This was Gus Malzahn’s preferred way to run the scheme last year, and it makes sense. The offense has to be careful with its formations in the event of an “overhang” player (imagine if there was a linebacker aligned outside of the defensive end to be read), but overall the numbers work out well: The playside linemen should be able to create a seal of the backside, the pulling guard will take the playside linebacker, and the defensive end will never be right. Moreover, as teams got better at this they learned that a key coaching point for the quarterback was to slide to the playside as he “meshed” with the runner. This means that, once the quarterback makes his decision, the defensive end should have committed. If the handoff takes place too far inside, a slow playing defensive end might be able to get back outside for the runner. All in all it’s a good way to run the play.
Increasingly, however, I’ve been thinking that it’s simpler to just run this play with normal zone blocking, and potentially even outside zone blocking. A major reason is that fronts have become increasingly unpredictable, and one of the big benefits of zone schemes is that the blocking rules should allow every blocker to “find work.” Moreover, the way most outside zone is taught, the runningback “reads” the defensive end: If he gets reached or slants inside, the runner looks to stretch the play to the outside; if he doesn’t get reached and works outside, it is a cutback. (Though as Alex Gibbs likes to point out, a cutback on outside zone is often a run straight upfield from a point outside where the tight-end originally lined up.) On the inverted veer, the read is literally a read, and the handoff to the runner can be treated like a bounce on the stretch while the quarterback’s keep can be treated like a cut up or cut back (hat tip).