Option football

Courtesy of Washington Post


Dive option, belly option, counter option – these are all components of the Option I that is being featured in this series of blog posts here at Chiefpigskin. Option football is still popular in many forms but one doesn’t see it much out of the I formation these days. That’s a shame because it can be very effective, especially when you add more plays out of the I. But let’s continue to focus on running option frames out of the I. In the last two posts the Dive Option has been featured, but now it’s time for Belly Option – the 40’s series.

40’s Series – Belly Option

First of all, just what the heck is belly? To us it was down, down, pull. That’s what we called our blocking scheme. It could also be called outside trap, or in today’s terminology, Pin and Pull. The word Belly can be used as a blocking tag for the linemen. It tells the linemen on the play side that the tight end is blocking down, the tackle is blocking down, and the guard is pulling to kick out the defensive end. Just as 32 or 33 tells the backs dive option action is executed, 44 or 45 tells the backs that the QB is reversing out with depth, the fullback is going over tackle AND getting the ball, and the tailback is on his pitch track. See the diagram below for the classic 44 Belly.


Pin and Pull

Blocking Assignments

X – Cut off block vs the corner

BST – Fire block

BSG – Fire block

Center – Fire block

PSG – Pull and kick out contain if he crosses your face, log if he squeezes down

PST – Down block first man inside

Tight End – Down block first man inside

QB – Reverse out with depth, seat the ball in fullback’s belly, carry out option fake with tailback

FB – step parallel with first step, crossover step and go over the 4 hole, right over the tackle

TB – Slide step playside then get on pitch track


Combine Belly & Dive Option

A great combination to hit your opponents with is 44/45 Belly to the strong side (tight end) and 32/33 Fire to the weak side (open side). Of course, in both the 30’s and 40’s series the QB can pull the ball from the fullback’s belly and attack the perimeter with double option. Now we’re starting to cook with some option football!



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Coach Albaugh – DBLITY

Coach Albaugh coached high school football in Illinois for 28 years. During that time he coached at every level and on both sides of the ball. He was the offensive and defensive line coach for four undefeated teams and was a defensive coordinator in his last 11 years, twice reaching the semi finals of the Illinois state playoffs.