egoprime II

O Line Philosophy Makes No Sense

81 posts in this topic

2 minutes ago, Summerhill said:
  1. You are correct it's about athleticism more than size. Mike Shanahan drafted Trent Williams #4 overall and he's huge but extremely athletic. 
  2. It's extremely common to say colleges don't teach offensive linemen anymore but many of the best blockers have come from college spread offenses and been good quickly in the pros. Urban Meyer has been producing some of the best linemen for the last decade plus. Most of the Alabama linemen have been disappointing. 
  3. You are correct there is a cost factor. With the salary cap and slotted draft picks, you simply can't afford premium resources into every position group on your team. The ZBS allows you to save your high picks and big money for other positions by not using them on interior linemen. But obviously at a certain point if it gets to be enough of a problem you have to do something. 

1. We've tried that for a decade now it does not work, time to try something new. It's time to get strength and size on both our OL and DL

2. We've tried that for a decade now it does not work, time to try something new, we also rarely draft OL in the first 3 rounds

3. We've tried that for a decade now it does not work, time to try something new

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Lol I don't think this works exactly how you think it does because if it did the ZBS would've been destroyed since its inception. Nothing is this simple. Like many have said, the OL weight isn't the issue, its the athleticism. The guy can be 350 or 310 and both could work. This notion that the pocket would collapse because they are "smaller" is just nonsense.  Nobody was saying this in 16' when the line was healthy and played as a unit. In the end, it's about talent and teamwork, size takes a backseat to those 2 qualities, especially for lineman. 

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10 hours ago, egoprime II said:

Currently, not one single OG on our roster is a good pass blocker.  All of them are on our roster because they fit the run blocking we do.   There is a reason ZBS is considered a "finesse" style of play; it results in subpar pass protection.

And seeing as how we were 27th in the league in rushing, they suck at that as well.  

 

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14 hours ago, egoprime II said:
When looking for Offensive Guards, the Falcons emphasis is on players who fit ZBS style run blocking.
 
The qualities that make an OG good at ZBS run blocking tends to make those same players inferior pass protectors. Heavier, stronger DT's tend to overpower interior ZBS O lines, in particular the guards, collapsing passing pockets.
 
The NFL has become a passing league, where teams pass more than they run.  Sometimes a -lot- more (see Kyle S. as Falcons OC).
 
Currently the Falcons look for O linemen who can perform in ZBS run blocking schemes, then tailor our pass protection around them.  Since we pass more than we run, shouldn't the Falcons braintrust emphasize pass blocking instead, especially on the interior of our O line? THEN tailor our run schemes around those players?
 

Ego this is such an incorrect way of thinking about ZBS and blocking in general. Just because they trend lighter and more athletic doesn't mean they can't be physical and pass block. The bolded part is completely untrue. For some reason, yall love to equate size to "power". I've seen plenty of 350lb NTs bullied and moved out of gaps by 310lb OGs. 

A lot of what you all think about OL lends strictly to size. Todd McClure was a whopping 6'1 295lb and was miles better at center play than Peter Konz, who was 6'5 315lbs. McClure played in predominantly power/gap blocking schemes while Konz was a better fit for ZBS schemes. One played for a decade plus and the other didn't make it past his rookie contract. This literally throws your entire argument out of the window. Even go look at the Cowboys back in 2016. Tell me again how ZBS can't be physical with bigger OL. 

I'll give you another example: Joe Thuney. The Falcons were hot on Thuney's trail a few years ago, before the Pats snatched him up. Joe is 6'5 308lbs. He played in NC State's ZBS scheme in college. He's in NE playing in a hybrid ZBS/Man scheme under McDaniels but would be perfect here. Thuney was the #7 OG per PFF and has grown into a pass blocking stud. 

Yes, the running scheme lends to a more "finesse" blocking style, but that doesn't mean it can't still be physical. The Ravens ran a ZBS heavy scheme under Rick Dennison and Gary Kubiak in 2014. Their OGs were Kelechi Osemele and Marshal Yanda. Osemele is 6'5 330lb. Yanda is 6'3 300lbs. You'd take both of those guys right now, even though one goes against what you think a ZBS guard is (Osemele) and the other would be considered too small to be physical for your standards (Yanda). And I can show you clip after clip of Yanda man handling many DTs larger than him by himself. 

Get real OGs that are good at football and are athletic and we'll be fine. It's not about size. It's about ability. 

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I'm always praising the Saints o-line for how well they pass block.

Guess what they run?

A lot of this is scheme related -- in terms of how the protection is dialed up.  The Saints put a premium on getting good guards, and they have their tight ends and running backs chip block on the way out into their routes, an interesting Coryell wrinkle Sean Payton worked into his predominately West Coast scheme.  They run a zone blocking scheme in the run game and still manage to protect Brees.  There is no reason at all why we can't do the same.

****, 3 of the 4 final playoff teams run either predominately zone or a zone/gap mix.  The Patriots are the only one that run predominately power, and even though they won this year, they got beat by the Eagles last year.  The Eagles run a mix of zone/gap schemes too.

Since most of us expect Koetter to do the same (since that's what he's always done), I'm not seeing a problem.

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1 minute ago, Precyse said:

What does Dirk run? 

Mix of gap and zone depending on situation.  My guess is he'll run more zone here, but he's historically done both.

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1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

Mix of gap and zone depending on situation.  My guess is he'll run more zone here, but he's historically done both.

You think he can help us get a better oline, or at least design the oline by calling better plays to put them in the right position. I dont think having a top 3 offense last year was by mistake 

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We all need to understand that blocking is very rarely about SIZE.  Lets also dismiss the misnomers.  Athletic does not equal small and weak!!  Its never been correlated.  The key to blocking is not allowing penetration.  You dont have to be 340 lbs to keep a guy from the backfield.  Same way you dont have to be 340 lbs to play DT in this league.  Its about talent some, athleticism some but mainly about consistent technique.

The same applies to ZBS or Power/Iso man schemes.  You can have a 295 lbs OL and if he can effectively engage a DL for 2 to 3 seconds, he is doing his job.  He doesnt have to blow the guy off the LOS.  He doesnt have to pancake him.  He just needs to engage him to allow time for back to hit the hole. Its that simple.

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4 minutes ago, Precyse said:

You think he can help us get a better oline, or at least design the oline by calling better plays to put them in the right position. I dont think having a top 3 offense last year was by mistake 

I think we need better players on the o-line, but yeah, get those and he can absolutely improve it.  The Bucs had a decent o-line for a while, but they regressed last season, and a lot of that was pinned on poor guard play (sound familiar?).  

Koetter knows what he's doing.  We have to get the pieces to allow him to do it.

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After more than a decade of light finesse crap on both lines I'd just like to TRY an experiment where we plug in larger guys and see what happens. I think it will be easier to find decent talent at a larger size then Perfect talent that is lean fast AND strong. We've shown we just are not good at picking those type of players so lets fill some OL and DL slots with size and let them open up lanes and collapse the pocket

Our playbook won't burst into flames like some here suggest

The few times we tried it it worked out pretty well. Gravy Jackson and Poe , Paul Soliai helped us.

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3 hours ago, runshoot said:

You are looking at it in black and white and that not telling the whole story.

The coaching tree is the Walsh tree. Seifert, Holmgren, both Shanahans, Andy reid, Kubiak, and Doug Peterson. This WCO with zone run blocking has won many super bowls. The reason it works is because of play action, bootleg and effective running. They all slow the pass rush. Play calling and set up is paramount. Present the same formation and run different action out of it the set. The offense philosophy is you dont need all pro's at each spot, instead you win with technique and then deception. You don't need world beaters at guard if your zone run is working, which then makes play action work. All the pieces work together to make the blocking style work without requiring "fat boys".

Well said and I agree, but there are no viable deceptive moves when you are 3rd and 9. You're going to pass and the defense knows it. Are those shrimpy offensive guards going to stop those big DT's when everyone knows it's a pass? Not consistently. You aren't running up the middle on 3rd and 1 with undersized OL either. We've seen that fail many, many times.

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3 hours ago, octoslash said:

And seeing as how we were 27th in the league in rushing, they suck at that as well.  

 

So you saying the RBs had no hand it? Third string players had no hand in it? Playing from behind because our defense was decimated, thus defining we had to run less and pass more, had nothing to do with it? Just plain old "our guards suck"? 

 

 

Edited by runshoot

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It’s pretty much the same as the 350 lb 2 gapper eating up double teams supposedly.If the above mentioned can’t cause any disruption why would the opponent double team him.The assumption is the same if he’s big he automatically gets doubled when in all essence they single him up and just double the guy whose the danger.

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1 hour ago, Lornoth said:

I'd love for one of the people constantly advocating for bigger bodies to do some research and show me the correlation between weight and pass blocking efficiency. That would be truly enlightening. 

Enlightening indeed. Truth to tell, most don't know the difference between power and zone blocking running schemes either, yet they want to draft 350 lbs dude and change our running schemes.  

They just think bigger is better.........

(uh oh....@Ezekiel 25:17)

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17 hours ago, Francis York Morgan said:

Athletic =/= Small and Weak

There are powerful guys who can move. Based off what Quinn said, we're looking to add more of them this offseason.

Exactly. This message board has this insane thought that bigger = stronger = better which isn't always true. Tried to explain it many times but folks stick their heads in the sand.

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15 hours ago, The Rock said:

We thrive when we have a run game. Ryan cannot carry the team as you saw last season. 

Invest in the running game, then play action off of it. 

Too many 3rd and shorts stuffed last season. 

OMG!!! Ryan had 35 TD passes and only 7 INT's with the worst rushing attack in the NFL and yet it's his fault the Falcons only won 7 games? Holy **** me!! I swear there's only about 15 posters on this message board that have any common sense at all the rest of y'all are complete dumbasses!!

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2 hours ago, Lornoth said:

I'd love for one of the people constantly advocating for bigger bodies to do some research and show me the correlation between weight and pass blocking efficiency. That would be truly enlightening. 

It's almost like didn't see what happened to that Greg Robinson guy they were banging the table for while we ended up with little Jake...

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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

Enlightening indeed. Truth to tell, most don't know the difference between power and zone blocking running schemes either, yet they want to draft 350 lbs dude and change our running schemes.  

They just think bigger is better.........

(uh oh....@Ezekiel 25:17)

I will NOT take that bait! :lol:

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51 minutes ago, vel said:

It's almost like didn't see what happened to that Greg Robinson guy they were banging the table for while we ended up with little Jake...

Greg who?

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The problem lies in OP's framing of what he alleges to be "philosophy"

This is what happens when you try applying generic, non-specific "theory" questions to actual real-world trials. 

 

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4 hours ago, PokerSteve said:

Well said and I agree, but there are no viable deceptive moves when you are 3rd and 9. You're going to pass and the defense knows it. Are those shrimpy offensive guards going to stop those big DT's when everyone knows it's a pass? Not consistently. You aren't running up the middle on 3rd and 1 with undersized OL either. We've seen that fail many, many times.

Bold is dubious, at least if we're suggesting the Falcons OL in the DQ era have been undersized. Because since 2015, we're the second best team in the league at converting on 3rd and 1 rushes.....trailing only Dallas.

If you're talking SPECIFICALLY about 3rd and 1 rushes "up the middle" I'd ask why anyone should prioritize "up the middle" runs over "runs that work."  But regardless, when we drill down on middle rushes (defined as Left Guard/Middle/Right Guard) we're 5th in the league in converting those rushes

Your point re: stopping very good DT play on 3rd and long is a good one but it sorta suggests there IS a universe where an OL "stops those big DTs" consistently. But that isnt really the reality of football, and definitely not playoff football. The vast vast majority of the time, the defense is going to win a lot of snaps. Particularly in situations which are more clearly defined by tendency and situation. The solution isnt finding the probably fictional OL that never loses snaps to elite DTs, the solution is avoiding 3rd and long as well as you can and coming up with appropriate approaches toward dealing with the inevitable 3rd and long reps you'll run into. Whether that's booting out or whatever. 

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7 hours ago, octoslash said:

And seeing as how we were 27th in the league in rushing, they suck at that as well.  

 

We really didnt suck running the ball this year.....we simply didnt run it a lot. When you're 30th in rush attempts, you're likely to be "27th in rushing." We were middle of the pack in YPR. We were 21st in rushing DVOA which isnt great by any means but was also trending upward over the back half of the year. 

Given the relevant injuries and some of the questionable tendencies the team had re: run calls, I think its reasonable to expect much more moving forward.  

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