Inside Zone

Do you want to know what’s the difference between wide zone and tight zone? Do you want to know how many pass blocking schemes are too many? Have you ever wondered what to run against an eight-man box?

Good.

Because that’s what I talk about today in the second edition of the coaches mailbox.

You’ll learn from this episode:

  • The different aiming point for the offensive line in wide zone compared to tight zone.
  • Where the running back’s aiming point is in the wide zone.
  • How three different pass protections are all the same to the offensive line.
  • Who you need to follow on Twitter to learn about the wide zone.
  • Why Mexican cheese dip is my crack.

Thanks for Listening!

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Show Notes:

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Inside Zone Scheme Running Back

 

How many times has this happened to you?

You call a run play in the game and you know it’s going to work because you’ve watched a year’s worth of film on your opponent. You come out in a certain formation expecting the defense to give you that look you’ve been craving because you know the perfect play to gash them with.

But, what’s this? The defense didn’t do what you thought they were going to do. Now you start to sweat. Do you run the play? Call something different? Call timeout?

Screw it.

You’ve called the play. The kids have to deal with it. You did an okay enough job teaching them throughout the week. Who cares if it is against a front you only talked during Thursday’s walkthrough. The kids are smart enough. They will adjust.

The quarterback calls the cadence. The center snaps the ball. The quarterback hands the ball off and the running back gets stuffed two yards in the backfield.

Does that scenario sound familiar to you?

Because it does to me. That’s happened way too much to my liking. So I’ve decided to do something about it. What have I done? I’ve gone to using one running scheme.

What running scheme? The Inside Zone.

Why You Should Only Run the Inside Zone Scheme

Inside Zone is simple if you commit to it.

The reason is simple. Your kids will rep the piss out of it every day and get great at it. They will practice against every front, every blitz, every stunt, and everything a creative defensive coordinator can throw at you.

I know my kids did.

We repped the inside zone against the Under Front, Over Front, Bear Front, Over G Front, Double Eagle Front, Odd Front, Stack Front, Okie Front, American Fire Zone Front, Wag the Dog Front, Double Mike A Gap Super Blitz Front, and Super Double Power Eagle G Over Burning It All Down Front.

You name the blitz and/or stunt and our guys knew how to block it.

Why?

Because we did it every freaking day in practice. Individuals – Inside Zone drills. Team Run – Inside Zone blocking. Inside Drill – Inside Zone blocking. Team Tempo – Inside Zone blocking. Team – Inside Zone blocking.

Reps. Reps. Reps. Reps. Reps. That’s all my guys did in practice. Shoot, my guys blocked inside zone so much that they were taking their steps and shooting their hands while they were getting ready to go to bed.

And isn’t that the major secret about being successful on offense? Getting enough reps so your players can feel like they have mastered it?

Why You Won’t Stick to Inside Zone Scheme as the Only Scheme

I'm Smarter Than I know about Inside Zone

Because you think you’re smarter than you really are.

That’s right, I said it. And you know it’s true. How do I know you know it’s true?

I’m the same as you. I always had to have four, five, or six running schemes because I thought I was smarter than I was. Hell, I knew the blocking schemes and adjustments against everything the defense did. So why shouldn’t my players, right?

Wrong.

You eat, sleep, and breath football. Your players eat, sleep, breath other things – video games, food, getting laid. You know, things that really matter.

Don’t believe me? Turn on your film and count how many times you blame the kids for missing a block.

News flash buddy. It isn’t the kid’s fault. It’s yours.

How do you Block Your Inside Zone?

How to Block Inside Zone

There are two schools of thought on blocking the Inside Zone – Vertical displacement or Horizontal displacement.

Vertical Displacement is were you focus on double-teaming the down linemen into the laps of the linebackers.

Horizontal displacement is where your guys are blocking the down linemen left or right and letting your runningback make the play.

Which one do we use?

Horizontal displacement. Why? Because it is super easy to teach. All my guys have to do is step to the direction the play is going and protect their gap for three steps. If someone shows up in that gap within three steps then that’s who they block. If someone doesn’t show up in their gap in three steps then they climb to the next level.

It’s that simple.

Blocking Inside Zone Against an Over Front

How to block inside zone against an over front

 

PST – He has a defender over him. He takes three steps to the right while asking himself, “Is there a defender in my play side gap?” Most of the time that five technique will stay with him because he is taught not to get reached. So on the third step, the tackle will stay on the block.

PSG – He does not have a defender over him, yet he is still taking his three steps toward his play side gap. He is asking himself, “Is there anyone showing up in my gap?” If the five technique doesn’t spike inside or a linebacker shoot into the gap then he will work to the second level.

Center – He has a shade on him. Doesn’t matter. He will still take three steps toward his play side gap. He is asking himself, “Is this shade attacking my gap?” If the answer is yes then he will be pushing the defender to the right. If the shade spikes across his face by the third step then he will work up to the second level.

BSG – He has a three-technique on his backside. Doesn’t matter because he is asking himself, “Is there someone in my play side gap?” He is taking three steps to make sure no one shows up. If someone shows up within those three steps then he will block him. If no one shows up in three steps then he will work to the second level.

BST – He has a defender in his play side gap. Doesn’t matter however because he is asking himself “Do I have anyone in my play side gap?” He will take three steps to the right while checking his gap. If that three-technique stays in the B gap then the tackle will wash him out. If that defender does something strange and goes away from the B gap then the tackle will work up to the second level on his fourth step.

Blocking Inside Zone Scheme Against an Under Front

Blocking Inside Zone Against Under Front

 

PST – He has a defender over him. He takes three steps to the right while asking himself, “Is there a defender in my play side gap?” Most of the time that five technique will stay with him because he is taught not to get reached. So on the third step, the tackle will stay on the block.

PSG – He has a three-technique in his play side gap. Doesn’t matter because he is asking himself, “Is there someone in my play side gap?” He is taking three steps. If that three-technique stays in his gap then he will block him. If that three-technique spikes into the A gap then he will move to the second level.

Center – He doesn’t have a defender in his gap. Doesn’t matter though. He will still take three steps toward his play side gap. He is asking himself, “Is anyone showing up in my gap?” If the answer is yes then he will lock onto that defender. If the answer is no by his third step then he will climb to the second level.

BSG – He has a shade on him. Doesn’t matter though. He will still take three steps toward his play side gap. He is asking himself, “Is this shade attacking my gap?” If the answer is yes then he will be pushing the defender to the right. If the shade spikes across his face by the third step then he will work up to the second level.

BST – He has a defender on his outside. Doesn’t matter however because he is asking himself “Do I have anyone in my play side gap?” He will take three steps to the right while checking his gap. If no one shows up then the tackle will work up to the second level on his fourth step.

Blocking Inside Zone Scheme Against an Odd Front

How to block Inside Zone Against an Odd Front

PST – He has a defender over him. He takes three steps to the right while asking himself, “Is there a defender in my play side gap?” Most of the time that five technique will stay with him because he is taught not to get reached. So on the third step, the tackle will stay on the block.

PSG – He does not have a man over him, yet he is still taking his three steps toward his play side gap. He is asking himself, “Is there anyone showing up in my gap?” If the five technique doesn’t spike inside or a linebacker shoot into the gap then he will work to the second level.

Center – He has a defender on him. Doesn’t matter though. He will still take three steps toward his play side gap. He is asking himself, “Is this nose guard attacking my gap?” If the answer is yes then he will be pushing the defender to the right. If the nose guard spikes across his face by the third step then he will work up to the second level.

BSG – He does not have a defender over him, yet he is still taking his three steps toward his play side gap. He is asking himself, “Is there anyone showing up in my gap?” If the nose guard doesn’t spike inside or a linebacker shoot into the gap then he will work to the second level.

BST – He has a defender over him. He takes three steps to the right while asking himself, “Is there a defender in my play side gap?” Most of the time that five technique will stay outside of him because is the quarterback player. However, if the five-technique tries to cross the tackles face then he will wash him out of the play.

Spicing Up the Inside Zone Scheme with Tags

Spice Up Inside Zone with Tags

I know what you are thinking. Coach, this is all well and good, but defenses will be able to stop our run game because we are only RUNNING ONE FREAKING SCHEME.

In the immortal words of Lee Corso, “NOT SO FAST SWEETHEART!”

We are going to use something special. Something sexy. Something that makes the inside zone look different to the defense yet makes it super simple to the offense.

What am I talking about?

Tags. Hot, sweating, sexy tags.

What are tags? These are little keywords that tell one player to change his assignment without messing with the rest of the players.

LOCK TAG

Lock Up the Backside of Inside Zone

The first tag we add to the inside zone scheme is our lock scheme. This only affects the backside guard and tackle.

How?

By having them lock onto their defenders. It’s simple: the tackle is always locked on to the man head up to outside of him. The backside guard is only locked on if he has a man head up to outside of him.

Blocking a 3 and 5 technique with Inside Zone Lock Tag

Example 1: The guard has a guy head up to outside of him. Therefore he locks on.

Inside Zone Lock Tag against a shade and a five-technique

Example 2: Does the guard have a man head up to outside of him? Nope. So he does his normal inside zone steps.

Inside Zone run scheme with a lock tag against an odd stack

Example 3: Same thing in the odd front. Nobody head up or outside of the backside guard, so he does his normal steps.

This tag is amazing because now you have turned the Inside Zone Scheme into an RPO. You will have the slot wide receiver run a three-step hitch. The quarterback is reading the backside linebacker. If the linebacker fills, then he will pull the ball and drill the hitch. If the linebacker drops then the quarterback will hand the ball off.

Simple as that.

CAP TAG

Inside Zone Scheme with a Cap Tag

This tag utilizes an H-Back. Yes, I believe you need an H-Back to be able to run this scheme right and be efficient.

(Yeah, I said it. Are you happy now? Jerks.)

What the CAP tag does is tell the H-Back to cross the formation and kick out the defender that is in the C-gap.

Inside Zone Run with a Cap Tag

You can get creative with this tag. You can tag it with your quick game, dropback game, or screen game. This tag also allows you to change the person you want to read on your RPO. You can read a linebacker, a safety, or a corner. The possibilities are endless.

RPO off of a Linebacker

RPO run off of a linebacker

RPO off of a Safety

Reading a safety for a RPO play

RPO off of a Corner

Reading the Corner RPO off of Inside Zone Scheme

SLICE TAG

Inside Zone Scheme with a Slice Tag

The last tag is a counter to the CAP tag. When you use this tag you are telling the H-back to fake the CAP block and go straight to the flats.

The quarterback will now read the C-gap defender for his give or pull read. If the C-gap defender runs up the field, then the quarterback will hand the ball off. If the C-gap defender crashes down the line of scrimmage, then the quarterback will pull the ball and throw it to the H-back.

Inside Zone Scheme with Slice Tag

Notice how nothing changes for the offensive line. The only players doing something different is the H-back and the wide receivers. This play is devastating to the defense. They tend to forget about the H-back being a passing threat. I love to call this play when I’m in the Red Zone.

There You Go

Inside Zone There You Go

That’s how I use Inside Zone as my only running scheme. I believe it’s the most versatile scheme in all of football because of all of the tags you can incorporate into it. This scheme lets you call plays fast, let’s your kids be confident in knowing how to block every front, and lets you score a crap ton of points fast.

Please let me know if you do anything different. I’d love to hear from you’ll.

Until next time coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun!

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Four different plays

I freaking love the Inside Zone and RPOs. I love how it allows me to call the best play no matter what the defense does. I love how it takes away the chalk from the defensive coordinator’s hand and gives it to my quarterback.

That’s why I talk about the best RPOs to tag to the Inside Zone scheme in this episode of Talking Football with Coach McKie.

What kind of RPOs do I talk about?

  • First level RPOs – reading defensive linemen for either a give or throw.
  • Second level RPOs – reading linebackers for either a give or throw.
  • Third level RPOs – reading corners and safeties for either a give or throw.

So if you want to learn which are the best RPOs for the Inside Zone then this is the episode for you.

Show Notes

Free Air Raid eBook

YouTube

Twitter

Subscribe, Rate, and Review on iTunes

Subscribe, Rate, and Review on Stitcher

Please subscribe, rate, and leave a review. Until next time coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun!

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Greatest Play In Football

I love the inside zone. I think it is the greatest running play in all of football. Yet, many teams don’t sell out to the Inside Zone. Coaches say that Inside Zone is too difficult for their kids. Or, my I love Power instead of the Inside Zone. Or, I like the Inside Zone, but I don’t want to run it that often because my kids get bored.

Well, in this episode of Talking Football with Coach McKie, I talk about how you can use the Inside Zone as your only run scheme. Yes, I know I’m crazy. But your kids will love it. You will love it. And the scoreboard will love it because you will be scoring a ton of points.

Why the Inside Zone? It’s simple. You can have tags to make it look complex. Every gap is accounted for. You can use Run Pass Options off of it. You can utilize your quarterback as a runner if you want to. (Lucky jerk)

Simply put – the Inside Zone is the most versatile run scheme in all of football, and you should make it the only run play you have.

Until next time coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun.

Show Notes:

Free Air Raid eBook

Please Subscribe, Rate, and Review on iTunes

 

 

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Why is it that the defenses have an America blitz, but the offense doesn’t have an America Inside Zone RPO? I don’t think that’s fair. Offensive guys aren’t less American than their defensive counter parts. So today I’m going to introduce to you all the American Inside Zone RPO.

What’s the America Inside Zone RPO? It’s the Inside Zone paired with the Y-Stick quick game passing concept.

BOOM!

What now Defensive Coordinators?

What makes the Inside Zone RPO so great?

This play puts the defense in a bind. Do they cover the greatest quick game concept ever made, or do they defend the greatest running scheme ever?

Defensive coordinators will look like Dana Hogorsen  after the game because they won’t know what to do.

What formation do you run the Inside Zone RPO Out Of?

How to Screw with defensive coordinators

Trio Rt Special

I love this formation. It puts the defense in a bind. They are outnumbered at the point of attack by the two stacked wide receivers. If they want to even out the numbers they will have to do one of two things: 1) Bump a line backer out of the box, or 2) Roll down a safety.

Either way, YOU are making the defense do something. YOU are forcing their hand. YOU are taking charge of the situation and the ball game.

Isn’t that great?

The Inside Zone RPO Play.

The play is your typical Inside Zone Blocking Scheme, but with a Base Tag. In this example we will be running it to the left.

Normally, the right offensive guard will secure the B-gap and then climb to the backside linebacker if no one crosses his face in the B-gap. But he isn’t doing that on this play because of the Base Tag.

The Base Tag doesn’t change the play for the rest of the linemen. Only the backside tackle and  guard. Everyone else blocks the play normal.

Offensive Line Blocking the Inside Zone RPO

Blocking Inside Zone RPO with backside 3 Tech.

Blocking for the Inside Zone RPO is simple. Here are the rules:

Left Tackle – You block anyone head up to outside of you.

Left Guard – You will check the play side B-gap. If there is someone there then you will block them. If there is no one there then you will check the backside A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block them. If you do not have anyone in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help out the center.

Center – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in the gap then you will block that person. If no one is in that gap then you will check the back side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If there is no one in either gap then that means you are covered and you will block the person over you.

Right Guard – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If you don’t have anyone in the play side A-gap then you will check the back side B-gap. If there is someone in that gap then you will BASE BLOCK HIM, because you are now apart of the BASE tag. If no one is in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help him.

Right Tackle – You will block anyone head up to outside of you because you are tagged with the BASE tag.

Wide Receiver Routes for the Inside Zone RPO

Routes for Inside Zone RPO

The Wide Receivers are running the Air Raid Y-Stick route. Here are their rules:

R Receiver – You are running a mandatory outside release vertical. Your job is to take the corner with you. If the corner squats while you run past him then you let the coach know on the sideline. Because that corner is fixing to get burnt.

Y ReceiverYou are running the stick route. You will push off hard for three steps, aiming for the outside shoulder of the man over you. On third step you will plant on your outside foot and find grass inside the man over you.

F Receiver  – You are running the shoot route. You are looking to replace the R receiver. Get there fast. Force the man over the Y to make a decision – cover you or cover the Y.

L Receiver – You are running a three step hitch. Expect the ball if the corner is five yards off of you. Spin towards the sideline if you are thrown the ball.

Running Back Steps in the Inside Zone RPO

You are taking a six inch search step with the foot closest to the quarterback. This is called a Search Step.

You will cross over with your opposite foot and point your toes towards the center’s butt on your second step. This is called a Cross Over Step.

You will come downhill towards the center’s butt on your third step. This is called the Go step.

If the quarterback pulls the ball from you then you will attack the backside linebacker.

This is a cheap way of turning the run blocking into a form of pass blocking.

Quarterback’s Read in the Inside Zone RPO

The quarterback is looking at the number of players in the box. How many are there? Five or more then you will hand the ball off. Six or more then you are throwing the ball.

Hand the Ball Off.

In the example above the quarterback sees there are only five defenders in the box so he will hand the ball off. He will FAKE A THROW once he hands the ball off. It is very important he does this because it will freeze the defenders – giving the running back an opportunity for more yards.

Read the Outside Linebacker.

What does the quarterback do when he sees six defenders in the box?

He changes the read to the defender over the Y receiver. The quarterback still puts the ball in the running back’s stomach, but he’s reading the outside linebacker:

The outside linebacker jams the Y receiver then the quarterback will throw it to the F.

The outside linebacker takes the F on the shoot route then he will throw the ball to the Y.

It’s that simple.

That’s how we teach the Inside Zone RPO.

Leave a comment below if you do anything different with your Inside Zone RPOs. I love to hear from ya’ll. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already. I put out a new video every Saturday morning. Please download my FREE One Back Power RPO eBook. The sign up is at the top of the page.

Until next week coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun.

 

 

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