Jump to content

Falcons return to the outside-zone scheme


Recommended Posts

Alex Mack elated about Falcons’ return to the outside-zone scheme 

Falcons
11 hours ago
By
 

Falcons center Alex Mack, a six-time Pro Bowl player, is relishing the team’s return to the outside-zone running scheme.

The Falcons have dabbled in running outside-zone plays over the past three seasons since former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan left for San Francisco, but during a video call with the local media Thursday, Mack confirmed the offseason plans. 

“I think it’s an emphasis of the whole offense to make sure that’s something that we want to be really good at,” Mack said. “So, in order to run the wide zone, you have to have a full commitment of all of the guys on the field to make that work. It is a really powerful offense. It’s something that we have a lot of experience with.”

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan battled with Shanahan in his first season in 2015, but they smoothed things out by 2016, and Ryan became the first Falcons player to win the Associated Press MVP award and carried the team to Super Bowl LI with a potent attack. 

dge191229206-atl-at-tb.jpg?fit=1000,800&

“The better we can run that, the more it opens up the field, the more play-action opens up,” Mack said. “Having that weapon really opens up the offense. I know it’s something that I’m excited about. I like hearing that because it means we get to run the ball more. It means we have more play-action passes. 

“In general, it’s something that I do well. I think if we can get that going, we’ll have a very powerful offense.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has mentioned running more outside-zone a couple of times over the offseason, while offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter was vague when he was asked about the outside-zone attack.

Mack believes that adding running back Todd Gurley will help the offense return to being one of the top units in the NFL.

“He’s a really good runner,” Mack said. “I’ve just seen his clips and what he’s been able to do. His first couple of years in the league (were) impressive. Adding that to a wide-zone attack, I think he can be a really good addition to the offense and then a real powerful weapon.”

 

If the Falcons are more powerful running the ball, that will help them in pass protection. The Falcons’ offensive line gave up 50 sacks and 135 quarterback hits in 2019. 

In addition to having trouble running the ball, the Falcons were behind in several games and forced to pass. If they can run the ball better in the outside zone system, that will keep the opposing defenses off balance. 

Mack and left tackle Jake Matthews are the stalwarts on the line. There will be an open competition at left guard, while right guard Chris Lindstrom and right tackle Kaleb McGary are expected to make big jumps in their second seasons in the league. 

 

“Chris is going to be a really good player,” Mack said. “I know he works very hard and he’s mentally tied into things. He has pretty good vision on the field.

“Those things are going to take you a really long way. You add that with his physical ability for how quick and strong that he is, he could be as good as he wants to be. He’s got the work ethic to take him there.”

Lindstrom missed 10 games last season with a broken foot he suffered in the season opener. 

“If he stays healthy, he’s on the field and he’s learning every day, he’s going to be a good player for a really long time,” Mack said.    

The Falcons drafted Matt Hennessy, who played center at Temple, possibly as Mack’s heir apparent. 

Mack, 34, is set to enter his 12th season in the league.

 

“They drafted a lineman,” Mack said. “He seems like a great kid. Excited to have him on board and teach him everything that I can. I think he steps up and plays guard this year or he’s the swing guy, backup center or whatever the future is.”

So far, Hennessy is fitting into the virtual offseason. 

“I know I’m happy to have a guy who’s excited to be here,” Mack said. “Who’s really tied in, in meetings. He knows what is going on. It’s really good to have him here and see that he’s excited to be here.”

Mack has a year left on his contract.

“I’m taking it year-by-year, now,” Mack said. “I know my goal when I showed up in the league was (to play) 10 years. I thought that was a really good, lengthy career. From here on out, I want to do the best I can to make sure I play at the highest level. Play one year at a time. I think I’ve got a lot of juice in the tank. I’m ready to bring it this year.”

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 69
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Alex Mack elated about Falcons’ return to the outside-zone scheme  Falcons 11 hours ago By D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Never should have gone away from it.

I have to give Koetter some credit here. Especially for a seasoned coordinator, it's not an easy thing to change your scheme. I like the idea of playing to the strength of the players and not forcing

Best news yet!!! Yessss!

We don't have the hogs to play MM and DK's old-school run it straight ahead in a power man scheme. Maybe since MM is gone we could make the switch. Wtv the reason, wooo!

We have a bunch of highly drafted, athletic OL. Let them run and pancake people in the open field. Lindstrom and McGary's jobs just got 2x easier. Can't wait to see this.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ADAMSVILLE GYM said:

Dirk Koetter was vague when he was asked about the outside-zone attack

no kidding Dirk. Probably vague becase he will keep with his up the middle, cloud of dust BS he has done for the last 10 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty sure every RB1 we've had under DK has either been on his last legs, came with serious durability problems, or both. Even now Gurley comes with some question marks. Are we really gonna sit here and knock him for the run game he's had to create out of thin air. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Smiler11 said:

Good news on the whole, just wish we had an OC that knows how to run it. Isn't this kind of square pegs in round holes again (from a coordinator perspective rather than personnel).

Well, I think the transition is easier from a coordinator standpoint than player personnel. Either way you would dealing with the square peg, round hole problem, but as others have already said, the Falcons should have never went away from it.

This isn't trying to revive the 2016 offense, as if that offense was different than what Shanny ran in 2015. It's rolling with a scheme that obviously brought out the best of the offensive players, namely Ryan.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Mr.11 said:

Well, I think the transition is easier from a coordinator standpoint than player personnel. Either way you would dealing with the square peg, round hole problem, but as others have already said, the Falcons should have never went away from it.

This isn't trying to revive the 2016 offense, as if that offense was different than what Shanny ran in 2015. It's rolling with a scheme that obviously brought out the best of the offensive players, namely Ryan.

 If we had another OC I'd have more faith. I don't really have faith in Dirk to run his own scheme let alone something he is unfamiliar with. I hope you're right though and I think it's almost impossible for our offense to regress from last year, so there is that at least...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Think the biggest mistake was making Sark and now Koetter run Shanahan's playbook.  If they wanted to keep continuity from our amazing 2016 season they should've hired Lafleur to take over (whether or not they thought he was ready, hire someone to help guide him).  Think we can all agree Shanahan has a brilliant mind, hard for anyone to replicate what he put out for us in 2016.  If DQ fails here, his biggest regret would be trying to recreate 2016 with bandaids, if his true mindset was to keep as much continuity on offense as possible, should've told TD to get the next best at Shanahan's system (Kubiak I think).

Link to post
Share on other sites

With this announcement, I expect that an assistant OC with experience running this system will be added... Or Matt Shaub's role this year will be bigger than any before. 

If these aren't the case, it's hard for me to get excited about this... I'm actually petrified! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mister pudding said:

I have to give Koetter some credit here. Especially for a seasoned coordinator, it's not an easy thing to change your scheme. I like the idea of playing to the strength of the players and not forcing them into what they are not 

I'm not sure this is Koetters idea

Edited by OilFuturesTrader19
Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Smiler11 said:

 If we had another OC I'd have more faith. I don't really have faith in Dirk to run his own scheme let alone something he is unfamiliar with. I hope you're right though and I think it's almost impossible for our offense to regress from last year, so there is that at least...

The thing is that the outside zone is part of DK's scheme.

He uses a mix of inside,outside, and power man 

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, falconsd56 said:

The thing is that the outside zone is part of DK's scheme.

He uses a mix of inside,outside, and power man 

He's predominantly run a mix of inside zone and power man wherever he's been. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Mister pudding said:

Perhaps not, but the willingness to listen to Quinn and the players says something. Don't underestimate the ability to adapt to your situation. 

Agreed.  If I remember correctly, in his first stint here he was willing to incorporate some of the things the players liked/did well from MM's offense.  While I'm not sold on DK, I do like some of the things (like this) that I'm seeing.  Anyone can/should work on growing and improving...DK is certainly not immune to that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...