Simply saying "they have bad players" cannot be an excuse; while I am the first to point out that recruiting stars mean very little, one would be simply ignorant to look at a D1 roster and say they have no talent. For example, Jonathan Gray was one of the most explosive backs in the country, yet coming out of camp, there is no means to free release him in pass patterns to get him the ball? Just because you free release the back doesn't mean you are relegated to 5 man protections - that's what H Backs are for.
An explosive back can also be taken advantage of in the VERTICAL passing game. With all the complex combination coverage schemes designed to hinder 3x1 sets, the RB can be an effective weapon. Also, PROPER TRAINING of the passer and protection unit can alter the misconception that 5-man protections are vulnerable to the blitz. Here, the ball is gone in under 2 seconds. The key is the awareness of protection problems in concert with a route that is available on any step.
Even with 11-year olds, for example, our option routes are never simply run on air. There is always a stimulus for the Mike LB (because they are a RAM read for us) to ensure the option route is isolated, followed by a defender upon whom the option runner will key. Drills are what allows this:
- Have a design that allows your players to be in a position to play "downhill"
- Put them in those situations as many times as possible in practice