Tony DeMeo

Triple Gun Gold on the Goal Line

The goal line separates the men from the boys, the contenders from the pretenders and the champs from the chumps. All the yards you gain on offense are meaningless unless you gain the yard that puts your team in the end zone. One of the key parts of Triple Gun philosophy is to score Touchdowns and not settle for field goals. If you settle for field goals, you’ll have to make twice the number of trips to the red zone. It’s simple math.

Our number one play is obviously the Gun Triple. It really stresses a defense and is the most practiced play in our offense. However, I believe you need some variety down there for a number of reasons:

  1. To take advantage of your personnel. If you have good tight ends or fullback type of players, this would be a place to use them.
  2. To take advantage of their personnel. If you have a tall wide receiver and the defense has short defensive backs then the fade route becomes a play.
  3. To keep your offense from being predictable. Variety gives a defense multiple threats to worry about. You want to prevent the defense from digging in on the goal line.
  4.  To take the read aspect out of the option. If the QB is having trouble with his reads, you can run QB ISO or double option and eliminate that problem.
  5. To use play action pass to exploit an aggressive secondary.
  6. To present an unusual formation (Empty, Hammer, Unbalanced or Bunch) to create alignment and recognition issues.

There are many reasons for diversity in your goal line package, but the main thing is your entire package should be directed at scoring touchdowns.

Again the number one play on the goal line in the Triple Gun Offense is the Gun Triple. I’m not going to cover that in this article because that is an article in itself. Many times because the defense pinches or stacks inside in which case the Gun Triple becomes a Gun Double on the run.

But the first supplemental run is the QB ISO off Gun Triple Action. This is the Triple Gun version of Paul Johnson’s “QB Follow” play. I like it better in the Gun because it gives the QB greater vision to find daylight.

I wrote about updating the ISO play earlier.

Another supplemental run we like on the goal line is the Jet Sweep We like this if the defense is loading up inside or blitzing their linebackers inside. This gives your slot the ball in space. The Jet Sweep series is a great compliment to the Gun Triple. We like The QB ISO off Jet Sweep Action as well.

Part of the Jet Series on the Goal line is The Jet Naked which is a great counter off the Jet Sweep and gives the QB a run/pass option

Throwing the ball on the goal line is important because it keeps the DBs out of run support and it allows you to take advantage of personnel mismatches. The Triple Gun run game is so good it guarantees one- on- one coverage. The Goal Line Fade is a great pass if you have the right personnel matchup. The protection is simple and its catch, step and throw for the QB, very slight chance of a sack. The complimentary route is the short fade or the “back shoulder fade” so if the corner overplays the fade the option is to throw it short and let the receiver adjust. The key is that the Corner has his back to the QB

The Hammer Package is a package we’ve used when we had a power type of an offense (TEs & FBs) and this was effective. This was kind a forerunner of the “Diamond Formation” that some spread teams are using. We kept it simple and ran double ISO

and the Power “O” play. These are safe, high percentage plays that are as effective as your personnel.

Going to Empty always causes some concern for the defense especially if they can’t match up. We run Gun Triple from Empty so that must be prepared for by the defense and we like the fade package. We always have Quarterback Draw as part of the goal line with the ability to throw “Flash” or check to Gun Triple.

This handful of simple plays provides some variety to our base offense. They take very little teaching and are very productive. Remember think touchdowns and spend time practicing goal line offense. Gaining yards doesn’t do much if you can’t finish the drive. It’s like a golfer that drives the ball 320 yards and 3 putts every green.