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View Full Version : Larry Zierlein's Online Blocking Manual...


revefsreleets
09-23-2009, 08:43 AM
I let the cat out of the bag in another thread, so why not post the link?

Again, for all the prognosticators who don't really understand the complexities of the game, this is a definite "teaching moment".

http://fastandfuriousfootball.com/freeplaybooks/ZIERLEINPASSPRO.pdf

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 10:10 AM
Nice find Revs!!!

Take a look on p10 where Coach Z talks about having a narrow stance and the weight on the balls of the feet, so the OT can get better depth vs the outside speed rush.

Now, watch Starks this weekend and see him in his stance on a 3rd and long. He normally has a wide stance, his left leg far back and most of the weight on his right leg flat footed. It looks like this picture.

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2009/0605/nfl_wimbley_starks1_576.jpg

Coach Z puts it here in black and white, but either doesnt teach Starks or Starks wont do it.

BKAnthem
09-23-2009, 10:56 AM
Didn't Marvel Smith use that same stance? i guess he taught it to Starks but Starks doesn't have Smiths talent or ability. So it's either a coaching issue or personnel, i think it's both.

SteelMember
09-23-2009, 11:00 AM
Maybe it's his way of "cheating" for the outside move, because as you say "his kick step stinks". :noidea:

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 11:10 AM
Didn't Marvel Smith use that same stance? i guess he taught it to Starks but Starks doesn't have Smiths talent or ability. So it's either a coaching issue or personnel, i think it's both.

Yeah, I saw Smith use that similar width stance at times. Cant remember if it was under Grimm or Zeirline. Smith had a great kick slide to get depth vs speed rushers. Maybe he lapsed into this wide stance and got beat around the edge at times. I just see Starks getting no depth on his kick slide.

here is a picture of Jake Long with a more compact stance, set for a good kick slide.

http://intheblackhole.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/jake1.jpg

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 11:17 AM
Maybe it's his way of "cheating" for the outside move, because as you say "his kick step stinks". :noidea:

Could be. I see Starks just stand up and assume a position like a basketball guard trying to defend somebody. Maybe he thinks his wide stance helps him cover the outside speed rush, but what I see him do is turn his hips to chase the speed rush, which leaves him open for the "inside rip" or "spin" as counter moves.

Again, its why I am happy the Steelers didnt overpay him in this lastest contract, but would have been more happy if they found a better LT to protect Ben's blind side.

SteelMember
09-23-2009, 11:18 AM
So comparing these two, you can also notice how much more upright starks is. He dosen't bend his knees to get his big butt lower. He bends his waist to simulate his body being lower making his center of balance more over his feet.

Could be. I see Starks just stand up and assume a position like a basketball guard trying to defend somebody. Maybe he thinks his wide stance helps him cover the outside speed rush, but what I see him do is turn his hips to chase the speed rush, which leaves him open for the "inside rip" or "spin" as counter moves.

Now is that checkers or chess?

XxKnightxX
09-23-2009, 11:39 AM
Put it in Simple words guys, Starks thinks his Size can overcome athleticism, which will NEVER HAPPEN. Marvel and Long had excellent stances against speed rushers because of the tight splits that they had, not that fat slob Flozell Adams Wide Stance, The more I see Starks, the more flexible he needs to become with his knees and hips, Hes like a big happy bear waddling looking for a hug. Hes Improving, but he can work better at it. The funny part about this and I dont know about you guys, I read this manual from Zeirlein just now and I learned this in High School. I had a great O line coach who was maybe the best in the state, but still, Russ Grimm and Dan Deirdorf can pull more rabbits out of a hat.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 11:50 AM
XKnight....I love the "big happy bear waddling" reference. Its kind of indicative of Starks being too high, as opposed to guys like Long and McNeil who are coiled low, ready to punch.

As for the simplicity of Zeriline's manual, yes its nothing revolutionary....just detailed. But would you not agree that pass blocking is just fundamental technique that is refined and executed well??

What do you think of Coach Z's run blocking schemes?? Do you think that he could possibly draw up some better blocks for running off tackle or is he doing all he can with the system and talent??

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 11:55 AM
Now is that checkers or chess?

I sooo wish I could find a video online of Marcus McNeil at the pro bowl around 4 years ago demonstrating how to handle pass rush moves and the proper reaction to the counter moves.

THAT was definately Chess!! As XxKnight said, this manual from Coach Z is the same stuff taught in Highschool football..........so some may say its really checkers.

XxKnightxX
09-23-2009, 03:43 PM
XKnight....I love the "big happy bear waddling" reference. Its kind of indicative of Starks being too high, as opposed to guys like Long and McNeil who are coiled low, ready to punch.

As for the simplicity of Zeriline's manual, yes its nothing revolutionary....just detailed. But would you not agree that pass blocking is just fundamental technique that is refined and executed well??

What do you think of Coach Z's run blocking schemes?? Do you think that he could possibly draw up some better blocks for running off tackle or is he doing all he can with the system and talent??

Yeah he is a big waddling bear, the minute he offsets out of his stance his way too high or he manages to get 3 kick slides in then just gets high and lazy. Ill take that 6'8 frame any day man I can be of better use with it, McNeil is one of the best linemen period, along with his size, hes very athletic, uses his FEET (remember people Football starts with your feet), and this guy can play without two hands and still be as good....OH WAIT HE DID WITH TWO FRACTURED HANDS HIS ROOKIE YEAR(LT broke records that year with him plowing through).But yeah pass blocking is a fundamental technique that has to be practiced many times since players sometimes tend to forget about it and make themselves too complicated.

And Regarding Coach Z's blocking schemes.... I think its a combination of things. For starters, when they try to run zone schemes, theyre disastrous with these linemen because they werent meant for it. Were made for the Power, Man blocking, double teaming punch you in the mouth type of blocking. When linement have to block a MAN or men, its is much easier than blocking a ZONE. Because when you have a zone to block, 2 defenders can be within your zone, so your primary instincts is to block the closest man to you , yet the linemen beside you can block that guy as well and then you leave a defender free, with usually a negative outcome. The steelers O linemen certainly dont like this, and that is the problem. Coach Z is not selling this hard enough to them, and the players dont like it, therefore you got a crap running game.Parkers a running back who had success running in between tackles with a fullback, just like the bus did . Hes an "inside-out" runner, not an "outside-in" runner, which is usually the zone blocking way of running since you run outside to cut back if the defenders overpursue.

Anyway thats my theory, too long to explain or I can go for days with this....Im an O line nerd cant help it lol.

revefsreleets
09-23-2009, 03:51 PM
Just so were all on the same page, that online manual IS for HS kids...that's why it's called "Fundamentals and Techniques" and not something like "Advanced Blocking techniques".

This is still chess, though, because I'm largely directing this towards the "Z sucks because he's an asshole. Plays some Skynard, man!" crowd, and even checkers is too difficult for them to understand. Points is, there's more to everything happening on the football field than meets the untrained eye...

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 05:17 PM
XxKnight..........you are preachin to the choir here. I agree with everything you said. :thumbsup:

I love all the technical aspects of the game as I have coached and played several different positions. But I love line play on either side of the ball!!!!

Preacher
09-23-2009, 05:36 PM
Could be. I see Starks just stand up and assume a position like a basketball guard trying to defend somebody. Maybe he thinks his wide stance helps him cover the outside speed rush, but what I see him do is turn his hips to chase the speed rush, which leaves him open for the "inside rip" or "spin" as counter moves.

Again, its why I am happy the Steelers didnt overpay him in this lastest contract, but would have been more happy if they found a better LT to protect Ben's blind side.

His pay for his play is about right... I agree. Sometimes (as we both have said) he is on... and when so, he is VERY good. But then a play later... splat.

At this point, I do think he is the weak point of the line. Then we move to other positions.

I wonder of John Kuhn can play LT?

tony hipchest
09-23-2009, 05:47 PM
Just so were all on the same page, that online manual IS for HS kids...that's why it's called "Fundamentals and Techniques" and not something like "Advanced Blocking techniques".

.well i cant wait for him to figure out the "advanced blocking techniques", write a manual about it, and then teach it to the steelers.

the chess/checkers analogy may be a bit to simplistic. checkers is writing the manual of basic fundamentals. chess is being able to pound it into 8 mens heads and see what is being taught bear fruit out on the field.

dom capers is considered one of the most organized, intelligent "manual writers" in the game. his notebooks and plans landed him 2 head coaching jobs. last year he was the patriots secondary coach.

bob wyley puts on the annual o-line coaches clinic every year to teach coaches at all levels.

http://www.thecoolclinic.com/

Dear Coach,



The Annual Offensive Line Clinic was held May 15 & 16, 2009 at the Millennium Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Grand Ballroom was packed to capacity as we welcomed coaches from 39 states and 2 countries, and it may have been our biggest.

The Friday Night session was outstanding. Mike Foley (UCONN) gave a thorough presentation on One Back Power Plays, Stacy Searels (Georgia) took us through his pass protection progression for individual drills, and Tom Bratton (Maryland) had a tremendous presentation on Goal Line Offense.

The Saturday Line Up was my most experienced in Clinic History. Mike Maser (35 year Veteran) gave a presentation on Fundamentals and Philosophy to build a solid Offensive Line. Mike then covered the Rap Draw and gadget plays such as the Wildcat. Tom Lovat (36 year Vet), presented on the Screen Game, for which he is famous for. Bill Muir,(44 Year Vet), covered 3 important topics, “4 Minute Offense, Short Yardage, and Goal Line. Super Bowl Champion Coach Larry Zierlein (34 Year Vet) followed up after lunch with “Drills and Footwork that translate to Game Situations” and then took us through the Steeler Draw! Finally, Jim McMally (43 Year Vet), was electric as ever giving us “Things You Need to Know that Work,” to round out a great clinic.

If you missed the clinic, I recommend purchasing the DVD Set. This is an outstanding bunch of guys. You will definitely learn a lot of football. Next year’s clinic is May 14 & 15, 2010. Please make plans to attend now!

Sincerely

Bob Wylie

Offensive Line Coach

he is currently out of the nfl and coaching in canada.

pat kirwan has coached at all levels. rose through the ranks to heading a front office and could easilly write a manual for GM's on contract negotiations, talent evaluation, and managing the cap. although he is employed by the nfl and cbs as a major contributor based on his knowledge of the game, he hasnt held a front office job for years.

while i didnt see where larry z's manual was intended for high schoolers, im figuring it is something he carries in with him for every job interview he goes to. it is part of his resume.

this is like in college. chemistry is all the same across the board. the periodic table chart is basic checkers. the chemistry book and the information delivered is all the same whether i go to a cheaper local state college or whether i go to MIT.

however, while all the information and textbooks are the same, you pay more for the teaching, hands on training, and reputation.

theres a ton of nfl jocks i could beat in chess any day of the week (kemoeatu, anthony smith, and v. young come to mind). perhaps part of the problem is trying to teach them chess instead of letting them just play checkers. at a certain point you just gotta k.i.s.s.

i applaud tomlin and arians for morphing and building the steelers into a team that can line up in any offensive formation, take what the defense gives, and win a superbowl (plus turn ben into a great passer, and willie into a league leading rusher).

but if we dont instantaneously switch from a 3-4/4-3, why should we expect to switch mid game from a zon to man-man blocking scheme.

it isnt that simple. i understand tinkering with it in camp to see if its a viable alternative. i would love to see ben sacked less than 10 times, or our running back have a terrel davis type year.

what i hate is seeing 4,5,6 year veteran linemen standing around looking confused as ben lies on his back.

joey porter said it best before the steelers beat up the colts in the 05 playoffs. you dont need coaches getting cute and trying to constantly out scheme the opponent, when you are physically capable of lining up and punching them in the mouth.

Preacher
09-23-2009, 05:54 PM
but if we dont instantaneously switch from a 3-4/4-3, why should we expect to switch mid game from a zon to man-man blocking scheme.

it isnt that simple. i understand tinkering with it in camp to see if its a viable alternative. i would love to see ben sacked less than 10 times, or our running back have a terrel davis type year.

Thing is... its been around with the Steelers since 2003... regardless of how much it is used.

I am starting to think back to some of the things that leaked out about Big Red. How he was unhappy with the new methods for blocking and such. Gotta wonder if this has anything to do with it.

tony hipchest
09-23-2009, 06:12 PM
Thing is... its been around with the Steelers since 2003... regardless of how much it is used.

I am starting to think back to some of the things that leaked out about Big Red. How he was unhappy with the new methods for blocking and such. Gotta wonder if this has anything to do with it.he was in love with grimm. smith called grimm the most awesome coach he ever been around, and im sure simmons and hartings felt the same.

grimm ran a very loose ship. all he cared about was the production on the field.

larry z came in and wanted conditioned players who were true to technique and wouldnt break down.

he ran his unit hard, just like tomlin did. the o-line missed the ol hawg who was more of a buddy and fellow player as opposed to a coach (smiths words).

larry z got smith into the weight room for the 1st time in years (again admitted by smith). perhaps if he did this the whole time, he wouldnt have had the chronic back issues, and still be playing. hartings career may have been extended, and simmons may not have been dumped a year or 2 into a lenghty extension due to poor health, colon may not have beat out starks.... faneca may still be a steeler. :noidea:

anyways, its been said faneca whined his way out of a contract extension, and jerome said the steelers held kordell back to avoid paying yet another HUGE contract. should we really take these guys words as gospel?

Preacher
09-23-2009, 07:39 PM
he was in love with grimm. smith called grimm the most awesome coach he ever been around, and im sure simmons and hartings felt the same.

grimm ran a very loose ship. all he cared about was the production on the field.

larry z came in and wanted conditioned players who were true to technique and wouldnt break down.
That I knew, and also realize that is definitely part of it. I also remember things coming about about him not liking changes in blocking scheme... It could very well have been the changes in Ben calling the blocking schemes a la Manning.

he ran his unit hard, just like tomlin did. the o-line missed the ol hawg who was more of a buddy and fellow player as opposed to a coach (smiths words).

larry z got smith into the weight room for the 1st time in years (again admitted by smith). perhaps if he did this the whole time, he wouldnt have had the chronic back issues, and still be playing.

that I didn't know... or didn't read. It does surprise me though. How in the world can you be at that level making that money and not spend time in the gym? Ok, if you are going the Troy P. route... but he still spends time in a gym atmosphere, just a very different type of training. You may be right Tony. A lot of weight training concerning the body core just may have extended his career (or not). Either way, I am not sure how 20 more pounds of muscle is going to hurt an O lineman.

hartings career may have been extended Don't think that one would have worked. Cartildge in the knees is a different ball game i think. and simmons may not have been dumped a year or 2 into a lenghty extension due to poor health Again, don't know about that one. The underlying issue with him was diabetes. That dang disease is like a .... well, some people reading this may have it, so I won't say. But I think it affected him more than we will ever know. colon may not have beat out starks His problem seems to be technique and laziness. However, could you imagine Colon with another 20 pounds of muscle? HEY... Can he play FB? :chuckle:.... faneca may still be a steeler. :noidea:
I doubt that one. I think he was to stuck in his ways. I just wonder if part of that was the scheming. I DO remember that being said at one point, but don't know, as I said up top, if that was more because Ben was starting to call out blocking schemes... or something to do with directing how the blocking was going to happen instead of the line.

anyways, its been said faneca whined his way out of a contract extension, and jerome said the steelers held kordell back to avoid paying yet another HUGE contract. should we really take these guys words as gospel?
As gospel? Nope. But there are facts, opinions, and guesses. I think faneca whining his way out of a contract is opinion. THere was definitely more behind it than that. But that is also my opinion. I believe it did come out as fact that there was tension between him and Arians.... but what that was, again, is anyones guess.

I was just wondering if part of that was WHAT blocking schemes were called. That's all.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 07:45 PM
Thing is... its been around with the Steelers since 2003... regardless of how much it is used.

I am starting to think back to some of the things that leaked out about Big Red. How he was unhappy with the new methods for blocking and such. Gotta wonder if this has anything to do with it.

And the "trap block" has been around the Steelers since the 60's. Its just another way to block a play in Pittsburgh.........not the foundation of the running game like its been in Denver, Indy, Washington, etc.

Faneca was mostly disgruntled because he wanted his $$$, he wanted Grimm to be the HC and didnt like having to use technique. Grimm was sloppy and didnt focus on technique like Zeirline does. Old dog..........new tricks.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2009, 07:51 PM
I was just wondering if part of that was WHAT blocking schemes were called. That's all. Doubtful...........Grimm had them using some zone blocking about as much as they do now.

Faneca wanted to get paid:

"I've been asking since February to trade me, to let me go," Faneca said. "I've done my piece, I've done my time, I've done everything I can for this organization.

"I lived and breathed Steelers football for nine years and gave them everything I had, helped them win a Super Bowl. In my mind, I've earned the right to be treated fairly. To make me go out there this year, play football with no security ... for what I've done for this organization, in my mind is not right."
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07132/785478-66.stm#ixzz0RyryNxDM

tony hipchest
09-23-2009, 08:05 PM
that I didn't know... or didn't read. It does surprise me though. How in the world can you be at that level making that money and not spend time in the gym? Ok, if you are going the Troy P. route... but he still spends time in a gym atmosphere, just a very different type of training. You may be right Tony. A lot of weight training concerning the body core just may have extended his career (or not). Either way, I am not sure how 20 more pounds of muscle is going to hurt an O lineman.



http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?p=564314&highlight=marvel+smith#post564314

heard an interview with marvel smith today. he said his greatest coach ever was russ grimm. said he made coming to work fun, and that he was just one of the guys, like a fellow lineman as opposed to a coach. said he never came across as an authorative figure and wasnt demanding. he was a fun guy to hang around with.

i just about got the feeling that it was almost boarderline taking shots at his current coach.

i was really beginning to hope we can keep smith for a reasonable contract with playing time incentives (smith said he's receptive to that in his next contract) but its becomming clear that the problem is just as much a bunch of spoiled veteran linemen who mightve gotten fat and lazy (wow, almost sounds like hampton) as it is their position coach.

smith did admit he is feeling great (several months ahead of his last back injury) and partially attributed it to actually working out and strengthening his core as opposed to just feeding it.

who'd a thunk excersizing your trunk would help heal and prevent back injuries. i wonder if the new coaching staff had any influence on that?

Preacher
09-23-2009, 08:18 PM
http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?p=564314&highlight=marvel+smith#post564314

:laughing: I had to go back and make sure I didn't post after that post.... Otherwise, I'd have probably read it and completely forgotten about it... I hate getting old!

Well, that, and I have the memory of a goldfish.

tony hipchest
09-23-2009, 08:59 PM
Well, that, and I have the memory of a goldfish.no worries.

i ( despite what you may have heard or any "short term" effects) have the memory of an elephant. :smoker:

:laughing:

Preacher
09-23-2009, 10:32 PM
no worries.

i ( despite what you may have heard or any "short term" effects) have the memory of an elephant. :smoker:

:laughing:

Really?

http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/GLOP/P431%7ESuper-Skunk-Posters.jpg

That's impressive!

:laughing::laughing::laughing:

tony hipchest
09-23-2009, 10:41 PM
:huh:

are you saying i stink?

Preacher
09-24-2009, 01:42 PM
:huh:

are you saying i stink?

yep... some kind of strange deep sweet smell