Running a Successful Speed Option

Running the Speed Option


The speed option is one of the most exciting offensive plays a team can implement. Using the below tips provided by Coach Tony Annese gives a better understanding of the QB-RB pitch relationship and the blocking necessary for this to be a successful play.

In this video, Head Coach Tony Annese from Ferris State University describes a speed option concept that you can implement into any offense.


The Quarterback's Responsibility

The most important decision-maker in this play is the Quarterback. His first priority is to force the read key, end man on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, to decide between the Quarterback and the pitch-man. So at the snap, the Quarterback should take his initial steps in the direction of the read key. When he does that, the read key will either take the Quarterback, to which the Quarterback will pitch the ball to the running back. If the read key takes the running back, this will create a running lane for the Quarterback which he should tuck the ball and run.

Getting Into Open Space

The second tip for running the speed option is to get the running back into open space on the field. It's imperative to get the running back to outflank the last defensive player on the line of scrimmage. Once the running back has leverage on the defensive player, he should be expecting the pitch from the running back and get vertical on the field.

Securing the Block

The blocking on this play is just as important and the QB-RB pitch relationship. The play-side offensive guard/tackle must arch block and reach the second level of the defense to wall off the pursuing defenders to create an alley for the running back to gain yards.


All three of these tips are "simple to coach" techniques that could provide immediate success for your offense. The name of the game is “Speed and Space” for the speed option.

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