The Mother Lode of Zone Running Game Resources

Innovative Coaching Resources:

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Be more effective and efficient in your game planning and preparation.  Here’s what Andrew Coverdale had to say the Coaches Edge Game Planning System:

“The most valuable resource we have as coaches during game weeks is time – and this resource helped me completely re-imagine how I can best spend it.  By taking the process of planning and scripting and automating it, this tool will allow me to be more efficient in how I work, and most importantly, leave me more time and headspace to be fully present with my kids during our preparations.”

Andrew Coverdale
Offensive Coordinator
Trinity High School
Louisville, Kentucky
2014 6A State Champion
Get it here:

The Zone Running Game
When I started researching the zone running game about a decade ago, there were very few resources available. I was able to put together a binder of articles, some clinic notes, and I found a book and a few videos that I purchased. This post would have been like hitting the mother lode for me back then. The Internet is full of resources on this topic now.

I owe my initial learning to some local coaches who were willing to give their time to sit down and teach me. I owe a lot of my initial learning and foundation of the zone running game to Russ Jacques and Ron Lewis who are both great high school coaches here in the Cleveland area.

Later, I learned from communicating with Bill Mountjoy after my first year of running the inside and outside zone. What I learned from him and a few others helped improve it and produced the Ohio HS Division I leading rusher and scorer in 2005. I posted some zone information from Coach Mountjoy here and here.

The zone has become a very popular run because of its ability to be used in multiple formations and personnel groupings. This post includes over 150 links to information in the zone running game. All of the links will take you to information that is free.

Here are enhanced digital books (text, diagrams, telestrated voice-over instructionals, game footage) that are based on the zone running game:

Marrying Stick and Zone Bubble (an RPO) iPad   iPhone  Google Play  more info

Something to Hang Your Hat on Inside Zone  iPad  more info

101+ Read Game Plays    iPad   More Info

The Zone Offense:  Create a Structured System  iPad   More Info

Bubble as a Pre Snap and Post Snap Answer iPad More Info

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays  iPad   More Info

Read my zone article here:

A Multiple Run Game with the Zone Scheme

Download my zone clinic presentations here:

2007 Glazier Clinic Presentations

2005-2008 Clinic Presentations

Notes on Wake Forest Outside Zone

The zone running game is the basis of our pro style pistol offense. Learn more about it in my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays, and look for a three volume series from me to be released in the late fall.

Chris Brown/Smart Football

Simple Explanation of Zone Runs

Zone Runs

Houston Texans Running Game

Malzahn – Auburn Run Game

Inside Zone and Pin and Pull Cut-Ups

Brophy Football Blog
Alex Gibbs New Developments

Herb Hand Zone Runs

X&O Labs
Inside Zone for Maximum Efficiency

Rip, Reach and Run to the Perimeter

Utilize the H-Back in Zone Schemes

Marrying Inside and Outside Zone Schemes

Pistol Two Back Zone Run Game

Pistol Zone Read Variations

Zone and Gap Runs from Unbalanced Formations

Zone Read: Variations in the Pass Game

“Pod” Teaching the Inside and Outside Zone

The QB Midline off of Outside Zone

The Inside Zone Study

Blocking the Outside Zone

Clinic Articles, Notes, and Presentations – Materials produced by coaches
Chip Kelly – Zone Read Option

Andrew Coverdale Inside Zone

Bill Mountjoy Zone Blocking

Bill Mountjoy Run Blocks

Bill Mountjoy Outside Zone

Bill Mountjoy Inside Zone

Bill Mountjoy – Teaching the Steps of Inside and Outside Zone

Alex Gibbs Outside Zone

Alex Gibbs Inside Zone

Zone Blocking Stacks

Coaching the Inside Zone – HS

Critical Elements in Zone Blocking

Inside Zone Tutorial

Complimenting Inside Zone With the Wham

Outside Zone – Running the Defense Horizontal

IZ Notes – Steve Loney

Ken Wilmesherr – Zone Blocking Part 1

Ken Wilmesherr – Zone Blocking Part 2

Ken Wilmesherr – OL Drills

Kevin Boyd – Effective Zone Blocking Techniques

notes taken on Steve Addazzio Clinic

Chip Kelly Zone Read Option Article

Zone Blocking Drill Manual

Greenbay Zone Scheme

Atlanta Flacons – Beightol OL Zone Drills

3 Man Zone Combos

Kyle McElvany OL Manual (HS)

Blocking the Modern Zone Run

HS Zone Presentation

Outside Zone Drill

Bill Mountjoy Clinic Notes

Zone Blocking Part 1 – Philosophy and Concepts

Zone Blocking Part 2 – Schemes and Footwork

Zone Blocking Part 3 – Stances

Zone Blocking Part 4 – Drills

Zone Blocking Part 5 – Drills

PPT with Alex Gibbs Coaching Points

Defensive Stunts for Zone Read

Zone from the Flexbone

Alex Gibbs Coaching Points

Forum Thread

News Articles – these articles give some insight on to what coaches believe and why they are using zone runs.

Steelers Zone Running Game

Another on Steelers Zone Run

DolphinsSwitch to Zone Run

Broncos Power and Zone Run

Seattle Commits to Zone Run

Buccaneers – Defense faces Zone Run

Redskins – Shanahan Loves Zone Runs

Alabama Inside Zone

NY Jets Run Game

Raiders Still Believe in Zone Blocking

Why Packers Should Consider Zone Read

Redskins Zone Read

Analysis Articles – These articles use still shot illustrations and diagrams to explain zone runs

Steelers Zone Run Blocking

Urban Meyer – OSU Zone Runs

Michigan State Outside Zone

Redskins Zone Run Defeats 8-Man Fronts

Zone Run Can Make Redksins a Playoff Team

Browns Zone Runs

Texans Running Game

Texans Get Run Game on Track

LSU’s Inside Zone

Inside and Outside Zone Runs

Seahawks Zone Read

Seahawks Zone Blocking

Florida State Zone Blocking

OSU/Urban Meyer Outside Zone/Stretch

Texans Wide Zone

Notre Dame Zone Blocking

Oregon Zone vs LSU

Texas A&M Zone Read

Oklahoma Zone Run

NY Jets Run Game

Michigan Zone-Stretch

Dallas Cowboys/Bill Callahan Outside Zone

Oregon Inside Zone Series

Auburn Inside Zone

Wisconsin Run Game Part 1

Wisconsin Run Game Part 2

Redskins vs. Seahawks Zone Run

Michigan Zone Read

Oregon QB Zone Read – Fishduck

Oregon Inside Zone Runs-Fishduck

Oregon Outside Zone Read Altered- Fishduck

Videos online

Texans Run Game

Youth Football Zone Cuts

Coach Berry OL Drill tape pt 2 – Howard Univ

Coach Berry Inside Zone

Coach Pogue – Seymour HS. iZ vs 8 in the box

LSU Zone Clinic

Cut up illustrating Lions Zone Blocking

Oregon Zone Read vs Stanford 2010

Oregon Inside Zone vs Cal 2008

Oregon Outside Zone vs Cal 2008

Outside Zone – Joe Daniel

Iowa State Zone 1

Iowa State Zone 2

Iowa State Zone 3

Minnesota Inside Zone

Minnesota Inside Zone 2

Minnesota Inside Zone 3

Minnesota Inside Zone 4

Minnesota Outside Zone 1

Minnesota Outside Zone 2

Minnesota Outside Zone 3

Minnesota Outside Zone 4

Minnesota Outside Zone 5

Inside Zone Blocking Scheme

Steve Campbell – Outside Zone 1

Steve Campbell – Outside Zone 2

Steve Campbell – Inside Zone 1

Steve Campbell – Inside Zone 2

Steve Campbell – Inside Zone 3

Steve Campbell Plays off of IZ

Steve Campbell -Reverses off of Outside Zone\

Steve Campbell -Triple Option off of Inside Zone

Steve Campbell Inside Zone Clips pt 1

Steve Campbell Inside Zone Clips pt 2

Outside Zone Clips

Brock Huard – Oregon’s Inside Zone Read

Zone Read Cut ups

Alex Gibbs – Outside Zone Cut Ups

Texas Playbook Spotlight: Inside Zone

X&O Labs – Monmouth Outside Zone

Inside Zone Blocking Ohio St

Zone Blocking white board prior to walk thru-HS

Zone Blocking Walk Thru 1 of 3

Zone Blocking Walk Thru 2 of 3

Zone Blocking Walk Thru 3 of 3

Rod Dobbs pt 1

Rod Dobbs pt 2

X&O Labs Southern Oregon U Inside Zone

Tony Demeo zone read

Tony Demeo zone read to unbalanced

Nevada Zone Read

Another Nevada Zone Read

Nevada zone read vs Missouri

Nevada zone read vs Mizzou give to RB

Pistol Zone Read HS

Oregon zone read 3 tech

Oregon shotgun read option

Oregon read 3 tech

HS zone read clips

Inside Belly/Zone Coach Ruckman

Tight zone explanation

Zone blocking drill

Alex Gibbs pt 1

Alex Gibbs pt2

Alex Gibbs pt3

Alex Gibbs pt 4

Alex Gibbs pt 5

Alex Gibbs pt 6

Alex Gibbs pt7

Alex Gibbs pt8

USC Outside Zone vs Cal 2008

Miami Outside Zone Blocking Larry Scott

Outside Zone and Toss – John Hart

Game Planning Resources

Innovative Coaching Resources:

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Once I became an offensive coordinator, I became immensely interested in game planning. Bill Walsh’s information was one of the few resources I could find until Brian Billick wrote his book, Developing an Offensive Game Plan. Billick’s book is the best out there on game planning.

In this post are a list of game planning resources that I have found over time. I will be sharing more on this topic in the near future on American Football Monthly. Being able to put together a solid game plan begins with a soundly structured and designed offense that provides the answers you need on game day. Read more about designing an offensive system here. My iBook presents an example of an offense that is designed to have the answers needed for the defensive problems faced on game day. It’s a great coaching resource that presents coaching information in a very dynamic way, and it is packed with details. Read more about it here and get it for your iPad here.

Bill Walsh Method for Game Planning

Bill Walsh – Practice Planning and Game Planning

Brian Billick – Game Planning and Openers

Brian Billick- Implementing and Practicing an Offensive Game Plan

Points of emphasis for defensive game planning

Game planning defensive coverages

How to design a football offensive gameplan

Practice planning and game planning

Game plan nuggets

Jenks football-video of Dub Maddox going through a week of game planning and preparation. Some great nuggets here.

Preparing defensive game plan key to winning

Developing an Offensive Game Plan. Buck

Offensive Game Plan You Be You -Strong Football

Dan Gonzalez – assembling a game plan pt1

Dan Gonzalez – assembling a game plan pt 2

How to develop an offensive game plan

Play Action as Part of the Game Plan

Youth Football Presentation that includes game planning

Coaches Checklist for Offensive Game Planning

Tyrone Willingham – AFCA 2002

Laying out the Game Plan

Coaches Check List for Offensive Game Planning

A Day-By-Day Look at Offensive Game Planning

Mike Kelly-Designing an Offensive Game Plan

HS Offensive Game Planning- Down/Distance, Situations and Numbers

What goes into a game plan?

Andrew Coverdale – Off Season Game Planning

How Chip Kelly Game Plans for Opponents

Penn State Game Planning

Football: Creating an Offensive Game Plan

How to prepare a defensive game plan in youth football

Gettysburg HS Game Planning

Game Preparation: Breaking Down the Offense
Points of Emphasis for Defensive Game Planning

3 Keys to Defensive Game Planning – Strong Football

Coordinating your call sheet and practice scripts

An inside look at Jon Gruden’s game plan

VMI Special Teams Organization and Game Planning

How an NFL staff divides the game planning duties

Play Action Cut-ups

Here’s a few cut-ups to go along with the presentation.

In this first one, watch the effect of the run action fake on the safety in the alley, the linebacker inside of him , and the defensive end.

Naked off of Power. The naked side end gets all the way across to the opposite hash.

Naked Wheel off of inside zone. Again, watch the effect of the run fake on the naked side edge defenders.

Naked wheel off of inside zone. The end doesn’t buy it, but the alley player certainly does!

Naked wheel off of inside zone. The naked side end, outside LB and safety buy the run fake on this one. It would have been nice to keep the receiver in bounds with the throw, but footing was pretty bad this day.

2005-2008 Clinic Presentations

In the spring of 2005, I gave the first clinic talk of my coaching career at John Carroll University.  The topic was inside zone fundamentals.  The presentation included back ground on how we transitioned to a zone running game, basics for each position, our installation plan, and play diagrams. Much of the presentation was taken from our Power Point playbook which was a hyper linked playbook of 400+ slides given to each player on a personalized CD (no paper playbooks-we were ahead of our time).  In 2004, the inside zone play statistically:

•105 carries for 738 yards
•20% of our offense attempts in 2004
• 7.0 yards per carry
• 63% efficient (+4) yards
•Zero Lost Yardage Plays
•6 TD’s
Download the presentation by clicking the following link:

2005 JCU Coaches Clinic – IZ Fundamentals

Our tailback for the 2004 & 2005 seasons was Ohio’s leading rusher and scorer in Division I (biggest division in Ohio) and received a scholarship to Ball State University where he played for Brady Hoke.  He became a starter at safety at Ball State (never played a down of offense). I spoke at Ball State in the spring of 2006 on our stretch play which was our best play over the previous two seasons.  Statistically, over two season here is how the stretch play performed for us:

•178 carries for 1,840 yards
•21% of our offense attempts in 2004-2005
• 10.3 yards per carry
• 73% efficient (+4) yards
•53 explosives(+12 yard runs)
•17 TD’s
Download the presentation by clicking the following link:

2006 Ball State Univ. Clinic – The Stretch Play

In early 2007, I spoke at Defiance College.  The presentation was a variation of both my IZ presentation and my stretch presentation.  The focus was on 3 distinct plays, a true stretch play where we were attempting to reach each defender and capture the edge, our inside zone play, and our C-gap or wide zone play which we called “OZ.”  The presentation includes still shot illustrations, drills, diagrams, and animated individual coaching points.  Download the presentation by clicking the following link.

2007 Defiance Clinic Zone Runs

More clinic presentations from 2005-2008 will be uploaded soon!