I believe that it is very important coaches teach their option QBs to “read the stack” instead of teaching them to avoid it altogether.  Many coaches believe that it is just too tough for their QB to read a stack on the base triple option play.  I disagree.  The key to teaching your QB to be a great stack reader is repetition, repetition and more repetition.  Once he feels comfortable reading the stack, this allows your team to play harder and faster.

There are three possible scenarios that a QB faces when reading a stack: normal read, EZ read and Mesh Rush (or Blood stunt) read.

Diagram 1 shows what normally will happen when reading a stack.  The DE will pinch inside to take the B-Back dive while the OLB will take either the QB or pitch back.  In this case, the QB will read the DE as his “dive read” and the OLB as his “pitch read”.

Diagram 2 shows what is called an EZ Stunt.  This is when the DE and OLB change responsibilities with the DE now taking the QB or pitch back while the OLB takes the B-back.  The defense does this in an effort to confuse your QB into making a bad decision.  During the EZ stunt, our veer releasing OT will normally end up blocking the pinching OLB which will then cause the QB to pull the ball.  The DE now becomes the pitch key defender.

Diagram 3 is an all-out effort by the defense to attack the “mesh” between the QB and B-back in order to cause chaos and a fumble.  If this happens, our QB is taught to immediately pull up and pitch that ball to the pitch back.  Once again, with lots of practice, this will become second nature for your QB.  He will be able to handle this immense pressure.