Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Inside the Playbook: Iowa's Outside Zone Gap Counter

Iowa has long been known for its use of the stretch zone run scheme, and they love to use a FB within this scheme for a variety of reasons. In fact, one of their favorite runs is the lead outside zone play. Because it is such a staple of the offense, opponents have stressed the importance of defending this play whenever they face Iowa, to the point that Iowa has established a number of "counters" to take advantage of those defensive strategies. The most common strategy that Iowa utilizes is a pin and pull scheme, but they also incorporate other variations. In this post, we will look briefly at how defenses defend Iowa's stretch scheme, and how Iowa deployed a "gap counter" to effectively counter those strategies.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Football Fundamentals: Belly, Tight, Inside, Middle, Outside, Wide Zone Runs

You see it everywhere. You see it on this blog. People talk zone running and they inherently talk "Inside Zone" and "Outside Zone". Then you hear some football minds talking, and you might hear "Tight Zone" and "Wide Zone". In many cases, those will be fully synonymous with the former. But they aren't always, and in fact, there can be a small distinction. And what if I told you ('30 for 30' voice) there was something called "Middle Zone", or "Mid Zone" (not to be confused with midline). These are all concepts that exist at certain levels of football. Many coaches will combine these schemes and utilize pre- and post- snap adjustments to bridge the gap. Some will teach only some of them to get really good at those few concepts without having to worry their players about subtle nuance. But some really dedicated coaches will teach all of these concepts. I'm going to give a primer on each of these concepts in this article.

(H/T this post was inspired by a tweet and back-and-forth with Chris Brown of Smart Football)



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Inside the Playbook: Wisconsin Swap Boot Scheme

I’ve previously discussed how Wisconsin utilizes Dos, TightBunch, and Wings in formation to run a lot of Power O, Lead, and Counter plays. Similarly, they utilize the width of the formation to successfully run a lot of zone schemes, including both Inside Zone and Outside Zone. In this post, we will look at the swap boot concept, and then in the next post, we will look at similar concepts with small tweaks to the setup.