Deep Dive on the Zone Read Option Play
Season 8 of The Football Coaching Podcast is focusing on deep dives on individual play calls, so what better play to start with than the Zone Read? In fact, we’ve come full circle – Zone Read Option was the topic on the very first episode of the podcast back in 2012!
The deep dive series will take a look at play calls from every angle. We look at the origins of the play, the details of execution, how to attack or defend the play, and how to evaluate and evolve the play within your playbook.
Foundations of the Zone Read Play
Option football has been around for a long time. Zone running plays have been around for a while, too. It was just natural that they eventually come together.
That all happened beginning in the early 1990s at Glenville State with Rich Rodriguez. It carried on to Tulane in 1998 and then on to Clemson in 1999. (credit: there’s a fantastic infographic here on the history of option football)
We know where it came from, but the important thing is why coaches started running this play. And why they would run the zone read option today.
This is a great play for featuring an athletic quarterback. The reads are easier to make and more forgiving than the traditional Veer Option from under center, too.
Execution of the Zone Read
Zone Read Option uses inside zone blocking. Not every team blocks the inside zone the same, but I’ll walk through the basics of a covered/uncovered blocking scheme in this episode.
Then we go on to breaking down the mesh and the read for the Quarterback and Running Back. How you teach your Quarterback to read the option goes a long way toward determining the success of the play!
After laying out the foundations of the play, it’s time to talk about how to stop it. We look at strategies for shutting down a great offensive play, no matter what defense you run.
Finally, I’ll talk about how you can evaluate the read option in your playbook to determine if it’s really working. And how to continue to adapt and evolve the play to become an even more dangerous part of your offensive playbook.
What To Do Next…
Listen to this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast for a full breakdown of the Zone Read Option using the player at the top of this article. Or you can download the podcast from iTunes or any other podcatcher.
When you’re ready to go deeper and learn how to coach the Zone Read play within the Pistol Power Offense System, sign up for a 7 Day Trial with Joe Daniel Football Coaching Systems! Click here to get instant access to 5 complete coaching systems.
- The Evolutionary History of The Option is a great infographic if you want to know where option football started and how we eventually got to where we are.
- Check out my deep dive on the Veer Option Offense from The Football Coaching Podcast Episode 213.
- The very first episode of The Football Coaching Podcast, on the Zone Read. For historical purposes only. It was not good.
- Coaching the Zone Play in my interview with Stan Zweifel.