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Coaching Running Back Reads in the Inside Zone Read

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© June, 2011

by Matt Johnston
Assistant Coach • Warren Fitzgerald High School (MI)

More and more teams are implementing zone schemes at all levels of football and for good reason. I have experienced great success at both the collegiate level and high school level using zone schemes. There are many variations of the zone scheme and many ways to teach it. The zone can be run from under center or the gun. Some teams will use two backs, others will run an option off the initial zone read. Some teams look to run outside zone with an emphasis on getting an edge and getting outside. Still others run a stretch zone and look to hit off tackle versus a 3-tech defensive tackle, and they will often call the same play to a 1-tech or a “zone cut” play. The nuances and wrinkles can be endless.  

  At Warren Fitzgerald High School, we run an outside zone play, which is essentially a sweep and the inside zone read. In the outside zone play, the RB is looking to get outside the tackle box and taking an off-tackle alley only if it presents itself as wide open. For this play, we will first try to align our formation with a TE or a wing to get the defense out-flanked on the end of the line of scrimmage, giving us an easier vertical climb and combo blocks that are rela ...The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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