Chalk Talk with Coach O’Toole-The Y Stick

The Passing game is becoming more and more prevalent in the modern football game.This was highlighted by the NFL Superbowl in Miami this year. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning executed a masterclass in the passing game. Receivers are becoming more akin to basketball players than their counterparts of even 10 years ago.

The core philosophy of todays offense?

Spread out the defense.Make them choose.Find a hole in coverage.Exploit.

The Spread offense and it’s relatives have really taken off in the USA, and at the high school level schemes like the wild bunch, the air raid and the run and shoot have really worked on this concept. Anyone watching The New Orleans Saints sees WR after WR find open holes.But at IAFL level one scheme is tailormade.

The Y-Stick.An OLB’s worst nightmare.

The concept is pretty basic.Line up 3 WR’s or WR’s/TE’s to one side, or 2 of either with a RB to this side.

Y Stick with a RB in formation
Y Stick with a RB in formation

In the diagram above, we are lined up with a WR, TE and RB to the right. F runs a passing route into the flat zone. The QB’s first read should be the SAM LB. If the SAM steps out  to cover the flat and the S is in zone, a quick completion is possible to the Y should be there.

If the OLB sits in a zone and the CB takes the short sideline zone,the Z will dart upfield,forcing the Safety to cover deep. The Y should get behind the LB’s and proceed to read the Safety.If the Safety has gone deep the Y should cut  on a post if the weakside safety is wide in coverage.If the weakside safety is free the Y should cut on an out route.

Y Stick from single wing formation
Y Stick from single wing formation

Different formation above,same concept. Attack the OLB and make him choose.The QB should always read inside out on Y Stick. Against man coverage or cover 3 the QB should anticipate the Z will lure the CB and the SAM LB will move to cover the flat where the WB is moving to the flat as the safety valve.The Y will again get behind the LB,and can read an out route or if the S is over agressive try a sit route inside to lure him further down.If  this is the case the play will take a little longer to develop but the weak TE should be open deep.The Y is the key to what is open in these concepts,even if it is not him.

Y Stick Cut Up

Air Raid Y Stick

The Y Stick really utilises your TE and makes reading the D a little easier.Time to really get those yards!

Coach Darrin O'Toole
Coach Darrin O'Toole

-Darrin O’Toole is the Technical Director of the IAFCA.He is also Head Coach of Trinity College Football and has served on various incarnations of the Team Ireland Coaching staff.He previously served as Defensive Coordinator at DCU and was a multi time Shamrock Bowl winner as a player with the Dublin Rebels.He lives in Dublin with his wife Laura.Coach O’Toole can be reached via email