Posted October 24, 2011 by
Under • Coaching & Athletics
This season, I have had my eyes peeled for new wrinkles, formations, or plays teams have been running that are innovative and effective.
One such wrinkle I have seen involves the spread offense staple, the zone read. There are many known wrinkles and varieties to the zone read. Teams often run a bubble screen or option back to the side the read is located, in order to hold the defense from over-pursuing.
The film below shows a change up to the zone read option that we will term the zone read lead. Instead of leaving the backside linebacker or contain player unblocked this scheme creates a lead block that is able to out flank the contain player.
Key alignment points:
- Utilizing a pistol set is key to allowing the RB a downhill path as well as creating a clear picture for the QB to see his read.
- Running this play out of an offset alignment allows the lead blocker to start closer to where his responsibility will take him. Aligning in a wing alignment will also provide the lead blocker with enough time to clear the area, and to end up far enough outside to execute his responsibility.
- You will want to ensure that, by alignment, there is not more than one overhang player on the backside. If there are multiple unblocked backside defenders, you will want to change the formation out of which you are running the play. Below, the offense utilizes an unbalanced look to move extra defenders to the strong side.
- Pre-snap, the offensive line will make the calls necessary to execute the inside zone. Everyone on this play except for the QB and the lead blocker (usually the FB or TE) will be executing zone blocking.
- Immediately after the snap, the QB needs to place the ball in the stomach of the RB and move eyes to the DE.
- The FB will track outside and block the first force player outside of the DE that is being read.
- If the DE stays outside or only tentatively closes the gap between himself and the tackle, the QB will hand the ball off to the RB. If the DE closes the gap and works inside, the QB will pull the ball and take an outside track toward the FB.
- If the RB ends up with the ball, he will press play side and cut back if the opportunity presents itself.
Check out the presentation below for more information on how this play is executed:
Let us know what you think about this play. Is this something you will utilize to create a new wrinkle in your offense?