AskDefine | Define veer

Dictionary Definition



1 turn sharply; change direction abruptly; "The car cut to the left at the intersection"; "The motorbike veered to the right" [syn: swerve, sheer, curve, trend, slue, slew, cut]
2 shift to a clockwise direction; "the wind veered" [ant: back]

User Contributed Dictionary



From the virer.



  1. turning.




  1. To change direction or course suddenly; to swerve.
  2. In the context of "intransitive|of the wind": To change direction in a clockwise direction if in the Northern Hemisphere, or in a counterclockwise direction if in the Southern Hemisphere.
  3. In the context of "intransitive|nautical|of the wind": To shift aft.
  4. In the context of "intransitive|nautical": To change direction into the wind; to wear ship.
  5. To turn.


  • Of the wind, to shift clockwise or counterclockwise: back
  • Of the wind, to shift aft: haul forward


(transitive) turn



Etymology 1


veer (plural veren)

Etymology 2

contraction of veder 'feather'


veer (plural veren)
  1. feather
  2. spring (e.g. metallic helix which resists stress)
Derived terms




Extensive Definition

The Veer is an option offense in American football, made famous at the collegiate level. It is currently run primarily on the high school level, with some usage at the collegiate and (with slight modifications) the professional level with varying degrees of success. The Veer is an effective, ball control offense that can help minimize mismatches in a game for a team. However, it can lead to turnovers with pitches and handoff option reads.


The Veer can be run out of any variety of formations, although it was primarily designed to be run out of the split-backed, aptly named veer formation. It has been used out of the I-formation (and its variants, including the Power-I and Maryland I), Split back formation, the flexbone, and the wishbone. It also is used in the shotgun formation. Some variants of the triple option have now made the jump to the shotgun formation. The Shotgun has become a popular option formation since Vince Young and the University of Texas Longhorns used the "zone read" in their 2005 National Championship run.

How it works

The Veer option is generally regarded as a "triple option". It is designed as a Four back attack with one player taking a dive course, one taking a pitch course and another being a lead blocker on the perimeter of the offensive formation. The QB makes reads on defensive players and then distributes the ball according to the defensive reaction to the offense. A typical play proceeds as follows (we will assume that this is an "inside veer" going to the right side out of the split-back formation): the quarterback takes the snap. He then does what is called "opening up": the quarterback goes from his two point stance, facing forward, and takes (in this situation) his opposite side, left foot and pivots ninety degrees on his right foot, extending the ball toward the sideline he is facing. The split-back halfback on the right side, who in this situation is the "dive back", goes forward into the line to where the quarterback is and meets in an area called the "mesh point". This is where the idea of the Veer begins to take shape: the offensive line has left one man unblocked here, most likely a defensive tackle (although it can be a linebacker). This man is being Read by the QB. The defender is being forced to choose between tackling the dive back or the quarterback. The dive back explodes forward, puts his arms around the ball that is being extended, but does not take it. The quarterback, in his open stance, is reading the man being veered to determine whether he will "pull" the ball from the dive back, or let the dive back take the ball and go through the hole. This is where the name of the offense, the veer, comes from. This is just one part of the Four-part option. If the quarterback keeps the ball, he attempts to cut up the field with the opposite side halfback, who has been running right towards the dive back's original position. He is the pitch man. He attempts to maintain proper pitch relation to the quarterback, technically a few yards outside the quarterback and moving laterally so that the quarterback may pitch the ball as he goes down the field. This entire action does not take longer than a few seconds. The Fourth Player in the split-veer would be a wide receiver or tight end. His job, depending on the formation, would be to block the Force player who is responsible for the flat to the side they are attacking. The offense relies on the quarterback making the proper reads, and reacting to the read (if he decides to keep the ball), turning up the field and gaining yardage. The dive back must remember to not take the football from the quarterback, rather the quarterback must give it to him. The pitch man must know to maintain proper spacing from the quarterback to ensure that the quarterback can make an effective pitch that can ensure more yardage.

Origin of the Veer

Two different men are credited with the invention of the Veer.
Bill Yeoman is credited with the invention of the Veer in 1964, and he ran that offense with the University of Houston for 25 years. He installed the offense, which led to multiple conference titles and unprecedented success. For further details, see below.
Emory Bellard is credited with the invention of the Veer offense during his High School coaching days in the early 1960s. Originally a high school football head coach, he began experimenting with an option offense using three backs. After being hired at the University of Texas by Darrell Royal, and eventually being named the Offensive Coordinator, he devised the wishbone based veer attack that won a national title in 1969 . Bellard left Texas to take the head coaching job at Texas A&M University. After that, the Veer offense spread quickly.

Stopping the Veer

After the 1970 regular season, Texas looked well on its way to winning its 31st consecutive game and 3rd consecutive national title in the Cotton Bowl game versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. However, Ara Parseghian and his coaching staff put together the first known strategy for stopping the Veer. Although the Veer can either be run on the interior of the line or on the edge, at this point, the veer was primarily run on the inside. The coaching staff implemented the following plan: focus the interior linemen and inside linebackers on stopping the dive back. Focus the outside linebackers and defensive linemen on stopping the quarterback as he cuts up the field. Focus the cornerbacks and safeties on stopping the pitch man (although they would have help from any defensive players who flowed to the ball). The strategy limited the Texas offense to 11 points, and Notre Dame won. However, it became clear after such a demonstration that the veer could be an effective weapon if used properly.

Using the Veer

When an offensive system is devised for a team, the coach must take into account his players, so the veer can be applied to several situations. It can be used for undersized players so that double teams and angles can be used to block defenders. It can be used to isolate defenders and create predictable responses to the offenses actions. If a team is very disciplined it can take advantage of an undisciplined defense that does not want to execute their reponsibilities precisely on each snap of the game.
The veer relies on precision, execution, and smarts, rather than an advantage in athleticism, to score points. The Ability of the QB to identify weakness in defensive alignment is paramount, as the veer can take quick advantage of a defensive misalignment. The veer also can be used with great effect when the offensive line is a strength of the team.
The veer offense was adopted by Jack Lengyel, the new head coach of Huntington, West Virginia's Marshall University Thundering Herd prior to the start of the 1971 season after a plane crash decimated the previous team. 75 people, including most of the team and its coaches, as well as school officials, city and state legislators and supporters died in the November 14, 1970 crash. Lengyel believed that the veer option offense would be a better offense than the Power I offense he had used at the College of Wooster. Bobby Bowden, then the head coach of in-state rivals West Virginia (although the two teams rarely played each other), offered to tutor Lengyel and his coaches on the intricacies and nuances of the veer option offense. Lengyel installed Reggie Oliver at quarterback. The Young Thundering Herd of Marshall would win two games in 1971: an emotional, last-second win against Xavier in their first home game after the crash and later in the year, in their homecoming game, against ranked Bowling Green.

The High School Level

The most famous High School program to use the Veer is De La Salle High School in Concord, California. Head Coach Bob Ladouceur brought the offense to the school when he originally arrived to bring the infant program its first winning season. He put in the system because of the undersized players he had. After a record 151 game winning streak, he continues to use the offense today. Graduates of De La Salle who have gone to the NFL include Amani Toomer, and Maurice Jones-Drew.
Another prolific high school program that runs the split back veer offense is John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, Louisiana. The Patriots have run the veer since 1970, compiling a 431-36-6 record (through 2006) and winning 21 Louisiana State Championships under head coach J.T. Curtis.
Many High School programs use the Veer because of several reasons. Many times, the coach of the school played within the system. Other times, the same situation exists as above - lack of speed, size, and athleticism to compete with the teams in their league. However, the Veer has begun to fade as the spread offense and the run and shoot offense permeate the game. The system remains with old school coaches, and it will not cease to exist for a long while.

The Collegiate Level

Because more media attention exists on the collegiate level, the collegiate teams who have run the Veer and its variants are far better known. Beyond the Texas teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the most famous and well covered officially "Veer" team was the Houston squad led by Bill Yeoman. Yeoman's teams racked up thousands of yards on the ground, and won four conference championships and 11 bowl games. His teams finished in the top 10 four times. Other famous Veer teams include University of Nebraska, who won several national titles in their Power-I offense, and the United States Air Force Academy and United States Naval Academy. The above mentioned teams now run the official definition of a veer offense - that is, under center. University of Missouri is generally credited with inventing the zone read, or shotgun veer play. A running back is lined up adjacent to the quarterback, and, at the snap, the quarterback opens up facing the running back. He reads the end on the same side as the running back. The running back is performing effectively the same motion as the dive back in a conventional veer, except he runs at the defensive end on the opposite side of the field. If the unblocked end on the running back's side (who, in a sense, is being veered) moves up the field towards the crossing running back, the quarterback pulls the ball from the running back and sprints by the end. If the veered end is waiting at his original position, the quarterback gives the ball to the running back. The veer works well on the collegiate level because the athletes are generally not quite as physically developed, fast, and strong as in the NFL. Many different formations are employed, and as a general rule, the option being employed is the base offense for the team, and not as a wrinkle.


No team has ever used the option as a base offensive system in the NFL since the players are simply too athletic and recover too quickly to the misdirection of the offense. However, teams have used it as a wrinkle. The Jacksonville Jaguars occasionally uses wide receiver Matt Jones as an option quarterback. A more commonly seen version was used by the Atlanta Falcons when the versatile Michael Vick was their quarterback . They used a version of the zone read, slightly watered down, to take advantage of their speed. However, they did not use it all the time.
More recently, the Tennessee Titans have used an offensive strategy similar to the veer where Vince Young played the option quarterback utilizing the zone-read he made famous, and Chris Brown played the dive-back. And in 2007, the Denver Broncos ran an option from Jay Cutler to Andre Hall to score against the Chicago Bears.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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