The Wishbone

Wishbone Offensive Set

Some coaches really liked the Veer Option. They liked it so much, in fact, that they started going to option-exclusive attacks. The thing then became how to increase the effectiveness of the option. One way was to add a third option – the Quarterback can keep it himself, depending on his outside read he can either cut upfield off-tackle or pitch it to the Halfback wide. To smooth this out the blocking scheme was changed to pin defenders into the middle, then to leave one or two outside men unblocked so they had to make a decision whom to attack – QB or pitchman. This limited the plays a team could run profoundly, given this blocking style. However, it dramatically increased the effectiveness of the "triple option."

The final thing to be addressed was how to balance the option attack so it could be "sprung" equally well to either side without warning. To do this they went back to the original, balanced T formation – all the way back to the Rockne tight-T in fact. From there the Fullback was pushed up ahead of the two Halfbacks to give him a fast, smooth inside read and mesh with the QB. The Wishbone was born.

The Wishbone is not good for a lot of things. It can accommodate only a simple pass game to the Ends. The blocking scheme doesn't lend itself well to other power plays or sweeps, or even misdirections. The Wishbone is good for one thing only – the Triple Option and its closely related variants.

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