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The QB Midline Off Outside Zone

Nov 7, 2011 | Offense, Run Game, Wide Zone Run Concepts

By Dan Ellis Head Football Coach W.C. East High School

Researcher’s Note: This is the third report in X&O Labs’ QB Runs Series by Dan Ellis.  Here are the links to Coach Ellis' previous two reports documenting his most effective QB runs: The QB Power Read and The QB Trap Off Jet Action

We are a shotgun, fast pace, no-huddle offense with a zone scheme (and we also will add pistol in as well). This allows us to take advantage of our athleticism and numbers at the skill positions and uses our supposed weakness – smaller, more athletic lineman – to our advantage.

With our offense, our QB must be able to run the football and be a weapon that the defense must account for. He does not need to be a 1,000 yard rusher; he just needs to keep the defense honest with his feet. One of our key plays for our quarterback is the QB Midline off of our outside zone scheme.

First, with our zone scheme, we teach our linemen to work either vertical push or horizontal push.  We do not combo zone like some teams.  That means that we work a lot of horizontal movement up front.  As a simplified point of reference, we teach our linemen to step laterally to their gap and work to overtake the next defensive linemen.  If they are unable to overtake on their first three steps, they move up to the LB level.  We do not get engaged and combo the down linemen.  We stress the horizontal movement. Once we start getting the defense to move horizontally and thinking of stopping the outside zone, we hit them with our QB midline.

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