Thursday, August 18, 2016

Inside the Playbook: Iowa's Lead Stretch Zone



Iowa football has been utilizing the base stretch run scheme that made the likes of the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos dominant in the 90s and into the new century. I’ve discussed outside zone quite a bit before, as have many other places; rather than continue along the same lines, I’m now going to make a distinction and a further distinction with regards to Iowa football. There is Outside Zone – also known as wide zone – where the intent is to out flank the defense and get to the edge; this is most commonly seen from spread teams. Then there is zone stretch, where the ball can bounce to the outside, but more often than not will be cut inside the EMOL, this is the classic Joe Gibbs and Shanahan offense. Both can be called stretch or wide or outside zone, it’s more of a philosophical difference (though in Gibb's case, he had a play called "bounce" and a play called "Outside", that were just that very distinction). Iowa also adds in the lead blocker (Gibbs often did as well, it isn't a new invention), and that’s what I want to focus on today.