Forcing the Corner to be the Free Hitter: Elon’s Interior Blocking Rules in Gap and Zone Runs

Mar 31, 2024 | Offense, Run Game, Gap Run Concepts, Perimeter Blocking, 11 Personnel Concepts, Position Groups, Wide Receivers, 20 Personnel Concepts, Personnel

By Mike Kuchar with Alex Stadler and Kyle Perkins
Offensive Line Coach and Receivers Coach
Elon University (NC)
Twitter: @Coach_Stad and @CoachKPerk



If you’re an eleven-personnel outfit and you want to major in interior run schemes, you’re going to need to figure out how to dig out the Sam/Nickel so he’s not a factor in the run game. Sure, RPOs can be an option, but if you don’t want to throw off number seven you’d better have answers. For Elon University, it started with motioning a slot receiver in to come in and crack him. “With that receiver coming in to crack it forced the Mike to be wider on his path,” said offensive line coach Alex Stadler. “Power was an efficient play for us just for that reason. It was pushed to the field alley and it put the Mike in conflict. There was a lot of space for the Mike to navigate and go make a play.”

So, Elon started to bunch receivers to the field which helped dig out the Sam. “We found that the tighter we get, the tighter they are going to get so there had to be a way to keep them honest and circle the defense if they are going to keep adjusting down inside,” said Coach Stadler. “Some of it is structurally based and some of it is personnel based on how they are going to align. It helped us get the edge.”

For Coach Perkins, the length of the motion is determined by where that force player is. “We talk about motioning to align inside of him,” he said. That could be 2-5 yards from the EMOL or in the hip of the Tackle. If he shoots (penetrates) on the snap and you are still out-leveraged, you will crack him with your head in front and keep rolling.”

This report is going to focus on how Coach Stadler and receivers coach Kyle Perkins teaches their receivers to handle box defenders for the interior run game. Our research will be separated into gap schemes, speed sweeps, and the Duo concept.