Teaching the flexbone offense to the casual fan

Learn a little about the flexbone offense by reading today’s print story:

TUSCALOOSA — Befuddled if only for a moment, Alabama coach Nick Saban dug to the depths of his memory Monday.

The last time he saw a wishbone brand of offense?

“A long time,” he said thinking hard. “We played Army, and they used to run the wishbone, when I was at Michigan State as defensive coordinator in the ’80s. Played Navy when I was the head coach at Toledo. That might be the last time.”

So there have been a few refresher courses in the now-rare offense No. 3 Alabama will see when Georgia Southern visits at 1 p.m., Saturday. The Eagles, ranked third in the Football Championship Subdivision, use a variation known as the flexbone. It’s an offshoot of the wishbone formation used by Bear Bryant teams of the 1970s.

Running plays account for 85 percent of the snaps for the top rushing team in the FCS. The Eagles average 320.4 ground yards a game and the 634 running yards rolled up on Western Carolina on Sept. 24 was third-most in school history.

The brand of flexbone used at Georgia Southern is a product of coach Jeff Monken’s years as an assistant under Paul Johnson at Navy, then Georgia Tech. When he took over the Eagles’ program two years ago, the basic, yet hard-to-defend scheme came with him.

One benefit of the formation is its symmetry. Two receivers are typically sent wide to either side of the formation, while two A-backs line up behind both tackles.

Click here to read the rest.


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