After we get the defense flowing and chasing our perimeter running game, we can then take advantage by running the ball downhill into the interior of the defense. In the Indoor Football League it is important to have a varied running game that has the ability to attack the defense from wall to wall. An effective interior running game will keep linebackers honest and provide great opportunity to wear defenses out and be successful in short yardage situations. Today we are going to examine a few common interior run schemes; the zone dive and quarterback isolation.
The quarterback isolation play provides the opportunity to get your quarterback attacking the line of scrimmage downhill from the shotgun formation with the running back lead blocking (isolation) on the most dangerous second level defender in the box. Often this play is combined with pass set action from the quarterback and takes on the form of a lead draw. This variation can result in the linebacker gaining depth from the line of scrimmage as he drops into his pass zone creating more space and an easier block for the running back.
The playside guard will look to base block the playside defensive end working him for width to create a seam in the A-Gap for the quarterback to run the football. In some situations the guard will pass set on the defensive end “heavy inside” so the the end will run wide up the field creating a nice lane for the quarterback. The center will work to control the playside number of the nose guard and work to get his head across to the playside. If the nose guard takes a hard charge to the playside a-gap the center will block him where he wants to go and will push him wide to create a cutback lane for the quarterback as the running back inserts into the line of scrimmage to block the linebacker. The backside defensive end will pass set the backside end protecting the A-gap to his inside and will then club the defensive end wide with his inside arm and rip inside to the most dangerous second or third level defender who appears.
The wide receivers will run off their defenders and employ the most dangerous man blocking principles. The key block on the play is that of the running back working through the playside A-gap to block the most dangerous second level defender (linebacker).
This play concept is very similar to the previously discussed zone read concept, except for the fact that this play is typically as designated dive play to the running back with no read for the quarterback. This play is typically run from an under-center alignment.
The offensive line will be zone blocking to the playside with the backside defensive end being unblocked. This allows the offensive line to get the playside defensive end base blocked with the playside guard and the center and backside guard zone blocking the nose to the most dangerous second level defender (linebacker).
The quarterback will open up and hand the ball to the playside to the running back who is running his zone track towards the playside guards butt. The running back will look to press the frontside A-gap to a potential cut back lane in the backside A-Gap. The quarterback will hold the unblocked backside defensive end with a naked bootleg fake away from the dive.
Zone Dive with Jet Sweep Action
Using jet motion with the base zone dive is a great way to keep the defense honest and create running lanes for the inside zone play. As we have previously discussed the jet sweep and its variations in the run game forces the defense to mirror and rotate defenders to avoid being outflanked on the perimeter. By incorporating jet motion away from the side we are running the zone dive we can quickly get defenders out of position and create favorable blocking numbers at the point of attack. This misdirection concept is a very cheap installation, as these are two concepts being paired together that do not require new teaching progressions prior to implementation.