This is the first of  Seven installments regarding the Triple Shoot Offense.

An abbreviated version of this series was published a year ago on the blog – Smart Football. (This is the Un-rated, never been told version) So now, I have decided to take it to another level and share with you an Odyssey that I have gone through in this coaching profession….

It all started with a fascination of the 3 distinctly different offenses the Wing-T, Run & Shoot and the Georgia Southern Hambone. From there it evolved with specific influence and personal contact with the following coaches, Ben Griffith (Inventor of the Hambone), Glenn “Tiger” Ellison, Darrell “Mouse” Davis and Bill Walsh. As an additional note, Leo “Dutch” Meyer’s book, Spread Formation Football gave me an idea on how to create an explosive rushing attack (albeit, it was not the purpose of his book). Having started American Football Quarterly® in 1993, while waiting to take a job at Kansas State University, gave me access to all of the aforementioned individuals, except coach Meyer.

In the early 1990’s, I was working on my Ph.D. and while finishing my coursework I began a research project, which evolved into the Triple Shoot Offense. The title of the dissertation project was, “The History and Evolution of the Run & Shoot Offense in American Football”.

The climate of football was filled with wide-open offenses!

The Houston Cougars led by their maverick head coach, John Jenkins was at the forefront of college football. He was so secretive and full of himself that he had alienated so many coaches & administrators by his controversial nature. In fact, his actions got him fired at U of H! The Southwest Conference “led the charge” with offensive highlights that would make any defensive coach squeal. TCU was hot in their version of what Jim Wacker called the Triple Shoot. (Actually, he hired my good friend Ben Griffith to be his OC so that he could install an offense that was based on the run game of the Option & the Run & Shoot pass attack) Ben tricked him and installed a version of Dennis Erickson’s spread offense because he didn’t want Coach Wacker to know the secrets of what he had developed at Georgia Southern, commonly known as the Hambone. Even with this attack in place, TCU and Houston played in a prolific passing game that set the national record for total yardage by two teams in one game!

Here is my narrative of the Triple Shoot Offense

Development of the Offense

Researching the state of football and developing axioms and creating postulates based on those axioms created this offense.

My initial axioms of the game were as follows:

  1. The game of football has freedoms, purposes and barriers that give spread formation attacks a distinct advantage.
  2. A systems approach to football has the greatest potential for success over a period of time.
  3. When players are more knowledgeable about their system than the opponent is theirs they have the greatest potential for success.
  4. A balanced approach to offensive strategy has the greatest potential for success over a period of time.
  5. A system that appears complex, yet is simple to execute will stand the test of time.

These following postulates were the results of analyzing the previous axioms:

  1. Spreading the field with offensive personnel creates miss-matches and distinct angles to attack the defense.
  2. Utilizing a no-huddle attack enables an offense to control the clock and give the players a better understanding of the defense they are attacking.
  3. A 2-point stance by offensive linemen gives them better recognition and a lower “center of gravity” at the point of attack.
  4. A protection based on the principle of “firm: front-side & soft: backside” enables an offense to take advantage of any defensive front by keeping them off-balance.
  5. Run blocking schemes that combine Veer, Zone and Trap blocking enables an offense to run the ball versus any defensive front.
  6. Pass schemes that adjust routes based on coverage on the run will open up holes in the secondary.
  7. Quarterback decisions based on looks & reads give the offense the ability to release the ball anywhere from 1 to 5 steps. This will minimize the amount of time necessary for pass protection.

Alright, now that all sounds like some scientific approach to the game of football. You have got to remember the roots of this offense came from a doctoral dissertation project.

Enjoy my Odyssey….

Tomorrow we continue with – The TSO Defined!


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