View Full Version : Zone blocking info.
01-17-2006, 07:53 PM
Ten years ago this scheme was designed by Mike Shanahan and Alex Gibbs of the Broncos. Currently the two best teams utilizing this scheme are the Falcons and of course the Broncos. The Falcons applied this scheme in 2004 when they hired Gibbs as their o-line coach (he now serves them in a consultant role.) Both of these lines utilize linemen that are considered undersized by other teams. The average weight on the lines are 300 and below. Neither of these teams have a player atop the rushing standings (meaning they have multiple RBs sharing the load) These two teams are also 1-2 in YPC and lowest percentage of attempts resulting in loss of yards. In order for this scheme to be more successful the QB has to have some mobility in Atlanta with Vick and Plumber in Denver the trade for Plumber was made because the Broncos did not consider Griese mobile enough. Another thing they have in common is that they require a one cut back whose goal on every carry is to avoid negative yardage. The difference in this scheme and other blocking scheme is the direction of the motion where most lines want larger backs to rush the defender to push them back to create a whole zone blocking works on a lateral movement which stretches the field. The idea behind this is to move the defense laterally to stretch the field so to speak, so that the further the defense moves the more creases open up. They use what is called a "hat and a one-half" Where the linemen double team each down defender and once that the double teamed defender is under control one of the linemen split away to cover the next "zone" lending help to a teammate or moving to the next level to block LBs or safeties. On the backside the linemen use cut blocks (blocks aimed at the thighs and rolled down to the feet to limit pursuit. This also serves a purpose in that you knock down a defender for 3 quarters he'll be feeling it in the fourth. The current O-line coaches of these teams are Rick Dennison in Denver and Jeff Jagodzinski in Atlanta (his first season as line coach, hence Gibbs role as consultant.)
01-17-2006, 07:59 PM
Football talk - I love it.
I don't know how much of your post was generalization because I know little about the technical details of zone blocking and who uses the scheme. It seems our lineman are bigger than the ones you described. However, our zone blocking seems to share something with at least Denver - no matter who the RB is he will pick up similar stats over the course of a game.
01-17-2006, 08:05 PM
Ok, the reason I posted is to shed some light on the potential of this scheme and the mistakes which may have hindered our implementation of this scheme. First, Pendry was not really familiar with this system and had no one guiding him in the details like Denver and Atlantas coaches so of course he was not going to implement it successfully. Second, I don't think he disciplined his linemen in distinguishing from run blocking situations and passing situations. I know some of you saw this where the lineman would double team somebody while the linebacker waltz up to Carr. Third the O-line FA we got don't fit this scheme which preaches quickness obviously we didn't get that. I could keep going with what was done wrong, but I would like to look to the future. If Kubiak comes here there is a good possibility he may bring Dennison with him, a coach who has proven he can excel in this scheme. So this brings a new dimension with 8 draft picks in the upcoming draft we can fill many wholes to successfully run this scheme. I honestly just had my mind go blank, but any opinions on this and the possibilities you can think of are always welcome. Thanx.
01-17-2006, 08:13 PM
Football talk - I love it.
I don't know how much of your post was generalization because I know little about the technical details of zone blocking and who uses the scheme. It seems our lineman are bigger than the ones you described. However, our zone blocking seems to share soemthing with at least Denver - no matter who the RB is he will pick up similar stats over the course of a game.
Well, I used these two teams as my focal point because they are the most successful at running the scheme, I didn't get too specific because I just wanted to convey the general idea of how it works.
Yes our linemen are bigger, but the important factor is the speed. A smaller lineman will have an easier time dealing with the cut blocks and may be more inclined to be quicker. However I think some of our linemen have those qualities so the weight shouldn't be to big of a factor as long as they can move their feet at a good speed.
Hopefully Dennison will end up here in houston and they'll have more in common.:redtowel:
01-17-2006, 08:58 PM
I posted a similiar comment quite a while ago about zone blocking. Our team runs it, and it is like you describe. Cut blocks are also used a lot. We also run a west coast offense along with the zone scheme.
01-17-2006, 09:16 PM
Dat Boy, very good start - thanks for giving many their first insights to the Zone Blocking scheme.
The most important thing to note about the Zone B scheme is that guards and the center are the most important positions. I know this runs contrary to traditional blocking schemes that place a premium on tackles. However, in the Zone B scheme guards and the center must be quick with very good feet. The center imparticular needs to be an outstanding athlete.
The Zone B scheme is based upon speed, both on the defense and the offense. The scheme allows for over aggressive lineman and especially linebackers to over run the play as the line shifts in one direction and the back cuts against the grain as the FB seals the edge.
The ideal lineman is 280-300lbs., often recruited as a tight end and moved to o-line in college. Colledge is the ideal zone blocking prospect in the upcoming draft. I love the scheme if utilized properly.
Pitts can effectively play tackle, McKinney would be a decent guard (if (1) he loses 10 lbs. and (2) restructures his contract), LeCharles Bentley could eventually make this an elite unite, Weigart will do for a year (with Hodgdon and/or an 4th or 5th rounder moving into the lineup in 1-2 years), and Colledge would be another outstanding tackle prospect.
I love this football talk, finally people who have actually played the game.
01-17-2006, 09:19 PM
OK, given those paramiters, 300 or less and quick, who do we have that fits that bill? While weight wise they may not, quickness wise these might fit:
Pitts, McKinny, Hogden, Wand. Wiegert MIGHT, but he is out more than in. None of the rest seem to fit as I look at them and these are pushing the margins. If I am even sort of close, that means we will need to find 3-4 lineman. At least one to start and the rest for depth. Bently would be a huge help as he was a Pro Bowler at both gaurd and center, so at the very least we wind up with a really good center and DHog as a pretty good depth player.
01-17-2006, 10:01 PM
It is true that at the moment we don't have the ideal personnel to run this scheme. However I think with a few tweaks here and there we may have a good foundation by the start of the season and a more solid cohesive line by the end of next yr. At the moment I agree with the ppl Edo mentioned and I would also add Weary in the mix at guard. This would give us a starting point to work with. Pitts, McKinney, Hodgdon, Weary, and Wand would probably work best right now with Weigart backing up the guards and Washington at center. Bentley would go a long way to solidifying the interior and making a quick impact. Our center slot would be solid so in the draft I would look for tackle and guard players. Of the three "elite" tackles in this yr's draft the one I think would fit this system the best is Winston. He has ideal size and amazing speed. Other than him I think serviceable Tackles for this system can be found throughout the draft, the same can be said of guards. Yes, I would love to see Bentley here though, that would really set my heart at ease.
01-17-2006, 10:05 PM
In order for this scheme to be more successful the QB has to have some mobility
Ya don't say.....
01-17-2006, 10:30 PM
We also run a west coast offense along with the zone scheme.
No wonder Capers/Palmer/Pendry are all gone--they never knew the Texans were running a west coast offense.
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