Quad Option?

Submitted by papabear16 on August 14th, 2008 at 12:29 PM

Looking at some of the video from practice, seeing Carlos Brown pitching the ball, and considering things I've seen RichRod run elsewhere, I wonder if there's a "quad option" in the playbook (this is probably a poor name for it).

What I'm envisioning this this:  Sheridan in the shotgun with split backs, Minor to his left, Brown to this right.  WR split to each side, with Shaw (for example) in the slot to the right.

On the snap, Brown crosses in front of Sheridan in the traditional zone read scheme.  If Sheridan hands to Brown, Brown heads off tackle left, with Minor in position to take a pitch.  This essentially greats a speed option left.

On the other hand, if Sheridan keeps it, Shaw stutters into a slot option position.  So now you have a slot option right.  With the right WR on a curl, slant, or other hot route, you also have a quick pass option for Sheridan should need or opportunity arise.

Maybe I need to get more sleep or play less Xbox, but I think this could be coachable and fundamentally sound. When you think about, the QB has no more reads than he would on a typical zone-read triple option, and Brown only has a simple read - keep or pitch.



August 14th, 2008 at 12:55 PM ^

I think the toughest part would be your offensive line blocking assignments. Shaw having to stutter around and wait to see what Sheridan does will probably also be a pretty big tell to any defender looking at him; which combined with the time it would take Sheridan to make the move with Brown and then run into a position where he could conceivably pitch to Shaw might be too long to keep the defense back. I'm not saying it couldn't work, but it might be tough to pull off with any type of regularity.


August 14th, 2008 at 1:05 PM ^

I never noticed Sparty running this, but i guess that would be where I got it.  That, or too much NCAA '08.  Dex, the slot option is actually done fairly often by a lot of spread teams. I've never run it - I was an I and wishbone QB in high school - but it apparently is horrific to coach. Since it's often run off of a zone-read look, that half of the play should be fairly straightforward. As to the blocking assignments, they could probably block it just as they would a zone read. The right DE (or DE opposite the RT, which I've never figured out how to identify properly) would be left free for the QB's first read, and the line would block as if it were a zone run left. I'd actually still block the DE across from the LT to give Brown an extra second before he has to make a decision, and then have the LT move up to the second level after releasing the DE to be Brown's read.


August 15th, 2008 at 8:37 AM ^

The RDE lines up on the defense's right side, the LDE lines up on the defense's left side.  If you're playing a static 4-3 front, the RDE lines up opposite of the LT.

Linebackers usually line up on a strong/weak side depending on how the offense is setting up.  Corners and Safeties will change depending on whether or not they're playing zone or man.


August 14th, 2008 at 2:28 PM ^

at any given point, at least 1 of the 4 guys you have on the field is completely useless. If it's handed off to Brown/Minor, then Shaw isn't doing any blocking or drawing off defenders. If the ball is kept, Minor really won't be doing much. I think that's my big problem with it.


August 14th, 2008 at 2:36 PM ^

With 2 RBs and 2 WRs and a slot you only have five lineman. There is no way to block both left and right option looks, just not enough lineman. The only way to run the play is to hope the defense over commits to Brown, leaving (insert QB) and Shaw two on one with the backside DE or OLB.     Hypothetically speaking

Or they get a weakside blitz and everything goes to hell, QB fumbles and blitzing LB scoops and scores.


August 14th, 2008 at 3:22 PM ^

where you're essentially relying on the defense to be out of position for it to work. It might be a nice play, but I don't think it can be an offense (if you know what I mean).


August 14th, 2008 at 3:52 PM ^

I only mean it as a play, not as a complete offense. What I don't understand (Tacopants, for example), is the blocking problem. Help me, if you will.

See, we already know how a typical zone read slot option works. The HB crosses the QB, the QB makes a hand-off-or-keep read on the unblocked DE, and then either the HB runs a zone behind appropriate blocking, or the QB and the slot attack downfield without much blocking support. (In plays like this, misdirection and respect for the HB take the place of much of the downfield blocking for the QB option.)

So, why block the "quad option" any different? The slot option portion stays the same, while the only different with zone portion is the presence of a pitch back.

Also, I agree that there is always someone not blocking, but they are serving a purpose as a decoy. This is definitely a misdirection play, similar to the QB zone-read option out of the split back shotgun.


August 15th, 2008 at 9:26 AM ^

 Ok, on the option, your weakside guard and tackle are pulling.  This is supposed to induce the (QB Read) DE to either chase or stay home.  The slot will either have a LB/C/F/$  lined up on him.  In a normal zone read, this slot tries to block the man in front of him, in reality, he just tries to keep between that guy and the QB..  Defenders on the option are taught to keep the ball out of the pitchman's hands, to force action inside instead of out.  Obviously, when you have a choice to let Sheridan keep it or let Shaw take a pitch, you let Sheridan keep it.  This defender will choose to funnel Sheridan inside, where he'll be creamed by either the Mike LB or the LDE who, remember, are getting "walled" from running towards a Brown/Minor action.  Short of holding, the OL wont be able to stop them from reversing.

That's the inherent risk in this play, I bet that this year the Zone Option won't be successful because opposing DCs will just have their DEs crash and pursue the RBs, forcing Sheridan to keep it.  Since Sheridan is not Pat White or Vince Young, he will most likely get need to be scraped from the ground after a couple of tries.

That's the main issue with your #3 and #4 options.  At your point of attack, you will not have more offensive players blocking than defensive players attacking.  The only help *might* be your WR slapfighting the C, and if he's a bad blocker, then you're double screwed.  The guy covering Shaw is free, and will effectively stop this play from ever getting off the ground.

The issue with the first half of the play gsimmons covered.


August 14th, 2008 at 6:04 PM ^

among other problems, this play would take forever to develop. considering how many unblocked guys you're leaving, you're gonna have a convention in your backfield before any of your bells and whistles get moving


August 14th, 2008 at 11:17 PM ^

taking a handoff, rolling over the football, and then getting your eyes on your pitch key, while moving the ball into a pitch postion technique in your hands is a lot to do in a split second. Lots of teams run sink options with slots, and lots of people (wing-T) use double handoffs in the tackle box. There is a reason why the two arent used together however... The read option, sink option, pass option has been used all together however, so i guess that is your Quadruple option.