How Many Players Are On A Flag Football Team 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 football coaches is how to attack the zone defense. In fact, it was this very question that led me to start selling my headaches and my precious defense online over a decade ago. I decided to come up with a bunch of plays just for this article to show how easy it really is to beat a zone defense.

Here is an example of how you can move the ball against a 2-3-2 zone in a 7-man block league. All three of these plays attack the “bubble” under the safety and between the Linebacker and Cornerback. This is a very vulnerable part of the defense of the region.

Game #1

[Link to play diagrams found at bottom of article]

LSE – A post-corner route with a first break about 7 yards deep. Make sure the route post part is facing the opposite side at a depth of about 20-25 yards. This is important, as you will see in the next game.

RSE – Post route with a break at a depth of about 5-7 meters.

RWO – Field on route about 5 yards deep. The ball is thrown into the “bubble” field.

Center – After the first block, take a hook route that is 5 yards above the LT.

QB – Readings are simple.

1) First look at the “bubble” and if it is open, go to the RWO that enters it.

2) If the LB threatens the bubble, move to center. If the Security threatens a bubble, move to the RSE post in the shaded area on the chart. Take a shot at him.

3) If the FS moves to cover the RSE, just move to the corner behind the LSE.

Now what if the strong corner follows the RWO and waits on the route? This brings us to the next game.

Game #2

[Link to play diagrams found at bottom of article]

LSE – Just like the post-cut of the previous play, but without the second break. Continue posting across the field until you run out of territory.

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

RWO – Run one square as before, but before it reaches the middle of the square, turn around and land on the “bubble”.

Center – Same as previous game.

QB – Play this play only when you see a post-RWO corner on the field.

1) Read the RWO first and make sure the Corner follows him. If not, go to RWO in “bubble”. If so, read SS.

2) If Security is not available to protect the RSE break, switch to it. Since the cornerback has vacated the outside zone, he should be open.

3) If the security has tight coverage during its break with the RSE, switch to the lower LSE area for a big profit! Be sure and hit him.

If the LB is inside the “bubble”, move to center. If the Corner returns to its zone before switching to RSE, switch to RWO in the “bubble”.

Game #3

[Link to play diagrams found at bottom of article]

Here is another way to attack the same “bubble”.

LSE – Perform a streak or similar post in the previous game.

RSE – Carve at a distance of 5-7 yards.

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

Center – Same as previous game.

QB

1) Start the read from RWO and (assuming he’s not open) pump fake him on the hook.

2) Then read SS. If he is not in the position of closing the “bubble”, switch to RSE. If the SS is in closed mode, read the RWO strip. The safety reading should be very quick as you don’t have much time to go through the lock.

Of course, if the LB is on the “bubble”, move to Center. And if both RSE and RWO are covered, move to lower field LSE.

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

However, if you teach your QB exactly what to read and how to react, then you don’t need a great signal caller, you just need someone willing to practice. Of course, that means you can’t play too much or you can’t do them right. That’s why you need to pick strong plays that will be effective on the same team over and over again.

Beating the zone defense is about strategy, not athleticism. It’s about outthinking your opponent. Start drawing area protection on sheets of paper and try to find their flaws and think how to use them. If you start using your brain, you can easily break any area defenses you come across!

[Play diagrams can be viewed HERE]

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