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View Full Version : Gap Scheme v. Zone Scheme


prostock101
08-08-2007, 05:16 PM
Here's a tidbit from the mighty Sherm about OLine blocking.

Green is well-versed in both from his days in Green Bay when he played under Mike Sherman. The Texans ran only zone until the final month of last season when they started incorporating the gap scheme as well. Their running game went from averaging 96.3 yards per game in the first 11 games to 125.2 yards per game in the final five.

"We did some gap scheme last year, and it was very good for us and it was a great complement," said Sherman, the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator. "The zone purists say, 'All zone.' And the gap purists say, 'All gap.' But we believe you can run both schemes with equal efficiency, and one scheme makes the other better."

Can someone with some X's and O's experience please explain the differences in the above "Gulf Coast Scheme"?

Sorry! Here's da link......

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/5035837.html

real
08-08-2007, 05:48 PM
I believe he's talking about trap and counter type plays...

Basically man blocking...

Gap blocking is when you're trying to open a specific hole so you design your play that way....The RB doesn't have to do to much...

Whereas with zone blocking there is no defenitive hole because the offensive line is taking their man where ever he wants to go essentially.....

aj.
08-08-2007, 05:57 PM
I'm lazy so read this: http://www.buckeyeplanet.com/forum/blogs/25768-o-line-schemes-zone-blocking-vs-drive-blocking.html

It's a fairly good writeup on the subject - not perfect - but for this discussion, consider what the author calls "drive blocking" synonymous for the type of blocking (man) used in a gap scheme. Note the mention of power and counter at the end of the writeup. Those are the bread and butter running plays in a gap scheme and you will see plenty of that from the Texans this year. Lots of fullback lead from the I and pulling guards - and the play action that you can run off it. When you re-watch the game from Saturday night, watch the guards, the fullback, and the RB footwork on the counters. Also watch for Schaub to drive deep into the pocket on handoffs and watch him sell the handoffs follow throughs because he will keep it once in a while (naked boot to pass - not to run).

Texans_Chick
08-08-2007, 05:58 PM
Here's a tidbit from the mighty Sherm about OLine blocking.

Green is well-versed in both from his days in Green Bay when he played under Mike Sherman. The Texans ran only zone until the final month of last season when they started incorporating the gap scheme as well. Their running game went from averaging 96.3 yards per game in the first 11 games to 125.2 yards per game in the final five.

"We did some gap scheme last year, and it was very good for us and it was a great complement," said Sherman, the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator. "The zone purists say, 'All zone.' And the gap purists say, 'All gap.' But we believe you can run both schemes with equal efficiency, and one scheme makes the other better."

Can someone with some X's and O's experience please explain the differences in the above "Gulf Coast Scheme"?

Hey, could you put a link to these quotes please? It is from today's Megan Manfull Chronicle article.

Here's an elementary summary of the differences:

link (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5913890)

Most teams use some sort of combo, and I heard that we were going to be doing more man blocking than last year.


In any event, I'm glad you brought this article up because I will say that I question the summary of what she is saying about last year's scheme.

In the training camp preview article a couple of weeks ago, Manfull wrote that Green should excel in the Texans zone blocking scheme because that is what he ran last year. And I wrote the Chronic PTB politely saying that this was not accurate--that GB ran zone last year, but that the Texans did not run all zone last year. I got an email back thanking me and telling me that I was correct.

And at least from what I understand, last year they ran both zone and gap earlier in the season than just the last month. In fact, I was told that Sherman would get mad if someone said he was just running zone blocking at the beginning of the season. And at least from what my eyes were telling me, I thought they were running non-zone stuff earlier in the season.

I can't say for certain, because I don't have access to players or coaches, but when I read that article this morning, it didn't sound accurate to me.

prostock101
08-08-2007, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the input. Is it possible that the zone scheme was not working as well as they hoped last year and by implementing the gap scheme our running game improved? Seems that way to me because when we started running behind Leach, the running game really stepped up and I think was responsible for the "Miracle".

The Pencil Neck
08-08-2007, 07:46 PM
Thanks for the input. Is it possible that the zone scheme was not working as well as they hoped last year and by implementing the gap scheme our running game improved? Seems that way to me because when we started running behind Leach, the running game really stepped up and I think was responsible for the "Miracle".


I think that we just didn't (and don't) have the types of athletes that we needed on the line. Usually zone blocking linemen are smaller and lighter than the man blocking linemen. That's what has concerned me about hybridizing the two schemes. But they say that it's going to be a better mix this year than last year and I'm hoping that they come up with a really good synthesis of the two.

Leach definitely helped our running game last year. I'm not sure about the ratio of zone to man running plays, though.

Texans_Chick
08-08-2007, 09:45 PM
I think that we just didn't (and don't) have the types of athletes that we needed on the line. Usually zone blocking linemen are smaller and lighter than the man blocking linemen. That's what has concerned me about hybridizing the two schemes. But they say that it's going to be a better mix this year than last year and I'm hoping that they come up with a really good synthesis of the two.

Leach definitely helped our running game last year. I'm not sure about the ratio of zone to man running plays, though.

Lots of factors to look at with the improvement of the running game.

Kubiak shut down a lot of the passing game late in the season. It became obvious. Very little choice with only one healthy QB who got brained during the Raiders game and an oline that hadn't worked much together. You stop throwing as much, and your running game is going to get more chances.

They also faced some crap run defenses as the season progressed.

Leach helps. Some would say that McKinney was an improvement over Flanagan. (and certainly better than poor Hodgdon getting his road starts at center).

Runner
08-08-2007, 10:42 PM
I hope the coaches know the players well enough to set up some better blocking schemes too. There were some problems in that area. The Patriots game stands out in that regard, to me anyway.

jdog
08-08-2007, 11:14 PM
This is failry irrelevant to the thread, but while we're talking about hybrid blocking schemes and such...

I think we should try some play action with AJ as the lone WR (since he is anyway), Daniels, Bruener, and Barry as TE's with Bruener and Barry on the opposite side of Daniels and AJ. I like the idea of the Dayne Train in the backfield on this one.

nunusguy
08-09-2007, 09:14 AM
I think that we just didn't (and don't) have the types of athletes that we needed on the line. Usually zone blocking linemen are smaller and lighter than the man blocking linemen. That's what has concerned me about hybridizing the two schemes. But they say that it's going to be a better mix this year than last year and I'm hoping that they come up with a really good synthesis of the two.

I think that's the crux of the issue here - you can't put a square-peg in a round hole. You can't have your cake and eat it to. 'Nough cliches.
But as Kubiak has made clear, he will be using Schaub differently than Carr, making adjustments for Schaub because he's not of the same athletic-level as was Carr. Can't imagine why the same logic should not apply to the OLine.
You go with the strength of the line, whatever that is. So logically, based upon the profile of the OLineman, they'd feature or emphasize one scheme or another rather than have balanced approach.
BTW, I gather that the using the WCO is not necessarily linked or related to the blocking-scheme used by the Line ?

real
08-09-2007, 09:33 AM
I think that we just didn't (and don't) have the types of athletes that we needed on the line. Usually zone blocking linemen are smaller and lighter than the man blocking linemen. That's what has concerned me about hybridizing the two schemes. But they say that it's going to be a better mix this year than last year and I'm hoping that they come up with a really good synthesis of the two.

Leach definitely helped our running game last year. I'm not sure about the ratio of zone to man running plays, though.

If it's not our dominant scheme we should be ok...But you're right....We don't really have your typical ZBS linemen....

Texans_Chick
08-09-2007, 10:00 AM
I think that's the crux of the issue here - you can't put a square-peg in a round hole. You can't have your cake and eat it to. 'Nough cliches.
But as Kubiak has made clear, he will be using Schaub differently than Carr, making adjustments for Schaub because he's not of the same athletic-level as was Carr. Can't imagine why the same logic should not apply to the OLine.
You go with the strength of the line, whatever that is. So logically, based upon the profile of the OLineman, they'd feature or emphasize one scheme or another rather than have balanced approach.
BTW, I gather that the using the WCO is not necessarily linked or related to the blocking-scheme used by the Line ?

Winston claims that the line is athletic and strong enough to do both effectively. (yesterday on Sirius NFL Radio).

McKinney early in the season said they are will be incorporating more man.

It is arguable that the Shanahan Denver form of WCO depends on zone blocking to work. Especially in how the blocking sets up the bootleg.

One way or another, I don't care what blocking they are doing as long as it is working. I just don't want to be able to predict the upcoming play based on how the linemen are set up. Sometimes it was really obvious when the Texans were going to run and when they were going to pass.

Vinny
08-09-2007, 10:10 AM
You won't find Guards with better feet than Weary and Pitts...we have guys who can get a block at the second level...If you can never beat the blitz teams tend to just load the box...with a new QB who understands the game better the running game will take off as well. Most people think it is the other way around exclusively...but it works both ways. While it makes passing easier by running well....the same is true of the reverse. If you can't pass the ball teams just load up and stop the run since it's the only thing you do well. Most teams run a little of both type of plays blocking plays in their schemes.

CloakNNNdagger
08-09-2007, 08:34 PM
I think that's the crux of the issue here - you can't put a square-peg in a round hole. You can't have your cake and eat it to. 'Nough cliches.
But as Kubiak has made clear, he will be using Schaub differently than Carr, making adjustments for Schaub because he's not of the same athletic-level as was Carr. Can't imagine why the same logic should not apply to the OLine.
You go with the strength of the line, whatever that is. So logically, based upon the profile of the OLineman, they'd feature or emphasize one scheme or another rather than have balanced approach.
BTW, I gather that the using the WCO is not necessarily linked or related to the blocking-scheme used by the Line ?


This is a great article about the history of the WCO (http://espn.go.com/nfl/s/westcoast/history.html):

Except that the original West Coast offense is, at the very least, estranged from what it has begat.

Joe Gibbs years ago added the multiple tight ends and one-back formations, both anathema to the West Coast offense. He also put in a lot of "bunch" formations. Coryell began to flex the tight end, especially when he had Kellen Winslow at his disposal. Mike Shanahan in Denver uses many of the same traps, pulls and counters that the original West Coast offense featured but has tinkered a lot with the passing side of things.

Gruden prefers an I-formation or a one-back set to the standard split backfield that Walsh used and also relies on zone-blocking. In the classic West Coast offense, the blocking was primarily man-to-man, and the staple rushing play was the sweep.

"Really, how often now do you see split backs?" Holmgren said. "There is a lot more power stuff, strength-of-formation things, going on now. The West Coast offense, before all the motion and shifting, was more balanced."

Rex King
08-10-2007, 10:42 AM
Don Coryell has ties to the WCO??? Good link.

There was an article about drafting WRs last year or the year before (I think by Pasquarelli as well) talking about why rookies had such a tough time adjusting to the WCO because of the demand for precision in route running and timing that they weren't used to.

Last year, one of the commentators talked about differences in the linemen's splits when they were preparing for zone blocking or man-blocking. I wonder if they made those adjustments in the offseason. I'll be looking for it on Saturday.

edo783
08-10-2007, 10:11 PM
[quote=Rex King;706046]Don Coryell has ties to the WCO??? quote]

Yup, the routs were just a tad deeper though......like 60 yards or so.:texflag: