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The Zone Blocking Scheme - Pt. 2: The Blocking Rules


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The Blocking Rules


An offensive lineman in the ZBS scheme has three questions to ask when at the line of scrimmage. Am I on the playside or backside? Am I covered or uncovered? Is the person on my inside covered or uncovered? Once he answers those questions he knows what is expected of him. The three basic rules are:

Linemen_Outside_Shade_medium.jpg


If the defender is covering on the outside shade of the lineman then that lineman will take that tackle 90% of the time. On rare occasions like stunts the inside lineman may have to take him.

Head_up_medium.jpg


If the defender is head up the lineman 50% of the time the lineman will take this defender. The other 50% time the inside lineman will take him. This usually depends on the angle the defensive lineman takes off the snap. Regardless, the lineman who is covered will at least chip the defender to allow for the uncovered lineman to get to the block.

Inside_shade_medium.jpg


If the defender is on the inside shade of the lineman, the lineman on the inside will be responsible for him 90% of the time. Again the originally covered lineman will chip the defender to allow his teammate to get to the block.

Combination Blocks



In the ZBS how linemen work together is incredibly important. Communication and understanding of blocking roles can increase effectiveness. The following are generic calls that are made to help identify who is working in combination and who isn't at the line of scrimmage:

ACE - Ace is generally the call for a combination block between the guard and the center. It is usually dependent on the defensive lineman. Generally if the D-linemen step towards the center he is the center responsibility the guard will chip and go to the second level. If he steps into the guard the center will chip, go to the second level and let the guard take the lineman. The guard will make the call. LION is the call for a combination block with the left guard and RAM is the call for the combination block between the right guard and center the center will specify the side to let the other blocker know.

ACE_medium.jpg


DEUCE - Deuce is generally the call for a combination of the playside tackle and guard. Once again it is dependent on the defensive lineman and the direction he goes. The tackle will make the call at the line but only if the playside guard is free with no one lined up in front of him.




DEUCE_corrected.jpg


TREY - Trey is a combination block between the playside tackle and TE. It is called by the TE but only against a seven technique. This block is rarely used since the defensive end is rarely in the seven technique on the strongside.





BASE - Base is the call made by any lineman that is covered and the teammate inside him is also covered. The blocker will take a zone step and turn his body parallel to the runners' path. This is the most common call on the inside zone play.





Stay tuned for Part 3: Putting it all together: The Inside and Outside Zone.
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Very nice -- thanks for doing these!

My only question so far is since "Base" can be called by any lineman, how do the interior linemen distinguish between "Ace" and "Base?" I assume the answer is they're all responsible for knowing that a combination block wouldn't be called if those 2 guys are head up, but it seems too easy to confuse at the line in the heat of battle.

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Ace - one lineman is covered

Base - both are covered - in a 4-3, weakside G and T are covered with C uncovered...3-4 in a revert or over if the DE slides over the G and the C has a NG/1 tech...backside would be BASE with a walk up LB on the weakside T.

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Very nice -- thanks for doing these!

My only question so far is since "Base" can be called by any lineman, how do the interior linemen distinguish between "Ace" and "Base?" I assume the answer is they're all responsible for knowing that a combination block wouldn't be called if those 2 guys are head up, but it seems too easy to confuse at the line in the heat of battle.

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The Blocking Rules

An offensive lineman in the ZBS scheme has three questions to ask when at the line of scrimmage. Am I on the playside or backside? Am I covered or uncovered? Is the person on my inside covered or uncovered? Once he answers those questions he knows what is expected of him. The three basic rules are:

Linemen_Outside_Shade_medium.jpg

If the defender is covering on the outside shade of the lineman then that lineman will take that tackle 90% of the time. On rare occasions like stunts the inside lineman may have to take him.

Head_up_medium.jpg

If the defender is head up the lineman 50% of the time the lineman will take this defender. The other 50% time the inside lineman will take him. This usually depends on the angle the defensive lineman takes off the snap. Regardless, the lineman who is covered will at least chip the defender to allow for the uncovered lineman to get to the block.

Inside_shade_medium.jpg

If the defender is on the inside shade of the lineman, the lineman on the inside will be responsible for him 90% of the time. Again the originally covered lineman will chip the defender to allow his teammate to get to the block.

Combination Blocks

In the ZBS how linemen work together is incredibly important. Communication and understanding of blocking roles can increase effectiveness. The following are generic calls that are made to help identify who is working in combination and who isn't at the line of scrimmage:

ACE - Ace is generally the call for a combination block between the guard and the center. It is usually dependent on the defensive lineman. Generally if the D-linemen step towards the center he is the center responsibility the guard will chip and go to the second level. If he steps into the guard the center will chip, go to the second level and let the guard take the lineman. The guard will make the call. LION is the call for a combination block with the left guard and RAM is the call for the combination block between the right guard and center the center will specify the side to let the other blocker know.

ACE_medium.jpg

DEUCE - Deuce is generally the call for a combination of the playside tackle and guard. Once again it is dependent on the defensive lineman and the direction he goes. The tackle will make the call at the line but only if the playside guard is free with no one lined up in front of him.

DEUCE_corrected.jpg

TREY - Trey is a combination block between the playside tackle and TE. It is called by the TE but only against a seven technique. This block is rarely used since the defensive end is rarely in the seven technique on the strongside.

BASE - Base is the call made by any lineman that is covered and the teammate inside him is also covered. The blocker will take a zone step and turn his body parallel to the runners' path. This is the most common call on the inside zone play.

Stay tuned for Part 3: Putting it all together: The Inside and Outside Zone.

You went where I went! GREAT JOB! The #1 breakdown on the ZBS....

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