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By Rich Holzer, Head Football Coach, Mount Saint Joseph High School (MD)

See how this 4x1 concept has become a go to big play opportunity for Coach Holzer and his offense while helping the QB get rid of the ball quickly. Read the report...


By Rich Holzer
Head Football Coach
Mount Saint Joseph High School (MD)
Twitter: @CoachRichHolzer

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Here at Mount Saint Joseph High School, we as a staff adapt our version of the “Air Raid” offense to what our personnel dictates on a yearly basis. However, one of our new concepts just installed this year, is our version of the Triple Post concept. It was developed off of a similar concept run by the well-known Head Coach of Pulaski Academy in Arkansas Kevin Kelley. This play is adaptable to beat any and all coverages. Since it is run primarily out of 4x1 it places a lot of stress on defenses. It has been my experience that when aligning in 4x1 offense are either trying to isolate the single receiver, execute QB runs or throwing quick game/ fast screens to the 4 receiver side. We use this concept to counter act those tendencies.

Base Concept


The Triple Post concept can be expensive to teach because of how we adjust our route running based off safety structure. However, our staff feels it has been worth the investment. We start with the outside routes we call a “Bail Out” route. We always have one to each side of the field represented by the Hitch routes of the X and F in the above diagram. We then have our three Posts coming from one side of the field usually the wide side.


Coaching Points:

To run this concept, it is imperative that your receivers know the rules, landmarks, and adjustments to this concept. Our receivers also have to know their “hard deck” & “ceiling”. Since we run our routes off the defenders hips, they know that they can break their route not before he hard deck and not later then the ceiling. Here is a detailed look at each route:

“Bail Outs” Route – Their responsibility is to hold the corner low by running up on their toes and hooking them down. We most often hitch up but thy have the freedom to run a hitch, out or 5 dig. Basically, whatever attracts the attention of those corner so they don’t bail deep to fold in and help on the posts. If they do our rule is for our “Bail Out” guys to scream “Alert, Alert, Alert” as loud as they can, even waive their hands in the air, to get he QBs attention. When the QB hears this he knows the “Bail Out” is uncovered he must turn and fire the ball now. If there is a mistake or INT it is on the coach and “Bail Out” receiver not on the QB.

QB Thought Process

The way we teach this play is with a mindset that you know the receivers will do their job to pull their designated defender giving you isolation on the safety. Therefore, it simplifies our QBs reading process which in theory should allow him to play faster. We just need to work on pre snap identifying which safety we attack.


For pass pro we use our standard Air Raid “Sort” protection. Every offensive line man kicks back two steps sorts out the front then protects. Our line technique is pretty detailed and that can be an article in and of itself. For simplicity we teach “inside, outside, inside, outside & anchor” footwork for the “retreat” or kick steps. We want to pick up the 5 most dangerous rushers and spill #6. The extra rusher should be, if they are sending 6, off the edge or an ILB flat footed coming from depth. This works well for us there is a lot more to the protection, but that is how we initially explain it to our freshman squad line.

Continue to the full-length version of this report…

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  • How Coach Holzer teaches his receivers to adjust their route structure against single and double high safety coverages.
  • The coaching points behind the route of the inside post, middle post and outside post.
  • The quarterback’s pre-snap thought process as it pertains to identifying safety structure and blitz potentials.
  • Plus game film on these concepts.

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This has been a great concept for us and one that we will continue to develop. Our main concern was holding up in protection long enough to get the ball off but we have found that we get the ball out fast usually between 1.9 and 2.2 seconds. I hope this concept helps add another wrinkle to your vertical pass game.

Meet Coach Rich Holzer: Rich Holzer finished his second season as head coach at Mount Saint Joseph H.S. in Baltimore this fall leading the Gaels to consecutive state top 20 final rankings in over a decade in the competitive MIAA “A” Conference. At Meade High School (MD), his teams won back-to-back region titles (2012 & 2013) for the first time in school history. From 2008-2010, he was the head coach at Parkdale High School. Holzer has also coach at Hofstra University and Westlake H.S. in Waldorf, MD.



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