Like TK, I'm only interested in breaking down a given play to see if I can tell why it works (or doesn't work.)
There are many websites and video clips out there that talk about the zone blocking scheme. I just pick out the ones from coaches, especially those from Gibbs (because even though other teams teach the ZBS- including college teams - they don't necessary teach the exact same thing; there are several reasons why.)
One such video is this one:
That one video could take days to understand; and I'm not kidding, there are things Gibbs said that are impossible to understand , and I've read a lot about the ZBS ever since Kubiak came on board.
On this particular play, the LOS is around the 32-1/2 yd line.
Foster ended up gaining a yard or a little more. It was not even a negative play.
We've seen plenty of negative plays.
To be honest, I think Gibbs would have ripped Foster just like he said he would rip Terrell Davis in one of the plays in that video.
IMHO, Foster should have taken the seam (inside Newton, behind Jones and Myers.) Foster would probably gained about the same, but that was only because Smith had whiffed so badly on the back side cut block.
This is explained here:
The first example coincides with the play in discussion, against a 4-3 Over Front.
Foster's first read is the 7-tech (the SDE).
Since the SDE kept outside leverage, Foster needs to go immediately to the next O-lineman to the inside (the RG Jones).
His options now are either between Newton and Jones (the seam) or to cut back inside Jones.
As I've said, the TE, with the SDE either head up or slightly shaded to the outside, should take a drop step and aim at the outside shoulder of the SDE.
He needs to wait until Newton arrives, and together, create some forward movement on the line before climbing to the SAM linebacker - unless the SDE slants hard to the inside (and therefore leaving the TE's area from the get-go, which the SDE did not.)
This is the concept of the ZBS; you have to block your area.
When there's a man in your area, you have to block him.
Watch the video and concentrate solely on the TEs to see what they do when he's covered (having a D-lineman head up on him or slightly shaded.)
Some coaches have a teaching point; there's a 50-80% chance that the TE would have to take on the block. He's not free to release to the second level straight away.
From the look of it, I believe OD didn't fulfill his job description.
What I think Newton did wrong, as I mentioned before, was in first step.
Unless there was something else going on that I'm not aware of, I believe his first step should have been with his right foot (toward the play side).
With a bucket step, he can now aim at the SDE's inside number/shoulder.
Newton and OD then work in tandem for a fraction of a second to get the movement needed at the LOS.
With the SAM flowing to the edge, it's OD's job to climb on him - which is the case here.
Newton lined up at the 31+ yd line; that was where he stayed throughout the play. The Texans did not get a push here, but they didn't allow penetration as one's eyes were led to believe.