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03SM Mitch Browning

03SM Mitch Browning

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Published by coachkramer

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Published by: coachkramer on Nov 14, 2008
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06/22/2010

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O
n behalf of the entire staff at theUniversity of Minnesota I would like tothank the AFCASummer Manual Committee for inviting me to share with you our thoughtsabout the inside zone. We have been run-ning, researching and fine-tuning this play fora number of years, going back to our days atthe University of Kansas. There are a num-ber of coaches that have impacted and influ-enced my thoughts, and I would be remissnot to thank them for their contributions tothe improvement of the play.First and foremost, Head Coach GlenMason has always had a strong commit-ment to the development of the runninggame. Those directly involved; our formero ffensive line coaches Pat Ruel, ElliotUzelac and Steve Loney, and indirectly, twooffensive line coaches for whom I have greatadmiration and respect, Jerry Hanlon andLarry Beightol. All of these coaches havehad a tremendous impact on me from botha fundamental and schematic standpoint.The ability to run the football is a thing ofbeauty. It is an art. It takes a tremendousamount of time, effort, and patience. Thereis no easy way or short cut to having agreat running game. It’s an ATTITUDE! Youand everyone involved have to be totallycommitted. Realistically, the running gameis not for everyone.Upon taking over the Gopher program inDecember of 1996, Coach Mason chal-lenged us to develop and produce ano ffense based on an effective runninggame. Undoubtedly, the development andconsistency of our running game would beimperative to our success at the Universityof Minnesota. We knew this would not bean overnight process since Minnesota hadconsistently ranked near the bottom inrushing offense nationally and in the BigTen. Patience but perseverance!Based on our offensive success atKansas and the personnel we inherited atMinnesota, we decided that the zone run-ning game gave us the greatest chance forsuccess. We were going to hang our hat onzone blocking.
What is Zone Blocking?
Zone blocking is two adjacent offensivelinemen responsible for blocking twodefenders in a certain area. As movementbegins, either the inside or the outsideoffensive lineman remains engaged andblocks the down defender and the remain-ing offensive lineman comes off and blocksthe second level defender.
The Purpose of Zone Blocking1.
Deny penetration.
2.
Create movement on level one, theline of scrimmage.
3.
Seal off the onside/playside linebacker.
Why the Inside Zone?1.
We can run it from multiple formationsand backfield sets (15 different sets in ‘02).
2.
We can, do and must run it to both thetight end and split end.
3.
We can, do and must run it into every-thing. We run it to both the low shade andthe three technique.
4.
We keep it simple, allowing our offen-sive linemen, tight end(s), runningback(s)and wide receiver(s) to be confident andaggressive.
5.
We don’t have to have superior play-ers to be successful.
6.
We minimize mistakes, which resultsin very few lost yardage plays.
7.
We have a minimal number of tech-niques for offensive linemen/tight end(s).
8.
We can game plan by personnelgroups/formations to gain advantages.
9.
It typically features our best player,runningback.
10.
Misdirection off the inside zone —keeps, nakeds, bootlegs and reverses.
11.
It sets up our play-action passinggame.The inside zone play (Diagrams 1, 2, 3)has been the “bread and butter” play in ourrushing offense since 1997. Over the courseof the 2001 and 2002 seasons, our insidezone has accounted for 26 percent of ourcalled running game, 26 percent of our rush-ing offense and has averaged 5.43 yards percarry.
Minnesota’sBread andButter:The InsideZone
 
Diagram 1Diagram 2
 
Offensive Line Requirements1.
Deny penetration.
2 .
Control and/or get movement ondefensive lineman.
3.
Stretch defenders east and west tocreate seams and running lanes.
4.
Get to the point of attack.
5.
Come off the ball with short steps andflat backs.
6.
Keep hips and shoulders square.
7.
Maintain proper splits: two feet-twofeet-three feet.
8.
Take proper aiming points and hitlandmarks, the playside number.
Running Back Requirements1 .
Align with heels at six-and-a-halfyards.
2.
Footwork — open, crossover, plant,and square shoulders to line of scrimmage.
Aiming point:
One yard behind originalalignment of tight end.
3.
Keys:Primary key — run off blocking of firstdown defender (Diagrams 4 thru 7).Secondary key — next adjacent defend-er on line of scrimmage.
4.
Runningback can and must helplinemen.Move the linebackers — run a disci-plined track.Press the hole — B gap.Patience! It’s not the speed to thehole, but the speed through the hole.
5.
In my opinion the biggest mistake acoach makes is to draw the runningbackcourse as a cutback (Diagram 8).
Quarterback Requirements1.
Open with depth to five or seveno’clock with ball seated.
2.
Get the ball to the runningback asdeep as possible. The runningback mustpress the “B gap” (Diagram 9).
3.
Always carry out a good boot fake.
Wide Receiver Requirements1.
Crack safeties.
2.
Man block — stalk or run off the corners.In our inside zone blocking, our linemanmust know:• Rule — block playside gap — eithercovered or uncovered.Technique — stretch base.Proper fundamentals.If offensive lineman to your inside iscovered (ex. 5 & 9 technique), the offensiveguard-offensive tackle are the tandem andthe tight end is “manned-up.” His techniqueis to “base block.” The defender and hislandmark tighten down to the defender’ssternum because he has no inside help.Our inside zone utilizes power zoneblocking schemes, and we talk in terms ofoffensive linemen/tight end being coveredor uncovered. Defensive front recognitionand communication between linemen/tightend(s) is essential to insure everyone is onthe same page and to correctly identifytandems. The coaching points and tech-niques coached and executed up front arethe same from position to position. Thisenables us to effectively interchange per-sonnel within our offensive linemen andallows us to rep and coach five, six, orseven positions simultaneously dependingon personnel. Due to the nature of this play,we consider everyone up front to be point-of-attack blockers. We do not “butt block”on this play.
Covered Blocker vs. Down Defender
The covered blocker’s rule is to stretchbase the defender using a 4-6 inch quicklead step with the outside foot. The width orangle of the first step is determined by thealignment of the defender.The wider thedefender, the wider the first step. As a gen-eral rule, we want the first step to be slight-ly wider than the defender’s outside foot.This opens our hips to the target.The second step with the inside foot isin the crotch of the defender and is also ashort 4-6 inch step.The third step is a width step. It isimportant to press the defender and staysquare. This widens or stretches him.• Our landmark and contact point isnose and eyes to the playside number withour inside hand contacting the opponent’ssternum. We are going to get movement offthe ball and/or widening and stretching bythe defender to create wider running lanes.We must deliver a blow by cocking ourelbow tips and punching the defender’sbreastplate as we come off the ball.• If the defender widens, stay squareand continue to widen and stretch him.
Diagram 3Diagram 4Diagram 5Diagram 6Diagram 7Diagram 8 WrongDiagram 9 Correct

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