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The Zone Blocking Scheme - Pt. 1: The Footwork


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Standard offensive lineman are typically asked to either run block and drive the line of scrimmage forward on a play, or pass block and move backwards to form a pocket.

In the ZBS, there is no such distinction, because the most important direction in ZBS for a offensive lineman is laterally in either direction. Having the offensive line either move right and left instead of back and forth forces the defenses to be more attentive in recognizing whether or not the offense is passing or rushing.

ZBS requires a specific type of offensive lineman to work. You can't just be big, you can't just be tall, and you can't just be fat either. Can your center immediately recognize what front the defense is in? How good is your right guard in terms of cut blocking? Does your left tackle have enough athleticism to swing around and get the correct angle on the defensive lineman? All these questions are ones that a coach needs to ask before even trying to implement the scheme. If there aren't any concerns, then it is time to move on teaching them to proper skills.

The Foot-Work

ZBS_footwork_medium.jpg

The A Step (Drive Step) - This is a 6 inch step into the opponent usually used for Base blocking. The playside foot always steps first.

The B Step (Lead Step /Zone Step) - This is a six inch step at a 45 degree angle used mainly for the inside zone play. Designed help get in front of the defender when he is shaded towards the playside.

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The C Step (Slide Step) -This is a six inch horizontal step towards the play side used for outside zone plays when the defender is head up to the blocker.

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The D Step (Drop Step) - This is a six inch step backwards at a 45 degree angle. It is used on an outside zone play when the defender is on the outside shade.

The E Step (Bucket Step) - This is a six inch step backward where the lineman opens his hips. It is used for an outside zone play and or when the blocker is uncovered.

Stay tuned for Part 2: The Blocking Rules.

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Shhhh don't tell R

Stone is the best center in the league. His words, not mine.

Don't cry in your pillow tonight when Stone is actually out there practicing with first team reps with Matt Ryan. You think Matt Ryan is going to wait all year for Hawley to get up to speed?

tempOTAs_JC_20150602_0156--nfl_mezz_1280

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Not all year. Just until July

Yeah I forgot, Joe Hawley is really improving his game by being on the sidelines. Matt Ryan and the offense has to learn on the go. They are not going to wait for Hawley to get up to speed while he is nursing his knee. Hawley is better off coming in midseason or even going to another team next season when his contract is up.

My best recommendation to Hawley is be on IR till week 9 or what ever it is. If not that, than take the year off, get himself ready and go play for another contract after this year. The marks want him to play on one leg and act like its the easiest thing to do when playing Center. Hawley was already weak and getting bull rushed to begin with, I don't see him coming back this year from the injury.

Edited by R_The_Great
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Don't cry in your pillow tonight when Stone is actually out there practicing with first team reps with Matt Ryan. You think Matt Ryan is going to wait all year for Hawley to get up to speed?

tempOTAs_JC_20150602_0156--nfl_mezz_1280

Learn to laugh at yourself my man. If Stone is the best man for the job then so be it. I just disagree with you and think that Hawley is the better player. If Stone shows that he is better during camp and kicks Hawley out of a job, then we have a good backup and our team improved so how could I be mad. I got nothing against Stone.

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Learn to laugh at yourself my man. If Stone is the best man for the job then so be it. I just disagree with you and think that Hawley is the better player. If Stone shows that he is better during camp and kicks Hawley out of a job, then we have a good backup and our team improved so how could I be mad. I got nothing against Stone.

I never get why some of us trash one player because we prefer another one. If the coaches felt one was obviously superior, they'd play him. If one of slightly better but the other one practices better, the better guy might not see the field. If he's head and shoulders better, then there's a different discussion to be had.
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Great posting. Thanks op! I think this whole blocking concept will dramatically help with keeping the defensive line on their heels more. This scheme literally enhances our offensive run game while giving the defense far more to plan and prepare for making reading our offense at the line and after the snap more difficult.

Like duff said, it's weird that the real football talk gets practically zero attention these days around here.

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