Spread Option Offense Part 1

gtg936g

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,039
I have always (and still do) strive to become a more knowledgeable football fan each year. I feel many here share the same desire, so I thought I would post some of the things I have learned about the offense, in the hopes that others would learn some of what we do. I would consider myself still a novice when it comes to offensive football, so I want to continue to learn and I hope the discussions here will help me as well. The information contained here is mostly available online, with the exception of a few basic diagrams that are from a playbook I obtained a few years back. As you can tell the print quality is not great in some of the attachments.

The Base Formation:The offensive linemen line up in a three point stance, with the facemask of each lineman aligned with the Center's waist. Our splits (gaps between linemen) are typically 3' apart. The wide splits are necessary for creating lanes that facilitate runs. The diagram below shows our backs 3' off the offensive tackle positions. This spacing is evolving with new blocking rules that limit when cut blocking can be used. In some cases the backs are lined up behind the tackles.

upload_2014-1-11_16-2-39.png


Defensive Gaps and Techniques:
upload_2014-1-11_17-20-19.png

Blocking Definitions (note we do not just cut):

upload_2014-1-11_17-25-10.png

The Triple Option Play:
This play gets associated with our whole offense. It is an important part of our offense, but contrary to popular belief this is not the only play we run. Let's look at the Triple option play against a typical 3-4 defense.

Step by Step:
At the snap of the ball the DE(#2) is intentionally unblocked. The QB is going to put the ball in the belly of the fullback (B Back in CPJs offense), and look at the body of the DE and ask himself if #2 can tackle the fullback. If the QB decides he cannot the QB hands the ball off. If the QB decides #2 is going to tackle the fullback, he pulls the ball out, and runs toward #3. The QB looks at the body of #3 (the linebacker in this case), and has to decide if #3 can tackle him. If #3 can tackle the QB he pitches the ball to the halfback.

upload_2014-1-11_16-29-45.png

The Rocket Toss:
This is another staple of our offense, and a complement to the base triple option play. There are no reads in this play, but it is often a very effective play against an aggressive defense. When the triple option play or several inside run plays have been called the defense will usually get aggressive and blitz the gaps on the side toward the halfback motion. The intent here is to overwhelm one side of the offensive line, and stop the fullback at the line, or confuse the QB into keeping the ball and taking a sack. This play is often called when an inside linebacker is making the tackle on the fullback.

Step by Step:
The QB will take the ball and immediately pitch the ball to the halfback in motion. The intent is to get the ball to the perimeter ASAP.

Rocket TOSS.jpg
 

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daBuzz

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
965
Thanks for the post.

I have a couple of friends who are football coaches and they unanimously said that Tech doesn't really run a spread. That we like to call it a spread to keep it from being called what it really is...a veer offense. To them, a true spread offense will line up with the 2 slot backs farther outside the hash marks for the majority of the plays run, to "spread" the defense.

There are some really interesting videos and analysis info pieces by Chip Kelly if you're interested.
Understanding the Oregon Offense Series
(Interestingly enough, the 4th Tutorial in that series is how they run their version of the Triple Option.

Smart Football on Chip Kelly

Grantland on Chip Kelly
This article is one of the places where I've seen Kelly explains why he splits his receivers so wide:
"We spread the defense so they will declare their defensive look for the offensive linemen," Kelly explained at that same clinic. "The more offensive personnel we put in the box, the more defenders the defense will put in there, and it becomes a cluttered mess." Twenty years ago, Kelly's high school coach ran the unbalanced, two–tight end power-I, so he could execute old-school, fundamental football and run the ball down his opponent's throat. Today, Kelly spreads the defense and operates out of an up-tempo no-huddle so he can do the exact same thing.

Good article on Kelly's background
 

gtg936g

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,039
We really do run the Veer IMO most of the time. I just called it spread option because there are some spread concepts that I want to get to later.
 

ATL1

Helluva Engineer
Messages
7,377
I agree its not a spread. I'm not sure why its called a spread option.

I always like X & O post
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Beat me to it. If your base formation has 9 players within 6 yards of the center, it is not a spread. We dictate that the defense put at least 8 in the box on most plays. That is the opposite of a spread offense. Freeze frame right before the ball is snapped and we are in an I formation, and the A back that does not go in motion becomes the defacto TE.

I think the whole spread option thing came from our fans wanting to feel like this offense was trendy and keeping up with the times.
 

gtg936g

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,039
If you research the spread concept, there is a disagreement on what it means. CPJ would probably say the spread refers to the split/wr spacing.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Spread refers to spreading the defense out across the field using you skill players, not across the DLine. In turn pulling defenders out of the box so you can run underneath them. CPJ would be the only coach in college football to believe that OLine spacing = a spread.
 

Squints

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,035
Spread refers to spreading the defense out across the field using you skill players, not across the DLine. In turn pulling defenders out of the box so you can run underneath them. CPJ would be the only coach in college football to believe that OLine spacing = a spread.

I would think that depends on how you define "spread." I've always interpreted it as forcing a defense to spread out and defend the whole field on every play. Formations, play calls, concepts, whatever doesn't matter how you do it just that you do it. If you go by that definition we definitely have some spread concepts.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
I would think that depends on how you define "spread." I've always interpreted it as forcing a defense to spread out and defend the whole field on every play. Formations, play calls, concepts, whatever doesn't matter how you do it just that you do it. If you go by that definition we definitely have some spread concepts.

By that definition, every offense in the history of football is a spread. Trust me CPJ's offense is not a spread.
 

gtg936g

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,039
By that definition, every offense in the history of football is a spread. Trust me CPJ's offense is not a spread.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spread_offense

Perhaps the most extreme example is the spread option used by Paul Johnson's Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets which runs about 2/3 of the time and typically uses two wide receivers, two slot backs (known as A-backs) and a fullback (known as a B-Back) out of a formation known as theFlexbone Formation. The offense often uses motion by the slot-back to create a numbers advantage where the offense will have more players than the defense on the play side. The results speak for themselves, as Georgia Tech's rushing attack consistently ranks at the top of the nation in rushing yards and plays over 20 yards. Despite not throwing often enough to qualify for NCAA official statistics, Georgia Tech's offense also ranks high in Passing Efficiency due to the high passing yards per attempt.
 

AE 87

Helluva Engineer
Messages
12,967
Base formation is a 4rx set with wide splits on the OL and wrs really wide. We use it to stress the D with an option game rather than passing primarily, but it does use a lot of spread concepts. It seems pretty petty to me to argue that it's not a spread.
 

Squints

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,035
By that definition, every offense in the history of football is a spread.

Well to be honest I don't necessarily agree with that statement.

But I don't think I was clear on what I meant. What I was meaning to point out the concepts that the offense uses to force the defense to defend the entire field is what makes it a spread. Not just that it does that.

Trust me CPJ's offense is not a spread.

You gotta show me why I should just trust you because a lot of the research I've done and articles I've read say otherwise.
 

gtg936g

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,039
This is one of the spread elements in our offense. This was used in 08, and it was part of the Southern offense from the 90s. It is a play action read off the corner. Notice the strong safety alignment in the alley making a total of 8 defenders in the box. When we ran it in 08 the A back went in motion, then reversed, and ran the route outlined. The Will never turned to follow the Aback, just continued to flow to the presumed play side.

upload_2014-1-11_20-25-46.png
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
You gotta show me why I should just trust you because a lot of the research I've done and articles I've read say otherwise.[/quote said:
I'm an ex football coach. Used to run a little veer out of the flexbone as a package. Ran some spread stuff as well. There is a huge difference.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
This is one of the spread elements in our offense. This was used in 08, and it was part of the Southern offense from the 90s. It is a play action read off the corner. Notice the strong safety alignment in the alley making a total of 8 defenders in the box. When we ran it in 08 the A back went in motion, then reversed, and ran the route outlined. The Will never turned to follow the Aback, just continued to flow to the presumed play side.

View attachment 116

That's a post wheel, and it's been around forever. You can run that out of a Wing-T. Not spread.
 

gtg936g

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,039
That's a post wheel, and it's been around forever. You can run that out of a Wing-T. Not spread.

Post some formations in comparison along with a definition of what you call a spread, and why those concepts are not present in our offense. You and I have differing thoughts on the basic concept. I am not trying to be argumentative, I am just having trouble understanding where you are coming from.
 

nodawgs

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
366
Post some formations in comparison along with a definition of what you call a spread, and why those concepts are not present in our offense. You and I have differing thoughts on the basic concept. I am not trying to be argumentative, I am just having trouble understanding where you are coming from.

Not being argumentative either, and I see where the confusion comes in. Basically even a standard I formation can have 5 players go out into pass patterns anywhere on the field. All offenses use the whole field through plays. Spread refers to the formations that an offense uses the majority of the time. Ask yourself if the base formations spread the whole defense out pre-snap. The purpose is to force you to play a zone and then overload the zone with route combos. If the defense tries to play man, you run rub routes to get your WRs open. You run those until the defense gets tired of getting picked and go back to exploiting the zone.

Different spread offenses use different plays. There are however passing concepts that are shared throughout most every offense. Our passing game is more of a Prostyle isolation and timing passing game. CPJ wants man coverage, and gets it through the defense having to cheat defenders in to stop the run. Spread teams want zone. Zone defense also gives you better numbers in the box to run 1 back running plays.
 

jwsavhGT

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
4,361
Location
Savannah,GA
I have always (and still do) strive to become a more knowledgeable football fan each year. I feel many here share the same desire, so I thought I would post some of the things I have learned about the offense, in the hopes that others would learn some of what we do. I would consider myself still a novice when it comes to offensive football, so I want to continue to learn and I hope the discussions here will help me as well. The information contained here is mostly available online, with the exception of a few basic diagrams that are from a playbook I obtained a few years back. As you can tell the print quality is not great in some of the attachments.

The Base Formation:The offensive linemen line up in a three point stance, with the facemask of each lineman aligned with the Center's waist. Our splits (gaps between linemen) are typically 3' apart. The wide splits are necessary for creating lanes that facilitate runs. The diagram below shows our backs 3' off the offensive tackle positions. This spacing is evolving with new blocking rules that limit when cut blocking can be used. In some cases the backs are lined up behind the tackles.

View attachment 109

Defensive Gaps and Techniques:
View attachment 112
Blocking Definitions (note we do not just cut):

View attachment 113
The Triple Option Play:
This play gets associated with our whole offense. It is an important part of our offense, but contrary to popular belief this is not the only play we run. Let's look at the Triple option play against a typical 3-4 defense.

Step by Step:
At the snap of the ball the DE(#2) is intentionally unblocked. The QB is going to put the ball in the belly of the fullback (B Back in CPJs offense), and look at the body of the DE and ask himself if #2 can tackle the fullback. If the QB decides he cannot the QB hands the ball off. If the QB decides #2 is going to tackle the fullback, he pulls the ball out, and runs toward #3. The QB looks at the body of #3 (the linebacker in this case), and has to decide if #3 can tackle him. If #3 can tackle the QB he pitches the ball to the halfback.

View attachment 110
The Rocket Toss:
This is another staple of our offense, and a complement to the base triple option play. There are no reads in this play, but it is often a very effective play against an aggressive defense. When the triple option play or several inside run plays have been called the defense will usually get aggressive and blitz the gaps on the side toward the halfback motion. The intent here is to overwhelm one side of the offensive line, and stop the fullback at the line, or confuse the QB into keeping the ball and taking a sack. This play is often called when an inside linebacker is making the tackle on the fullback.

Step by Step:
The QB will take the ball and immediately pitch the ball to the halfback in motion. The intent is to get the ball to the perimeter ASAP.

View attachment 114

Thanks for the post. It helps me to understand what ya'll talk about without me having to ask.
 
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