Tackle Trap - An Alternative to the Zone Read

Chris Meyers
Offensive Coordinator – Pequea Valley HS
In the majority of spread offenses at the collegiate level, the zone read is a cornerstone of the offense.  What do you do if you don’t have the personnel to be successful with a zone run game?   I have found that the tackle trap is a great alternative to the zone read.
 I coach at a small rural school in Pennsylvania where small quick lineman is much more common than 300 pounders.  The great equalizer over the years for smaller teams has been an option attack, specifically the veer.  The tackle trap incorporates veer principles with the zone read look of the shotgun spread offense.  This blocking scheme is great against any front because it utilizes angles for your offensive lineman.
For me, our run game is based upon the number of defenders in the box.  If the numbers are in our favor, we obviously run the football.  If they are not, I like to utilize the Bubble Screen and Jailbreak screens to spread the defense out.  That is a different discussion so for argument’s sake I diagrammed our tackle trap versus 6 in the box.
Just like the zone read, the quarterback reads the backside end.  If he comes up field, he should give the football to the running back.  If the defensive end comes down the line and chases the back, the quarterback should keep the football.  Notice the nice angles for the offensive lineman.  Also, you can do a few things with your slot receiver.  You can obviously have him block and let your quarterback run, or you can have your slot receiver run the bubble screen and you can have your quarterback read the defender over him.  It opens a nice running lane for your quarterback if the defender follows the receiver running the bubble screen and if he attacks the quarterback, throw the bubble and take advantage of the numbers you now have out in space.
Once we start to notice the linebackers really starting to flow towards the football, we have a nice variation off of this play with the same principles.  This works extremely well if you have an athletic quarterback because it is a pre-determined quarterback run.  I have it diagrammed below.
With this play, the back comes off of the automatic fake and blocks the backside defensive end that is left unblocked because of the pulling tackle.  Like most people nowadays, we have “Wildcat” package in our offense.  This is great play to use in that package because it requires no reading by a kid who is unaccustomed to playing the quarterback position.
In summary, I have found that this blocking scheme is a great alternative to the zone read when you are lacking in some of the personnel necessary to be successful with a zone running attack.  It works well against any front and there are numerous things that you can do with this scheme and still be successful in the spread offense.
Chris Meyers can be contacted at email:  [email protected]

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