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Tuesday, August 2, 2022

US Sports Training Camp Football: Red Zone adjustments


Red Zone adjustments


Hopefully your team is finding success in the Red Zone.  It can make a huge difference in any game.

The red zone requires some thoughts and adjustments on both sides of the ball.  For the offense, vertical space is decreasing and causes them to adjust their route concepts.  They look for formations and routes that help them get free of tight coverage. In the run game they look to add hats especially as a defense commits more to the run.  

The defense must adjust and stay out of situations where the offense is picking off defenders and getting a receiver wide open.  The defense needs to be able to react quickly and commit to stopping the run.

Both sides of the call must have a plan and execute if they want to win on this part of the field.  Today we share three adjustments for each side of the ball.

OFFENSE ADJUSTMENTS:

#1 Adjustment to aggressive apex player on screen

Many teams like to use the fast motion of the RB into a swing screen to the perimeter because it is a great red zone play to get the RB the ball in space with blockers.  

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What can cause some trouble is the apex outside linebacker who aggressively runs through the block of the receiver and blows up the swing to the running back.  Tim Zetts, who previously coached with Joe Moorhead and is now an offensive assistant with the Green Bay Packers, has a great answer to this.

He adjusts to this defensive action by having the receiver stalk and then work into the void in the defense.  It’s an answer that can score in the red zone.  He explains and illustrates the concept on video here:

#2 Adjustment to Zero High Safety

At some point as your offense nears the goal line,  most defenses will jump into a zero high (straight man) defense.  It makes it tougher because they send pressure and have tight coverage. In this video, Joe Gerbino, offensive coordinator at Utica College explains his favorite adjustment to this defense:

Keeping things simple for the quarterback, especially in the red zone, is critical to putting points on the board.  Monmouth offensive coordinator TJ Dimuzio likes to utilize action off of their speed sweep to give his QB a touchdown to check down simple read.  He explains it here:

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DEFENSE ADJUSTMENTS:

#1 Cover 2 with technique variation and pressure

It creates a 2 deep-4 under look bringing 5 men in pressure.  He likes this adjustment from the 12 yard line and in.  The corners play fade to flat as Western Michigan defensive backs coach Marvin Clecidor explains in his “Moose” adjustment here:

#2 Adjustments to Condensed Splits

It is very common in the red zone for an offense to condense their splits in order to defeat tighter coverage.  It creates space for routes to break into and it can create rubs which knock defenders off their receiver.  Ole Miss defensive coordinator Chris Partridge likes to use bracket concepts against this and he explains it here:

#3 Sit Coverage tag

Hunter Hughes likes to implement a “Sit” tag to his coverages near the goal line to build a wall for his defense while playing match-up zone.  The secondary makes these adjustments in their technique to stay square, jam, and carry a receiver to the next defender.  He explains the tag in this video:

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There are certainly ideas on both sides of the ball that were shared here that you should think about a plan for.  Certainly, you will see these kinds of adjustments as the season progresses.

Good luck this season!

Always be growing!


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