The Duo Lead Concept: An Easy Add to Your QBR Menu

May 15, 2024 | Offense, Run Game, Gap Run Concepts, 22/13 Personnel Concepts, Tight Zone Run Concepts, Personnel

By Mike Kuchar with Hayden Mace
Offensive Line Coach
Eastern Washington University
Twitter: @CoachHaydenMace



Eastern Washington University is traditionally built off a dynamic pass game built from an Air Raid system. But last season the Eagles were blessed with three quarterbacks that had the ability to run the football. So, the offensive staff took the foundation of its Duo play and built a quarterback run off it. It became an efficient short-yardage run and was particularly effective in the red zone.


Mesh Mechanics:

Although the Duo Lead is formatted as a gap scheme, it’s meant to look like wide or tight zone on the snap with a similar mesh of the running back. The running back is taught to work a “J-Path” through the mesh and kick the edge of the defense or climb to the second level. The footwork should originally look like zone footwork, followed by a J-Path to block his defender.


Depending on the offensive personnel grouping, his assignment is to block the unaccounted for defender outside of the tight end’s responsibility, which is usually an overhang Nickel or safety similar to a running back’s body type.


“We talk about fitting that near foot and near shoulder into the defender,” said Coach Mace. “If he goes to spill us, we try to flatten him off and take him vertically. It’s very similar to a fullback kick out in power.” The back can either be aligned automatically to the backside or can come across the formation providing for a mis-direction look. It’s something Coach Mace feels works better specifically against man teams forcing a man player to have to work through trash as he tracks the running back to the ball carrier’s aiming point. The concept is married with Pin-and-pull runs in case defenses work to crush the front to take away downhill possibilities. If they do, the offense gains an extra hat on the outside with a puller.

The quarterback’s aiming point is the butt of the play side Guard. He’s taught to look for space and leverage. “He will get downhill at the mesh,” said Coach Mace. “If he has daylight, he’s not going to stop he will just stay downhill. Many of these runs do end up bouncing play side because of how defenses want to spill the ball and prevent it from hitting vertical downhill.”