The wrong zone defense will get beaten no matter how hard you practice or what drills you work on. Having a good scheme is vital. The important piece of running a successful zone is to be able to tailor it to the offense you’re playing. You want to have a couple of different sets ready for different offensive looks.
The most important aspect of a good zone defense is execution. While you do want to focus on breaking on a ball, swarming the receiver and reading the QB’s eyes, the core zone defense key is staying in the zone. The biggest problem with zone defense is players abandoning their zone coverage responsibilities. So if you want to practice for zone defense, you need to add a good practice drill for staying in your spot.
Also, emphasize communication. If defenders are communicating, this creates a cohesive defensive front and will improve your team.
The key is to think about the zone from an offensive perspective. Any good offense that’s targeting the zone will do what they can to exploit the zone. And the zone defense is only as good as the players executing it. Each defender has to trust and rely on the guy next to him to pick up the receiver that crosses from one zone to another.
Defensive Back Free Safety Zone Reaction Drill
This zone reaction drill concept is separate and apart from our man to man coverage technique. This technique utilizes the free safety and his alignment is approximately 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and in the middle of the field. He is responsible for the zone between the hashes in the middle third zone.