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Preacher
09-16-2009, 04:38 PM
Ok. With so many threads touching on this issue, I thought it would be good to centralize it.

Are we a zone blocking or man blocking team.. or both?

We started the change from man blocking to zone blocking in 2003 because of injury. In 2004, we were a more zone-block system than man, according to Jerome Bettis and Gary Dulac http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yLENAAAAIBAJ&sjid=AHIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4665,4834598&dq=steelers+zone+blocking+scheme

In August of 2007, Arians is talking about how they plan to do a LOT MORE zone blocking-http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=hLUNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=LnIDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4846,2662694&dq=steelers+zone+blocking+scheme

Now... What are the elements of the zone blocking scheme?

1. TE's being used as fullbacks... CHECK. We do that. But as offensive strategy evolved, teams began experimenting with zone blocking, with the tight end taking on responsibilities once delegated to the fullback. Extra receivers were added to the mix. The basic I-formation, once a staple of the sport, became something of a quaint notion.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-10-01-sw-fullbacks-cover_N.htm

Also, moving east to west as opposed to north and south in blocking... CHECK we do that.

_______________________

So IMO, YES, we are a zone blocking team. Now, Why do we have problems running the football? It very well may be because we have a man blocking set of Offensive lineman running a zone block scheme.

However, This development started in 2003. It was probably implemented to attack all the 3-4 defenses we were starting to play.

tony hipchest
09-16-2009, 04:52 PM
*witnessing the birth of yet another arians bashing thread*

T Bradshaw
09-16-2009, 04:55 PM
I think 64 year old Larry Zierlein(our OL coach) spends too much time watching porn movies in his office, I wonder if he has seen any of my collection
I do not mind emailing them to him
LOL


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Zierlein

E-mail gaffe
Zierlein gained unwanted notoriety in 2007 when he mistakenly forwarded an inappropriate e-mail to a large number of high-level NFL employees, including commissioner Roger Goodell. The e-mail, which Zierlein had received from Steelers pro personnel coordinator Doug Whaley contained a pornographic video. Zierlein apologized for the gaffe, but was not disciplined by the team or the league.[6]

NJarhead
09-16-2009, 05:02 PM
*witnessing the birth of yet another arians bashing thread*

Nah. Just Willie Colon. :chuckle:

fansince'76
09-16-2009, 05:05 PM
Mahan sucks! :chuckle:

steelpride12
09-16-2009, 05:25 PM
Mahan sucks! :chuckle:

No, hell with the whole OL, Ben can win without them! :chuckle:

hindes204
09-16-2009, 05:36 PM
No, hell with the whole OL, Ben can win without them! :chuckle:

now youre thinkin....but i think ben needs sombody in front of him, so i say we just take our best players and put them on the oline....since according to this board, the Oline cannot get any worse...I say we put Polomalu, Ward, Harrison, Reed, and Heath on the line......................wait wait wait, since Ben holds the ball waaaaaaaay to long hes really no good at QB for us anyway, so we could throw him in at Center, and start Batch at QB. I really think im onto something here

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-16-2009, 07:31 PM
If you really want to understand what zone blocking is, rather than find some selective quotes that further your own views, then here is a nice video of some "X's and O's " of a "inside zone right play"

In this link the Nebraska O line coach describes how to block an inside zone and the initial footwork and movements. PLEASE NOTICE THAT THERE IS NO PULLING O LINEMAN. THEY MERELY STEP LATERALLY IN THE DIRECTION OF THE PLAY, then engage the defender.

http://www.zoneblocking.com/2009/01/04/zone-blocking-video/

Preacher
09-16-2009, 07:50 PM
If you really want to understand what zone blocking is, rather than find some selective quotes that further your own views, then here is a nice video of some "X's and O's " of a "inside zone right play"

In this link the Nebraska O line coach describes how to block an inside zone and the initial footwork and movements. PLEASE NOTICE THAT THERE IS NO PULLING O LINEMAN. THEY MERELY STEP LATERALLY IN THE DIRECTION OF THE PLAY, then engage the defender.

http://www.zoneblocking.com/2009/01/04/zone-blocking-video/

The point I believe, is that we are a hybrid with a tilt to zone block system. that doesn't mean that we use zone blocking the entire time.

From 2003, we have incorporated both systems, while gradually using more and more of the zone blocking system.

Yes, there is no pulling guard in the zone block. However, the traditional man to man system DOES NOT USE TE's AS FB'S .

And often moves to multiple receivers. We are a hybrid with a tilt to Zone block system.

BTW, those weren't "selective quotes" to "further my views" They were the result concerning coaching systems of the Steelers. I really don't know where else to go except Jerome Bettis, Arians, and those who cover them. However, I do think they would know better what the Steelers do than any of us.

tony hipchest
09-16-2009, 07:58 PM
The point I believe, is that we are a hybrid with a tilt to zone block system. that doesn't mean that we use zone blocking the entire time.

From 2003, we have incorporated both systems, while gradually using more and more of the zone blocking system.

Yes, there is no pulling guard in the zone block. However, the traditional man to man system DOES NOT USE TE's AS FB'S .

.so we've gradually been adopting this system since 03, yet havent used the TE as a FB until the later part of 08? :huh:

Steelers & I
09-17-2009, 01:10 AM
so we've gradually been adopting this system since 03, yet havent used the TE as a FB until the later part of 08? :huh:

Whatever the case may be, the system that they're "adopting", should be returned to sender.

Preacher
09-17-2009, 05:20 AM
so we've gradually been adopting this system since 03, yet havent used the TE as a FB until the later part of 08? :huh:
That's about the size of it...

Doesn't make sense to me either, but according to what I have been finding, that is exactly what the STeelers coaching staff and players have been saying.

Kind of interesting when you look at our sack counts starting in 2006 though, isn't it?

stlrtruck
09-17-2009, 08:22 AM
E-mail gaffe
Zierlein gained unwanted notoriety in 2007 when he mistakenly forwarded an inappropriate e-mail to a large number of high-level NFL employees, including commissioner Roger Goodell. The e-mail, which Zierlein had received from Steelers pro personnel coordinator Doug Whaley contained a pornographic video. Zierlein apologized for the gaffe, but was not disciplined by the team or the league.[6]

Maybe the discipline was that we had to keep him on staff until he retires?

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2009, 08:47 AM
Yes, there is no pulling guard in the zone block. However, the traditional man to man system DOES NOT USE TE's AS FB'S .

.

The TE being used as a FB DOES NOT DETERMINE IF AN OFFENSE ZONE BLOCKS OR NOT.

Joe Gibbs of the Redskins was the first to create the H-back position by putting a hybrid TE in the backfield. He did it mainly to pass protect against the likes of Lawrence Taylor, Chris Doleman, etc because RB's were too small. The H-back position evolved from that.

The Redskins used guys like Clint Didier and Don Warren as FB's, but those famous "Hogs Offensive Lines" were not Zone block teams. The use of a H back and a zone block are 2 exclusive things.

To label this thread the Official Zone blocking thread and ignore the mechanics of a Zone block does a disservice to those reading it, IMO. The next step would be to start "The Official Tampa-2 Defense thread" and search for some quotes from Ryan Clark and Dick Lebeau that say they were playing a Cover-2 last week.. :doh:

revefsreleets
09-17-2009, 10:44 AM
Arians is stoopid...fire Arians and hire MEEEEEE! I just watched some You Tube videos about screen plays, so I am now more qualified than Arians to run the Steelers Offense!

That will solve all our problems...

Preacher
09-17-2009, 02:22 PM
The TE being used as a FB DOES NOT DETERMINE IF AN OFFENSE ZONE BLOCKS OR NOT.

Joe Gibbs of the Redskins was the first to create the H-back position by putting a hybrid TE in the backfield. He did it mainly to pass protect against the likes of Lawrence Taylor, Chris Doleman, etc because RB's were too small. The H-back position evolved from that.

The Redskins used guys like Clint Didier and Don Warren as FB's, but those famous "Hogs Offensive Lines" were not Zone block teams. The use of a H back and a zone block are 2 exclusive things.

To label this thread the Official Zone blocking thread and ignore the mechanics of a Zone block does a disservice to those reading it, IMO. The next step would be to start "The Official Tampa-2 Defense thread" and search for some quotes from Ryan Clark and Dick Lebeau that say they were playing a Cover-2 last week.. :doh:

And I guess that means that if they come out and say "we will be using the cover-2 defense even more this year, and then uses a style or a hybrid you don't see, you automatically reject it?

Sorry. The COACHES actually state they are movingto a Zone BLocking scheme. Whether you want to listen to the coaches or not, Bettis or not, that is your choice. But the fact of the matter is, the coaches have a HECK of a better idea than any of us. Just because they don't play the style you know from coaching highschool ball doesn't mean they play it.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2009, 02:33 PM
Sorry. The COACHES actually state they are movingto a Zone BLocking scheme. Whether you want to listen to the coaches or not, Bettis or not, that is your choice. But the fact of the matter is, the coaches have a HECK of a better idea than any of us. Just because they don't play the style you know from coaching highschool ball doesn't mean they play it.

Preacher, if they are moving to a Zone blocking system, then have they explained why they have massive 330lb guys on the O line like Starks, Kemo, Hartwig signed for 4 years?? Or, why Essex signed for another 2 and a massive rookie like Urbik who isnt overly agile drafted high with another in Foster on the 53??? Can you find a Jerome Bettis quote to explain that??

Zone blocking linemen are generally smaller, lighter and more athletic than the massive brawlers we have on the active roster. I trust that the coaches and FO have a better idea than us of what style they are going to play. So, if they select massive heavy footed O linemen, then they arent gonna run a pure ZBS.

I thought Urbik would be starting by at least week 8 and I can admitt I was wrong about that so far. Now, cant you just admitt that you really don't know what zone blocking is or what kind of skill set it involves???

xfl2001fan
09-17-2009, 03:16 PM
Here's the thing that many people aren't thinking about. Moving to a Zone Blocking scheme from a Man Blocking scheme is about as simple as transforming from a 3-4 to a 4-3 (or vice versa).

The complaints about the O-line are even more ridiculous when you take this into consideration...because most teams that transition a key part of their offense/defense to a vastly different scheme have to completely blow up the roster to do so.

IMO, Kudos to Coach Z and Coach BA for putting together a SB winning change in systems without completely blowing up the team and without seeing the massive dropoff in production that normally comes with that. Yes, the running game has been reduced...but the offensive is more capapble of quick strikes, big plays etc...despite these changes.

Now, transitioning the lineman (out with the old *coughFANECAcough* and in with the new)...takes some time...but that's hardly Coach Z's fault. The GM/scouting staff need to do more to support their coaching staff (though how much more can...or really needs to be done with a SB victory is a bit beyond this championship starved Cleveland Fan)...but that's neither here nor there. Drafts/signings were done (way back when) for a man blocking scheme...and there has been a fairly successful transition to the zone blocking scheme. Unless SB victories aren't considered successful by the armchair GM/Coaches of SF.

Preacher
09-17-2009, 03:21 PM
Preacher, if they are moving to a Zone blocking system, then have they explained why they have massive 330lb guys on the O line like Starks, Kemo, Hartwig signed for 4 years?? Or, why Essex signed for another 2 and a massive rookie like Urbik who isnt overly agile drafted high with another in Foster on the 53??? Can you find a Jerome Bettis quote to explain that??

Zone blocking linemen are generally smaller, lighter and more athletic than the massive brawlers we have on the active roster. I trust that the coaches and FO have a better idea than us of what style they are going to play. So, if they select massive heavy footed O linemen, then they arent gonna run a pure ZBS.

I thought Urbik would be starting by at least week 8 and I can admitt I was wrong about that so far. Now, cant you just admitt that you really don't know what zone blocking is or what kind of skill set it involves???

I would, except that I already said It very well may be because we have a man blocking set of Offensive lineman running a zone block scheme
in the first post.

I well understand that Zone blocking primarily uses smaller lineman (a la Denver) and doesn't create holes. Rather, the RB has to find seems as the line moves. It is an east to west system where they don't block straight ahead (I think I also said that before too).
Why did we sign big guys? I don't know, maybe because we are playing....wait for it... I said it before... a HYBRID SYSTEM.

You know, where they block man sometimes and zone others... Not like they didn't do that before either.

Oh yeah... it also is designed to produce double teams on teh inside zone... guess we don't do that either do we? Ahem.

Funny thing. I played hockey on a team that had as its base a dump and chase offense. Normally, that is played with bigger punishing guys. Guess what, our forwards were smaller and faster. Sometimes you play a scheme with a different twist.

Once again, I will accept those on the INSIDE that say that THEY have been playing a Zone BLocking scheme at least SOMETIMES, and moving more to it, then a highschool coach who is making judgements based on what he knows. (I am not belittling your experience, just that for me, it doesn't carry the weight that Jerome adn Arians carries in what THEY have said THEIR OWN offense is doing).

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2009, 05:01 PM
Preacher, Jeff Hartings was quoted way back in 2004 as saying that they zoned at times. He said it was easy because if the call was "Zone Left", that you just take a step left and block the guy in front of you.

I am not disputing that the Steelers zone block on some plays and never have. Just like I have never said the Steelers dont play cover 2. The fact is that the Steelers are no more a Zone block offensive team any more than they are a Cover 2 defensive team.

What irks me is when posters somehow believe that BA and Zeirline are running some kind of finesse zone block system, when they dont. They say this because they dont know what zone blocking is, but they have heard it before and it MUST be the problem.

You only say the Steelers are moving to a ZBS because you are reading some internet posts that lead you to believe that, but don't recognize for your own eyes when watching games.

Its like if I read somewhere that Ray Bourque wasnt a good defenseman, because of all the offensive points he scored. He wasnt good defensively and not a real defenseman.........he was just a "hybrid" player. We both know there is no such thing has a "hybrid defenseman". You either play D or are a forward.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2009, 05:10 PM
Oh yeah... it also is designed to produce double teams on teh inside zone... guess we don't do that either do we? Ahem.
.

So you are now saying that because we double team on the interior line that its a Zone Block??? That is like saying that because we throw a quick slant that we must be a West Coast Offense. :doh:

Just admitt that you really dont know any more about zone blocking that I know about a hockey breakout pattern. That is why I dont post about breakout patterns on hockey forums.

Preacher
09-17-2009, 06:23 PM
So you are now saying that because we double team on the interior line that its a Zone Block??? That is like saying that because we throw a quick slant that we must be a West Coast Offense. :doh:

Just admitt that you really dont know any more about zone blocking that I know about a hockey breakout pattern. That is why I dont post about breakout patterns on hockey forums.

You are getting as bad as Tony in the political discussions. If I have to spell it out thought by thought I would, but I thought you were going to be fairer with my posts, as you used to be.

Oh well, here it goes.

There is a PROCLIVITY to zone blocking, which has created a hybrid type of offensive line here. My evidence for it falls in to two groups.

1st group. What the PLAYERS and Coaches have said. And I think they know a HECK of a lot more abut zone blocking than you do. That is why they are coaching in the NFL and you coach highschool.

2nd group. There are a NUMBER of elements that are present in zone blocking, and also a few things that are NOT present in NORMAL zone blocking schemes. Of those things

1. The greater use of the TE as a FB, which we do.
2. The movement of the line side to side, instead of blocking straight ahead, which we do.
3. The opening of seams, instead of holes (which EVERONE here has been screaming about).
4. The proclivity to double team the center of the Defensive line, which we do.
5. The much greater use of 3 or 4 wide receivers, which we do.
6. The much greater non-use of a FB, which we do not use as much anymore.
7. The use of Inside Zone Principles, which is why you often see Kemo or Starks, hit a guy one time,and then when the other guy seems to have them, they bounce out to seal off a LB.
8. The Guard and Tackle style of pulling... why one seems to ALWAYS go through where the Center and other guard were, and the other comes through the guard and TE... IS THE SAME CONCEPT AS INSIDE ZONE BLOCKING.

It is the COMBINATION of all those things, PLUS Bettis, Arians, and others comments (who are PART OF THIS SYSTEM) that leads me to believe that our hybrid leans to a zone blocking scheme.

Now, have I laid it out enough for you? Or are you going to pick 1 element of a multi-element discussion and say I have no clue what I am talking about again?

It seems all you are arguing, is that, "We have lineman that are too big"

Well, great, our lineman are too big. You really think that negates everything I have just posted?

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2009, 06:53 PM
It seems all you are arguing, is that, "We have lineman that are too big"

Well, great, our lineman are too big. You really think that negates everything I have just posted?

No, I am not arguing that our linemen are too big.

I am asserting that I can draw up blocking in a playbook or on a blackboard for an off tackle running play with either conventional man blocking or a zone block system. Now, they change whether the defense is playing an even(4-3) or an odd(3-4) man front. I can do it from a single back set, I-formation or pro set(pony as Arians calls it).

When I watch the Steelers play on TV and rewind on the DVR to see how the play unfolded and was either successful or not, I dont see a ZBS, I see mostly a straight ahead blocking team with some traps and a few zone plays, but not that many.

I know what zone blocking is, I can recognize it, I can coach it. I only see it a few times a game from the Steelers. The Steelers are not a Zone blocking team, but do zone some plays.

Preacher
09-17-2009, 07:02 PM
No, I am not arguing that our linemen are too big.

I am asserting that I can draw up blocking in a playbook or on a blackboard for an off tackle running play with either conventional man blocking or a zone block system. Now, they change whether the defense is playing an even(4-3) or an odd(3-4) man front. I can do it from a single back set, I-formation or pro set(pony as Arians calls it).

When I watch the Steelers play on TV and rewind on the DVR to see how the play unfolded and was either successful or not, I dont see a ZBS, I see mostly a straight ahead blocking team with some traps and a few zone plays, but not that many.

I know what zone blocking is, I can recognize it, I can coach it. I only see it a few times a game from the Steelers. The Steelers are not a Zone blocking team, but do zone some plays.

So where we are disagreeing then, is much like me arguing a team is a 3-4 that uses a 4-3 at times and you arguing that team is a 4-3 that uses a 3-4 at times? Is that the core of our argument here?

Preacher
09-17-2009, 07:14 PM
Preacher, Jeff Hartings was quoted way back in 2004 as saying that they zoned at times. He said it was easy because if the call was "Zone Left", that you just take a step left and block the guy in front of you.

I am not disputing that the Steelers zone block on some plays and never have. Just like I have never said the Steelers dont play cover 2. The fact is that the Steelers are no more a Zone block offensive team any more than they are a Cover 2 defensive team.

What irks me is when posters somehow believe that BA and Zeirline are running some kind of finesse zone block system, when they dont. They say this because they dont know what zone blocking is, but they have heard it before and it MUST be the problem.

You only say the Steelers are moving to a ZBS because you are reading some internet posts that lead you to believe that, but don't recognize for your own eyes when watching games.

Its like if I read somewhere that Ray Bourque wasnt a good defenseman, because of all the offensive points he scored. He wasnt good defensively and not a real defenseman.........he was just a "hybrid" player. We both know there is no such thing has a "hybrid defenseman". You either play D or are a forward.

I just came across this... and first... Well, Paul Coffee actually WAS a hybrid defensemen :laughing:. His jumping in on rushes was a thing of beauty. (but that is a different story... I understand the point you're making).

I say the Steelers are moving to a ZBS not because of internet posts, but because at first, I heard the coaches talk about. Then, I got interested in what a ZBS was. I do not think all our problems are because of the ZBS. I do wonder if Willie has a harder time with the ZBS than others, because of his speed, but that is a different discussion as well.

I also don't blame Coach Z and Arians, because I recognize this evolution came about long before them. I do however, see strong ELEMENTS of the ZBS in the way they play. That is the list I gave you before.

And more seriously to your Ray Bourque question illustration. It would be more fair to talk about schemes instead of players. The Russians instituted a 5 man line where the D and The O stayed together. That enabled them to interact and become a full offensive/defensive unit. Some American teams then brought that system over, and used a hybrid system, where they kept some lines completely together, and let other D pairs and O lines mix.

THAT is what I think the Steelers are doing. They are mixing in both styles. But in the end, I think the foundational style has become the Zone.

Preacher
09-17-2009, 07:19 PM
BTW... sorry if I got snippy earlier.

Having a bad week... one of my best friends is in Bulgaria. His mother and father have already passed away. Now his aunt just died, and I will be doing her funeral. I am learning family secrets I NEVER wanted to know. Furthermore, another lady who lives with the son and daughter that took care of the parents had a daughter that died two years ago. She was 14 and died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. She was hanging on to the back of the boat and basically suffocated herself... her Blood Alc. content was WAY over the limit of drunkeness. I walked into the room last night where the woman was lying, dying, and was confronted with the mother of the worst funeral I ever had to preach--(the daughter was also sexually molested by a wrestling coach 9 months before, and was ran out of town for going to the authorities because the coach was beloved).

So forgive me for my tone in this thread... especially today. Sometimes, the editing function just gets a bit overloaded.

tony hipchest
09-17-2009, 08:14 PM
You are getting as bad as Tony in the political discussions. If I have to spell it out thought by thought I would, but I thought you were going to be fairer with my posts, as you used to be.
wow. taking shots in the nfl forum now? in that case, you are getting as bad as Revs in admitting you were wrong and lost a point.

youre using gonzo "just being a HS coach" to try and diminish his points, which tells me you dont have much left in the tank in regards to this topic.

a 7 step drop is the same in HS or the pros. man-to-man, or bump coverage = the same. the swim move, or getting your hips turned are all the same. there are no secrets in the nfl that are kept from coaches of lower leagues. thats why people like bob wiley hold clinics and make training tapes for all coaches interested to study and learn

2003 is a poor example. steelers have been a traditional power g dominant run offense. why? because we had arguably the greatest pulling guard of all time (some might argue hutchinson), along with the greatest big back, and a scrambling qb, and kreider in his prime.

2003 saw faneca playing tackle (anyone ever hear of the "power t"?) and entire shuffled line, and amos and maddox inserted into the lineup. using zone was more out of necessity.

you make it seem like it was something we planned on incorporating or willingly shifted too. 2004, and 2005 blow that theory out of the water. it was a necessity to try and get through what turned out to be a shitty season. in 2004 amos and maddox were out of the line-up, duce staley was brought in. terrell davis and clinton portis were zone runners. duce was not. 2005 still had duce and jerome pegged as the starters. they went down, willie filled in and jerome and staley retired along with hartings by 2006.

it was necessity to incorporate a few different things, but with faneca, we were still all about power g.

2007 willie is leading the league in rushing (with dan kreider) and ben is having an all time steeler great year. this wasnt due to some magical shift or change of philosophy to a zone.

2008 we cant afford faneca, willie is coming off a leg break, we have a rookie #1 pick running back, and a new center. our grind it out run game philosophy hasnt changed and fans are outraged when we stick to it and it gets stuffed.

2009 brings more linemen gone, but none of the replacements suggest a shift. we try to incorporate a few things to be cute and try to outsmart the opponents and perhaps that it a bit of the problem.

you have pretty much cited ancient quotes to support your stance. in 2007 (the first year of MT and BA) bruce and max starks both had to answer questions of why a superbowl starting RT who was considered the future was riding the bench and practicing with 2nd stringers.

he said the coaches were implimenting more zone stuff that they felt he wasnt quite suited for. of course he wasnt gonna admit that after winning a sb in 05 he got fat, happy, and complacent and simply lost his job to a younger, hungrier player.

i think arians payed him some lip service, cause here we are 2 years later and starks is a starter on the left side. do you see where things arent adding up?

of course when the brand new coaches have to yank a starter out of the line-up with a disgruntled faneca, they are going to experiment in camp and see if something else may work better. its pretty obvious that "something else" still isnt working to this point.

since were not teaching the defense all aspects of dick lebeaus zone blitz in addition to all aspects of dungys cover 2, why the hell would we be teaching our o-line all aspect of the power man to man run scheme in addition to zone blocking?

there are only 24 hours in a day. if larry z is trying to fit in 48, it is obvious the players are confused and it is sure to fail.

Preacher
09-17-2009, 08:22 PM
Actually Tony... Yes.....and No.

2003 did begin the shift because of injuries.

But as of Octover 8th of 2004, they were using more zone than man. They went away from teh 38 Boss which was there "bread and butter" play. --- That is pretty much a DIRECT QUOTE from the article I cited...which mean that 2004 does NOT blow a hole in my theory, it STRENGTHENS it. That Mainly, the shift began in 2003, and CONTINUED EVEN MORE in 2004.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2009, 09:25 PM
For those of you who are interested in the topic of zone blocking but really dont know what it is. Here is an interview from 2004 with Jeff Hartings about it a bit.

Q: Is the line doing more zone blocking this year?

Hartings: I think so far we are. I kind of feel that's a result of the 3-4 teams, playing in a pond (in Miami), where I wasn't real enthused about pulling a whole lot and I don't think the guards were, either, and that's 3 out of 4 games. Last week we zone blocked really well. I feel like that Keydrick's (Vincent) strength, and you got to take advantage of what your strengths are.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Did you start doing more of it last year because of all the juggling on the offensive line?

Hartings: We definitely did more of it last year. It's just easier. It's take a step and go, read the defense. That's what a lot of teams do nowadays. We still like to man block and we're going to do our share of it


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: What is the advantage of zone blocking versus man blocking?

Hartings: Man blocking, you want to create a hole. It's basically a down block and try to hit that hole where one or two guys are creating a wall. In zone blocking, it's probably most difficult for the back because the back has to ride it out and hit the cutback. You have a back who's really good at that, zone blocking is a good scheme.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Q: Does zone blocking benefit Duce?

Hartings: That's something we need to figure out. As these games keep going, and he gets more carries -- he's getting a lot of carries right now - it's a coach's job to find out if he's a better zone blocking runner. Or is he a better man blocking runner where you just tell him the hole is going to be here, hit it, and make guys miss? I haven't been able to make that determination yet.



Read more: http://www.postgazette.com/pg/04282/392600-66.stm#ixzz0RQAKzkEB

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-17-2009, 09:34 PM
When Hartings describes zone blocking this way.

In zone blocking, it's probably most difficult for the back because the back has to ride it out and hit the cutback. You have a back who's really good at that, zone blocking is a good scheme.

He is basically describing a "stretch play" that the Colts ran with Edge James, or the Redskins run with Portis or the Texans with Steve Slaton.

Preacher
09-17-2009, 10:18 PM
Good find El G.

Steeldude
09-18-2009, 12:57 AM
the steelers don't look like a man-blocking scheme. they simply let too many defenders run by. if they are zone, it's the same thing. i think the steelers employ a phantom blocking scheme or perhaps an "ole" blocking scheme:chuckle: j/k

i see this this too many times...starks lets a defender go right by him without even so much as lifting a finger. it looked as if he was looking 5 yards downfield instead of what was in front of him. it's not just starks doing it. they are all guilty of it from time to time. they are missing people no matter which scheme they use.

either zierlein sucks or the O-linemen are morons or the RBs have no idea where to cutback and/or attack. perhaps it's a combination. obviously there is a problem. i know the rah-rah lemmings don't care, but fans who are interested in discussing it and seeing improvment do care.

SteelStang
09-18-2009, 09:33 AM
Denver is to be credited with perfecting the zone blocking scheme and the chemistry is usually pretty simple.

If you are going to employ zone blocking, you need patient backs that have great burst.

If you are employing a man on man scheme the backs can be more versatile.

There are plenty of coaches and others who would disagree with me on this, but when you really break it down, this is how it is usually is set up.

EX: Bus is much better in the man scheme than zone. Terrel Davis much better in zone.

IMO, WP is the type of back for the zone, but when I really break down some of his runs, he is not real good at picking his spots. He is not the first RB to struggle at hitting the right hole believe me. Of course running into the guard when you get the ball doesn't help either.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-22-2009, 01:38 PM
A little quote from last sunday's game by CBS analyst Phil Simms after another trap by Kemoeatu sprang Parker for a 14 yard run.

"...the Steelers, not a lot of teams do that anymore. They move their linemen, they trap and they pull. A lot of teams in the NFL like to stay together and they got this zone blocking, not the Steelers."

Preacher
09-22-2009, 01:47 PM
A little quote from last sunday's game by CBS analyst Phil Simms after another trap by Kemoeatu sprang Parker for a 14 yard run.

"...the Steelers, not a lot of teams do that anymore. They move their linemen, they trap and they pull. A lot of teams in the NFL like to stay together and they got this zone blocking, not the Steelers."

Funny how we all think analysts are idiots until they say something we agree with.

They are a hybrid. So they will pull and trap. They will also zone block.

I stll think I would believe Arians over Phil Simms.

After all, even last year they were saying that Ben R. would lose games if he had to throw the ball over 20 something times.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-22-2009, 01:58 PM
Funny how we all think analysts are idiots until they say something we agree with.

They are a hybrid. So they will pull and trap. They will also zone block.

I stll think I would believe Arians over Phil Simms.

After all, even last year they were saying that Ben R. would lose games if he had to throw the ball over 20 something times.

Preacher, the bottom line is that I know what Zone blocking is and can recognize it. So too can Phil Simms and many other posters on this board can too. The Steelers are not a zone blocking team any more than they are a Tampa-2 team.

The problem arises when posters in this forum and others blame the offensive woes on Arians and Zeirlines "Zone Blocking System", when they dont even know what it is when they see it.

I'm gonna start blaming the offensive problem on Arians "West Coast Offense", since inaccuracy and lack of football knowledge seem to be the upward trend here. :banging:

Preacher
09-22-2009, 04:04 PM
Preacher, the bottom line is that I know what Zone blocking is and can recognize it. So too can Phil Simms and many other posters on this board can too. The Steelers are not a zone blocking team any more than they are a Tampa-2 team.

The problem arises when posters in this forum and others blame the offensive woes on Arians and Zeirlines "Zone Blocking System", when they dont even know what it is when they see it.

I'm gonna start blaming the offensive problem on Arians "West Coast Offense", since inaccuracy and lack of football knowledge seem to be the upward trend here. :banging:

Bottom line is, I do not blame it on a zone block system.

Bottom line is, I will trust Arians's words and former players words more than an analyst that sees 2 minutes of the steelers on tape and then makes judgements or a high-school coach.

I fully admit that they don't do it all the time, or necessarily even 50 percent of the time. But for some reason, you just seem not to be able to remember that I say HYBRID.

JUST LIKE we SOMETIMES run a cover-2, Sometimes have lined up in a 4-3, and Sometimes even play a nickel D.

Guess I am going to start blaming all our woes on an inflexible coaching staff since pigeon holing seems to be the upward trend here.

tony hipchest
09-22-2009, 05:32 PM
LOL. thats like saying we are a hybrid 3-4/2-5 defense cause occasionally we only have 2 down linemen, when fact of the matter is we are a zone blitz 3-4.

instead of larry z and arians trying to impliment every type of blocking scheme under the sun, they should k.i.s.s.

i still dont get this fascination with trying to label them a HYBRID.

preacher, you say you wont trust a 2 minute analyst or a highschool coach, but i think you are the only person on earth why has said they run a HYBRID system. how are we supposed to trust that?

please tell... what other teams are currently running a HYBRID system? or are we the first ones to run it? is arians THAT brilliant and ahead of the curve?

if not, why are we wasting time trying to reinvent the wheel. as far as protecting the passer and opening rushing lanes w/o a lead blocker it is obviously a failed experiment.

...if what you say is true.

Preacher
09-22-2009, 06:08 PM
LOL. thats like saying we are a hybrid 3-4/2-5 defense cause occasionally we only have 2 down linemen, when fact of the matter is we are a zone blitz 3-4.

instead of larry z and arians trying to impliment every type of blocking scheme under the sun, they should k.i.s.s.

i still dont get this fascination with trying to label them a HYBRID.

preacher, you say you wont trust a 2 minute analyst or a highschool coach, but i think you are the only person on earth why has said they run a HYBRID system. how are we supposed to trust that?

please tell... what other teams are currently running a HYBRID system? or are we the first ones to run it? is arians THAT brilliant and ahead of the curve?

if not, why are we wasting time trying to reinvent the wheel. as far as protecting the passer and opening rushing lanes w/o a lead blocker it is obviously a failed experiment.

...if what you say is true.

Hybrid is my word for the fact that sometimes they run a zone, sometimes they run a man. That comes directly from what jerome and Arians were saying a few years ago. El. G's argument was that our guys are too big to run the Zone. But our OC didn't think so in 2003 and 2004. Especially 2004 where they planned to run it more.

Argue with what they were saying. I just basically keep repeating what coaches and former players said, but used my own word for it.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-22-2009, 06:27 PM
El. G's argument was that our guys are too big to run the Zone. But our OC didn't think so in 2003 and 2004. Especially 2004 where they planned to run it more.
.

Preacher, I never ARGUED that our guys are too big to run Zone blocking. I merely stated the fact that linemen categorized as zone blockers are lighter and more athletic than the big maulers on our O line.

-Mike Mayock knows it.
-Tony Pauline knows it.
-Mel Kiper knows it.
-Texassteel knows it
-Lamberts Lost Tooth knows it.
-Alex Gibbs (the father of Zone Blocking systems) knows it
.......and you can bet Arians and Coach Z know it too.

The only one that doesnt know it is you, who seems to post on the topic like you understand the concept, but dont. I just ask that if you are going to post about something and start "official" threads that you please understand the concept. It helps us all out.

zsheik22
09-22-2009, 07:44 PM
Preacher, Jeff Hartings was quoted way back in 2004 as saying that they zoned at times. He said it was easy because if the call was "Zone Left", that you just take a step left and block the guy in front of you.

I am not disputing that the Steelers zone block on some plays and never have. Just like I have never said the Steelers dont play cover 2. The fact is that the Steelers are no more a Zone block offensive team any more than they are a Cover 2 defensive team.

What irks me is when posters somehow believe that BA and Zeirline are running some kind of finesse zone block system, when they dont. They say this because they dont know what zone blocking is, but they have heard it before and it MUST be the problem.

You only say the Steelers are moving to a ZBS because you are reading some internet posts that lead you to believe that, but don't recognize for your own eyes when watching games.

Its like if I read somewhere that Ray Bourque wasnt a good defenseman, because of all the offensive points he scored. He wasnt good defensively and not a real defenseman.........he was just a "hybrid" player. We both know there is no such thing has a "hybrid defenseman". You either play D or are a forward.





Top 10 Offensive Defensemen In NHL History

5 - Ray Bourque


:D.

tony hipchest
09-22-2009, 07:50 PM
Hybrid is my word for the fact that sometimes they run a zone, sometimes they run a man. That comes directly from what jerome and Arians were saying a few years ago. El. G's argument was that our guys are too big to run the Zone. But our OC didn't think so in 2003 and 2004. Especially 2004 where they planned to run it more.

Argue with what they were saying. I just basically keep repeating what coaches and former players said, but used my own word for it.again i ask, who else in the league is utilizing thei brand new revolutionary HYBRID scheme you speak of?

since arians and jerome obviously know best (2 sb's in 4 years) why arent 11 teams converting to this scheme, like they have to the PROVEN 3-4, in the past 2-3 years.

i think you have taken a few random quotes and circumstances from a few years back, totally out of context (and their proper timeframe) and made it into more than it actually is.

the steelers didnt "plan" to have faneca playing LT, just like they didnt "plan" on ross and vincent being their starters for the majority of the 04 season (i think okolbi even got in a few games).

they compensated for missing talent by incorporating what they felt the back-ups had the greatest chance of success with.

im sure they would "plan" on doing the same thing if we were stuck with the likes of mahan, stapelton, and shipley, to get us through the rest of the season.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-22-2009, 08:06 PM
For those of you interested...Alex Gibbs is the father of the "Zone Block" Just like Dick Lebeau is to the Zone Blitz. Gibbs installed the current Houston O line system.

In the zone-blocking run scheme the Texans brought in Alex Gibbs to install and operate, the team asks its linemen to run. Athleticism and mobility are the most desirable traits. The Texans don't covet guys like Baltimore's 6-foot-9, 350-pound Jared Gaither or San Diego's Marcus McNeill (6-7, 336).

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/tag/_/name/jacoby-jones

Just so some of you dont think its the opinion of a highschool coach that large O linemen are not best suited to that offense.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-22-2009, 08:16 PM
More info that suggest smaller and more athletic O linemen are better suited to zone blocker. This time from NCAA O line coach at WVU. Not just some HS coach. :rolleyes:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Rick Trickett isn't bashful about it. He comes clean. He stole those offensive-line schemes. Swiped them whole cloth from the Denver Broncos and the line coach considered the Godfather of zone blocking, Alex Gibbs,

First, let's explain the procedure. There is man blocking, a method simple enough for any Cro-Magnon to comprehend: See man, get man.

Then there is zone blocking, and it isn't that simple. The key to zone blocking is elementary: The line works in unison, most often laterally like some sort of line-dance troupe of 280-pounders. Call them ... the Trickettes? This ensemble attempts to wash the defensive front toward one sideline. Each linemen reaches a spot or zone where he stands up a defender, normally blocking him around the armpits, or runs him into fellow blocked defenders to produce momentary gridlock; then he moves onto a next defender rather than stay with his "man." This creates gaps through which a running back, or a running quarterback, can squirt and then cut back against the flow.

though Trickett said, "I'll take tough first." He recruits players with nimble feet and pliable craniums. And, attention Joey Porter, don't even consider this a finesse offense just because these boys are roughly 6-3, 293-pound footwork zonies contrasted with those 6-6, 315-pound, man-blocking Steelers' mashers.
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06302/733956-144.stm#ixzz0Rt7RrhQ1

Preacher
09-23-2009, 12:19 AM
EDIT: Nevermind.

You have your views, I have mine. This is turning into an Arians sucks/Willie sucks etc. discussion where we simply repeat our positions time and again.

Worse yet, we are getting too sarcastic with each other... I apologize for my part.

I enjoy posting with you too much to let this go on.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 09:36 AM
EDIT: Nevermind.

You have your views, I have mine. This is turning into an Arians sucks/Willie sucks etc. discussion where we simply repeat our positions time and again.

Worse yet, we are getting too sarcastic with each other... I apologize for my part.

I enjoy posting with you too much to let this go on.

Preacher, I too enjoy posting with you and dont take any of it personally. I honestly like Parker and think Arians is a good OC, so I'm not trying to take it off the rails.

I honestly just get upset when people start categorizing the current regime as having a ZBS when they dont understand what it is. In this thread I posted:

-a link to a Univ of Nebraska O line coach drawing up a zone block on a whiteboard
-a description of Alex Gibbs ZBS principles from his work with the Houston Texans
-a 2006 article describing the ZBS from WVU O line coach in it where the point is made that they use 290lb athletes as opposed to the 315lb maulers that the Steelers use.

I agree we should move on, but if you wanted to really understand ZBS and be able to recognize it. You could look at those articles/videos and see on gamedays that we mainly man with occasionally using some zone to protect against the run blitz.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 10:40 AM
Here is a great video of Zone Blocking from U of Florida. Watch how the O line all moves in the same direction in unison.

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and here is another one that they take upfield off tackle, rather than around the end.

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SteelMember
09-23-2009, 11:11 AM
So where does "better blocking" fit into this? :chuckle:

I thought they made some strides in the pass protection last week, but the only successful run play seemed to be the guard (Kemo) pulling right blowing up whomever was trying to fill the gap. They successfully executed that play 4-5 times.

Appreciate all the info guys. Can't watch the YouTubes hear at work, so I'll watch 'em when I get home.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 01:13 PM
My final point on this thread. I went thru sundays game on tape and we "Man blocked" 18 times........."Zone Blocked" 1 time.

I didnt count the sacks or Ben's scramble in the 4th quarter as rushes.