Post by Coach Campbell on Oct 15, 2006 7:54:55 GMT
Coach we are a full zone team with the incorporation of 4 different zone schemes. Under our new manual by Lyle Lansdell and myself you will find all the info you need. Our Gun Manual can be found in our resource store. Coach CAmpbell
If you wish to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, I may be able to help. Following is VERY GOOD!
Northwestern State University's
ZONE BLOCKING PRINCIPLES
By Chris Truax
Offensive Line Coach & Running Game Coordinator
Northwestern State University
Zone blocking occurs when two offensive linemen are responsible for blocking two defenders in a certain area towards the point of attack. The purpose of using the zone blocking scheme is to stop penetration, create movement on Level I (build a wall) and also seal off the onside linebacker. All zone blocks initially start out as an inside-out double team. As movement begins, either the outside blocker or inside blocker will gain control over the defender on Level I, allowing the other blocker to come off the block to handle the linebacker. In this type of blocking scheme, it is critical to create movement on Level I before coming off for the linebacker.
A. Inside Blocker - (Offensive lineman covered by a linebacker or uncovered.) Take a short lead step with near foot aiming for a point inside the hip of the defender aligned on the next offensive blocker and play side. We refer to this step as a zone step. As the inside blocker takes this zone step, it is important to read the movement of the linebacker. If the linebacker “Fast Flows,” you explode up under the defensive lineman with both hands. Upon making contact, whip your arms and move your feet like pistons working to get movement up the field. If the linebacker “Slow Flows,” punch and push off the defender with one hand and explode to the LB as you approach his level. Sometimes LB’ers are “Fast Flow” by alignment. We must be alert to this situation. Inside blocker must use two hands.
B. Outside Blocker - (Offensive lineman covered by a down lineman.) The outside blocker must read the alignment of the defender aligned on him so he can hit the proper landmark and initially create the movement on level one. If the defender is aligned outside eye or shoulder, the outside blocker will step with his near foot, aiming his head gear for the outside number. If the defender is aligned head up he will step with his outside foot, aiming his headgear under the chin of the defender. If he is aligned inside eye or shoulder, he will read step with his outside foot to block the outside number of the defender. If the defender loops-out or locks-on, we want the outside blocker to maintain contact and work the defender off the LOS.
This movement off the LOS is important in zone blocking principles. If this defender remains inside of you, continue to drive and maintain contact – once you are forced off by the inside blocker now you can look for the scraping linebacker on Level 2. If the defender aligned on you slants inside – punch and push off the defender and explode to 2nd level when the linebacker crosses your face. Block the linebacker by exploding up through his play side armpit, using a good drive block technique. Remember – we want movement first. When we come off to the second level we will take the linebacker anywhere we can.
The following calls are the different zone-type blocks between offensive linemen at the point of attack:
1. “Single” zone blocking between the center and onside guard is necessary in order to handle the defensive tackle and middle linebacker. The onside guard will make the call when the defensive tackle is aligned head up or inside eye or shoulder on alignment. This call is to reaffirm the blocking assignment.
There are two types of “Single” blocks. The one in the diagram is a power single used on off tackle plays. The landmark is the play side number. The other one is used for wide plays and will be called a “Single.” The principles are the same except the landmark will be the outside armpit of the down lineman. If the defensive tackle is in a “1” or a “2” technique, the guard will read step with the play side foot. If the defensive tackle is in a “3” Technique he will step with the play side foot, aiming at the play side armpit on the “Single”.
2. “Double” zone blocking between the onside guard and onside tackle is necessary in order to handle the defensive end and inside (onside) linebacker. The onside tackle will make the call when the defensive end is aligned head up or inside eye or shoulder alignment. The onside tackle will alert the onside guard to possible “Double” by making either a 4 or 4-1 call or a double call. Double Blocking Scheme will entail two types of zone blocking – either a “Power Double” or “Double.” In order to determine which type of zone blocking we will use on a “double” will depend upon the hole we are attacking.
A. “Power Double” (4 or 4-1 Call) - used on inside zone plays. Onside tackle will read the alignment of the defensive end. If he is aligned in a 5-technique (outside eye or shoulder) he will block the defender with a play side step with his near foot to the outside number. No call will be made. If he is aligned in a 4-technique (head up) he will make a 4 Call and take a read step at the middle of the defender to block the defender under the chin. If the defender is aligned in a 4-1 Technique (inside eye or shoulder) he will make a 4-1 call and step with his play side foot to block his outside number. Stay tight to the defender. Remember, we want first level movement.
B.”Double” - used on outside zone plays. Onside tackle will read the alignment of the defensive end. If he is aligned in 5-Technique (outside eye or shoulder) he will drive on the outside armpit with his near foot – no call will be made. If he is aligned in a 4 or 4-1 alignment, make a 4 or 4-1 call. Take an outside release with the play side foot to the outside armpit – whip your inside arm and shoulder up into the defender – bump off by getting width on your next step and explode to second level to seal or drive block the scrape off linebacker.
3. “Triple” zone blocking between the onside tackle and tight end is necessary in order to handle the defensive end and onside linebacker. The tackle will make the call to the TE. The TE will alert the tackles to where the defensive end is aligned, head up or inside eye or shoulder on alignment. The tight end will alert the onside tackle of the defensive end by making either a 6 or 7 call. Triple Blocking Scheme will entail two types of zone blocking – either a Power Triple or a Triple. In order to determine which type of zone blocking we will use on “Triple” will depend upon the hole we are attacking.
A. “Power Triple” (6 or 7 call) - used Inside Zone plays. Tight end will read the alignment of the defensive end. If he is aligned in a 9-Technique (outside eye or shoulder) he will block a point up the defender's outside number – no call will be made. If he is aligned in a 6-Technique (head up), he will make a 6 call and step with his play side foot to lock the defender under the chin. If the defender is aligned in a 7-Technique (inside eye or shoulder) he will make a 7 call and step with his play side foot to block the outside number.
B. “Triple” - used on outside zone plays. Tight end will read the alignment of the defensive end. If he is aligned in a 9-Technique (outside eye or shoulder) he will drive on the outside armpit – no call will be made. If he is aligned in a 6 or 7 alignment he will make a call – take an outside release by using a short outside step – to the outside armpit, whip your arm and shoulder up to the defender – bump off by getting width on your next step. Then explode to second level to seal or drive block the scrape-off linebacker.
About the author
Chris Truax is a three year staff member for the Northwestern State Demons serving as both running backs coordinator and offensive line coach. He previously coached at both Louisiana-Monroe and McNeese State, helping the Cowboys get to the Division I-AA National Championship in 1997. Truax was a four year letterman at LSU . He can be reached at email@example.com.
Coach we are a down rules power team that is shifting to a zone team. I ordered the Gibbs video and it was great. We have down rules that are for our power and gee game that are simple and will work against any front. With the Gibbs video we were able to just reverse our down rules to the outside and it has been great so far. Let me know if you would like to discuss this further.
Post by Coach Campbell on Sept 20, 2020 23:50:37 GMT
Coaching at both the varsity level the past few years and now the middle school level, I have seen a slew of different offenses. Most teams that play in our conference run a spread-type of offense with a lot of RPO, 4 receivers wide and an H-Back who is mostly a kick-out/lead blocker. With these offenses, their run plays typically are variations of inside and outside zone concepts. However, I see a big factor in the success-rate of all these offenses. If the program has been doing this type of offense from the youth on up and has established this offense as THEIR offense to hang their hat on, they are typically very successful using it. On the contrary, if the program is in the infancy of using a zone scheme, they typically struggle as it takes a few years to teach this type of blocking scheme and to become actually good at it.
For the program I coach for, we run a triple-option. This offense fits our kids perfectly because as opposed to getting a spread-type quarterback, blazing-fast receivers and lineman who can move quickly and pass protect effectively, we typically get linebacker/running back type kids who can run down hill and hit while also getting lineman who are big, strong and are effective run blockers. With this, man blocking within the triple option attack has fit our athletes very well and we have not seen the growing pains that some programs see while trying to install a zone blocking scheme.
Coming now from the middle school level, it is easier to teach a kid "hey, you have this guy right here" instead of telling a lineman that you have to stay on your track and block a certain "area". In this regard, a 7th grader would get lost and not block anyone then. However, if I am able to show them exactly who they have to block or in their words, "get", they are able to visually see their block and then take the proper course to get to them. We do however run some zone concepts when we run our outside toss, but for the most part, our lineman rules are simple and to the point.
Again, if a program hangs their hat on zone blocking scheme and is willing to take the time to do so, zone blocking scheme can become very simple over time and I've seen opponent lineman who can become VERY good at it. However, I know in the back of my mind that the certain lineman I am watching was not very good at it first as it took time and repetition to get the hang of it. But, sometimes programs don't have time to wait and the football IQ of most kids is little at best. Therefore, man blocking schemes make life a lot easier for lineman because they can be taught exactly who to block based on the play-concept and not have to second guess themselves during a play.
Knowing this, I would use a man blocking scheme if I were to incorporate one into my offense. It is easier to teach and easier to visualize for athletes. I can easily post a play card and my players can see exactly what to do and the course they need to take to get there. If football players are thinking, they are not effective and cannot play fast. In addition, when defenses bring pressure, it is a lot to pick it up in a man blocking scheme as opposed to a zone blocking scheme. Lastly, going to the triple-option was the best decision our head coach could have ever made. No one was was doing it, we got the youth doing it right away, and now many teams around us are seeing are success and trying to emulate aspects of our offense. Teams also see how many all-state linemen we have had in the past few years. Again, our blocking schemes and rules are simple and allow for lineman to know their rule and execute, not think or as some coaches say, "paralysis from analysis".
Coming from coaching varsity defensive line play, I always taught my defensive lineman to punch and extend their arms to be able to control the lineman, protect the line backers and shed the block to be able to find the ball. As a former offensive lineman, I always preferred to keep lineman close to me and pull them in towards towards me so that they could not or go anywhere. It is very surprising to me that extended arms were illegal until 1985. Looking at it now, extended arms for the offensive lineman are effective in pass protection as well as in some run concepts. Defensive lineman vs. offensive lineman should be a dog fight, and the ability to win the battle inside with your hands and who can get extension first is typically the winner. As a strength and conditioning coach, we work a lot of pressing and extending because lineman need that ability to overpower someone to block or extend their arms to be able to shed a block and get to the ball. Either way, the extension of the arms allows for control and eventual win of the battle in the trenches.
Post by Coach Campbell on Sept 20, 2020 23:54:19 GMT
As a player and a coach I have been a part of teams that used both blocking schemes and have had success with both. I am currently an assistant coach with a team that is running a zone blocking scheme. The teams that we face have run either a spread scheme with zone block to read a player on the end of the line, or they have run a wing-t option system with man blocking.
The program that I'm coaching for runs a zone system because we have young smaller line and allows us to use our speed and numbers on the front side and read a backside defender to give us an advantage to the front side. I also things that it allows our young line to have simple rules without worrying about blocking a specific man and block in an area and move to the next level if no one shows in their zone. For our running game the goal is to displace defenders horizontally, allow our quarterback to read and make his decision based on what he is seeing.
I would incorporate a zone running system into my offensive system if I was an offensive coordinator or head coach because I think that it allows you to practice your basic plays against every front that you and your defensive coordinator could possibly think of. The linemen will get reps seeing multiple fronts multiple blitzes and learn how to react when they happen. I would also run this system because the rules allow it to be versatile, if you want a power play zone rules for the down blocking lineman, counter can use the same, trap can also use the same rules with a majority of the line. Zone also allow you to use tags on your plays to help your linemen and vary play calling. One of the main reason that I would coach the zone system is because that is what I know, I fell in love with that style of running and studied it for a long time. I have seen it fail and have seen it gash teams but, it's what I know a feel confident coaching.
The rule change of 1985 was needed in my opinion, I could not picture a football game where the offense could not block with their hands, but before the rule change it shows that if executed correctly you can use multiple types and positioning of the body and body parts to block with and be effective. I don't think that if the rules had not changed in 1985 the game today would be the same that it is. I don't think that teams would be able to pass as often or as effectively as the pass rushers would be at an advantage. I also don't think that line would be getting smaller and more athletic because the spread and zone games would not be as effective and bigger lineman would be needed to move the defense when shoulder blocking.
Post by Coach Campbell on Sept 21, 2020 0:05:00 GMT
I have always played and coached a zone blocking scheme. I have always been a firm believer that man blocking in the run game limits an offense and especially the ball carrier. The blocking rules for lineman are also more simple in a zone scheme than in man blocking.
When blocking in a zone concept is is important to understand your gap responsibility for a given play. In our offense we call it your front door. "Don't let anyone knock down your front door and attack your family." This is the phrase we use a lot with our lineman. For example, if I am playing right guard and we are running zone right my gap responsibility is B gap and I will either block a 3 technique right away with possible help from the right tackle, I will step to B gap and possibly put a backside hand up to help my center with a 1 technique as I work up to a backer, or I will attack the outside shoulder of a head up 2 technique and work up the field to backer and allow the center to over take the head up defender. The key to all 3 of these blocking situations is I am moving towards the right and upfield with my shoulders square. This will allow the ball carrier to see if I am able to overtake the defender and he can commit to his path or if I am unable to overtake my defender and I need to drive him laterally to the right the ball carrier can cut off my block and get vertical.
The best part of a zone blocking scheme is the options it give for a ball carrier. A lot of times with man blocking there is a specific hole or gap the ball carrier is supposed to hit. In a zone scheme you allow your ball carrier to be an athlete. We do have a rule of 1 cut and get vertical. As much as we want out athletes to be athletes we don't want our ball carriers to be making 3 or 4 cuts and running lateral. Get North and South and stop running East and West.
Lastly, a zone scheme also benefits the offensive line as a whole. The whole line works together as one unit to create flow in whatever direction you are running and to create those running lanes I spoke of in the previous paragraph. As long as each lineman understands the rules of blocking zone and does not step in the wrong direction (Sounds simple but they will step left to a backside defender, when they are supposed to be stepping right and working up to a backer) then running zone can be extremely simple and successful.
Being able to extend your hands as a offensive lineman is one of the keys to blocking. I can't imagine a world where you are not allowed to do it. I do remember being taught to block with "flippers" when I player pop warner, but once I hit high school it was all about striking your opponent with fast and violent hands and then running your feet and bringing your hips. At time you do want to bring your hands in so you are able to hold the defender without being called for holding, but the way you get pancakes is to extend those hands, run those feet, and bury that defender. Don't forget the butter and syrup.
Post by Coach Campbell on Sept 21, 2020 0:06:42 GMT
I have now been the Offensive Coordinator for the past 10 years and in that time we have been a inside/outside zone team as the foundation of what we do. We do run our zone differently than most, which i'll touch upon in a sec. We use zone as our foundation because it easily translates to any skill level and size of your offensive line. We have had years where we only ran zone since our OL was undersized and did not match up well in 1-on-1 man blocks. But we've also had years where we had very talented OL (one year we had 6 OL go on to play college) and we were able to introduce man blocking concepts on top of our foundation of zone blocking. It honestly was not fair for our opponents because we had two D1 backs to accompany that talented OL and our closest game was 20 points I believe. We scored 84 pts in a semi-final game with both backs getting over 350 yards rushing, it was crazy.
As I stated earlier, we do run our zone a little different than most. When I became the OC in 2010, I was lucky enough to clinic with the Chip Kelly staff at Oregon and learn how they blocked their inside/outside zone. We took their concepts and simplified it to fit our personnel and time allowed for practice each week. We basically run zone on the front side/call side and run a hybrid zone/man concept on the back side. We make the center the division between front side and back side. Against an even front, the center is part of the front side concept and against an off front, the center is part of the back side. For example, if we're running outside zone vs a 3-4, the play side TE, T and G are all working together to reach the 3 play side defenders. The C, BSG and BST are big on big with the 3 defenders that aren't tagged. We would generally "read" the back side ILB and the Center would have the NT, BSG would have the DE and BST would have the OLB. It's been highly effective for us and we have evolved over the years to be extremely efficient with our communication and execution of our inside and outside zone.
What I like about zone blocking is the repetition it allows you to get in practice. Defenses must be gap sound and they can move around all they want but they eventually have to come to the OL. It allows you to do a lot of 2 and 3 man "pod"work with the OL and they can see many different looks of where the defense can start and finish. It's also easier to conceptualize and communicate how the OL fits together and how they impact the RB's read for a particular play. We've actually had our OL and RBs have conversations on the sideline about influencing the RBs read to force cutback for big plays. It is a lot of fun when your players start thinking and playing that way.
In regards to extended hands and arms for blocking, I think it is a must for pass protection and zone blocking. I think you can lean in and use shoulder blocking, flipper/forearm blocks more so for man blocking schemes as they can be effective for "road-grading" offensive linemen. There are a couple other benefits of extended hands and arms blocking. 1) It makes doubles teams much more effective when both OL can extend and see what the 2nd level defender is doing. It makes it much more clean to pass off on the double team. 2) It takes the OL's head out of the contact zone, which should reduce the chance for concussions. This is a huge factor in today's game to keep players healthy. I remember playing as a TE, being taught to get my helmet underneath the defenders chin and root him out of the hole and you only extended your arms when you got underneath him to get a flat back. But it's more efficient to strike the "V" of the defender's neck now and use "push/pull" techniques to "steer" the defender.