FlexBone or Run & Shoot? It’s Your Call!

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 1, 2020

We get questions every now and then about whether or not we have a youth FlexBone formation. We get the question because we have a very robust Varsity FlexBone section. The answer is “yes” . We just call it something different in the youth football area. We call it our “Shoot” formation. This is short for the old Run & Shoot offense.

There are some immediate advantages to opening up your formation with the Shoot formation. The defense will typically have to loosen up a little with you.  When they cover your widest receivers it can reduce the numbers inside. If you have a quarterback who can run the football this can be a huge advantage for your offense.

The other advantage is that it gives you the ability to bring one of your slots in short orbit motion. This gives you an immediate two back run game and even an option game if your youth football quarterback can handle it.

However, when we talk about the Shoot formation, we always feel obligated to remind you that the defense does not have to spread out with you. It is important that you understand this before you spread your young players out across the field.

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You now have short edges on the backside of all of your runs and even your pass protections. The bigger issue is that if your quarterback cannot hurt the defense by throwing the ball outside then the defense may start cheating their corners inside to stop the run.

You may begin to see defenses that dare you to throw the ball. A good defensive coordinator can completely shut down your run game unless your quarterback can carry your offense with his or her arm.

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What we do today in this short video is give you two complimentary run plays out of the Shoot formation. These two football plays force the defense to defend your downhill run game and your perimeter run game. The key is that they don’t know what they are defending until right before the ball is snapped.

James Coates