This season I will be the OC on Varsity HS after 6 year of coaching at the 13-14 youth level. At the youth level last year I ran some zone blocking to some success with a 2 back set. I have been going to the Glazier Clinics for the past 4 year in Jersey and have been sitting in on some zone blocking classes. Let me get some feed back on the zone blocking on the HS level. I don't have the giants on the OL so that's what gave me the idea on going to zone blocking. Is it good against a good DL?
Zone works, but it can be tough to teach to HS kids. With time and some good coaching on the lower levels, it can be very effective. You still need to be able to make double team calls vs a DL who can overpower your linemen.
Austin High School
There is nothing that will show a man's true character like the 2 yard line.
I couldn't tell you the last time we matched up size wise up front and we have been running zone blocking for 10 years. The biggest thing is teaching your kids to have PERFECT fottwork and being TENACIOUS with their blocks. We just tell our kids eventually the guy has to try to escape the block, when he does that you get to look like a superstar because he can't push against you and try to get away at the same time. It has worked for us.
Thanks for the feed back. I'm new to the high school things. I was very good a the youth level, but I know that coaching on Varsity is different. The OL that we have is not very big and thought that the zone blocking will benifit us, as in the spread offense.
1. Zone blocking means that our blockers are responsible for only HALF a man (they have "ass protection" coming from an uncovered teammate to their inside). This way, we frequently get DOUBLE TEAMS from the DLM to the LBer. A blocker can come off the ball FASTER, & with MORE CONFIDENCE if he knows that he has help. If the DLM goes inside — he will be turned over to your inside teammate.
2. In a zone blocking scheme, fleet-footedness and athletic ability trump size as desirable qualities in offensive linemen. Coordination and technique matter more than muscle in implementing a successful scheme because defensive linemen are often double-teamed at the point of attack. Creating movement on the defensive line is more important than opening a specific hole in the defense.
3. You cannot MAN block all twists, slants, angles, stacks, etc. Sooner or later — you HAVE to zone off with another man, or defenders will run free. If you look at Vince Lombardi playbooks from the 1950's & 1960's — he EMPHASIZES zoning off on certain RUN schemes (he called it "Do-Dad" blocking), and on pass protection schemes vs. "twists", etc.
4. It has proven to cut off penetration, & create movement on level 1 (DLM), with someone coming off on level 2 (LBer).
Post by Coach Campbell on Sept 7, 2010 5:57:24 GMT
Zone schemes as you know as mentioned by Oneback track worse cause scenerios. Zone schemes are built around two adjacent blocker using a covered uncovered rule. The general case isto never pull a covered lineman with you thus theuncovered rule applies. A combination zone block normally consists of a covered lineman pulling an uncovered lineman with him as they track a down defender to a second level defender (linebacker). Coach Campbell
I played at Pitt and our offensive line coach Tom Freeman would make us repeat this phrase together each day in the o line meeting room: "Shuffle shuffle, eye the linebacker, feel the pile, if in doubt double the down guy." Bad footwork was one thing that was not tolerated ever, bad hand and hat placement too. If you have precise hand and hat placement and put four eyes on the linebacker, you will have success zone blocking.
Talent comes & goes in cycles. You won't ALWAYS have the "smallest linemen", or the "worse linemen". MEANWHILE - you have to "play the hand that's dealt you" (ALL of us go thru THAT). There IS no offense that wins with sub-par players (if there were - EVERYBODY in the USA would USE it, & HALF OF THEM WOULD STILL LOSE EVERY WEEK). the BIGGEST mistake any coach can make is looking for a "new offense" every year (that is a recipe for DISASTER). Get in ONE THING & get good at it (continuity is important). BILL WALSH QUOTE: "Keep doing what you are doing, only do it BETTER".
What REALLY wins football game is TOUGHNESS. You can't WORRY about the size of your players (although our players gain an AVERAGE of 17 pounds from season to season), but you CAN toughen them up, so that they play like a pack of Pit Bulls. "It isn't the size of the dog that's in the fight, it's the size of the fight that's in the dog"!!!
See the following. When this ATTITUDE permeates your team - size isn't too important. An old acquaintance of mine - Jimmy Sharpe - started at Guard for Bear Bryant at Alabama at 5' 11" & 191 lbs, & he KICKED ASS physically. www.fanbase.com/2-Jimmy-Sharpe
BUD WILKINSON: "Football in its purest form remains a physical fight. As in any fight, if you don't want to fight, it's impossible to win."
BEAR BRYANT: "We believe and teach our boys they must be more aggressive and "out-mean" our opponents if they expect to win with consistency. If we "out-mean" and physically whip our opponents by hard blocking and tackling, and we are consistent in doing it, we'll win a lot of football games. Football is a contact sport, and we must make the initial contact. In order to be a winner a boy must whip his man individually, and the team must beat the opponent physically".
I like zone blocking but we teach our defense to be a very good gap control defense. Play your gaps. If the front four penetrate their gap and the linebackers maintain their gaps, you can really slow down the zone running game. That is why we tend to like running power and counter more. A team can maintain their gaps all they want but if we get those gap players blocked down and then trap the EMOLOS with a lead through from the puller, it can gash defenses.
FROM A SURVEY BY MIKE KUCHAR (OF "X & O LABS"). To read the entire article complete with pictures contact & request it: firstname.lastname@example.org
The inside zone play is taught at all levels of ball all across the country, and play can be successful at any level. When X&O Labs first got the results of the survey, we found that while many coaches were using the zone scheme, 75 percent say it is run more than 15 times per game,
One of the forefathers of zone footwork, Jim McNally who has had 28 years of experience coaching in the NFL, always believed in the bucket step (a backward step) as a first step. It's a philosophy where lineman "lose ground to gain ground" in their assignment. While this may be used for offensive tackles to handle wide five techniques in the NFL, our researchers have found that 73 percent of coaches believe more in an angle or lead step to the target rather than a bucket step. We've found that it's more of psychological thing to some coaches, because the words "losing ground" can be construed for some form of blasphemy when dealing with offensive linemen.
Another zone coaching legend, Alex Gibbs, who spent 26 years in the league, was more of a lead step proponent when teaching the zone. Gibbs was synonymous for having smaller lineman, rumor has it he never coached a lineman over 300 pounds, so it was probably imperative for him to teach his guys to get off the ball with quickness. "If you're covered, your responsibility is for the outside half of the down lineman if your inside team mate is uncovered," says Gibbs. "Our first step was always a lead step with the play side outside foot, eyeballing outside number of the down lineman on you. The second step is through the crotch of the opponent." It's that second step that offensive line coaches harp on being the most imperative step. After hearing Steve Loney, another longtime NFL coaching veteran most recently with the St. Louis Rams speak at a clinic, I remember him talking about taking "any step necessary" to get to the landmark of the defender, which he taught was the middle of the play side number. He wanted to force the down defender to make a decision by reaching him. Most of our coaches felt that the second step should be more of a foot to crotch step than any form of crossover step for risk of losing strength and balance.
PS: MY teaching is 100% "LEAD STEP" (73% of NFL O-LINE COACHES are in agreement).
1. INSIDE ZONE (AKA: "TIGHT ZONE") is designed to DRIVE THE DLM OFF THE BALL INO THE LAPS OF THE LBers ("move level 1 back to level 2"). It is more of a "cram the B gap, or cut back" play. IZ better vs. defenses that play a little soft - striking a blow & pursuing laterally. Using tighter POWER ZONE BLOCKING PRINCIPLES (seeking vertical double teams) — it is important that we get movement off the LOS by the O-Line, so the RB can run off the first DLM outside the Center, finding the creases, and coming downhill towards the B gap to run to daylight. NOTE: We love it vs "Okie", & "Under" fronts, with a bubble over the ON G. The RB has a chance to cram the B gap, or cut back. It's tough as crap for most G's to block a 3 on IZ, AND, that is why MOST prefer the play towards the lowest # DT technique!!!
2. OUTSIDE ZONE (AKA: "WIDE ZONE") is designed to STRETCH THE DEFENSE. It is more of a "cram the C gap, or take it wide" play. OZ better vs. defenses that charge straight ahead & try to overpower the O-Line. The O-Line uses wider FULL ZONE PRINCIPLES to create movement up front, seeking double teams, but will come off a little quicker in going to the LBers. The path of the RB to the butt of the TE will initially stretch the defense to the outside while the RB option runs off the block on the DE. NOTE: We love it vs. "Over" & "Even" fronts, with bubble over ON T. The RB has the straight shot to cut UP (NOT back) at the C gap if the DE contains, and if the DE comes inside - the RB has a chance to "circle the defense".
Post by Coach Campbell on Sept 7, 2011 21:37:30 GMT
Zone blocking is a technique in American football that is a simple and effective scheme for creating lanes for running plays.
In a zone blocking scheme, fleet-footedness and athletic ability trump size as desirable qualities in offensive linemen. Coordination and technique matter more than muscle in implementing a successful scheme because defensive linemen are often double-teamed at the point of attack. Creating movement on the defensive line is more important than opening a specific hole in the defense.
One of the simplest reasons many teams have incorporated zone blocking in their offenses is that zone blocking rules do not change based on the defensive front. In a "man block" system, blockers are paired with defenders according to certain rules to create a running lane. If the defensive front changes, or if the defense stunts or blitzes, the blocking rules may change. This requires learning multiple rules for the same play. Zone blocking uses very consistent rules that do not change according to the defensive front.
Some teams base their entire offense on it, including the NFL's Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks, and Green Bay Packers. Adopting a variation of this scheme's core principles, the West Virginia Mountaineers rely on it in the run-based spread offense, devised by former head coach Rich Rodriguez and former offensive line coach Rick Trickett, that they have used even after their departure. The University of Iowa under head coach Kirk Ferentz, a former NFL offensive line coach, utilizes zone blocking and the inside/outside stretch play as the basis for their offense. The University of Michigan also started using zone blocking under head coach Lloyd Carr in the 2006 season, and has continued to do so under his successor, Rodriguez.
The Carolina Panthers made the switch to zone blocking under offensive coordinator Jeff Davidson for the 2007 season. They had previously employed a man-blocking scheme for a downhill running attack under coordinator Dan Henning, but during the 2006 season, the team's undersized linemen were consistently overpowered by opposing defensive linemen. The power running game became stagnant, and especially ineffective in goal-line/short yardage situations, thus resulting in Henning's firing and the switch to zone blocking. Thanks in part to the new blocking scheme they implemented, the Panthers saw their 2008 campaign characterized by the running of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to great effect, gaining them play off status. That season also saw the emergence of rookie Steve Slaton with the Houston Texans under their new Alex Gibbs-designed zone blocking scheme.
Using a running back out of the backfield, zone plays are usually categorized into three types: Inside Zone (IZ), Outside Zone (OZ) and Stretch. These types describe the initial landmark of the ball carrier. A common approach is: Inside the tackles for IZ, just outside the tackle for OZ and just inside the last offensive player for the stretch.
For each type of zone there are many different blocking schemes available: - The most basic form asks the offensive linemen to identify whether he is covered or uncovered. If the latter is the case, he is asked to help play-side on a double team by using wide lateral steps or even bucket steps. The resulting double team then reacts to the movement of the linemen as well as the movement of the linebacker. The initial movement of the double teams helps to equalize defensive talent and creates cutback lanes.
- Another scheme asks the offensive linemen to imagine a "railroad track" parallel to the running backs path and block everything they find on their way. This could be a linebacker, but also a slanting defensive linemen from somewhere else.
- Starting from either inside or outside, some offensive lines always pair two on one and use a fullback to block the remaining defender outside. This makes it necessary for the offensive linemen to use a variety of line-splits and steps.
- By using a counting system some offenses believe to eliminate unfavorable matchups that can be the result of unusual defensive alignment. This is often used in conjunction with other schemes.
- For the outside varieties of the zone play a scheme that is called Pin&Pull has had great success. The linemen do not step play-side, but try to "pin" a backside defensive linemen, while the next backside offensive linemen pulls around the block and up to a track to the second level.
Today every NFL team uses some form of zone blocking but not all of them rely on it entirely.
Cut blocking controversies
The linemen of some teams that use zone blocking schemes have been criticized for their penchant for cut blocking the knees of defenders, sometimes away from the play. Cut blocks are illegal in the open field and when a defensive player is engaged by another offensive player. Legal cut blocks should be aimed at the opposing player's waist or hip. Although some consider the technique unsportsmanlike because of the risk of serious injury, when taught and applied correctly it is a very effective tactic. In fact, some defensive players employ the technique to eliminate blockers so other defenders can make the tackle.
Zone blocking schemes frequently employ deception. For example, plays may be called in which blitzing defensive linemen and linebackers are permitted to rush into areas of the offensive backfield that are unimportant in the play called by the offense. Meanwhile, the offensive linemen who vacated the unimportant area migrate to the point of attack, blocking material defensive players.
Post by Coach Campbell on Dec 6, 2011 17:29:11 GMT
Zone running actually has many different variations; an inside zone play or an outside zone play also sometimes wrongly labeled as the stretch (which is in fact a different play). The difference between the three popular zone plays are the aiming point and reads for the ball carrier. While the inside zone has its first landmark around the guards original position, the outside zone aims at the off-tackle area. The stretch usually reads the force defender outside.
Zone blocking originates with blocking the first level (defensive line). There are usually two double teams on every zone blocking play (playside and weakside). From each double team, one of the lineman from each will work onto the next level (linebackers). Depending on the flow of the linebackers, either the drive man (inside blocker of double team) or the post man (outside man of the double team) will leave the double team in order to reach the linebacker. If the linebacker reads over the top of the double team (outside) then the post man leaves the double team in order to block the flowing linebacker. If the linebacker comes inside the double team (underneath), the drive/inside double teamer will pick up the backer. This blocking scheme creates cut-back lanes, open pockets of space through which the running back can run. Cut-back lanes are created due to an overcommitment (flow) by the defense and a seal block on the backside by linemen.
Where most plays are designed to go to a specific hole or gap along the offensive line, a zone run requires the running back to read the blocks in front of him and choose the best crease to enter. In theory this allows the offensive lineman to block the defensive linemen in whatever direction is most convenient, assuming a hole will be available somewhere.
I think you are very prophetic on this last statement. I remember watching Super Bowl 28 between Dallas and Buffalo. Buffalo had stopped the Cowboys offense all game long. In the second half, the Cowboys went away from the lead draw and started running the Power play over and over again and Emmitt Smith finished with over 100 yards rushing and the MVP. The Bills were playing a form of the double eagle look and it was completely shutting down the inside lead draw plays. So, the Cowboys took a play from the Redskins playbook and ran Power over and over again. Power/Counter is a great play vs. double eagle fronts.
Coach Mountjoy, On the Alex Gibbs talking to the Florida Staff site there is a video of of Florida running zone drills. When they are practicing the combos, are those the correct steps? I've never really seen those shuffle type steps.
From the ZONE BLOCKING SECTION of my notebook (with thanks to Alex Gibbs, Joe Bugel, & Joe Pendry):
One of the BIGGEST misconceptions about ZONE plays is that the entire O-Line zone blocks. You only ZONE from the "BUBBLE" to the next man out towards the callside. APPLY the "Uncovered/'covered" rule: If you are uncovered - zone with teammate towards call. If you are covered - zone with teammate away from the call. If you are BOTH covered - MAN block!
1. NO BUBBLE - NOBODY ZONE BLOCKS. They all "MAN" with a "DRIVE" block (on IZ), or a "REACH" block (on OZ):
4. THREE BUBBLES - YOU HAVE THREE ZONE COMBINATIONS (EXAMPLE: ZONE PLAY RT.) - the uncovered LT zones with the LG, the Center zones with the RG, & the RT zones with the RE. The remaining OLM "MAN" blocks.
A) QB: OPEN TO TITE 5 O'CLOCK (RIGHT) OR 7 O'CLOCK (LEFT). USE 2ND STEP FOR DEPTH. EXTEND BALL — MESH POINT ON 3RD STEP. THE 4TH STEP BEGINS NAKED MECHANICS. GOOD FAKE OF NAKED AWAY — DRIVE FOR 5 STEPS. NO PEEK BACK — FINISH!
B) RB (TOES @ 7 1/2 YARDS): FOOTWORK: OPEN STEP, CROSS OVER, LAND MARK OUTSIDE LEG OF GUARD. PRESS THE HOLE. SHOULDERS PARALLEL TO L.O.S. READ: 1ST DLM FROM INSIDE-OUT PLAYSIDE (EXCLUDING A SHADED NOSE). VS. BUBBLE OVER G — READ MAN ON T - IF HE GIVES A READ TO CUT INSIDE — READ THE NOSE. COACHING POINT: MAKE YOUR DECISION NO LATER THAN YOUR 3rd STEP (TO CRAM B GAP OR MAKE A CUT) - MAKE ONE CUT & LIVE WITH IT! CP: ON THE INSIDE ZONE — THE BEST CUT IS "NO CUT"!!!
II. OUTSIDE ZONE:
A) QB: OPEN TO 4 O'CLOCK (RIGHT) OR 8 O'CLOCK (LEFT) FOR EXTRA WIDTH. USE 2ND STEP FOR ADDITIONAL WIDTH. EXTEND BALL — MESH POINT ON 3rd STEP. THE 4TH STEP BEGINS NAKED MECHANICS. GOOD FAKE OF NAKED AWAY — DRIVE FOR 5 STEPS. NO PEEK BACK — FINISH.
B) RB (DEPTH: TOES @ 7 Â½ YARDS). FOOTWORK: HITCH KICK TO BUTT OF TE. READ DE (OR FIRST DLM FROM OUTSIDE-IN PLAYSIDE) — IF HE GIVES YOU A READ TO CUT UP — READ THE NEXT DLM INSIDE (DT). IF HE GIVES YOU A READ TO GO OUT — TAKE IT. COACHING POINT: MAKE YOUR DECISION NO LATER THAN YOUR 3RD STEP (TO CUT UP OR GO OUTSIDE) - MAKE ONE CUT & LIVE WITH IT!
CP: Cuts on the third step are made on the right foot going right, & the left foot going left.
Post by Coach Campbell on Sept 24, 2019 13:28:05 GMT
I love the combination of using a Zone scheme and a Man scheme in one style offense. I think if you have the athletes to utilize both then you absolutely should! However I have been a part of a few different programs with varying offenses and different types of athletes.
With a smaller offensive line group, I think it is important to run a Man style offense because it is easier for them to have one aiming point and be successful. For example the school I am at now, we have inferior lineman than many teams we face, so we have implemented a "Wing-T" style offense where our lineman have a simple rule to follow, "Gap/Down/Backer."
In a previous offense, which included lineman who were Division I and II bound, we were much more successful at running a zone style offense. What must be included in this style offense is also a Quarterback who is intelligent enough to run it successfully.
In a perfect world, I would use both man scheme and zone scheme to successfully run a Pistol/Shotgun offense. I am just waiting for the right group of athletes to cross my path.