Thursday, June 17, 2010


There are two factors that should be considered when running the football from the Trips Formation.

How active is the Safety in the run game?

How does the box change? (Most importantly the Linebackers)

Looking at the first two pictures you will see a 4-3 and 3-4 versus a two back formation. Notice the location of the OLBs and the SAFETIES. The Defense may get into a “run mode”. The LBs and Safeties are in a tighter alignment.



When you look at the TRIPS formations, notice the how the defense is horizontally stretched and how the defense rolls toward the TRIPS side. They should be rolling at least 3 defenders to the TRIPS side…if they don’t, you better be running bubble and tunnel screen.



I have four ways to attack the defense. Keep in mind to vary the point of attack to keep the defense on their heels. The automatic was to run Speed Option to the single WR side. The problem is the OLB location. If he is tucked inside then Speed is very good call. If he is outside, then Speed is very bad. So use Speed Option as a check with me call.

Top Run play
1. SPEED OPTION STRONG: attacks the perimeter.
2. INSIDE ZONE READ: attacks the lack of defenders on the weak side.
3. TRAP: attacks the inside.
4. COUNTER: weak side play that brings extra blockers to point of attack.


When running Speed Option the most common mistake is the RB getting too deep in his pitch relationship. Forget teaching pitch relationship is 5 yards wide by 2 yards deep. You need to teach him to get width of 5 yards and TRAIL the QB. I have been teaching this for years and have never been called for illegal forward pass. The other overlooked aspect is the QB pitch. He must step to the RB, stay low and follow the pitch. This helps avoid or absorb contact. Also tell your QB to expect a quick pitch. There may be some blocking problems. First is the #2 WR block on the STRONG SAFETY ($ in the diagram). Often the WR cannot get a square block and ends up blocking the Safety into the play. You need to teach him to J block. 2-3 steps flat down the LOS, THEN up to the Safety. Another solution may be have the #3 WR block him and the #2 WR goes to the Free Safety. The next problem could be if the defense widens the Playside LB. The best solution is to have # 3 WR block the LB and see if the Free Safety runs the alley and make plays.


I like the inside zone read over the traditional zone read because the offense has a numbers advantage. The offense has an equal 3 for 3 blocking. When the Free Safety aligns to the TRIPS side it could result in a big play because there are no defenders past the LBs. A key coaching point for the QB’s footwork is to make sure he gets perpendicular to the LOS to cut the RBs path and forces him to run to A gap.


The Trap is another great inside run and a great way to exploit when the LB start widening to take away Speed Option. The footwork is the same as Inside Zone Read.


The Counter play is excellent…if you have the linemen that are mobile! You may have problems with having the center block back on a wide D lineman technique. This may be answered by having the center pulling and the guard blocking the D lineman. Once you mastered this play, you could add a read call for the QB to read the DE!

Finally you could check to Speed Option to the single WR side.

As always post questions and comments!!


  1. I know it's not what you normally do, but I'd like to see how the blocking on that zone read and trap works with a TE. Also, if the TE was part of the trips set (we call it Trey).

  2. We plan to use some TREY sets too this year, so I can draw it up.
    What Front? and How do they align to the TE?

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