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Offensive Line Blocking Schemes


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#1 OldTimeAFLGuy

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:32 PM

...the old codger needs some help here from the FAR more astute to get an understanding...much has been said about the zone blocking scheme apparently being deployed in 2017 versus other options prior that produced better success....professing my ignorance even after 55 years of being a Bflo follower (yes, my IGNORANCE is legendary), what are the differences between a zone blocking scheme versus other schemes available?....what are the pros and cons of a zone scheme versus the other options?....what do those WELL in the know favor, one versus the other?....thanks gang......is 2017 a wise choice considering personnel available?...


Edited by OldTimeAFLGuy, 23 September 2017 - 12:33 PM.


#2 GoBills808

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:35 PM

Decent explanation:

 

 



#3 Buffalo716

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:42 PM

...the old codger needs some help here from the FAR more astute to get an understanding...much has been said about the zone blocking scheme apparently being deployed in 2017 versus other options prior that produced better success....professing my ignorance even after 55 years of being a Bflo follower (yes, my IGNORANCE is legendary), what are the differences between a zone blocking scheme versus other schemes available?....what are the pros and cons of a zone scheme versus the other options?....what do those WELL in the know favor, one versus the other?....thanks gang......

There are 2 main running schemes. A zone scheme and a power scheme.

The Bills last year utilized a mixture of both. Power scheme being the Power O and pulling guards etc while the zone scheme was the inside / outside Zone from shotgun

Last year in the zone scheme the Bills ran primarily an inside zone out of the shotgun. With an occasional outside zone. The basis of these plays are to get the line moving cohesively in one direction. The flowing of the lines allow cut back lanes to open up

In a zone scheme you may either be blocking to a space or a man depending on if a man is lined right over you. If he is , you take him

This year primarily though the Bills have scrapped the inside zone from shotgun and went to an outside zone stretch from under center. This is the more traditional way of running outside zones because it also gives you the ability to use a FB as a lead blocker. The concept is still the same. Get the line flowing cohesively in one direction, with a seal block on the edge and the RB can hit the 8-9 hole or Find the cutback which opens up from overpersuing lineman

It takes a lot of continuity to run it to perfection. We will be like a well oiled machine eventually. It just takes some time

Shady can be elite in any Zone or power scheme. Personally I'm a fan of a good zone run scheme... but we aren't there just yet

Edited by Buffalo716, 23 September 2017 - 12:55 PM.


#4 Boyst62

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:51 PM

Decent explanation:
 

 

well done.

Zone blocking is generally regarded as easier but I disagree.

Decent explanation:
 

 

well done.

Zone blocking is generally regarded as easier but I disagree.

#5 John from Hemet

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:56 PM

WHo gets to block Jess?



#6 RussBrandon

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:58 PM

Decent explanation:

 

 

It's really hard to know what with all the equipment and stuff they wear, but are there really defensive linemen who look like Jess?  



#7 Johnny Hammersticks

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 01:04 PM

It's really hard to know what with all the equipment and stuff they wear, but are there really defensive linemen who look like Jess?


I think Aaron Maybin had a similar build...

#8 matter2003

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 05:34 PM

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.

 

https://imgur.com/GgODqNR

 

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.


#9 Keukasmallies

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:37 PM

Seriously, do any of you guys have jobs?



#10 Billsmovinup

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:52 PM

I really dont give a crap what they do as long as it works. Last year it worked. This year not yet. Totally get it takes time just dont see the need to fix what wasnt broken. Run game was fine last year.

#11 joey greco

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 08:02 PM

I think Aaron Maybin had a similar build

:lol:



#12 matter2003

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 08:04 PM

Seriously, do any of you guys have jobs?

 

Yes.

 

What does having a job have to do with talking about football schemes?



#13 Boyst62

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:43 PM

 

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.

 

https://imgur.com/GgODqNR

 

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.

 

beautifully done.  this should be a must read for the board.  i really wish there was a way to put some posts pinned to the top to just help increase football knowledge.

 

the emphasis i would like to make is that second level defender and why teams like carolina can give us a problem, as we just saw.  powerful linebackers who are also agile and can get through traffic will eat our boys for lunch.  a delayed blitz or defensive back rushing from anywhere on the field will give us great trouble.  dimarco was supposed to and is supposed to be the guy to find those leaking linebackers.  that has not been happening as much as i would like.

 

we have the option to bring our lineman closer which reduces the holes of the running back.  this is what carolina had done last year and it also took away many of the lanes newton would find to escape pressure from, they also tried this to us in the 2nd if i remember correctly - and newton couldnt slide out of the pocket to pick up yards.  once those lineman come together they can block a little bit better.  

 

with mccoy as our running back using his natural athleticism to get through a hole against a top tier linebacker unit protected by a DL that consumes bodies the advantage always falls to the defensive line.

 

we were only winning the run game last week with a man OIL type of scheme, which is back to basics for football.  oil - over inside linebacker is who you are responsible for covering.  this is simply done by using big power horse OL similar to dallas and driving the defenders to the goal line.

 

our matchup will be interesting against new england as they are not a team that will be able to do much to counter our blocking scheme, but their coverage will likely reduce our blocking.

 

we saw in carolina what happens when we face a zone blocking scheme and we have fast defensive lineman.  had we had dareus in his prime playing against the ol last weekend it would have been a bigger nightmare and i believe we would have won.



#14 OldTimeAFLGuy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 05:00 AM

....great job folks!....thank you to all for the info and helping me to get a better understanding..... :thumbsup: