By Phil Vogt
Running Backs Coach
Palm Bay High School (FL)
Here at Palm Bay High School, we are a “wide zone” team that targets the edge of the defense. Unlike the outside zone, which tries to capture the edge, we try to “stretch” the edge with our wide zone scheme. If the defense lets us outside, we will take it, but the primary purpose is to stretch the edge defenders and force them into assignment conflicts.
I will not get into basic blocking schematics, but rather will focus on the areas that will generally give you problems when running this play as well as how we adjust to defensive fronts. For those of you that want more details on the blocking on the wide zone, there is a massive amount of information right here on xandolabs.com about the blocking schemes and techniques. I also recommend researching anything you can find on Alex Gibbs when trying to introduce this as your primary running scheme.
Why The Wide Zone
As I mentioned above, we are predominately a wide zone team. We have some other elements to our offense, but our focus is on implementing the wide zone. It is our go to play. Here is the rationale for this focus:
- There are more yards on the edge than inside the tackles
- The scheme is universal for all linemen, you are covered or uncovered
- We can force the defenders into assignment binds
- Notice is the clip below that the defender is taught not to get reached so he keeps outside leverage and we cut up behind him. On this same clip, you can see how the linebackers flow with the play and allow for the cut up lane.
- There is a conflict for the backside linebackers as well. They are taught to play the “cutback” but this is not a cut back play, ball is not going back there, it is a “cut up” play!