Logan Zone

Coaching 101: The Wishbone

Posted September 16, 2013

With Georgia Tech running all over Duke on Saturday and the Tar Heels having to face the Yellow Jacket offense next, coach Steve Logan breaks down The Wishbone in this week's Coaching 101 clinic.

The wishbone creates several options for a running offense, like Georgia Tech's. The wishbone is set up with a quarterback under center, a fullback close behind him and two halfbacks further back on either side of the fullback. They players line up like an inverted "Y" or "wishbone" shape.

Coaching 101: Dissecting the Wishbone Coaching 101: Dissecting the Wishbone

It is designed to run a triple option but let's begin with just the option. The option aims to eliminate a defender without having to block him. In the Double Option the defender will have to make a choice between which of two offensive players to eliminate, leaving the player assigned to that defensive player open and leaving the offensive player the defender didn't block open to carry the ball. The quarterback will read the defender and ultimately decide whether to run, pitch or pass to a receiver. 

The Triple Option eliminates two defenders without blocking them, freeing two offensive linemen to block different defenders. The extra blocker is what makes the Wishbone successful. 

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  • Sauras69 Sep 17, 10:45 p.m.

    Logans hates NCSU, which stole his thunder early 2000s.

    Note: As if anyone cared or cared about EC.

    — Posted by Alex25

    Catching up again. Nah. Steve Logan didn't even imply anything of hate in his posting. Read and learn.

  • howell00 Sep 17, 6:11 p.m.

    Although there are some similarities between the two, Georgia Tech does not run the wishbone, they run the flexbone. GT also does not have a tight end. The difference is important - GT's A-backs (the slot backs) function more as slot receivers than they do traditional wing backs.

    Why even bring up the wishbone? It's almost entirely irrelevant. Logan says the "true triple option" is "exactly what Georgia Tech runs." That's simply not true. Georgia Tech NEVER puts three backs behind the QB. Logan's right that the concepts are basically the same, but why even bring up the wishbone? Why even draw a tight end?

    The main difference is that the flexbone is, as suggested by the name, much more flexible than a wish bone. That matters the most on passing plays (if the ABs lined up a few yards further out, it would look like a passing formation). You can line up 2 ABs to one side, and the formation becomes a double slot. Because the ABs are closer to the LOS, they can block and run routes much quicker.

  • vadx Sep 17, 8:22 a.m.

    Logans hates NCSU, which stole his thunder early 2000s.

    Note: As if anyone cared or cared about EC.

    — Posted by Alex25

    Logan was talking the Wishbone, not a 1980s in-state rivalry.

    Never heard Logan express hate for NCSU and certainly never heard him express it attending ECU and many times listening to his radio show before taking the OC job at BC. Every coach wants to beat another opponent and usually expresses it in so many words. "Hate" is not one of them. And if you have the proof, always reference it with your sixth grade comments.

  • Tizu Sep 17, 7:47 a.m.

    In my High School days, we ran the wishbone and were wildly successful. When you have a Fullback built like a bull and two tailbacks quick as lightning, it's hard to go wrong. Yes, we lost some games, but for a small 1A school, we still generated numerous college players and one NFL player.

    Good Stuff. I love the wishbone!

  • xyzzy Sep 17, 1:34 a.m.

    Bear Bryant said that the wishbone was the best passing formation he'd ever used.

  • Sauras69 Sep 16, 8:15 p.m.

    Logan is trying to educate some of you in this one. Read and then you can sound knowledgable when you have a party. The Wishbone turned into the Veer offense. Then the spread offense. Lee will have a solid year as does GT. Bud Foster will slow them down.

  • Sauras69 Sep 16, 7:34 p.m.

    Logan knows this game and could/should still be coaching. He obviously could still be coaching if he wanted to. The Wishbone has to have a QB that can also throw today. Most teams back in the day would set up in a true Wishbone, and then break it...by sending a back in motion. This caused the defense to shift with their alignment. The defense would rotate over to the strength. Then they ran counters, and screen passes to the other side to catch people off guard.

    Two-three years ago. We played GT at home and won in OT. Bud Foster put 8 in the box and gambled that our defense could beat GT. Why? GT didn't have a QB that could pass the football.

    Lee is a true option QB. He's reads the defense, and he can pull it and run, plus he can burn you with his arm. He's the package deal in this offense. Counter, reverse, and screen. A strong defense stays at home and reads. A solid defensive end can reak havoc.

  • scorekeep Sep 16, 7:26 p.m.

    Can't hit the qb every play......offense will block man responsible for qb.

  • Alex25 Sep 16, 6:50 p.m.

    Logans hates NCSU, which stole his thunder early 2000s.

    Note: As if anyone cared or cared about EC.

  • backpainfaker Sep 16, 4:42 p.m.

    lay the pad to the qb and if you take 15 yd penalty so be it.

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