Breaking down Hugh Freeze’s three-man surface offense
Hugh Freeze has an understanding of how much the run game means for opening up the pass game, however he is adaptable when seeing something that defenses are giving his offensive personnel within a game.
Freeze has the ability to simplify things for his offensive personnel. The more things are simplified, the more difficult it becomes for defenses defending his offense.
His offense centers around putting defensive personnel in conflict. Conflicts can be caused by a zone read on the defensive end, reading the second level and placing linebackers in conflict of their assignment.
Freeze understands how to attack linebackers that are in a run fit and attached to the box. His offense displays a fast read with the quarterback eyeing what linebackers are going to do. This helps the quarterback conduct a pass or a run option.
Freeze demands his offensive personnel to have an answer to a zone blitz, allowing for tempo. This is known as a three-man surface in Freeze’s offense.
His offense can also have three-man surfaces in motion. For instance, a short motion with a tight end against a zone blitz can open up a play against the high safety.
With a tight end in motion, he can block a cornerback, providing a three-man surface. The quarterback can then throw a hitch screen to the outside with a stick screen to the inside.
This also allows for an inside zone run if the quarterback elects to not throw a hitch or screen pass, or attack the high safety. The quarterback must read the MIKE linebacker and see if he decides to play the outside screen or stay within the box.
Freeze’s offense caters to where his offensive personnel can have an advantage numbers-wise.
His offense also has a wide receiver on the outside that is able to have one-on-one matchups once defenses play the run or screen. The quarterback can decide quickly if the defensive personnel has committed to playing the run or screen, and then throw to outside wide receiver for a favorable matchup.