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Bootleg Slows Defensive Pursuit to Football

Quarterback Run-Pass Option Keeps Secondary Thinking

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Counter Bootleg Pass

Counter Boot Pass

Sean McCormick

The quarterback bootleg play not only slows down the defensive pursuit for a companion run play, it also creates the double-edged sword of whether the quarterback will pass the football or tuck it and run the sweep.

Counter Boot Pass

The bootleg closely mirrors the companion counter sweep play.

Quarterback - Opening to the weak side, he will fake the hand off to the tailback and bootleg away.

Tailback - The first movement is three quick steps toward the weak side tackle area. He counters back and follows through with the fake as if he has the ball.

Strong Side Pass Blocks

The tackle, guard, and center all step to the inside, as if down blocking, but must remember not to cross the line of scrimmage (LOS).

Weak Side Guard

The guard will pull strong side. He will look to block any pass rusher crossing the LOS.

Weak Side Tackle

The tackle must add more depth when pulling strong side. Like the pulling guard, he will block any pass defender in pursuit of the quarterback.

Receiver Pass Routes

Split End (X) - The split end charges out as if blocking the cornerback. He will run a post-corner route. The split end is the primary receiver.

Tight End (Y) - The tight end fires out as if run blocking, and runs behind the linebackers and runs a crossing route toward the weak side of the field. The tight end is the secondary receiver.

Slot Receiver (Z) - The slot/flanker will run a seam route in an attempt to keep a safety occupied.

RUPO = Run or Pass Option

After bootlegging, the quarterback continues running toward the LOS. If the defensive secondary is in pass coverage, and no other defenders are close to him, the quarterback runs the ball. If the secondary is charging to stop the run, the quarterback squares his shoulders with the LOS and throws to the open receiver.

Coaching Points

  • Make sure the tailback carries out his fake completely. A good fake will cause the defense to delay in recognizing the quarterback has the ball.
  • The quarterback should keep the ball hidden until the last possible moment. Practice patience.
  • Tag the play with the primary receiver to alert the offense it is a pass-first option. (Counter Boot Y-Drag, e.g.)
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