tell all of our skilled guys to align ON THE LOS as fast as possible since you
can have more than 7 players on the LOS. WE ALSO RUN CLOCK PLAY ON 1 ST
SOUND TO SAVE TIME – PLAYERS ARE CALLING THIS OUT AS WE
APPROACH THE LOS. The QB must receive the ball and then spike it forward
into the ground; don’t risk this being a fumble.
HAVE PLAYS READY TO USE TO GET THE BALL OUT OF BOUNDS – It’s
important to have a few plays that have a great chance to get out of bounds and gain
yards as compared to running the clock play. A few plays that we like to have in this
Rocket Toss into the boundary on 1 st sound.
Drop-Back Out route into the boundary with the play side slot running a clear route to hold the inside coverage. This can be a 3-step or 5-step concept.
Double Options into the boundary force the play outside and a great chance to gain yards and still get the clock stopped.
Players must stay in a hurry-up MODE unless we tell them to huddle: All offensive players must assume after each play that we are going to stay at the LOS and call the next play because we don’t want them to have to think about when the clock will stop, continue to run, or re-start on the ready for play whistle. We do want to huddle if the situation allows so our players can settle down and re-group since we are not every down fast tempo team.
BALL-CARRIER RULES: If you have the ball between the numbers then get all the yards that you can; but if you have the ball at or outside of the numbers then get all the yards you can and get out of bounds. It’s the play-caller’s job to know if we can work the middle of the field with the ball or if we need to be working the sidelines.
IMPORTANT CLOCK RULES (NHSF) – Knowing when the clock stops, starts, or stops & then starts are all important for clock management. Here are the main situations that need to be remembered:
Clock Stops for incomplete passes or a run play that goes out of bounds (make sure to watch the official for a true stoppage of the clock here).
Clock Stops on 1 st downs in high school but will start after the ball is set and on the ready for play unless the play went out of bounds.
Clock Stops on penalties but depending on the result of the play and whether the penalty is a dead ball foul or not will determine if the clock will start on the ready for play signal – check with the officials.
Clock Stops on injuries but like a penalty the clock may start depending on the result of the play.
NOTE: Anytime the clock is stopped temporarily but will re-start on the ready for play whistle, we want to have the play called and be over the ball ready to snap it to save every second we can.
CADENCE: If we are running a play with the clock running then we will do our best to run a play that we can run on a 1st Sound Cadence. If we are running a play from the huddle then all our cadence choices are available.
HURRY-UP OFFENSIVE VIDEO:
In the following video, you will see (5) game examples of successful hurry-up/ 2-
minute offensive series versus very good opponents in critical games at critical moments.
Main things to notice are: Normal offensive structure, the attempt to run the football if
possible, ways to kill the clock, the use of connector plays, normal huddling when possible,
the players moving quickly, and mostly working the ball outside of the hashes. I apologize
that the camera doesn’t show the clock more often in this video segments. We all have to
take what we can get.
#1 VIDEO HURRY-UP OFFENSE
The 2nd half of a state semi-final game. We used 2-minute offense and a 2-point
conversion to tie the game and eventually win the game in overtime.
#2 VIDEO HURRY-UP OFFENSE
The 2nd half of a state championship game. We used 2-minute offense after falling
behind with less than 4 minutes to play. We were able to score a touchdown and then hold
on for the win.
#3 VIDEO HURRY-UP OFFENSE
The 2nd half of an opening game vs a defending 5A state championship team. We
used 2-minute offense after falling behind with less than 4 minutes to play. We were able to
score a touchdown but unfortunately were not able to hold on for the win.
#4 VIDEO HURRY-UP OFFENSE
The 2nd half of an early game vs a very talented state championship team. We used
2-minute offense after falling behind with less than 5 minutes to play. We were able to
score a TD and then hold on for the win.
#5 VIDEO HURRY-UP OFFENSE
The 2nd half of a very good play-off team on the road. We never led in this game and
we used hurry-up offense to get into position for a short yardage play to score a walk-off
TD on the game’s final play.
NOTE: THE SCOREBOARD SHOULD READ 20-17 IN FAVOR OF THE VISITORS;
THE HOME SCORE KEEPER WASN’T IN A HURRY TO POST THE FINAL SCORE!
I hope this article has helped you in some small way. I firmly believe that Hurry-Up
offense is an important situation that can help you win a game or least have a chance to win
a game if you give it the attention it deserves when the clock is an issue in a close game.
I appreciate all of you coaches who invest in kids daily. It’s been a pleasure for me
to write this article because it makes me evaluate what we are doing and forces me to
organize my thoughts which makes me a better coach. If I can ever do anything to help you
along these lines please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Scott Dieterich (Deter)
Flex Bone Offense
Baton Rouge, La.