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Organizing an Outside Zone Series.

A complete series built around a bread-and-butter off-tackle run

COACHES WHO ARE IN THE PROCESS OF organizing an offense have to start with an idea of what they want for a bread-and-butter play and then go on to build a series around it.

That is how we evolved our basic off-tackle running play and outside zone series, which included a boot pass, a roll pass, a counter, and a reverse.

This series gives us a variety of ways to attack the defense, with every play starting out with an identical look.

Diag. 1 shows the blocking scheme for our basic 26 Zone play to the TE side. The critical block is the double-team on the down DT while the left guard and center combo on the other DT.

Note: We try to have one of the linemen from each of these double-teams release to the second level and block a linebacker. Coaching point: The double team has to be stressed first.

One of the great things about this series is that it can be run effectively to either side, with practically the same blocking. 26 Zone simply becomes 25 Zone when run to the split-end side.

For example, Diag. 2 shows the 23 Counter Play that begins exactly the same as the off-tackle zone play to the TE. We constantly stress this to the QB and RB. The faking technique must be precise and realistic.

The FB's first steps must be toward the strong side, as in the 26 Zone. Once he clears the QB, he pulls along with the strong-side guard, who blocks the first down lineman he sees. The FE reads this block and blocks the next defender to show.

The TB begins his off-tackle course for three steps and then breaks back for an outside handoff from the QB. The QB must stop and turn his back to the LOS when handing off the ball (to hide it from the defense), then boots opposite the handoff.

The linemen to the playside (LT, LG, C) all block down. Using the FB to block gives us a quicker athlete than you have in the counter trey, where the guard and tackle pull.

Note: 23 Counter run to the SE side (Diag. 2) becomes 24 Counter when run to the TB side.

Diag. 3 shows the 26 Pass we run to the play-fake side of the formation. As with the rest of this series, it can be run to either side (becoming the 25 Pass).

The coaching point for 26 Pass is to have the backs (FB and TB) work slightly wider than normal in order to hook the last defensive man on the LOS. The hooking action will allow the QB to break contain and put pressure on the defensive perimeter, giving the QB a run-pass option.

If this block is not made, the QB will have to pull up and throw from within the pocket while the back rides the defensive player outside.

The block must be practiced by the RBs to accustom them to both hook and kickout blocks.

The FB must make contact and block before releasing into the flat (Diag. 3). The TB, after faking the handoff, must finish the block for the FB. The linemen block away from the backfield action.

The patterns run with the play can vary. We add a three-digit number to the play that designates the routes for X, Y, and Z.

In the 26 Boot Pass (Diag. 4), we pull a guard to block for the QB. We do not like to use backs in the pattern. We prefer to have them help with the backside protection.

We add a three-digit number to the play that designates the routes for X, Y, and Z and gives us the flexibilty to change the routes during the course of the game.

Diag. 5 shows the last play in this series, the TE Reverse off the 26 Zone, While we do not run this play more than once or twice a game, it can be very effective in slowing down a quickly pursuing defense with misdirection.

The guard on the TE side pulls and leads for the TE, the FB fills for the pulling guard, and the QB fakes the handoff to the TB and then makes an outside handoff to the TE.

Off-tackle zone is a play used by many teams on many levels. It is the kind of bread-and-butter play that you may consider building an outside zone series around.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:football
Author:Parker, Randy P.
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:750
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