Creating an offense that is simple for the offense and complex for the defense is the universal goal for almost every football coach. A popular way to do this is by using the same plays out of multiple formations to give the defense something to look at. The major issue becomes teaching this idea to your players so that they understand how their role changes with these new formations. We use the “Rule of Trips” to keep things simple for our players as we move them all around the formation.
Receivers struggle to learn routes. It is a universal fact of football. No matter how simple you make the routes, receivers will inevitably struggle to learn these routes. There are a variety of different factors that go into this, but as a coach it’s important to find a way to make things easier for receivers. In addition, it’s critical that you keep the routes simple so that if a player comes over from defense or needs to be moved to the slot from an outside receiver or running back it’s easy for them to learn the plays and start contributing immediately.
The Rule of Trips is the easiest way to keep things simple for receivers as they are moved around the field. This is a simple rule that can be installed in one day and makes it easy for receivers to learn their routes. We base out of a Doubles formation with two receivers on each side of the line. So the Rule of Trips will tell the #3 receiver what his assignment is when he brought over to a Trips formation. In our Rule of Trips the #3 receiver has the same route as the #2 receiver in the quick game. This is the same route as he would have had on the other side so it requires no learning. In our 5 step passing game the Rule of Trips is that the #3 receiver has a seam route. This means that for us to go into a Trips formation the receiver only needs to learn 1 route (which he should already know) for us to get into our whole passing game.
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The Rule of Trips is a perfect summary of what we try to do on offense. We want to have our players learn as few skills as possible so they can become excellent at executing these skills. On a Friday night it is rarely a specific play that wins the game, instead it is a player executing the skill that he has worked on countless times in practice. We use the Rule of Trips to allow our players to play faster and spend their time getting better at their techniques instead of learning multiple routes.