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Old 05-05-2008, 12:10 PM    (permalink
Iamcanadian
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Default Now that so many teams have switched to a zone blocking scheme

Will NFL defenses which used to see it maybe once a season, catch up with it and make it ineffective? That is the usual course for all new ideas. They can give you an edge at the draft table if your scheme likes players who don't fit other offenses and defenses. However over time this advantage is lost as more teams switch to the new scheme each looking to draft for exactly the same type of prospects. Zone blocking was only used by a couple of NFL teams like Denver and Atlanta, now it is spreading throughout the NFL and as more defenses get to play against it far more often, will it become ineffective.
I think we are already seeing signs of it.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:16 PM    (permalink
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oh im sure someone will figure out how to step up and take advantage of it. Like you said, it happens with every other great innovation in football.

I think we even saw it a little this year with Denver going LT in the first round. Taking the undersized, athletic guys late in the draft that they have always used was finally starting to not work so they had to step up and get a player who could still fit the system while competing with the better DEs they have to face.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:17 PM    (permalink
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Will NFL defenses which used to see it maybe once a season, catch up with it and make it ineffective? That is the usual course for all new ideas. They can give you an edge at the draft table if your scheme likes players who don't fit other offenses and defenses. However over time this advantage is lost as more teams switch to the new scheme each looking to draft for exactly the same type of prospects. Zone blocking was only used by a couple of NFL teams like Denver and Atlanta, now it is spreading throughout the NFL and as more defenses get to play against it far more often, will it become ineffective.
I think we are already seeing signs of it.


Yeah I mean it's not too hard to stop. Depends on your DC, and how you draw it up. Also, depends on the specific techniques a staff uses. Be it pin and pull, rail road tracks, on and off, or counting. All ways to teach zone blocking within that system. Depends what these teams use, and what front a team wants to play against it.

I like zone blocking, but I wouldn't create a system out of it. I would just run more zone running plays and add that as part of the running game, but in my opinion I wouldn't create it as a overall system across the board.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:19 PM    (permalink
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this whole idea of teams switching to a ZBS is probably a big myth. I'd be willing to bet that almost every single team in the NFL runs zone plays and has done so for years. I also think we hinge to much on ZBS PROSPECTS. Christ sake, every offensive lineman that is in the NFL should EASILY be able to run a zone scheme its not like it takes much athletic ability to run one anyway. Teams may be leaning more towards the zone but I'd be surprised if every team doesn't at least have zone and power principles.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:25 PM    (permalink
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this whole idea of teams switching to a ZBS is probably a big myth. I'd be willing to bet that almost every single team in the NFL runs zone plays and has done so for years. I also think we hinge to much on ZBS PROSPECTS. Christ sake, every offensive lineman that is in the NFL should EASILY be able to run a zone scheme its not like it takes much athletic ability to run one anyway. Teams may be leaning more towards the zone but I'd be surprised if every team doesn't at least have zone and power principles.
I agree teams run more zone then most people think. In fact if people just tape their games on sundays and watch running plays on slow motion, you can figure it out what the play is.

As for most players running zone, I think that's true to a certain point. I am sure they all can do it, but if you have a quick, and powerful DT, he isn't going to let you reach block him, he will fight off your inside shoulder so you can't square up and reach the DT's outside shoulder. So it all depends. That's where certain players who fit the scheme come in.

I know as a giants fan we run power, G, and center concepts alot. And when we are not running those concepts the running play is usually something as simple as a High school Lead or Iso concept.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:32 PM    (permalink
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I am sure they all can do it, but if you have a quick, and powerful DT, he isn't going to let you reach block him, he will fight off your inside shoulder so you can't square up and reach the DT's outside shoulder. So it all depends. That's where certain players who fit the scheme come in.
Thats the whole point behind a zone scheme really. You kind of just let the Defense go where they want in a way. Even if you can't reach a "quick and powerful DT" if you can actually block him you can just keep moving him on down the line. What it really does is it sets the RB up with 3-4 different holes depending on how the line blocks it so having to be a smaller more athletic lineman is not really necessary.


BTW, Ive been an Olineman for about 10 years and have run zone blocking stuff for about 5. The difference between the two is much more subtle than most would believe.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:45 PM    (permalink
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Thats the whole point behind a zone scheme really. You kind of just let the Defense go where they want in a way. Even if you can't reach a "quick and powerful DT" if you can actually block him you can just keep moving him on down the line. What it really does is it sets the RB up with 3-4 different holes depending on how the line blocks it so having to be a smaller more athletic lineman is not really necessary.


BTW, Ive been an Olineman for about 10 years and have run zone blocking stuff for about 5. The difference between the two is much more subtle than most would believe.
O nice, good to talk to somehow played o-line. I am a TE coach, and so we usually work out with our o-line. I make sure my guys work in tandem with the tackles so they are on the same page.

Yeah you are correct, but also as you know, each zone style is different, so it would depend on what the OC and o-line coach wants in terms of their specific system.

Also, if the guys are not quick and on the slow side, they may be able to get their double teams down, but when they chip off, and go to the next level, there would be no way they can block the LBs spilling. In my opinion, good o-linemen in that system are fast enough to reach, and then chip off and solidify their blocks at the next level. That gives the RB time to hit whatever hole he needs to, AND then make a move to accelerate in the open field.

Now ways to combat this would be how the defensive front and LBs are lined up. For instance, in a 4-3 system what is the front used to combat this specific system that an offense uses.

4-3 basic
4-3 over
4-3 under
4-3 wide
4-3 wink
4-3 sink
and alot more..

If a system, offensive one, has a weakness to a certain front, then it would be easier to blow that whole system up. That's where you better pray your coaches can in game adjust.

But again what you say is correct, but it comes down to how the system was taught and the techniques used. So you learned it a certain way, so I am sure DCs would get their o-line coach to figure what you guys are doing and then accordingly pick the front and techniques used to beat it.

But I credit guys in that system it's fun to watch and draw up as well, but I prefer mixing zone and man blocking schemes in an offensive playbook.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:52 PM    (permalink
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Im still a fan of the old school power blocking with the big boys. Nothing beats that.

Although I would want a pulling LG like Brandon Albert. I like guys with strength for the most part, but they cant be too slow.

My ideal oline as far as body types goes:

LT: Marcus McNeil
LG: Brandon Albert
C: Andre Gurode
RG: Shaun Andrews
RT: Jon Runyan

run with power :) thats not necessarily my ideal oline, just my preference at each position as far as body types are concerned.
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:56 PM    (permalink
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Albert is the perfect guard in terms of measureables. I gotta say it that way because the guy has yet to play. But give me someone like that and zone blocking, even man blocking would be pretty damn sweet. Imagine Albert pulling for Jacobs when we run power. That would get me excited to see!
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:57 PM    (permalink
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My ideal oline as far as body types goes:

LT: Marcus McNeil
LG: Brandon Albert
C: Andre Gurode
RG: Shaun Andrews
RT: Jon Runyan

run with power :) thats not necessarily my ideal oline, just my preference at each position as far as body types are concerned.
that would be a very big, very strong o-line. wow, lol.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:05 PM    (permalink
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Albert is the perfect guard in terms of measureables. I gotta say it that way because the guy has yet to play. But give me someone like that and zone blocking, even man blocking would be pretty damn sweet. Imagine Albert pulling for Jacobs when we run power. That would get me excited to see!
he really is the prototype. he has strength and size and incredible speed and athleticism for someone his size. he'll be a monster LG if they keep him there.

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that would be a very big, very strong o-line. wow, lol.
Thats how i prefer my olines :) Get a dominant run game going. I like big physical guys in general, on both sides of the ball. I belief in the strength philosophy over the speed philosophy.

Not saying that I want slow guys, just to clarify. Just that id give up some speed for some strength instead of giving up some size for some speed.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:08 PM    (permalink
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he really is the prototype. he has strength and size and incredible speed and athleticism for someone his size. he'll be a monster LG if they keep him there.



Thats how i prefer my olines :) Get a dominant run game going. I like big physical guys in general, on both sides of the ball. I belief in the strength philosophy over the speed philosophy.

Not saying that I want slow guys, just to clarify. Just that id give up some speed for some strength instead of giving up some size for some speed.


I'd keep him there, and build off of that. Have them run zone and have him reach and chip off and he has the size and speed to get to the next level and stick with his blocks. Hopefully that will give LJ time to do his thing.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:12 PM    (permalink
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Thats how i prefer my olines :) Get a dominant run game going. I like big physical guys in general, on both sides of the ball. I belief in the strength philosophy over the speed philosophy.

Not saying that I want slow guys, just to clarify. Just that id give up some speed for some strength instead of giving up some size for some speed.
i understand ya. if i had to put one together, i think it would be something like this:

LT - Walter Jones (can run and pass block fantastically)
LG - Steve Hutchinson (same as Walter imo)
C - Olin Kreutz (angry, mauling C who is still pretty athletic and can pull a bit)
RG - Smaller, more athletic guy (can't think of an example right now, but a guy who can pull really easily)
RT - Huge, monster, mauling, overpowering run blocker

Now what i would like to do, is mostly run behind the left side of my line. have my athletic RG pull and basically help be a lead blocker in for my singleback offense.

line my TE up usually on the right side to help my big RT with pass blocking. he can chip and go out for a route. and i like the RT big and strong so i can just run straight behind him too sometimes, change things up a little....

as much as i like the idea of big, bulldozing FBs, theyre just not really practical anymore in the nfl...thats why i prefer single backs with a TE and 3 WRs if i had the choice
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:26 PM    (permalink
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i understand ya. if i had to put one together, i think it would be something like this:

LT - Walter Jones (can run and pass block fantastically)
LG - Steve Hutchinson (same as Walter imo)
C - Olin Kreutz (angry, mauling C who is still pretty athletic and can pull a bit)
RG - Smaller, more athletic guy (can't think of an example right now, but a guy who can pull really easily)
RT - Huge, monster, mauling, overpowering run blocker

Now what i would like to do, is mostly run behind the left side of my line. have my athletic RG pull and basically help be a lead blocker in for my singleback offense.

line my TE up usually on the right side to help my big RT with pass blocking. he can chip and go out for a route. and i like the RT big and strong so i can just run straight behind him too sometimes, change things up a little....

as much as i like the idea of big, bulldozing FBs, theyre just not really practical anymore in the nfl...thats why i prefer single backs with a TE and 3 WRs if i had the choice

So basically more of a spread, run and shoot type offense you favor. Pulling your RG sounds good but if the defense decides to stick their LDT at a 2i, and the RDT at a 1 technique weakside, it may be hard running that play. Especially if you factor in LB techniques. Normally in that system, I'd stick to base blocks man on, or zone blocking, and have the RB pick his hole.

Remember you have 6 offensive guys on the LOS vs technically 4 guys on the LOS for the defensive ( assuming 4-3). Also if you run stretch or outside zone, you don't need to block the end guy backside, but that depends.

But if you ever get time read some stuff on the run and shoot, damn good system in my opinion.
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:02 PM    (permalink
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So basically more of a spread, run and shoot type offense you favor. Pulling your RG sounds good but if the defense decides to stick their LDT at a 2i, and the RDT at a 1 technique weakside, it may be hard running that play. Especially if you factor in LB techniques. Normally in that system, I'd stick to base blocks man on, or zone blocking, and have the RB pick his hole.

Remember you have 6 offensive guys on the LOS vs technically 4 guys on the LOS for the defensive ( assuming 4-3). Also if you run stretch or outside zone, you don't need to block the end guy backside, but that depends.

But if you ever get time read some stuff on the run and shoot, damn good system in my opinion.
well, i wasnt talking doing that on every offensive play or anything. but that could be the way i use my line when i want to really run the ball. just drive a whole side of the field with my line. get a good one cut back in there, or even a bigger power guy, and just run behind it.

but i do like the spread offense
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:08 PM    (permalink
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well, i wasnt talking doing that on every offensive play or anything. but that could be the way i use my line when i want to really run the ball. just drive a whole side of the field with my line. get a good one cut back in there, or even a bigger power guy, and just run behind it.

but i do like the spread offense
Spread offense or Run and shoot is a fun offense to run. The school where I coached ran a spread offense, which was similar to what Urban Meyer ran at Utah with Alex Smith. I liked that offense alot.

I wouldn't mind seeing a theortical Run and shoot with a big o-line blocking man to man with Brandon Jacobs in the backfield. Basically force the defense to get creative and have minimal help to stop a big back throughout the game.
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:10 PM    (permalink
BeerBaron
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Spread offense or Run and shoot is a fun offense to run. The school where I coached ran a spread offense, which was similar to what Urban Meyer ran at Utah with Alex Smith. I liked that offense alot.

I wouldn't mind seeing a theortical Run and shoot with a big o-line blocking man to man with Brandon Jacobs in the backfield. Basically force the defense to get creative and have minimal help to stop a big back throughout the game.
that would be pretty interesting. i enjoy going over offensive schemes and systems...it just seems fun ya know. I'm a big fan of history an i like seeing all the tactics used by militarizes all throughout the centuries. something like the phalanx pops up, works great for centuries, then gets beat out by someone getting creative against it.
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:12 PM    (permalink
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that would be pretty interesting. i enjoy going over offensive schemes and systems...it just seems fun ya know. I'm a big fan of history an i like seeing all the tactics used by militarizes all throughout the centuries. something like the phalanx pops up, works great for centuries, then gets beat out by someone getting creative against it.
Yeah that's interesting you think along those lines and compare it to football. I see it as a big chess game, and compare it to that, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to coach football.

If you ever want to learn Xs and Os let me know. I have tons of coaching stuff, playbooks from Pro and College teams, and different articles by coaches, on my computer. So if you ever want to know something just let me know I can post it or email it, if you shoot me an email.
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:23 PM    (permalink
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O nice, good to talk to somehow played o-line. I am a TE coach, and so we usually work out with our o-line. I make sure my guys work in tandem with the tackles so they are on the same page.

Yeah you are correct, but also as you know, each zone style is different, so it would depend on what the OC and o-line coach wants in terms of their specific system.

Also, if the guys are not quick and on the slow side, they may be able to get their double teams down, but when they chip off, and go to the next level, there would be no way they can block the LBs spilling. In my opinion, good o-linemen in that system are fast enough to reach, and then chip off and solidify their blocks at the next level. That gives the RB time to hit whatever hole he needs to, AND then make a move to accelerate in the open field.

Now ways to combat this would be how the defensive front and LBs are lined up. For instance, in a 4-3 system what is the front used to combat this specific system that an offense uses.

4-3 basic
4-3 over
4-3 under
4-3 wide
4-3 wink
4-3 sink
and alot more..

If a system, offensive one, has a weakness to a certain front, then it would be easier to blow that whole system up. That's where you better pray your coaches can in game adjust.

But again what you say is correct, but it comes down to how the system was taught and the techniques used. So you learned it a certain way, so I am sure DCs would get their o-line coach to figure what you guys are doing and then accordingly pick the front and techniques used to beat it.

But I credit guys in that system it's fun to watch and draw up as well, but I prefer mixing zone and man blocking schemes in an offensive playbook.

Well the one we run is made to go up against ANY defensive front/blitz scheme pretty much unless they decide to stack 9-10 in the box. Our OC is a HS coaching legend that moved up to our college team last year. He gets a TON of stuff from pro teams. Its pretty hard to explain but its very effective. We average something like 200 yards a game on the ground.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:16 PM    (permalink
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Well the one we run is made to go up against ANY defensive front/blitz scheme pretty much unless they decide to stack 9-10 in the box. Our OC is a HS coaching legend that moved up to our college team last year. He gets a TON of stuff from pro teams. Its pretty hard to explain but its very effective. We average something like 200 yards a game on the ground.

O I know what you mean. Alot of pro coaches give lectures and have video tapes out. For instance, at the college I was at this past year, they had alot of defensive and offensive video lectures from alot of good college coaches, and pro coaches. And basically you sit and learn from those videos. Some are from live lectures by pro scouts. One by Bobby April, if I remember correctly, the Bills Special teams coach. He showed everything from their drills to what his philosophy is.


But keep in mind while your OC is doing that, another DC is getting stuff on how to stop your OC! So that is what makes coaching so interesting.. It's a constant chess game, or arms race to get better.

One of the most under rated things a coach can do is in game adjust. If a coach sucks at that, he will get beat during the game by the opposing coach.
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:41 PM    (permalink
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My ideal O-line would be something like this...

LT Marvel-ous Smith
LG Chris "Big Daddy" Keomatu
C Justin "The king of kings" Hartwig
RG Kendall "Type 2" Simmons
RT Max "The Franchise" Starks
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