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View Full Version : I hate to bring up zone blocking, but...


Runner
01-03-2006, 12:47 PM
I thought this was fairly interesting.

Running Att/Yds = avg

2005

Davis 230/976 = 4.2
Wells 90/325 = 3.6
Morency 46/184 = 4.0

2004

Davis 302/1188 = 3.9
Wells 82/299 = 3.6
Hollings 11/43 = 4.3 (admittedly limited carries)

Isn't a "feature" of Denver's zone blocking scheme that they can plug in anybody and get results? Our RBs are fairly similar to each other.

bdiddy
01-03-2006, 12:55 PM
The zone blocking scheme is going to stay, especially if Kubiak is hired. The scheme is very good so long as a team has the correct personnel to run it. The scheme requires athletic inside lineman (guards and center). Currently our line does not fit the bill. McKinney is playing out of position at center, he is not nearly quick enough - however, he is a reasonable guard. If we could get a quality center and move McKinney to guard I think the running game will improve even more.

SESupergenius
01-03-2006, 01:03 PM
I think that was the demise of Capers, when we switched to this scheme it seemed to stunt our growth. Add to that if Kubiak is signed and he takes the same mentality that Denver has had, then there is no reason to spend our #1 pick on Bush.

Johnny Utah
01-03-2006, 01:09 PM
The zone blocking scheme is going to stay, especially if Kubiak is hired. The scheme is very good so long as a team has the correct personnel to run it. The scheme requires athletic inside lineman (guards and center). Currently our line does not fit the bill. McKinney is playing out of position at center, he is not nearly quick enough - however, he is a reasonable guard. If we could get a quality center and move McKinney to guard I think the running game will improve even more.

Look for the Texans to pick up a Center with their 2nd round pick. Both of the top prospects at that position are perfect for zone blocking schemes according to nfldraftcountdown.com's scouting reports.

http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/c/gregeslinger.html

http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/c/nickmangold.html

bdiddy
01-03-2006, 01:14 PM
I would prefer to get a center via free agency. The center is the quarterback of the o-line making all the calls, he needs experience more than anyother lineman (possibly with the exception of LT). McKinney made the line calls when playing guard with Hogdon in the game but this is less than ideal. I would prefer we sign LeCharles Bently from the Saints. He is a 4 year UFA who has made the pro bowl at both guard and center.

run-david-run
01-03-2006, 01:19 PM
if we get bently, i wonder if we play him at guard or center? i guess it depends on who else we pick up because right now we are very weak ar guard

bdiddy
01-03-2006, 01:23 PM
if we get bently, i wonder if we play him at guard or center? i guess it depends on who else we pick up because right now we are very weak ar guard

Bently would play center. McKinney is a slightly above average left guard, but a below average center. Thus, be moving him to guard and putting Bently at center the line would drastically improve. In addition, we should draft a RT (possibly could grow into LT) with our second round pick.

michaelm
01-03-2006, 01:26 PM
Isn't a "feature" of Denver's zone blocking scheme that they can plug in anybody and get results? Our RBs are fairly similar to each other.

Yes, but another feature of Denver's Oline is having players that don't suck at several positions...

Runner
01-03-2006, 01:28 PM
if we get bently, i wonder if we play him at guard or center? i guess it depends on who else we pick up because right now we are very weak ar guard

Weak at guard? Heck, we started 5 guards the last couple of games!:sarcasm:

michaelm
01-03-2006, 01:30 PM
I think that was the demise of Capers, when we switched to this scheme it seemed to stunt our growth. Add to that if Kubiak is signed and he takes the same mentality that Denver has had, then there is no reason to spend our #1 pick on Bush.


By that same reasoning, there is no reason to pick a lineman in the first round. If I remember correctly, Denver's line is made up of what would normally be considered average personell...
Heck, maybe there's no reason to have a first round pick at all... with the right system and the right luck we could field a team of all pros with just fourth rounders...

Texans Horror
01-03-2006, 01:39 PM
The Texans have a poorly coached line. They are an average run-blocking team (I'm basing that on the "average" statistics of their running backs). JMO, but I think they have a hard time running right. It will be interesting to see what a new coach will do with the line, but my hope is just that they will bring in an offensive line coach. You know, somebody with offensive line coaching experience. (Not talking about the HC.)

SESupergenius
01-03-2006, 01:53 PM
By that same reasoning, there is no reason to pick a lineman in the first round. If I remember correctly, Denver's line is made up of what would normally be considered average personell...
Heck, maybe there's no reason to have a first round pick at all... with the right system and the right luck we could field a team of all pros with just fourth rounders...
Not necessarily, j George Foster was draft in the 2004 draft by the Broncos and is now the starting RT.

michaelm
01-03-2006, 02:42 PM
Not necessarily, j George Foster was draft in the 2004 draft by the Broncos and is now the starting RT.

Foster was considered a reach at #20, and his pick was out of the ordinary for the Broncos. He was projected as an early second rounder from what I remember and that somewhat proves my point.
Although the Broncos took him a bit early, he was considered second round talent (admittedly, due partly to injury).
I know recent history precludes most of us from believing that the Texans can find such a player early in the second round, but I think there's a better chance of us finding one of them than there is of ever having a shot at a player like Bush again...

SESupergenius
01-03-2006, 04:12 PM
Foster was considered a reach at #20, and his pick was out of the ordinary for the Broncos. He was projected as an early second rounder from what I remember and that somewhat proves my point.
Although the Broncos took him a bit early, he was considered second round talent (admittedly, due partly to injury).
I know recent history precludes most of us from believing that the Texans can find such a player early in the second round, but I think there's a better chance of us finding one of them than there is of ever having a shot at a player like Bush again...
If anything, Foster slid to the 20th, he was not a reach as you say. Let's just stick to facts and you might have an argument and try not to give your take such a stretch. Great Tackles are not usually found in round 4. Is that you Casserly?

A Texan
01-03-2006, 04:48 PM
I wonder if we sign Bush and resign Carr, how much cap money will be left? Any capologists out there?

michaelm
01-03-2006, 04:50 PM
If anything, Foster slid to the 20th, he was not a reach as you say. Let's just stick to facts and you might have an argument and try not to give your take such a stretch. Great Tackles are not usually found in round 4. Is that you Casserly?


Pro Football Weekly called the pick "funny" and said they were not wild about it
http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/NFLDraft/Draft+Day/2003/edholm3.htm

CNNSI mock had him going @ #39
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2003/draft/news/2003/04/24/mock_draft/

CNNSI also projected early second round in his bio
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/2003/draft/players/755.html

Scout.com questioned if teams should "take a chance on him early in next Aprils draft?"
http://scout.scout.com/a.z?s=135&p=8&c=1&nid=1932467

and NFL Draft Blitz had this to say about LTs in general siting Foster as an exaple specifically

For about 10 years now, scouts and Gm's have desperately been looking for long term answers at the offensive tackle position. Certainly, with the development of more sophisticated blocking schemes and an emphasis on cohesion, the struggle has been covered up nicely. Hence, one may ask, "Why even sought out Franchise tackles anyway, if you can be efficient with cheaper personnel?" The fact is, if you can find a true blue chip tackle, you give yourself not only a guy to build an entire offense around, but also you neutralize virtually any pass rushing menace and grant your line even more creative flexibility in terms of blocking schemes. Unfortunately, It's been accepted from most parties, that unless you have a top 10 pick in the first round, or a ton of cap space, your team isn't gonna have much luck in finding their blindside blue chipper. This leads teams to settle on late round gems, patch work veterans, and/or reaching for mid level prospects not worth of their draft position. Yes, there are exceptions, but few and far between.
There is no pinpointed reason for the shortage. Perhaps it can be attributed to the pressure on young lineman to add so much weight. A lot of players lose their mobility, and open themselves up to injury in exchange for hitting that 315 Lb. plateau. Maybe it's the more team oriented blocking schemes on the college level that eliminate athletic showcasing and can stun development. Whatever the case, all the proof you need about how limited a Gm's choices have become, is right in the pudding; Players like Marc Colombo, Kwame Harris, George Foster, and Luke Petigout were all first round picks. That isn't to say that any of them were lacking in talent or ability. Some have become solid consistent starters. But no way did some of these players match the traditional profile of an OT worthy of a 1st round selection. Gm's are forced to pull the trigger on these mid level talents because someone has to protect the blindside of their 80 million dollar investments. So even if it means settling for less, or wasting draft day value, decision makers hold their breath and make the questionable selection.

http://www.nfldraftblitz.com/Inthetrenches.htm

Them there are facts...
and oh,
I never said that great tackles are usually taken in the fourth round...

My name is Mike Massey.

That should cover it, I think

SESupergenius
01-03-2006, 05:13 PM
It was only and odd pick for fans and a few mock drafters because of the needs of the Broncos defensive line. I can counter with:
Seven of the nine tackles (Orlando Pace, Jonathan Ogden, Walter Jones, Willie Roaf, Willie Anderson, Tra Thomas, and Tarik Glenn) on the Pro Bowl rosters last year were first-round picks. The other two (Flozell Adams and Marvel Smith) were drafted in the second round. Roaf, who was traded from the Saints to the Chiefs in 2002, is the only one not still with the team that drafted him.

houstonprofootball.com

Now those are some hard facts.

As for Foster.

Had him going 19th before the draft.
http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/archive/2003/mock.html

ESPN had him going 15th
http://espn.go.com/nfl/s/pfw/2003mockdraft.html

NFL.com had him at 21st
http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/6332684

Go ahead and draft your offensive linemen in the laters rounds, Mike errr.. Casserly, you'll be drafting in the top 10 for many years to come.

michaelm
01-03-2006, 08:32 PM
Go ahead and draft your offensive linemen in the laters rounds, Mike errr.. Casserly, you'll be drafting in the top 10 for many years to come.

Starting LT for the Denver Broncos... is...


Matt Lepsis - Undrafted Free agent 1997

...has been a full time starter since 1999, starting left tackle for the last 3 years, including 2004 when the Broncos set a franchise record for fewest sacks allowed (15).
Since the original post I responded to specifically mentioned Kubiak and referenced his history with the Broncos, I think this is a perfectly salient point.
An undrafted free agent! At Left Tackle!
OK, I haven't scoured the stats, and I'm sure that this is not the norm, but still... there it is.


p.s. he was able to move to left tackle when your first round pick developed into a starter @ RT in his second season...


*edit* to NOT spell left 'leaft'

michaelm
01-03-2006, 08:43 PM
at this point I suggest a truce, recognizing that there is validity to your point and there is also validity to mine...

SESupergenius
01-03-2006, 10:43 PM
at this point I suggest a truce, recognizing that there is validity to your point and there is also validity to mine...
We can truce it Mike, but we both are bringing better insight to the situation by have a good dialog. I appreciate that and respect that. I will grant you that Lepsis is an outstanding find, but I thought he was guard originally? Anyhow when a team can get a starter in the later rounds it's golden, I thought that when Hodgdon played he was pretty good and may be one of Casserly's/Capers better picks. My biggest point is that we havn't drafted a solid OL in the 1st 3 rounds of ANY draft and that is one of our biggest weaknesses. I was putting 2 + 2 together.

michaelm
01-03-2006, 11:05 PM
I don't have the patience to research it, but I'd be curious to see how much of a line like Denver's is a matter of finding hidden talent in later rounds, or just a system that does a better job developing less than prolific players into a solid unit.
I mean, maybe there are players that contributed successfully to the Denver Oline, but left and couldn't duplicate that success in another system (as an example).

I think a good example of what I mean is Denvers own defense. They were widely criticized for bringing in so many 'sub par' D lineman from Cleveland, but they have had remakedly good production from these guys from what I can tell.
At least better than expected i would say.

I know that the Texans are supposed to have a zone blocking scheme 'like Denver's", but is it really like thiers? i don't know enough about it to say...
If not, could a coach like Kubiak come in and install the actual same system with success, and use at least a couple of the guys that we all think are worthless.
I'd kinda like to see what he could do with our rag tag bunch... and a few additions of course...!