What is with these ridiculous restrictions to linking images? Tried a jpg, can't do it...tried a png, can't do it...why even have it then??
Back to the topic at hand...
Zone blocking basically attacks the natural "bubbles" on a defense, meaning the places where there are "gaps" in the defensive players. See the picture at the link below for an example of what I am talking about.
Zone Blocking typicaly gets defensive players moving sideways instead of forwards and helps to create natural "creases" or "holes" in the defense from this. The back will often start running sideways until a hole opens up and then plants his foot and darts through it. Holes can open up anywhere in the line, which gives the back the advantage of not having only one place to go based on the play design. Denver under Shanahan is probably the most famous example of zone blocking working as pretty much any starting running back they has gained over 1,000 yards, which was one of the reasons people were against Terrell Davis being included in the HOF---I mean Orlandis Gary rushed for over 1,000 yards in that offense simply from the design of it and great execution from many years in the system by the players.
Zone blocking requires offensive linemen with an emphasis on quickness and agility over strength, since it is based on using angles and the ability to execute "combo blocks" where an OL will start off double teaming a DL player and then quickly "scrape" off him and get to the next level and take out a "LB". If the OL isn't quick enough to get there, the linebacker will pretty much have a free run at the ball carrier.
Advantages of Zone Blocking versus Man Blocking:
- an offensive lineman can be relatively "less skilled" and still be an effective zone blocker where they would get eaten alive by defensive players in man blocking. Focus is on angles, blocking an area and using defenders momentum against them versus raw strength and ability to beat a player one on one.
- Defenders get tired quicker from running sideways instead of forwards over the course of a game. They have to run a lot more to get to the play many tmies.
- Defenders on the backside of the play are typically cut down by the offensive linemen, which takes its toll over the course of a game, leaving them less willing to engage at times knowing they are going to end up on their ass again from their legs being taken out
- Natural holes form along the line simply from the movement of bodies.
- The running back will usually have their choice of holes to choose from. This can be good and bad depending on how skilled he is at chosing the hole. One hole might get him 20 yards but the other might only get him 3 yards. If he is able to pick the right hole consistently, ths is an advantage over man blocking schemes because the play only typically is going to have one hole in that scheme. If he isn't skilled it's a disadvantage because he has the ability to choose wrongly more often than in man blocking.
- Effectively allows some players to block two people on the same play if they properly time the first block and are quick enough to get to the second block.
Disadvantages of the Zone Scheme:
- It is much more coordinated than man blocking and takes some getting used to. Players have to learn how to be in sync with one another or defenders will be literally unblocked along the middle of the line allowing them to disrupt the play much quicker than in man blocking where they at least have to beat the player in front of them first. View it as football's version of "Synchronized Swimming"
- If the OL executing a "combo block" is not quick enough or does not proeprly time leaving the first block or gets caught up on the first block, the linebacker he is supposed to scrape to will be unblocked and have a free run at the ball carrier.
- Running backs can choose the wrong hole more frequently than in man blocking scheme's limiting their gains.
- Typically take longer to develop as the play starts sideways first waiting on a hole to develop. Losses can be greater than in man blocking schemes if no hole develops, losing 4 or 5 yards instead of 1 or 2 yards since the RB would be closer to the line of scrimmage in man blocking schemes.
- If the OL does not cut down the backside defenders they can catch the play from behind before it turns vertical up the field.
Edited by matter2003, 23 September 2017 - 05:34 PM.