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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Diagramming Rutgers' Tyler Kroft's role as tight end in zone-read package

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

The advent of the zone read in Rutgers' offense the last few weeks has increased tight end Tyler Kroft's assignments both at the line of scrimmage and in open field.

The zone read requires a quarterback to read defensive alignments from shotgun before making one of several decisions with the ball. 

How zone read and spread affect center, fullback

He can hand off to a back, keep on a designed run or go through pass progression, often leading him to the tight end. Kroft was targeted three times on zone-read plays at Connecticut on seam routes.
On Rutgers' only completion against UConn from the zone read, Chas Dodd notices man coverage. He rides a fake handoff to Paul James with eyes downfield before hooking up with Tyler Kroft on a seam route for 16 yards. (Courtesy of

"We'll talk and be like if we see a safety here and a 'backer here, he knows exactly what I'm going to do and I know exactly how he's going to anticipate it," Kroft said Tuesday of Rutgers' quarterbacks. "They have five different reads in a matter of two seconds."

On zone-read plays, Kroft must evaluate the SAM and MIKE linebackers' alignment and notice safeties' depth. He said he can run six or seven routes with the zone read based on defensive schemes.

"It's definitely tough because you really  have to understand based on how they're aligned, how they're going to react defensively," Kroft said. "I like the responsibility, I like the challenge."

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