Spread Offense Passing Game

Joel Cockley, Running Backs Coach, Mount Union College

GNC / General Nutrition Centers Have a vision for what kids are going to do when they come in.  Try to see where he'll be as a junior or a senior.  

P.F.P. - Figure out who your Players are first, then put them into Formations, then develop your Plays.

Spread Offense: Passing with a Purpose

Have a concept to attack 3 deep, 4 deep, Cover 2, Man to Man and Blitz schemes.  Build your passing game around these strategies.  Mount Union likes to carry 2 or 3 plays to attack each coverage into a game.  

Mount Union began using the Spread because they were able to recruit more Wide Receivers and wanted to put them to use with a Spread Passing game.  

Playaction off Smack

Play-Action Passing in the Spread Offense

Must come off of your best running play.  

Read Bubble

Read Bubble
Where the play action game starts for Mount Union.

#1 Receiver:  Base Block
#2 Receiver:  Base Block
#3 Receiver:  Drop step, get depth inside #2
Quarterback:  Read Sam Linebacker.  If he widens, creating a 4-1 Box, give the Read.
If he stays in, no fake take ball & throw bubble
Can run it to the Twins as well, to take advantage of a 4-2 Box.  If you run Doubles with 2 hi, 6 man box, one of the bubbles is going to be open, always.
Vs. overaggressive Safety, "Read Shark" tag can convert bubble to a quick Slant.  
Offensive Line:  This is a screen pass, they can release downfield.
Don't run Bubble vs. Man coverage.


Everything in passing game went to words.  We have a "concept" that the word describes.  Receivers know the whole concept, not just what their position does.  
Smash attacks Cover 4 or Cover 3 - we want to throw the hitch.
Quarterback Reads 1) Boundary Hitch to 2) Corner route.  If Free Safety is all over the Corner, 3) Check Down.
Not used vs. blitzing teams.
Vs. Cover 2:  Smash H or Y Read - Player away from a rolled down safety runs 1 on 1 vs. weak player.If they want to play 4-2 box, take what they give you.  H can run Post or Corner, he gets a 2-way go.
Quarterback:  Catch the ball, drop 3 steps.  It becomes a 7-step drop.  Hitches are 7 to 8 yards.  
Offensive Line:  Protection is Big on Big, Front Side man and Back Side zone.  Never full zone and leave a back on the End.
Smash lends itself to Inside Zone or Speed Option.
Wide Receivers always work for outside release.  

All Go

All Go
Used vs. 3 Deep, not good vs. Cover 4.
Outside receivers:  Outside release.  If you can't beat him deep after 18 yards, drop out (comeback).  You don't have to teach the drop out, because you'll almost never hit it in a game.  
Inside Receivers:  2 yards outside college hash.  
Quarterback:  Read Middle of Field Safety and go away from him.
The rolled down safety has to become a man player on #2 or he's going to be open all day.  
Against Cover 3, they only use 2 concepts - All Go and Razor / Raider.

Trips, All Go


X Receiver:  14 back to 12 out route.
Quarterback:  If you get any rotation weak, look to Trips Side and read the Safety.  Designed to hit X receiver though.


Curl/Flat combo on both sides.


Used vs. Man to Man, cross the field and run.  
Under routes (Double Cross or Mesh Route)
Have one receiver flash and go to the flats.
(my notes:  if you want to see more of Deuces, or Mesh Route, check out these notes)

Play Action pass off Zone

Throw the ball to your best guy running deep.  You don't have to have a lot of plays, just a couple of good concepts.

Get notes on Mount Union's Inside Zone Running Game here.
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