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  1. #1
    StillPurple is offline Hall of Famer
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    Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    Ok, I admit right up front that I am not an expert at all in this area. I am talking about zone blocking on the off. line. I know we did some of it last year. Maybe I am wrong, but I think we (AP + TJ) took some backfield sacks due to missed zone blocking assignments (looked that way to me sometimes). I just want to start a discussion of this. Do you think we will do it again this year, and is it good ? bad ? or not really that important ?

  2. #2
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    I do not expect the Vikings to change their blocking schemes much from last year.
    They return their entire offensive line and I don't see them changing them which will require additional time to "gel"


    Trust me, I'm a doctor.

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    NodakPaul's Avatar
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    You are absolutely correct in saying that we took some sacks due to missed blocking assignments.
    That is something we need to continue to improve upon.

    I do see us continuing the zone blocking scheme though.
    Zone blocking is great for what we do best - running the ball.
    It opens up lanes to run in.
    That, and switching blocking schemes is always ahrd, so I would prefer to stay with the one we have used for three years.

    One of the worst people for missing their blocking assignments was AD.
    I don't think he was used much as a blocker in college, and certainly not in a ZB scheme.
    And it showed.
    That was one of the big reasons that AD was never in on passing downs (which made our offense transparent at times).
    I expect this to be an area he improves at greatly this year, which will in turn make the play action pass with AD incredibly dangerous...
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

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  4. #4
    StillPurple is offline Hall of Famer
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    My understanding is also that zone blocking is often used by teams with new or relatively inexperienced linemen. You don't have to memorize your blocking assignments as much in the zone scheme. As long as you line up "hip to hip" and double-block the defender with the guy next to you, and then one of you releases to block the linebacker, you will be good. I think that is why teams like the Houston Texans use it.

    I also (correct me if I am wrong) think that zone blocking kind of has the connotation - among other NFL teams - of sort of being "cheating" or "cheap" a bit. I think that only three teams use it a lot: Green Bay, Houston, and Denver (Denver has a lot of "undersized" offensive linemen who are highly mobile, and to me, they are the prototype of the zone blocking offensive line). Most NFL teams do not use it that much.

    For a good discussion of zone blocking, check out: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5913890/Zone-Blocking-vs.-Man-Blocking
    They do mention in that article the chop blocks that are sometimes involved, which defense s consider "cheap shots". That is one reason I didn't like Denver or the Packers (like I need another reason to dislike Green Bay !).

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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    "StillPurple" wrote:
    My understanding is also that zone blocking is often used by teams with new or relatively inexperienced linemen. You don't have to memorize your blocking assignments as much in the zone scheme. As long as you line up "hip to hip" and double-block the defender with the guy next to you, and then one of you releases to block the linebacker, you will be good. I think that is why teams like the Houston Texans use it.

    I also (correct me if I am wrong) think that zone blocking kind of has the connotation - among other NFL teams - of sort of being "cheating" or "cheap" a bit. I think that only three teams use it a lot: Green Bay, Houston, and Denver (Denver has a lot of "undersized" offensive linemen who are highly mobile, and to me, they are the prototype of the zone blocking offensive line). Most NFL teams do not use it that much.

    For a good discussion of zone blocking, check out: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5913890/Zone-Blocking-vs.-Man-Blocking
    They do mention in that article the chop blocks that are sometimes involved, which defense s consider "cheap shots". That is one reason I didn't like Denver or the Packers (like I need another reason to dislike Green Bay !).
    and all of those teams are known as having good Offensive liines.
    Denver year in and year out has a terrific running game and an varying pass game (depends on what qb/recievers are playing) due to line blocking.
    For years Green Bay has had a Terrific Pass game.
    Brett Favre was one of the least sacked quarterbacks in the league and their run game with Ahman Green has been terrific for years, and its not because Green is a great runningback.
    I think the zone blocking scheme is the reason that every year Denver has a new runningback, and every year he produces 1000+ yards.

  6. #6
    Marrdro's Avatar
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    A few things.........

    First.
    We will continue to rely on the Zone Blocking scheme as it is designed to support the run first, protect the QB second mentality.

    Second.
    We don't just run the Zone Blocking scheme alone.
    In most cases we shift to a more traditional Man-to-Man when we are in passing situations based on what the defense shows pre-snap.

    Third.
    Our biggest problem with respect to pass protection is recognizing that we are going to get blitzed, recognize were the blitz is coming from and make pre-snap blocking adjustments to account for those blocking schemes.

    4th.
    The onus is on the QB and the C to make those adjustments.
    QB has the responsibility to make sure the RB/FB are aware of the blitz and the C has the responsibility to make sure the OL, TE and in some cases, WR's are aware of thier blocking responsibilitites/adjustments.

    Most important thing to remember about the scheme.

    http://espn.go.com/ncf/columns/davie/1440703.html
    What is zone blocking?
    Zone blocking in the running game is when two or three offensive linemen work in tandem as opposed to each offensive lineman having a specific, predetermined man to block. Zone blocking involves the center, guard, tackle and tight end working in combination to block an area with an emphasis on double-teaming the defensive linemen who are aligned on the line of scrimmage.
    What is the difference?

    Difference between man blocking and zone blocking
    Zone blocking first started to take place back when teams ran an old slant and angle defense. They would line head-up on an offensive lineman then slant the defense one way or another. It is easy to show this problem in man blocking and the best way to illustrate it is to show the defensive end pinching inside. If you are in man blocking and the tackle is assigned to the defensive end, he not only misses the defensive end pinching, but the DE knocks off the guard and keeps him from going to the linebacker.
    The hardest part to learn (and why it is so important to have continuity in your OL).

    but the beauty of it is that one of the offensive linemen will leave to attack the linebacker while one stays to take over the defensive lineman. The key is for the two offensive linemen working in unison to double-team the defensive lineman to decide who and when one of them will leave to block the linebacker.
    If they haven't been doing that for a while it gets ugly pretty fast.
    Probably the biggest reason why I don't believe some yutz rookie or Vet FA will just come in and unseat one of our starting OLmen.

    I can't stress enough how important it is that the OL have cohesion/continuity to ensure the ZB scheme works.

    Conclusion
    Zone blocking was created to handle moving defensive linemen. It is a simple concept, but it takes a lot of practice because it involves offensive linemen working in unison and decisions have to be made while the play is taking place. In zone blocking, you don't have a lot of different assignments, but you have a lot of techniques. It takes many repetitions to get the feel of working together as a unit. The diversity of zone blocking comes by the back running different angles and by the offense using different formations to confuse the defense.
    A few other articles that are very interesting if you want to take the time a couple of them even have a few new variants to the scheme that I like.

    http://www.americanfootballmonthly.c...zone_read.html
    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/200...analysis/2484/
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  7. #7
    Marrdro's Avatar
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    "StillPurple" wrote:
    My understanding is also that zone blocking is often used by teams with new or relatively inexperienced linemen. You don't have to memorize your blocking assignments as much in the zone scheme. As long as you line up "hip to hip" and double-block the defender with the guy next to you, and then one of you releases to block the linebacker, you will be good. I think that is why teams like the Houston Texans use it.
    I disagree.


    The level of expeirence has nothing to do with the success or use of the scheme.
    Traditionally the scheme requires that the OL are fast/athletic and not just maulers.

    A good example of who/what type of lineman succeed at the scheme has traditionally been the Denver Bronco's who traditionally drafted (in the past) smaller, quicker OL to employ the scheme.


    Here in MN you are seeing a bit different tact.
    We are drafting OL that do well in thier 3 Cone/Short Shuttle drills but also at least 20-30 lbs heavier.
    In fact that is why alot of people thought we wouldn't be able to succeed in employing the scheme becuase of how big our OL are when in fact, if one were to look (I did and started a thread on it) our OLmen are not only bigger than Denvers, but also were much quicker/athletic than the smaller guys Denver used.

    Again, experience level has nothing to do with it.

    I also (correct me if I am wrong) think that zone blocking kind of has the connotation - among other NFL teams - of sort of being "cheating" or "cheap" a bit. I think that only three teams use it a lot: Green Bay, Houston, and Denver (Denver has a lot of "undersized" offensive linemen who are highly mobile, and to me, they are the prototype of the zone blocking offensive line). Most NFL teams do not use it that much.
    You are correct in that statement.
    Denver OLmen were looked at as cheap/dirty blockers because they used alot of cut blocks.
    To date I don't think you see that said about our guys.
    They rely more on the traditional "Double team"/"One Player Disengages the Other Player Stayes Engaged" approach.


    Because one of our OLmen stay engaged, there is no need to cut block as the other OLmen moves toward the LB or second target.

    For a good discussion of zone blocking, check out: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5913890/Zone-Blocking-vs.-Man-Blocking
    They do mention in that article the chop blocks that are sometimes involved, which defense s consider "cheap shots". That is one reason I didn't like Denver or the Packers (like I need another reason to dislike Green Bay !).
    I provided a couple of other links as well that go a bit more indepth than that article.
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

  8. #8
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    If ZB requires decision making it must be why BMac is struggling.... I doubt he makes the right decisions as his off the field decisions are piss poor.


    Because it's used so little in the NFL, it's probably like switching to the 3-4 D.... takes time and the right personnel.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    "gagarr" wrote:
    If ZB requires decision making it must be why BMac is struggling.... I doubt he makes the right decisions as his off the field decisions are piss poor.


    Because it's used so little in the NFL, it's probably like switching to the 3-4 D.... takes time and the right personnel.
    Actually if you go back and watch highlights Mac is often doing his job to perfection. It's between Hutch and Birk and the Rb. However, if you have 6 on the line and they rush 8 no type of zone blocking can help you. We faced this alot towards the end of last year and our Coaches did not adjust.

  10. #10
    Marrdro's Avatar
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    Re: Zone blocking - again in '08 ?

    "kevoncox" wrote:
    "gagarr" wrote:
    If ZB requires decision making it must be why BMac is struggling.... I doubt he makes the right decisions as his off the field decisions are piss poor.


    Because it's used so little in the NFL, it's probably like switching to the 3-4 D.... takes time and the right personnel.
    Actually if you go back and watch highlights Mac is often doing his job to perfection. It's between Hutch and Birk and the Rb. However, if you have 6 on the line and they rush 8 no type of zone blocking can help you. We faced this alot towards the end of last year and our Coaches did not adjust.
    I don't think we have a problem with ZBing or with Man-to-man blocking schemes.
    Most of the times we had pass protection issues in when it appeared we had a running play called (ZB) and we switched to a pass play.

    Its hard to really know that for sure based on what we see on TV but Baldy did a good analysis on our OL during the "NFC Playbook" one week and that is what he keyed on.

    By the way, I love NFLN just for that type of film breakdown they do.
    ;D
    Many many thanks to my talented friend Jos for the new Sig.http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v343/josdin00/Vikings/Marrdro_sig.jpg

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