Friday, July 9, 2010

Trends: Zone Read

As I've stated many times, part of the satisfaction of watching football is experiencing the maturation of the game. With the Zone Read run game, the natural evolution to zone/stretch with bootleg compliment, the efficiency in creating a horizontal stretch of the defense is too productive to ignore.

NCAA_zone read @ Yahoo! Video

Will it 'catch on' in the NFL? Who knows, but judging by these clips below, it isn't going away any time soon, nor should it be regarded as just a "gimmick". This may also fundamentally change the way the professional quarterback (prototype) is viewed, or at the very least affect the way in which front office allocate personnel (bringing in multi-dimensional run/pass threat players).

NFL_zone read @ Yahoo! Video
NFL_zone read @ Yahoo! Video

Now, defenses must account for the 5 receiving threat +1. This in turn will force defenses to adjust/adapt either through personnel, fronts, or coverages (leading to a proliferation of nickel and dime packages).

Do you zone up and risk being overloaded by numbers, or do you man up and.......

NFL_special @ Yahoo! Video

...have no one account for the 'quarterback'.


Anonymous said...

1. On the zone read how is the give read taught? I know its based on if the backside DE can tackle the running back or not but I was looking for something a little more in depth.

Do Qb's read shoulders,numbers, helmets, ect ?

2. You spoke in the post (if I am correct)that the zone read could lead to more nickle and dime coverages. I didn't quite understand that other than the zone read being teamed with spread offensive pakages.

Also how does a defense combat the zone read while play with a saftey(as seen on many of the clips) If the qb is a threat to run the defense is down a man. Other than the DE crashing and the linebacker coming around(I forgot the name of this tactic) mathematically the defense just doesn't have enough body without playing unsound.

Kevin said...

1. There are lots of ways that I have heard or read the give read is taught. I have heard as complex as the DE's upfield KNEE, to as simple as the eyes. I am a believer that they eyes don't lie, but I don't coach the option.

I also can't help you too much on your #2 because we've never faced a zone read team yet. I hear we will so I am anxiously awaiting someone's answer.

Coach Hoover said...

It seems like when I first heard of the Zone Read play that coaches at clinics would say to read the DE's shoulders and it seems like the read became more complex as it was described over the next few years. The best way IMO is to tell the QB to "Give it unless the DE can tackle the RB, then pull it." The KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle and practice reps will get the QB to be able to read it correctly.

brophy said...

As far as #2 (Defense vs zone read), most folks cross read QB/RB with 11 personnel.

And, yes, the use of 1-back spread is what I was referring to (dictating defensive personnel groupings).

The issue becomes that there are two backs that can actually threaten THREE gaps in the defense.

This stretch can also be witnessed in the Herb Hand post from last year.

In subsequent posts, we'll get into controlling the gaps from a 7 man front concept with 8 man principles using "Lever-Spill-Lever".