Tennessee Titans: Titans Should Run the Zone Read


Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Zone Read is the new fad in the NFL and the Tennessee Titans should utilize it with Jake Locker and Chris Johnson.

The Titans need an identity, they need to find something that they can do offensively and do it consistently. Enter the Zone Read which is run out of the spread offense. Anyone who has watched some college football has seen the Zone Read. In the NFL, if you’ve seen the Redskins, Panthers, or 49ers then you’ve also seen the Zone Read. RGIII tore up the NFL this year running it with the Skins and against the Green Bay Packers this weekend, Colin Kaepernick ran for 181 yards. Yes, a QB ran for 181 yards in a playoff game using the Zone Read.

What is the Zone Read?

The Zone Read is basically a play that is employed out of the spread offense. The best thing about the play is that it is relatively simple to run, yet hard to defend. The play is run out of the spread formation where the running back goes in the opposite direction of of the QB (towards the line of scrimmage). The QB reads the back side DE or LB to decide what to do. If the DE or LB sinks in to tackle the RB, the QB keeps the ball and takes the edge. If the DE or LB plays the QB, he hands it to the RB. Simple yet effective.

Why Should the Titans Run the Zone Read?

So why should the Titans try running it? It is a simple and effective offensive tool and philosophy. The Titans also have the skill players in position to run it effectively. Jake Locker runs a 4.6 40 and he has the benefit of having Chris Johnson in the backfield with him. They may not want to run it all the time, but they could easily run 20 snaps a game using the Zone Read.

If the Titans can run 20 or so snaps a game out of the spread utilizing the Zone Read and be effective, I think it will help develop Locker as a passer. Why? Did you see RGIII this year with an effective Zone Read running game? Defenses got shredded. If the Zone Read is effective the the play-action passing game can really flourish.

This play out of the spread is very well suited for Locker and CJ. Locker is a good runner and CJ can take it to the house any time he touches it. Once they establish the run then you hit the defense on the play-action.

Why This Can Help the Titans Offense?

For a young QB who has struggled with his accuracy, Locker needs coaches to help make the game easier for him. One way to make the game easier for a QB is to have a good running game so you can then incorporate the play-action game. The field opens up more, you can eliminate some of your reads which hopefully will make a young QB think faster.

One thing is for sure, the Titans must figure out how they are going to use Jake Locker and do it. I’ve heard for two years now how they want to take advantage of his ability to throw on the run and it hasn’t happened.

This is just an option but I think that it is a very good option to open up the offense.

What say you?

Shawn Eagle

You can follow me on twitter @RS1Eagle