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Milehighmagoo
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February 18, 2017 8:31 pm  

I'm guessing whatever option it is is a designed call by the coach. But what is the simplest option play? The first one you would teach if you were teaching it to 8 year olds? Any formation.


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DumCoach
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February 19, 2017 1:33 am  

I'm guessing whatever option it is is a designed call by the coach. But what is the simplest option play? The first one you would teach if you were teaching it to 8 year olds? Any formation.

A designed sideline call is pretty simple.  My DC Wing T (free on this site) is probably the most youth friendly option in football.  It's this way for four reasons:

1) The formation itself lends itself extremely well to option.
2) I use a "belly" base which is very friendly to option
3) You're reading the same defender from sideline whether running option or not. 
4) Simple play calling system

The formation:  To me, option is all about gaining 5 yards inside and at least 6 yards outside.  The inside play (dive) is the hardest to coach at upper levels of play because of the "FB ride".  Using an FB (such as wishbone) as the dive back produces a long ride.  This means the QB is holding out the football into the FB's pouch for as long as possible while he reads the DT.  My DCWT uses a "quick hit" instead which requires no ride at all.  The QB just hands off period (See "33 Quick Trap" in my playbook).  There's no read.  Why? A quick hit happens faster than a DT can think.   No need to read him.  Just run right by him.  It's 4 yards every time.  Now I mentioned you're supposed to get 5 yards, not 4.  You can get more than 4 yards but to do so you actually have to block somebody.  You can teach this 4 yard play in about two minutes.  QB runs fake option pitch after the handoff.

Belly Base: My DCWT uses an SE - a great spot for an MPP player (and he can actually get the ball.  He's not out there just to walk the corner off.).  To the SE side you run inside veer.  To the TE side you run outside veer.  This is pretty much the holy bible for old school option.  It all looks the same.

Coach's Sideline Read:  You're watching the near DE from the sideline, playside DE if you're on the field.  DCWT pretty much only blocks a DE on pass.  He's been told to contain sweep and reverse and plays wide and often goes straight upfield.  You just keep handing off on dive runs inside him and without blocking him.  Drives him nuts.  Meanwhile, you now have an extra blocker downfield on the dive.  You're getting 4 yards minimum.  Finally, the DE can't stand it anymore seeing that dive back run right by him and goes inside and makes the tackle.  Ta-Dah!  He's the hero.  He might even get high fived.  And you watched him do it.  Guess what he's going to next play?  That's right.  He's going inside again.  And now you're going outside, faking the dive and QB goes outside with a pitchman.  DE just gets burned! He's now getting chewed out by his coach and guess what?  You watched it happen.  So now you go back to handing off inside him again.  He watches that runner go right by him and, again, no one blocked him.  Small mind is now at work.  He can get that guy.  He knows he can!  So he does.  He goes inside and makes the tackle again.  High fives all around.  And again you watched it.  Guess what he's going to do next play?  Guess what you're going to call?  Guess what his coach does to him at the end of that play?

This kid will finish the game in tears.

Just watch the playside DE.  Bait him to take the inside rush.  He'll do it.  He should do it about four times a game and you should rip off big gains. 

Play Call:  DCWT uses a simple play calling system that lets you run a lot of plays.  But option is really simple.  Just say "Option".  That tells the FB to lead block the corner and the QB to pitch off the DE.  The FB will truck that corner into next week.  Total blocking mismatch.  Near safety and near LBer are both blocked and probably backside too.   

You should know 8 year old QB's are not very good at reading.  They'll pitch every time.  That's okay.  You want him to pitch because that's what he should do versus a crashing DE.  And you already know he's going to crash.  So - Yes.  You did it by call.  Nobody knows your QB didn't read anybody.  You probably only went outside and pitched four times in the entire game but you probably have 100 yards on those four plays.  By keeping down the number of pitch plays you keep down the number of fumbles (I've never had a pitch fumbled but you might.).

Again, my free manual covers it in my DCWT forum.  It's posted as a "sticky".  I also have a pro filmed install DVD for option that's only $ 30.  It will teach you everything  from ride to pitch. 

Your coaching focus will be 1) Turning the easy 4 yards into 5 and 2) proper pitch (no fumbles).  You also want good gear for your QB (rib protection).  Have a backup QB ready.  The starter may get sick or be out of town.  It's a guarantee that if you don't have a backup you'll need one.  Likewise, it's almost a guarantee if you have one you'll never need him. 

"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."


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Milehighmagoo
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February 19, 2017 3:21 am  

Great answer. Thanks!


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Michael
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February 19, 2017 10:07 am  

I ran wishbone with seven-year-olds with three plays (FB dive, QB bootleg, and HB sweep) and it worked great.

I'm sure I could have gotten most, or all, of the way toward a dive read and/or a pitch read by the end of the next season if I'd wanted to.

They were all really sharp and really athletic.  We scored a lot of points.  And the QB was a maestro, which is not to say the A team wanted him. or any of them, for that matter, in the summer.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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Bob Goodman
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February 19, 2017 10:38 am  

I'm guessing whatever option it is is a designed call by the coach.

Then that's not an option, is it?  Were you just making a joke?

But what is the simplest option play? The first one you would teach if you were teaching it to 8 year olds? Any formation.

That's an actual option?  I've discussed one here I'd like to introduce to I formation, though I've never seen it: QB midline steps, rides the FB, and they hit the opposite A gaps.  In other words, they don't cross paths after the mesh.  There's no option to pitch to the TB, but he fakes as for a pitch play.


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ZACH
 ZACH
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February 20, 2017 6:10 am  

The easiest option in my opinion is throw or run. Very contrary to the previous. But let me explain.

Every kid plays backyard football and understands sacks are bad, incompletes are bad, and interceptions are bad. So if youre the qb playing backyard football youre going to complete the safer passes or run.

Now you get qb in organized form...and you tellem throw or run. Hes already practiced this all summer.

No one is running triple, zone read, or load option in the backyard.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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MHcoach
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February 20, 2017 8:14 am  

The easiest option in my opinion is throw or run. Very contrary to the previous. But let me explain.Being quite literal you are correct, but I don't think that's where he was going. Sprint RPO's are always good at 8.

Every kid plays backyard football and understands sacks are bad, incompletes are bad, and interceptions are bad. So if youre the qb playing backyard football youre going to complete the safer passes or run.

Now you get qb in organized form...and you tellem throw or run. Hes already practiced this all summer.

No one is running triple, zone read, or load option in the backyard.No they are front yard plays!

I recently saw a 10 y/o team that ran Pistol Midline, they executed very well. I think keeping it to 2 options at that age is appropriate.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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ZACH
 ZACH
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February 20, 2017 8:31 am  

I recently saw a 10 y/o team that ran Pistol Midline, they executed very well. I think keeping it to 2 options at that age is appropriate.

Joe

I could've been to literal

But technically correct...tellin ya...that polecat booked changed my view on a lot

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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MHcoach
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February 20, 2017 9:07 am  

Z

I read that book in the very early eighty's. A few years later seeing Coach Davis really changed things for me. I went from running the ball better than 80% of the time to throwing 50%.

There is a lot of good stuff out there to learn.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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flexbone
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February 20, 2017 12:15 pm  

I assume you both are talking about the RnS book

Can you both elaborate on how it changed your view? I am still a firm believer in running the ball, Joe, how did your mindset change to 50% throw?


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ZACH
 ZACH
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February 20, 2017 12:23 pm  

I assume you both are talking about the RnS book

Can you both elaborate on how it changed your view? I am still a firm believer in running the ball, Joe, how did your mindset change to 50% throw?

Major points for me i specifically qouted that can be used for anyone at any level.

1. "One major change we would make ... give the offensive unit one hundred of its practice time, and the defensive group the same for defense.  We would select the 11 best boys for the offensive unit and the second best from the defensive unit, feeling that in the time the second best boys would be able to do a better job on defense than the number one offensive group with only a fraction spent on defense" - Tiger Ellison

2."We concluded that fun football leads to optimistic football which proceeds into positive football that gives birth to winning football" - Tiger Ellison 

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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MHcoach
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February 20, 2017 12:55 pm  

I assume you both are talking about the RnS book

Can you both elaborate on how it changed your view? I am still a firm believer in running the ball, Joe, how did your mindset change to 50% throw?

Flex

We threw the ball sparingly when we were a Power I team. We were very successful, coaching 16's i had a run of 11 state championships over 13 years. I also had a NC thrown in for good measure. About my third year into the run I saw Coach Mouse Davis speak. It was an 8 hour clinic on one play.  I had previously read the Ellison book so I definitely had an interest. Defensively we always very strong defending the run, the pass was our weakness. Then I came to realization our piss poor passing game was the reason.

Coach Davis talked about how even great running teams needed the ability to throw. So, little by little I expanded our passing game. When I started coaching HS, the best HS team I ever saw was an opponent who ran flexbone with a few RnS passing principles. They were amazing as well as impossible to defend. Now, I was really hooked.

I had started running some RnS concepts when we still a Power I team. We ran Go, Switch, & Smash. Simply having 3 concepts allowed us to be very explosive. Of course we really didn't become a good Smash team until we became a Spread team. The same holds true for 4 verts.

So the development took time, as well as a lot of learning. What I have come to understand that makes me believe we need to throw the ball well, is simply to have an answer for 8 & 9 man boxes. We want to run into 6 & 7 man boxes,  by forcing the defense to defend the field we succeed at this.

Here is a great example of why. After I left the HS I am at now our arch rival had beaten us 8 year straight. They played a single high Safety, loaded the box & shut down the run game. I told our HC every time they played 1 high we would throw 4 verts until they stopped. Very first drive we ran 4 verts  twice & scored on the second one. The next drive was one play, 4 verts. We have been beaten them 3 out of the last 4 years & our one loss was 51-49.

In Youth Ball I believe if you can throw the ball 35% to 40% of the time, you can be dynamic on offense. You won't have to face those 9 man boxes & your running game will be better. It used to be run the ball to set up the pass, I believe the opposite to be true. We pass to set up the run. I love to throw on first or second downs.

I hope that gives you an answer.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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flexbone
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February 20, 2017 2:03 pm  

Major points for me i specifically qouted that can be used for anyone at any level.

1. "One major change we would make ... give the offensive unit one hundred of its practice time, and the defensive group the same for defense.  We would select the 11 best boys for the offensive unit and the second best from the defensive unit, feeling that in the time the second best boys would be able to do a better job on defense than the number one offensive group with only a fraction spent on defense" - Tiger Ellison

2."We concluded that fun football leads to optimistic football which proceeds into positive football that gives birth to winning football" - Tiger Ellison

@Zach
Your first point, correct me if I'm wrong, it means to 2-platoon? Put your best 11 on Offense, put your next 11 best on defense?

@Joe

Love the explanation coach. Makes sense. My question for you is, wanting to pass versus executing the pass well. The idea of theory versus executing it out on the field are two very different things. How did you make the transition to make the plays "come to life"? Does it mean less emphasis on the run and more practice time on passing? Also, dedicating/finding/developing the players to have that skill set?

I ask because we had a situation where it was tough to throw the ball because we couldn't pass protect long enough to allow our QB to throw, this kind of throws out whatever scheme we were going to run. We couldn't run either cause the box was loaded.


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MHcoach
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February 20, 2017 2:39 pm  

Flex

I believe either you do things well or not at all. We have to be able to complete our Quick Screens at an 80% rate on air. If not find out why & fix it.

Here's a CP for the PAW concept. When coaching the QB, tell him he has to throw a ball the receiver can catch. Too often young QB's simply throw as far as they can. The other thing is timing, make sure he doesn't hold the ball too long. I noticed from your video your QB often waited about a 1/2 second too long. That's not bad but can be better.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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blockandtackle
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March 1, 2017 8:52 am  

I'm guessing whatever option it is is a designed call by the coach. But what is the simplest option play? The first one you would teach if you were teaching it to 8 year olds? Any formation.

If it's a designed call by the coach, it's not really an option.  That's more of an "influence" play because you're hoping the unblocked defenders are influenced by the option action, which they usually are.

The absolute simplest to teach are double options where the QB has a simple thought process.  A simple speed option comes to mind.  Teach the QB to step back, then attack up into the line off tackle and keep the ball unless the DE comes down.  Then he'll pitch.

The simplest dive option is midline, because the 3 tech is right there.  Step back to clear the cylinder, then either give or go around that 3 tech and get some tough yards yourself.

Zone Read is pretty simple, too, or at least it used to be.  Defenses have learned a bunch of different ways to defend it now

The real devil in option football isn't teaching the reads, but teaching the blocking, ball handling, and getting it consistent.  Everyone has to do his job and do it well.  There are a lot of little details, especially in the OL play and perimeter blocking, that people don't see at first glance.  Not being able to cut block makes it harder than what you see on TV.


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