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By Lee K. I. Boyd, Wide Receivers Coach, Saint Louis High School (HI)

While the Sail has been ingrained in the run and shoot offensive system since the days of Mouse Davis, now this three-level flood concept is being tweaked to attack current coverage structures like bracket and man. So it’s not surprising that at Saint Louis High School (HI), now the home of athletic director June Jones, the Crusaders have used the Sail to throw for over 8,000 yards and a final national ranking of #18 this season. In this exclusive clinic report, wide receivers coach Lee Boyd details how he adjusts the route based on coverage, what tags he uses on the backside and the quarterback progression. Read the report...


By Lee K. I. Boyd
Wide Receivers Coach
Saint Louis High School (HI)

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Our sail concept presents a three-level flood of the outside third of the defense, placing receivers deep, middle, and short, applying maximum pressure on the third level defenders and creating a clear high-low stretch on the flat defender.  This is our constraint play designed to counteract coverages that cheat in order to fit the routes of the “Go” concept (link to previous article).   


Back Side #1 Receiver “In Route”

The back side receiver will align at the bottom of the numbers and execute an in route. We want to speed cut out of the break at 14 to 16 yards, working downhill to the quarterback, or at worst parallel to the line of scrimmage. If we get man coverage we accelerate across to get separation. If we see zone drops in front of us, we come across under control looking to find a window between defenders. This route becomes a home run if the defense takes away the design of the flood concept by aggressively fitting our strong side route combination.

Front Side #1 Receiver “Go Route/Post Option”

The front side outside receiver will align 3 yards from the top of the numbers if the ball is on the opposite hash mark. He will take a quickest release and run a go route with the option to post. His primary responsibility is to create a vertical stretch on the defense and protect the sail route from the most dangerous secondary defender.

I have the receiver start their pre-snap thought process by identifying the middle of the field as open or closed.  Disciplining the receivers thought process helps to control their heart rate, and increases execution of route options, which for the flood concept is the possibility of posting.

Front side #2 Receiver “Sail”

The front side #2 receiver will line up 3 yards outside of the slot and run a sail route.

Front Side #3 Receiver “Arrow Route”

The inside slot receiver aligns 1 to 3 yards from the defensive end, and executes an arrow route. We want him to stay linear, and gradually build 3-4 yards deep on the top of the numbers as he reads the coverage.  Once he gets to the numbers if the ball is not out, he should turn back into the quarterback and become available as a check down.

Continue to the full-length version of this report…

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  • How the number one receiver adjusts his route based on MFO, MFC and man coverage structures.
  • How the number two receiver adjusts his route based on zone and man coverage structures.
  • How the number three receiver adjusts his route based on zone and man coverage structures.
  • The read progression of the quarterback based on pre-snap and post-snap identification process.
  • Plus game film on all these concepts.

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Our Quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa finished the season breaking Timmy Chang’s 17-year-old record for career passing yards by a Hawaii prep quarterback, which was 8,001. Tua ended the season with 8,158 passing yards, and 84 touchdowns along with 1,727 rushing yards and 27 scores with a total of 111 career touchdowns. 

I’ve learned many lessons over the years from my mentor and one of the great offensive minds, Coach Ron Lee.  As you can see we do things a little different in the passing game, and they’ve been good to us. One of the things I admire the most about Coach Ron is his continuous effort to refine and evolve the Offense. Currently, the experiments in the lab involve the Run & Shoot quick and intermediate passing game with RPOs. I think in football no matter where you are in your career, you have to stay a step ahead.  Being humble and keeping a beginner’s mind allows you to see things differently and think outside of the box. Never stop being a student of the game. 

Lastly, players bring the X’s and O’s drawn up on paper to life. Guys are not wide open because of the plays called, but because they understand where they need to be against the coverages, and they trust the techniques they’ve been taught. We had an exceptional group of very intelligent young men who committed to a common goal and put forth maximum effort every day. 

I appreciate the opportunity to share and hope to continue the legacy of the Run & Shoot Offense from coaches such as Mouse Davis, June Jones, and Ron Lee. Please feel free to contact me anytime. I love sharing ideas, learning and talking football. 


Meet Coach:  Coach Boyd is the Wide Receivers coach at Saint Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii.  During his 3 years at Saint Louis school, Coach Boyd has helped the team to a 26-7 record, which included 2 state championship appearances.  This past season, Saint Louis won the Open Division State Championship and ranked number 18 nationally.



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