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Keeping the Midline Option Unpredictable

Slot Motion Creates Defensive Hesitation

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Midline Option

Midline Option v. Even Front Defense

Sean McCormick

Motioning the slot back when running the midline option creates two positives for the offense:

  1. It forces the defense to respect the possible triple option pitch to the motion back.
  2. It puts the motion back in a position to become an additional blocker to the play side.

Midline Read

The midline option read starts with the defensive line's 2i technique outward. The offense will run the option play to that side of the ball.

Quarterback Footwork

Prior to receiving the snap, the quarterback will firmly plant the toe of the foot opposite the play side into the ground. This allows him to quickly move the play side foot after the snap. He uses a drop step to gain ground away from the center, and to stay clear of the fullback's midline plunge.

Mesh Point

Coming off his three-point stance (down hand is five yards behind the line of scrimmage), the fullback has an aim point of the play side hip of the center. The quarterback will place the football into the fullback's midsection, looking directly at the 'read' lineman.

If the unblocked defender is charging toward the fullback, the quarterback will pull the ball away and run toward the line of scrimmage area vacated by the defensive lineman

If the unblocked defender stays put, the quarterback hands off to the fullback.

Additional Blocker

The motioning slot back will cut sharply into the first gap outside the 'read' defender. He will lead block.

Coaching Points

  • As a change-of-pace, run triple option out of midline (having the motion back getting into pitch relation with the quarterback).
  • Play-action pass off the midline to keep the secondary honest.
  • Go to the midline option when defenses are loading up to stop the outside pitch of the triple option.
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