Defense In Football Is When You Dot Have The Ball How to Attack a 2-3-2 Zone Defense in Flag Football

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How to Attack a 2-3-2 Zone Defense in Flag Football

One of the most frequently asked questions of flag football coaches is how to attack the zone defense. In fact, that’s the question that drove me to sell my headache offense and invincible defense online a decade ago. I decided to come up with a set of plays for this article to show how easy it really is to beat a zone defense.

Here’s an example of how you might move the ball against a 2-3-2 zone in a 7man blocking league. All three of these plays attack the “bubble” underneath the safety and between the linebacker and cornerback. This is a very sensitive part of zone defense.

Play #1

[Link to play diagrams found at bottom of article]

LSE – Post-corner route with an initial break at about 7 yards depth. Make sure the post part of the route is on the opposite side at a depth of about 20-25 yards. This is important, as you will see in the following play.

RSE – Post route with break at about 5-7 yard depth.

RWO – About 5 yards deep in a square in the course. The ball will be dropped into the “bubble” area.

center – After the initial block, run a 5 yard hook route above the LT.

QB – Reading is easy.

1) First look for the “bubble” and if it’s open, approach the RWO walking in it.

2) If LB is threatening the bubble, move to center. If safety threatens the bubble, move to the RSE post on the shaded area in the diagram. Shoot him.

3) If FS helps to cover RSE, then just go to post-corner of LSE.

Now what happens if the strong side corner predicts the route and follows the RWO? That leads us to the next play.

Play #2

[Link to play diagrams found at bottom of article]

LSE – Just like the post corner of the previous play, but without the second break. Continue in the post field until you run out of boundaries.

RSE – Run the post as you did on the previous play, except break about 12-15 yards out the sideline at a point 2 or 3 yards below your break.

RWO – Run the square as before, but before you get to the center of the field, turn around and settle in the “bubble”.

center – Same as the previous play.

QB – Run this play only when the corner below RWO appears on the square in.

1) First read the RWO and make sure the corner follows it. If he doesn’t, pass the RWO in the “bubble”. If he is, read SS.

2) If the safety is not in a position to protect the RSE’s break, pass him. Because the corner has vacated the outside zone, it should be open.

3) If the security is in tight coverage on RSE’s out break, move LSE downfield for big gains! Be sure and hit it in stride.

If the LB is inside the “bubble”, move to center. If the corner moves back into his zone before you go to the RSE, pass to the RWO in the “bubble”.

Play #3

[Link to play diagrams found at bottom of article]

Here’s another way to attack the same “bubble”.

LSE – Run either a streak or a post like the previous play.

RSE – Run a 5-7 yard hook.

RWO – Run a 5 yard hook, square your shoulders and sell it by making eye contact with the QB. Then, quickly break upfield in a streak.

center – Same as the previous play.

QB

1) Start reading the RWO and (assuming he’s not opened) pump-faking him on the hook.

2) Then read SS. If it is not in position to cover the “bubble”, pass to RSE. If SS is in covering position, read RWO streaking. The safety reading needs to be very quick because you don’t have a lot of time to pass the hook-and-go.

Of course, if the LB center has a “bubble” pass. And if both RSE and RWO are included, go to LSE downfield.

As with any play set, you need to practice every read possible by the QB so that the read becomes second nature. Thus, he does not have to “think”, he only has to “react”. If you just put a QB under center without a detailed read, you will fail. You can’t expect a QB to only be able to look at 4 or 5 different receivers and find the open guy (unless you have Joe Montana on your team, of course). It’s like telling a checkers player to simply “get the king” in a game of chess!

But, if you teach your QB exactly what to read and how to react, you don’t need to have a brilliant signal caller, you just need to have one that is willing to practice. Of course, that means you can’t have too many plays or you won’t be able to execute them properly. That’s why you need to pick the most powerful plays that can be effective against the same team over and over again.

Beating a zone defense is about strategy, not athleticism. It’s about out-thinking your opponent. Start drawing zone defenses on pieces of paper and try to find their weaknesses and brainstorm how to exploit them. If you start using your brain, you can easily destroy any zone defense you face!

[Play diagrams can be viewed HERE]

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