Thursday, June 13, 2013

Some More Stunts for the Zone Read

Not that stunt!

In some recent discussions on the Huey board, I decided to dust off a post that was actually supposed to have been posted over a year ago!  It was a thread that was to go along with one of my first posts about the Down and Up stunt against the zone read.  As with many things, I shelved it and haven't been back to it.  Well here it is, and here are a couple of other stunts that may help you against the zone read by giving different looks to the offense.

Setting the Three Technique
This one topic has been debated countless times.  The offense has the upper hand because by setting the three technique away from the running back they have an easy cut back lane if the ball is handed off to the running back.  Not to mention an open B gap to the weak side that they can exploit if they have a running QB by running QB iso to that side.  If you set the three technique to the back, then the blocking on the front side of the zone play becomes a bit easier because of the soft B gap.  So what to do?  The two stunts discussed here involve moving the three technique in a manner that allows the defense to dictate what the offense will do.  If your defense is not flexible enough to move the three technique around, you need seriously reevaluate what you are doing defensively.

Stunt 1- Using the Three Technique as the QB Player
The first stunt is where the 3 technique is set to the RB.  On the snap, the defensive end will slam down hard into the B gap and attack the near hip of the offensive guard.  This will do two things.  To the QB it looks like the end has come down hard and this should be a pull read.  Second, if the ball is given, then the DE will have the B gap for the cutback run.  The Tackle, will loop outside and replace the DE to contain the QB.  Again, if the QB pulls the football, then he will run right into the unblocked three technique.  Obviously the success of this stunt lies in the ability of the three technique to tackle in space.  A good rule is to do this when  the offense puts the RB into the boundary, which gives the QB less room to operate in.

Stunt 2- The Read Blitz
The Read Blitz was introduced to me a few years back as a well to "mess" with the option QB and give the defense another easy way to defend the option.  Against the spread, the defense will set the three technique away from the RB, inviting the cutback.  Pre-snap the weak side LB will walk up to within a yard of the LOS into the open B gap.  This LB is keying the near hip off the offensive guard.  If the hip moves inside, the LB attacks right off this hip and flat down the LOS, looking to prevent the cutback.  If the hip attacks to him, either vertically or laterally, the LB will work to get up field and wall off the play coming to him (could be power, iso or QB zone).  The DE to the side of the read blitz will now become the QB player.  In similar fashion to the down and up stunt, the DE will still squeeze the tackle, but with hands only, being aware not to get his shoulders turned so that he may be in a position to contain the QB if the QB pulls the football (which will more than likely happen due to the DE "squatting").

The beauty of this stunt is that even if the LB gets washed, he's done his job, because he's eliminated the cut back lane in the weak side B gap (which is what most DC's are worried about by setting the three technique to the back).  The major coaching point here is to have the DE squeeze with his hands, and then shuffle down the line, being prepared to tackle the QB.

The read blitz can be used against many types of options and was introduced to me as a way to mess with the triple option QB on inside veer.  Against the veer, the LB simply tackles the dive back if the guard's hip goes down inside.  The DE will still squeeze and sit for the QB.  This is a simple stunt that doesn't take a ton of teaching time to develop and can really foul up an option QB's reads.

A word of caution, be well prepared and know when to run this stunt as it's not the best in the world against isolation runs to the opposite side of the stunt for the lack of the extra player to make up for the extra gap presented by the lead blocker.  It's also a bit tough vs. the pass because now the LB must drop to his zone, being only a yard off the LOS.  This is where detailed film study is really crucial in game planning.

So, that's it!  Just a couple of tidbits to keep you rolling along.  Sorry it's been so long between postings, but life is back to that glorious busy buzz of high school football.  Never thought I'd ever say it feels good to be underpaid and overworked!!!!