Defending The Flex Bone


Today I want to talk about defending the base flex bone offense from your base 425 package.  We will be looking at the standard double wing version of the flex bone offense, and the most basic runs from it.  The key here is playing it from your basic defensive package that will not require a ton of changes or adjustments.  The key to remember is you may only have 2-3 full days to prepare for it.  With that being said you cannot ask your kids to try and play something new in 3 days.  You have to have a system that can adapt and adjust to that offense.  We will look at how we use our 425 to defend the basic concepts of the flex bone offense.  It will only cover the basic concepts of the flex bone, and i know there will be some flex bone fans that will insist there is much more to the offense and i admit there definitely is.  If you watch a fine tuned Georgia Tech, Navy, or Air Force offense it is a nightmare to defend.  I want to look at defending the simplest forms of the Veer, Midline, Rocket Toss and Counter play.

The biggest thing to understand is staying with your base system of playing defense.  Do not try and become something you are not.  Figure out a way to play what you play all the time with "MINOR" wrinkles and adjustments.  This will allow your kids to play fast with confidence, and allow you to continue to grow throughout the season.  If you try to change what you do for one week it will slow your players down and slow down the development of the defensive scheme.  When playing against an option style offense assignments and keys will be the biggest challenge for the week.  Making sure guys know where they fit vs. option schemes is a huge deal.  An even bigger deal is keeping it simple so the fits and assignments stay the same.  Trying to play the veer or midline plays 4 different ways may seem intriguing but it confuses players.  Letting your players play to their comfort level with speed and aggression is your safest bet.  With that said there will be some wrinkles but they are minor adjustments.

What we do is we play an 8 man front with the FS letting the motion of the wings dictate our read side which becomes our quarters coverage side.  Both corners will play aggressive man so the motions do not affect them.  The motion sets the read side for the FS.  In essence when a flex bone team runs orbit or pick up motion it becomes a 2 back set.  If they run a bunch of plays without motion it puts you in a one high concept but it also limits the numbers they can create with motion as well.  We played the veer option play with simple rules.  The ends try to eliminate the dive, the ILB'S run over the top to the QB, the down safeties play the pitch, and the FS runs the Alley playing QB to pitch.  If we use any stunts we send dlineman underneath so they still have dive responsibility and ILB'S still have QB.  We stay away from exotic movements that change the option fits.  We like the inside LB'S on the QB because in Florida the offensive lineman cannot cut LB'S so they have a hard time getting to LB'S running over the top to the QB.  With that said your LB's have to know what they are looking at and looking for because if they hesitate they will get blocked.  If the wings try to block the ILB then the FS must play the QB in the alley.  The midline play will be played differently but in a similar theory.  We like our dlineman tackling the dive and our LB'S on the QB with help.  Normally there will be some sort of fold block by a wing so we can get an extra body on the midline if our down safety can fold when the wing folds.  This involves tremendous eye discipline from the down safeties because the play may look similar to the veer option.  The ends will be C gap players because they normally get base blocks by the offensive tackles.

All of these things can be very hard to explain in writing so I hope you can watch the 40 minute YouTube video which will go through defending the veer, midline, rocket toss, and counter plays.  It will talk about the coverage we use and the option fits.  I hope this helps. Keep Playing Fast.