How to Run the Triple vs. the 4-3

The 4-3 is a tricky defense that people run against Triple Option offenses…

But don’t worry.

Coach Kelley Lee has the answer:

Have you ever struggled against a 4-3 defense that runs what Kelley Lee calls a 3-2 exchange?

Here’s how Kelley Lee defeats this pesky problem:

“One of the things this defense can do that you must be cognizant of is the 3-2 exchange.

The 3-2 exchange is when the number three defender outside the read key and the number two defender outside the read key exchange responsibilities. Against the 4-3, this means the defensive end (read key) takes the dive, the linebacker takes the pitch, and the safety takes the quarterback.

The first thing to do is run Zone Dive and just get the fullback in the middle. However, if you still want to run Inside Veer there is a solution.

To combat this, we just go in a |ex formation. This allows the flexed in wide receiver to take the safety and the running back to arc the cornerback. You always need a plan for the 3-2 exchange, and against the 4-3, they have the ability to get to it.

True Arc Scheme

If the you have been running the Inside Veer and the play side tackle cannot veer to the Mike linebacker in time, you need to check to a true Arc scheme.

This will make the tackle now outside veer (what we call loop) around the read key up to the Mike linebacker then to the safety.

If the defense has a shade to the play side, then you will make a “Red” call where the guard rips through to try and get the Mike while the center overtakes.

So, the true arc scheme loses you of that true double team, but you come to this play when the Mike has been the problem.

If they had a 2 technique play side, then the guard would base and the center would chase the Mike linebacker.

“Crimson” Blocking Tag

We run this tag when the defense gives a shade, and only sometimes when the defense gives a 1 technique.

When there is a 1 technique, the guard is uncovered and has a good shot at getting to the Mike linebacker.

Also, if the play side tackle is having trouble either veering around the read key or looping, this tag works to combat that.

So, the line can make a “Crimson” call which will tell the tackle and the center to double team.

This frees up the guard to take a 45-degree step play side and try to cut ox the Mike.

Crack-Pull Tag

In the Flex formation, we can start really changing responsibilities around.

Sometimes the best player to get the Mike is the wide receiver because he has nobody right on top of him.

So, he will go around the read and pitch key to the Mike, and the tackle will pull to block the safety.

The running back will then arc to the cornerback because he is usually the force player against Flex formations.

And there you have it, Coach — you now have a plan for that 3-2 exchange teams like to run against Triple Option teams.


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