Now if we need to throw something else at the opponent we can begin to use tags to slightly alter the blocking scheme and/or give us a numerical advantage.
I love the idea of the slice tag. We block IZ RT and rather than read the BSDE we kick him out with the Y. Just like Darin Slack talks about defeating the man advantage in the pass game using routes that cross the center line, I think there is a tremendous advantage in the run game in borrowing blockers from across the center line. By bringing the Y at the snap on a sharp angle to kick out the DE we set up the potential for a huge cutback lane by the back. The back must stick with his “chase the center’s butt” read and press the heels of the OL, but he knows when this is called that the cutback has big play potential. The defense gets almost lulled to sleep by pounding IZ strong over and over, and this cutback catches them off guard. Our best IZ runs last year were on cutbacks and that was without a true kick out on the DE, we only influenced him wide and up field with the QB pull threat.
There are 2 ways to teach this kick out block…
- A. Aim for kick out on DE every time (log as last resort when beat)
- B. Have Y Aim for Kick out and read the DE… if the DE flies up field for QB no need to kick him out, instead turn up and be an extra lead blocker for the RB (49ers began killing teams with his when Kap took over)
Some call the Kick vs the bluff kick and lead backside as 2 separate plays, I like reading it instead to “always be right”.
I am leaning toward the latter for our install purposes simply because the way it should time up… if that Y runs a hard angle for kick out, and the DE goes up field far enough where the Y can not touch him… I do not think that DE can come back and get into the play… no need to waste a potential blocker. Y should be taught a path to kick out… if he has no opportunity to collision the DE, get square and up the field.
If the LB who condenses with the Y is still playing soft or you feel he is not a threat in the run game (you can bang it up inside or cut back before he can make a play) then I feel that a strong side ISO is an excellent tag. In this example the RT base blocks the DE out like on IZ. The Y is responsible for the Play side LB or “first LB in the box” (we number our LBs when talking run scheme… starting from play side box, working back).
Y would fold under the tackle (potentially would fold through A gap vs a 3 tech and RG would base the 3 out)
Since Y has the Right ILB… it allows the OL to work their combos not rotating play side to front side backer, but rotating to backside backer… which should allow a longer double IMO. The key to making this strategy work is making sure the OL understands that 1 LB has been taken away so they are working up to LB differently. The BST can be taught to either use his base zone steps and work with BSG to cut off 3 tech and any backside LB pursuing from outside the box or if you prefer to take the read aspect away from it he can hinge on the DE.
Once the concept of Y being responsible for a backer, and how that effects the OL sinks in, you know have the ability to run Iso week off of zone principles. You provide a cutback same side play for the Rb (an important key breaker for gun teams who don’t have great run threats at Qb) and again pulling the Y gives the offense an advantage as they can now borrow a blocker from across the center line.
OL blocks IZ Left but leaves the Left Inside LB for Y. Same rules would apply as strong side ISO for the OL, we are just pulling Y to lead block weak rather than fold him strong. Again he would be pulling and leading (SQUARE!) up through the A or B gap bubble depending on the front.
The last play I want to explore in this series is a Bootleg off of the IZ look. I can not take credit for the details of this concept as I got it directly from Coach Grabowski’s iBook (if you haven’t bought this yet you are hurting yourself, go buy it now).If I had our H WR on the left side I would just run him on a deep out, I just drew it this way to show how the drag should be run, under OLB and over the MLB.
The OL and RB are selling IZ Right. OL will take their zone steps and if they have color in their gap will base block it but not go more than 2 yards down field, if they do not see color/feel pressure they will get their eyes up and look for work/help.
The OL HAS to block it the exact same as the run play to fool the defense. Play side SE (X) attacks inside then gets to the corner. H runs either the deep cross route or deep out depending on if it is too his side or away. Y in this case would attack the DE (just like in Slice) and chip off into the Flat.