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case3picBy Mike Kuchar, Senior Research Manager, X&O Labs

Defenses commonly provide solutions to combat the various option elements you have in your offensive package. This article details two common adjustments to make sure your best player gets the ball in option concepts while negating gap exchange schemes.

By Mike Kuchar

Senior Research Manager

X&O Labs

 

 

Editor’s Note:  The following research is part of XandOLabs.com special report on Pistol option football.  The report can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here. 

 

One of the more common defensive adjustments to zone read teams is known as a gap exchange- the most common being a first level and second level defender.  According to Norcross, these were the most common counters defenses would have against zone read concepts.  Many defenses would tighten the alignment of their defensive ends to allow them to squeeze down blocks while second level linebackers can scrape over the top to play the QB (Diagram 16).  Norcross recounts a time that Nevada encountered this exact problem when playing Boston College in a bowl game a couple years back.  “We could never get our Tackle down to block the play side inside linebacker,” said Norcross.  “So we told the Tackle to block him so our slip guy could block the play side inside linebacker (Diagram 17).  The alley player would be free.  So we ran our arc scheme to the Tight End side so we didn’t need to run the ball at the Tackle. We basically man schemed the back side (read side) of the play. Our Tackle was responsible for him so we can take our tight end/wing back on the alley player.

Slide16Slide17

 

Reading second level players in the zone read scheme from Pistol formations is something that Kyle Schmitt, the head coach at Archbishop Spalding HS (MD) detailed in a previous report on XandOLabs.com.    “In order to keep defenses off balance, we will lock our offensive tackle and read the backside linebacker (Diagram 20),” said Schmitt.  “All of the same rules apply for the rest of the offensive line. We will also use this look in some Run/Pass Packaged plays.”  Schmitt shared his blocking rules for his “read backer” principle below.

Z

Block Most Dangerous Man (Bubble/Key Rules if attached to call)

Y

Block Most Dangerous Man (Bubble /Key Rules if attached to call)

X

Block Most Dangerous Man (Bubble /Key Rules if attached to call)

F

Slot – Block Most Dangerous Man (Bubble/Key Rules if attached to call)FB – Block attached call (Arc, Bluff, Slice)

H

Zone Read FootworkRead – Frontside A gap to Backside A gap. 1stBackside LB is Read Player.Run thru arm tackle

PST

Zone rules playside

PSG

Zone rules playside

C

Uncovered / BSG Covered – Zone rules playside – must lock on backdoor noseCovered / BSG Uncovered – Double with BSG to Frontside LB

BSG

Uncovered – Zone rules playside with CenterCovered –Block Man On – Take him where he wants to go / Hat Inside

BST

Lock Man On – Base Block Defensive End / Step with inside foot. Hat Playside

QB

Zone Read FootworkRead – 1st LB passed the center.If pull read the BST block.

 

To see video of Coach Schmitt’s read backer concept from Pistol formations, click on the link below:

 

 

 

 

What You're Missing:

Join XandOLabs.com exclusive Insiders program and gain full access to the entire clinic article including:  

  • Former Nevada head coach Chris Ault’s “Master Lock” concept that he used to three man surface option schemes.
  • Portland State University’s “Latch” concept which was used to handle wind back second level players in the Pistol.
  • The Crack concept used by Jim Mastro while at Nevada against Robber safeties that tied into the run game.
  • Game video on all these concepts.

 

Join X&O Labs' Insiders Website. Click Here!

 

 

Conclusion

Defenses commonly provide solutions to combat the various option elements you have in your offensive package.  These are two common adjustments to make sure your best player gets the ball in option concepts.  

 

 

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