Calling Best Option on the Line of Scrimmage


The following information gives you a reason for adding option into your offense followed by calling best option on the line of scrimmage. I have been involved in option football for quite a few years and found that a simple method for calling the option game was to read the over hang players (outside linebackers) for best Option. In order to keep our offense in best option I created a simple method of doing this by looking at the area located outside the box our quarterback could read for how many defenders were located in the box and the potential coverage the offense was facing on any particular play. I developed a concept which I call “Reading Wax In Mickey’s Ears” for best play.
The following illustrations will provide you the concept and the reasons why. I will also provide in future articles on exactly how the plays are installed.

Why Option Football?

Why option football? Quite simply put, the defense can’t be right. Don Faurotin 1941 is credited with the invention of the option. Coach Faurot was a football and basketball player as well as a coach. He was at a basketball game when he made a brilliant discovery. During a two on one fast break he noticed that the offense gained the upper hand due to the fact that no matter what the defender chose to do he would be wrong. Coach Faurot realized that if he could implement this concept in football he could gain the advantage on a defense. Thus, the option was born. An offense would leave one or two players unblocked and let them chose who to defend so that the other player could continue the play. This is an offense that has stood the test of time and that many have applied into the passing game. Its strong pedigree of success makes a great case for being installed in any offense.

Option Football:

  • Is the best way to attack perimeter and control the box.
  • Forces the Defense to defend the entire field, the fullback game gets explosive
  • Does not need dominant linemen
  • Forces defense to play assignment football
  • Helps passing game –limits coverages
  • Controls random blitzing
  • Neutralizes dominant players

Option on Me Philosophy

  • Provides a systematized approach
    1) Multiple formations & motion / shifts to run same plays
    * Tailback outside runner with “pitch”
    * Fullback inside runner on “give”
    2) Run multiple options
    3) Defensive confusion with assignments
  • Make the defense defend the entire field
    1) Find the flank; which side is softer
    2) Makes defense concentrate on fullback
  • Pass–Play Action, Drop Back, Sprint Out

Think It Out and Plan It Out

  • Have a systematic way to teach your schemes
  • Teach the basics
  • Fundamental System of Football
  • Take what the defense will give you
  • Coach worst case scenario: What hurts the play?
  • Is the scheme flexible versus all fronts?

Option on Me 3 Choices

Inside Veer–Openside(away from TE)
No invert outside the openside tackle
Only choice to the Openside


Midline–Tightside(to TE)
ONLY versus 2 or 3 Technique
2 outside inverts =6-man box = run at the box


Load–Tightside(to or outside TE)
No outside invert to the TE, or
2 outside inverts versus 6i-technique or 5 & 7 alignment

Option on Me Basics

Pre Snap Reads are not completed until the QB’s hands are under the center!

Keep QB reads simple
• Basic formations
• Defense must still consider all possible options

Use a Tight End
• Gain an advantage without using motion
• Motion can give your intentions away
• Motion can create tendencies

QB’s eyes to the area outside the Openside Tackle and the Tight End





About the Author of this post:

Jerry Campbell has over 30 years of high school and college coaching experience. He has experience as a head coach, offensive coordinator, and various position coaches. He has written numerous football coaching articles in various publications, is the author of over 30 books on coaching football, and has produced 12 coaching video series. Additionally, he is a nationally sought after speaker on the coaching clinic circuit.


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