The Drop Option
The Drop Option Scheme is very unique in several ways. The Drop appears to be a pass to
the defense before it turns into an option play. It is also unique in that it can be run in so
many ways and from so many formations. In this segment I have only drawn the Drop a
fraction of the ways you can run it.
Any team that runs any three step drop type passes can have success running the Drop
Option. However, if you like to run screens and QB draws you can use them to counter the
play-action of the Drop Option.
Here is an example of a basic Drop Option.
* The QB will drop back three steps the same way he would drop as if he were running a
three step drop back pass play.
* The Tailback will drop back two steps.
* Receivers on the play side will run deep posts. This pulls the secondary away from the
side the drop will be run on.
* The line will show pass block by flashing their hands in a pass block position. If a lineman
is covered he will execute a normal pass block. If the lineman is uncovered he will show
pass block while looking for a blitz then take an angle to a linebacker.
* Once a lineman shows pass and the QB drops many linebackers will be backing out. This
should give the linemen a chance to seal them away from the play. This is even more true if
your team runs a good deal of three step drop.
This drop is from the Trips set with a tight end. Here you hope to isolate the corner. Teams
may have several alignments to the Trip set. You can take advantage of them with the Drop
in almost any alignment that they choose. If your team is playing against a very athletic DE
you may want to have your tight end shove the DE to the outside before running his route.
This will disrupt his path the the QB and give the Drop a little more time to develop.
The most important block from this alignment is the outside LB play side. After running
the Drop for a while you will find that the linebackers will react slower and slower to the
drop of the QB and the pass block look by the line. This can play into your hands as well. If
the linebackers refuse to drop as quickly as usual it can leave the intermediate range
passes open. It can also make them slower in reaction to back out plays screens away from
Here is an interesting variant of the Drop. You can see that from a Trips set with a tight we
motion the flanker to the opposite side of the field. You could just line him up on the other
side prior to the play but some teams do not handle motion as well as others and it also
tends to get secondary players out of their comfort zone as they have to start thinking
about coverage responsibilities.
This particular Drop is one we call a Drop Crack. That is because instead of running a
route with one play side receiver we use him to "crack back" on the linebacker.
I have drawn two possibilities for the right guard. He can show pass block then seal the
back side LB, or he can show pass then pull to the nearest defender outside the DE.
This is what we call a Double Drop Seal. This Drop is from a more conventional type set.
Here we are trying to seal the Linebackers away from the play. We have also dropped the
fullback (who was in the "Up" position) before sending him to block outside just like the
There are literally thousands of ways to run the Drop Option. It is a relatively easy play to
teach. It can add diversity to your offense without requiring a huge amount of practice
time. Even if you decide to run the play two to three times a game it demands practice
time from other defenses.
The counters to this play are fantastic. We have countered this play with a Drop Draw,
Drop Option Pass, QB Trap Draw, Screen, and Fake Screen. There are over 30 plays in our
Drop Scheme not including some of the plays where we run the Drop Option behind some
of our best pass plays that pull the linebackers away with our running backs.
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