December 1, 2011 • Football

Using Your QuarterBack In The Running Game: Misdirection Plays

Nielson says a second type of QB run (beyond the read) is the utilization of misdirection plays. These plays are QB runs that serve as counters off the base zone-running game.

DIAGRAM 7: Kick Play With Wide Receiver Sweep. This misdirection play is one run primarily off an outside zone fly-sweep fake. The fly sweep is a fast-flow action that has a tendency to get defenses pursuing aggressively, according to Nielson.

On this play, you fake the fly sweep to a back or receiver in motion, then cross-pull a guard to kick or log the backside edge defender as the QB keeps and reads that block.

“This ends up being a quick-hitting, trap-type play with the QB typically keeping the ball inside the guard’s kick-out block,” explains Nielson. “We normally utilize this play out of a spread or empty formation where we can account for perimeter defenders with receivers.”

Nielson adds that the team runs a variation of this play where the offset running back pulls and follows the lead guard’s block either through the hole or around a log block to block an extra defender.

DIAGRAM 8: RB Mesh With QB Power. This misdirection play uses the QB as a predetermined power runner after he fakes the outside zone to the RB. This play gives a split-flow look yet follows the regular power-blocking rules. The backside guard pulls and reads a lead fullback or H-back who is attempting to kick-out or log the end defender.

“This is a nice complement to our split-zone play. If the end sinks to squeeze the inside-zone look, the H-back or fullback logs him and we get the guard around to lead the QB to the perimeter,” says Nielson.

Nielson Diagram 9DIAGRAM 9: RB Mesh With QB Power Vs. Odd. The same rules apply for this play against an odd front.This time, the off-side guard finds the Mike LB while the offensive tackle handles the defensive tackle and the wingback comes in motion, then blocks the Will LB.

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