Option Reads in the Wing-T

The Wing-T has many run options (down option, belly option, quick belly, trap option, counter option, speed and lead option) in the system but the most common are down and belly option.  These are all double options with the exception of quick belly option.  This means, there is two ways the ball can go, either you the QB will keep the ball or you will pitch the ball to one of your running backs. We have a base philosophy with these double options for the Quarterback.  When it comes to the decision - pitch or keep  - "keep unless".   This simple rules make it easier for quarterback to read the option successfully.    It also helps him from making what I call and  "either or"  poor decision.  An "either or poor" decision is one which the quarterback comes to the line of scrimmage with a thought process of  "I am either keeping the ball or pitching the ball.  This will lead to poor execution on the option and not give him the base for which to build on good decisions.  The quarterback will make a high percentage of good decision if he walks up to the line of scrimmage with the thought process of I am keeping the ball unless there is no way the defense is going to allow me to do this.  The only way the defense will make me pitch it is if the pitch read stops his feet or flat foots his feet and or turns his shoulders to tackle me.  I know as the QB that I am never wrong for keeping it.  The only downside is zero gain or a small gain.  However, if I pitch when I should keep - their is a high likelihood of negative gain or fumble.  This is unacceptable in achieving our goal of winning and on offense of taking care of the ball.
Progression For Quarterback on Double Options
1.  Keep unless.  Have the QB look at the eyes of the OLB (Pitch read or #2) and keep the ball.  Do this for a day.  Must give multiple reps at this.  
2. Keep unless Read.  Have the QB look at the eyes of the OLB (Pitch read or #2) and read him.  Keep the ball unless he takes it away.  The definition of taking it away is the OLB (Pitch  read or #2) stops his feet or flat foots his feet and or turns his shoulders to tackle me.  Give the "Keep read" most often but every 5th read give a pitch read to get things started.   
3.  Keep unless Read and Pitch.  Have the QB look at the eyes of the OLB (Pitch read or #2) and read him.  If he takes you -  stop step and pitch the ball . 
4.  Keep unless and now pitch unless.  Pitch the ball unless he takes it away.  Get close to the pitch read and pitch the ball if you are able.  
IMPORTANT: The QB must not second guess his reads.  He must not try and think or guess what you want him to do but instead "trust" his eyes and do what his eyes tell him.  If he makes a mistake - ask him what he saw and then explain to him what you as the coach saw then tell him to read the next one independent of the last read.  It is important that he use his eyes and take each read independent of the last read or he will get into a guessing game, like a hitter trying to figure out what pitch the pitcher is coming with next.  Give him a Keep read most often but every 3rd read give a "Pitch read"
Also, Once the QB understands the read and it is disciplined enough to make the correct read 80% + of the time then you can build the option game around what your prioritie are.  For instance if you have a very athletic and/or gifted runner at QB then use the Keep unless priority and block the options accordingly.  If you are an average athlete and have a gifted back to pitch to - then you change the priority to Pitch unless.   This can also be helped by the path you as the QB takes.  
The QB path down field or in the "pitch zone".  The "pitch zone" is the area the quarterback would normally make his decision to keep the ball.  This area is in normal circumstances (non blitz situation) is 4 to 5 yards outside of TE area and 1-2  yards past the line of scrimmage. The QB's general path is at 30 degree angle to the hash then numbers than boundary.  Some of the option guys have called this circling the field or I have used "alley" as a term for this (stealing a defensive term).
This general path keeps the QB from the big hits and away from the the majority of the defenders, so when or if the QB gets tackled it is not a welcome the NFL type of hit but a tackle from the side or behind.  And the QB is running away from the hit not INTO the hit.  
The specific path depends on if you want the QB to keep unless or pitch unless.  if you want the QB to keep unless, have him aim for the inside shoulder of the pitch read.  This forces the defender(pitch read) to make a quicker decision and cannot string him out letting the rest of the defense to catch up.  This prevents the "slow play" defender.  If you want your QB to pitch unless then you attack the defenders outside shoulder with great speed and close the gap to 2-3 yards and pitch the ball unless the pitch read is running to your pitch man.
82/88 Down option or Down Load
This play we are loading or logging the dive read and double option the pitch read.  We are blocking #1 and pitching off of #2 using option counting rules.  The QB can expect on this play that he will be keeping the ball.  As he attacks the pitch read he should stay in the alley - hash to numbers to sideline.  If into the boundary just numbers to sideline.
83/87 Belly Option
This option usually is run to the split side - we are again blocking #1 and pitching off of #2.  This is also a double option.  The QB again will be attacking the pitchman and use the pitch unless read.



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Coach Hrovat