Install a scheme that matches the offensive look and allows players to play fast with one simple key!
- Shut down each phase of the Flexbone offense by creating a plus-1 to each side of the formation
- Make the quarterback have to execute all of his reads on every play, which will create mistakes
- Learn how to play simple split coverages in the field and boundary against the Flexbone formation
with Joe Woodley,
Grand View University Associate Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator;
2013 NAIA National Champions;
2013 Football Scoop Coordinator of the Year; 2009 MSFA Midwest Assistant Coach of the Year
and Travis Johansen,
Grand View University Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
The Flexbone offense is a modern adaption of the Wishbone offense, which was one of the most potent rushing offenses in the history of college and high school football. The Flexbone is a headache to defend because it forces the defense to be assignment sound so they don't give up the big play. In this two-part video, coaches Joe Woodley and Travis Johansen outline the base scheme for defending the Flexbone offense. The Grand View scheme will allow you to keep adjustments as simple and sound as possible and can be worked on year-round.
Coach Woodley begins the presentation by explaining his philosophy behind defending the Flexbone. He explains the simplest approach is the best approach because it will allow players to play fast and with confidence. Using a four-man line and three linebackers, the defense is a mirror to the offensive formation and each defender is assigned a movement to their key read, which requires them to have a responsibility versus having a man to defend which may be the dive, quarterback or the pitch.
Coach Johansen explains the alignment, keys, and responsibilities of the defensive backs against the most common Flexbone schemes. He uses game footage to illustrate how the scheme works against some of the most common looks Flexbone teams will give you. You'll also learn how he trains his safeties to key the slot backs and fit off their blocks, as well as how to cover the pass.
Stopping the Run
Coach Woodley explains the basic alignments for the front seven players against the basic Flexbone alignment. You'll see the keys and responsibilities for each of the seven players for the various looks that each player's key will give them. He explains how they are able to gain a "plus-1" advantage on the offense to both sides of the formation by slightly modifying the middle linebacker's alignment and responsibility. Coach Woodley goes on to give the keys and responsibilities for the defensive ends and outside linebackers, and explains how their keys allow them to work in unison so there's no conflicting assignments and duplicated effort.
Demonstrated are the run fits against the four most common plays Grand View defends when playing Flexbone teams. These four plays are the Inside Veer, Veer Arc, Counter Option, and Iso. Game footage demonstrating the defensive scheme against each play is utilized to illustrate key coaching points. Coach Woodley also explains some of the most common issues that that his team encounters when defending each of these plays.
Secondary Play to Stop the Flexbone Offense
Coach Johansen shows the run fits and responsibilities of the safeties based on the most common paths the slot backs will take in the Flexbone offense, including: arc, pin, insert, and release. Coach Johansen describes each fit and responsibility based on each of these paths to keep the defense at a numbers advantage in the run game and sound against the pass.
Coach Johansen shows responsibilities with a PowerPoint before using game footage to coach up secondary play versus the inside veer and the different blocking combinations the offense will use on the play. A "Trap" call between the near corner and safety switch responsibilities between the two and is used when the wide receiver is aligned in a crack position on the safety.
Counter option, iso action and play action responsibilities are all covered and the consistency in play is mirrored on both sides of the ball.
Often teams will try to stray too far from the style of defense they play all season to defend the Flexbone, which creates confusion and doubt in yo