By Joe Gerbino
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback’s Coach
Utica College, (NY)
Double posts have been a great addition to our offense. The concept allows us to be aggressive and read a third-level defender, but also have a shallow component for completions. It is a “shot play” with a built-in check down (without using the back). Double posts have been compatible with our 10, 11, 12, and 21 personnel packages. The concept meshes well with our play-action and drop back pas protections. We have clips of completing this play versus every coverage, whether it be man, one high/two high zones, or split field variations. We have run a variety of double posts since 2015. Over the years we have built the concept to help us every week, regardless of opponent. We have grown to like it so much, that in 2019, it was our most frequently called pass play.
Why Run Double Posts?
Many Offensive Coordinators are looking for a “high completion percentage play” but also understand “big plays” help you win. At Utica, we think Double Posts accomplish both. There is a component to take a shot versus one high structures, split the safeties of two high structures, or get the ball underneath to “throw short, run long.” Our quarterbacks and skill players love this concept because they feel every route can be thrown.
First, three-step footwork. We coach our QB’s to always check our back-side receiver to see if that ball can be completed. We tell our quarterbacks a defense must “pay the price of admission,” and force us to make a read and take a drop. Anytime we can take our X receiver we will. We determine the depth and leverage of the boundary CB, along with the pre-snap alignment of the weak safety regarding the hash. Once we have determined we cannot take the "free access" throw, we will then get into the concept itself. We will read our double posts inside-out to down. This is base installed out of 2x2 formations – low post by the play side #2, high post by the play side #1, and then shallow cross from our backside #2 - that will eventually get into our play side vision (should not have to move “the stripe on our helmet”).
When talking coverage with QB’s, they know which routes are ideal versus specific looks, but the read will ultimately remain the same, inside-out to down. For a given opponent we will quicken the reads based on the game plan. For example, against a cover three defense, we will be quicker progressing from the high post to the shallow, keeping in mind that the safety is splitting the hashes. Against a cover 4 team, we will be quicker on our first read to the low post, knowing that safety will play it, man, past a certain point, and opens up the high post over top. Ideally, these are the routes we want versus specific coverages.
Cover 2: Low post splitting safeties.
Cover 3: High post convert vs squeeze corner or shallow underneath LB.
Cover 4: High post behind strong safety.
0 high man: Low post is closest to us and will press toes and cross face vs man defender.
1 high man: High post convert to the field or shallow cross with man defender trailing.
2 high man: Which post wins? Most likely shallow cross – let’s not be in third and long for teams to get into this.