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The Zoom Option is a play that allows your QB to get to the outside and force the
defense to contain him or give up the pass. The play can be run several different ways.
It is drawn to the shotgun above but it by no means requires the shotgun. To make the
play work the Slotback must get outside position on the DE. If the defense makes an
adjustment that keeps the slot from getting outside of him in his alignment you can trap
him and run the QB trap to that side. There are so many complimentary plays to the
Zoom Option that the defense can not merely concentrate on stopping the Zoom play
The primary goal of the Zoom is to get the QB in a position to pass or run the QB sweep. The backside routes can be changed very easily. I will add a few of these combination plays later.
After the snap the QB fakes the ball to the flanker (Cutter in our offense). There are
several trap and sweep play combinations with the flanker as well as a Flanker Zoom
play to the left as well.
The QB will accelerate to the outside checking the receivers off in this order. 1st the
split end to the right running the go route. 2nd the deep post route ran by the left slot.
The 3rd read is option to your offense. This is the 8yrd square in by the left split end.
4th is the slotback (the fullback in our offense) on his delay flag route. The right slot is
the primary even though he is not the first read. The 5th read is the option to run the
The reads are easy and quick. You can simplify the reads by running a go with the
backside split end and not including him on the read progression. For younger or
inexperienced groups you can take the backside slot read out as well.
The motion back will run a rail route down the sideline. He is not included in the read
progression but if he is open the coach can call that route. If we call that route we
usually cut down all reads except the backside rail and the primary (right side slot).
One important aspect of the Zoom is the pulling Guard who will pick up the DE after
the slot leaves to run his route. This blocking assignment must be adjusted versus the
In general we tell the QB if he is faced with a possible gain on the pass or a 8yd gain
on the sweep to take the sweep.
Here we have run the backscreen to the left slot. The LBs have buzzed to the offenses
right in an attempt to stop the Zoom Option. We have overloaded the left side with two
blockers and still managed to give our QB a Zoom Option if the screen is not open to the
left side. This is basically two plays in one and a very hard play to stop if the Zoom
Option is working well.
In general we set this play up with a spot pass to the right slot. This play depends on a
good block by the right tackle and a quick trap block by the backside guard. The QB will
fake the cutter trap then pump the spot to the right slot. If the outside LB does not honor
the spot fake we will have the right slot run a swing route or rail route down the right
sideline to get the LB out of the way.
Here we run the inside trap to the motion back (Cutter). This is a base trap to the right. However, the trick here is for the QB to time the snap so that the right guard can pull and not get to the DE too late. In general we snap the ball as the motion back gets even with the right slot.
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