Tony DeMeo

Red Zone Alerts

One of the key parts to the formula of successful football team is to score when you have the opportunity. The most meaningful stat in football is not turnover ratio, time of possession, total offense –it is POINTS. You can move the ball up & down the field but if you don’t score, you are not going to win many games. So when putting an offense together we start with the end in mind. How do we score in the Red Zone?

There is no better play in the Red Zone than the Gun Triple Option. The option is great against blitz but here’s the secret IT MUST BE PRACTICED AGAINST PRESSURE TO BE EFFECTIVE AGAINST PRESSURE. We spend 20 minutes per week practicing in the Red Zone.

The second phase of The Triple Gun Red Zone Attack is the Quick Game. There is not a better pass concept against the blitz than the Quick Game. Our boot off the Quick game gives us an added bonus.

The third weapon for the Red Zone is play action pass. A play action pass off the option can be very effective because the secondary must get involved in run support.

Another Red Zone strategy is to incorporate an unusual formation for example using unbalanced or empty or bunch stresses a defense or forces them into a defensive check.

Some Red Zone Tips:

1. Dance with what brung ya’. Don’t come up with something that will make you look clever.
2. Instruct the QB to NEVER take points off the board – Ball Security is a priority.
3. Protection is the first priority of the Pass Game – never give up a sack in the Red Zone. Expect Blitz.
4. Think in terms of match ups Tall Receiver vs. short DB for example.
5. Know what yard line your opponent thinks is the Red Zone and when he changes his play calls.
6. Make the defense defend the entire width of the field. Stretch and pierce.
7. Expect pressure but know where your opponent brings it – off the edge or inside? Do the show it?
8. Be able to defeat press coverage. Practice releases every day. We go one on one vs. press coverage daily.
9. Have your backs thinking about DRIVING for the goal line.
10. Teach your QB your Red Zone philosophy.

In 2009 we scored on 46 out of 50 trips to the Red Zone – 92%. We stuck to our knitting and ran our offense. We emphasize Red Zone Offense in Practice and as we all know YOU GET WHAT YOU EMPHASIZE.