Zone Blocking Part II: Footwork, Blocking Schemes

Ken Wilmesherr Offensive Line Coach Grossmont College kwilmesh@cox.net

Inside and Outside Zone
W E T M N E S

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ZONE FOOTWORK

FOOTWORK
The 1st step is a directional (position) step. The 2nd step is a power step with the emphasis getting it on the ground as soon as possible. I talk in terms of Position-Power. The footwork for zone is different than most other offensive plays. The tighter the down defenders alignment the tighter the steps. Offensive linemen will step simultaneously taking either a 6-inch lateral jab step (set to drive directional step) or a bucket step with an angle of departure at 45 degrees (set to reach directional step) to the left or right when executing the footwork for the zone play. All linemen need to maintain their directional track.

FOOTWORK
STEPS: Covered steps for covered linemen on inside zone. 6-inch lateral jab step (set to drive). Uncovered steps for uncovered linemen on inside zone. Bucket step angle of departure 45 degrees (set to reach). Steps for linemen on outside zone. All linemen will bucket step (set to reach). Driving your backside knee is crucial. We want to to take our backside knee and drive it vertically through the defenders crotch. We do this on both first and second level defenders.

UNCOVERED STEPS

UNCOVERED STEPS for UNCOVERED LINEMEN
A wide defender (covered playside). An uncovered lineman in the zone concept. First step (position) is a bucket step (set to reach); the angle of departure is 45 degrees. The angle of departure will not change, but the depth of the bucket step will depending on the alignment of the down defender. The hip will open at a 45 degree angle to the sideline. The target will open the hip to a 45 degree angle. Second step (power) is a vertical step to and through the defenders crotch (knee to and through the crotch). The speed of the second step is so important. Third step will square the offensive linemen up field.

UNCOVERED STEPS for UNCOVERED LINEMEN
UNCOVERED STEPS
We speak in terms of ³losing ground to gain ground´ for uncovered linemen.

2

3

Losing ground to gain ground allows the uncovered linemen to get on the proper angle to make the block. Angle of departure 45 degrees

1

COVERED STEPS

COVERED STEPS for COVERED LINEMEN
First step (position) is a 6-inch lateral jab step (set to drive) with the call side foot. Second step (power) is a vertical step to and through the down defenders crotch (knee to and through the crotch). The lineman¶s base will narrow slightly. It is important to get the second step in the ground as soon as possible. The speed of the second step is important. Third step will square the offensive lineman up field. It is important to keep the shoulders square.

COVERED STEPS for COVERED LINEMEN
COVERED STEPS

2

3
6-inch lateral jab step to gain width

1

FOOTWORK OUTSIDE ZONE

FOOTWORK OUTSIDE ZONE
On outside zone all linemen will take uncovered steps. First step (position) is a bucket step (set to reach). Angle of departure is at a 45 degrees. The target will put lineman at a 45 degree angle. Second step (power) is an outside reach step trying to step on the outside toes of the defender. Third step will square the offensive linemen. Linemen are trying to rip the funnel. The funnel is the elbow, ribs, and arm pit of the defender. BUCKET, CROSS OVER, RIP.

FOOTWORK OUTSIDE ZONE
FOOTWORK OUTSIDE ZONE

We speak in terms of ³losing ground to gain ground´ for uncovered linemen.

2

3
Angle of departure 45 degrees

Losing ground to gain ground allows the uncovered linemen to get on the proper angle to make the block.

1

TECHNIQUE, CALLS for UNCOVERED LINEMEN

It is imperative that uncovered linemen understand the down defenders alignment (inside technique, headed up, technique or outside technique) on the playside or call side covered lineman. W
vs. a 2i technique

E

T

2i, 4i, 7 tech call, there is a greater chance (80%) the uncovered linemen will end up blocking the inside shaded defender (inside shaded alignment) unless the defender sparks or buffs.

0, 2 ,4, 6 tech call, there is a half the chance (50%) the uncovered lineman will end up blocking the head up defender technique (head up alignment). The defender can slant to either gap from a head up alignment. W E T
vs. a 2 technique

3, 5, 9 tech call, there is a slight chance (20%) the uncovered lineman will end up blocking the 3, 5, or 9 technique (outside shaded alignment) unless the defender sparks or buffs. W E T
vs. a 3 technique

TECHNIQUE CALLS
DEFENSIVE MOVEMENT: Buff: a stunt angled movement away from where the defender is aligned. T BUFF T

Slant: a stunt to a specific gap from a head up alignment. T SLANT T

TECHNIQUE CALLS
DEFENSIVE MOVMENT: Spark: a stunt angled by a defensive lineman aiming at the ear hole of the offensive lineman to his inside or outside. T SPARK T

THIN and THICK CALLS

THIN & THICK
Covered linemen will make a ³thin´ or ³thick´ calls. These calls are determined by the LB¶s alignment at depth. For example, if the defensive structure is a 4-3, the center will make a defensive recognition call to alert the entire line. The backside guard will then make a co-op call to alert the backside tackle. The covered lineman will make a ³thick´ or ³thin´ call at the L.O.S..

W E T E

W T

³THIN´

³THICK´

THICK
³Thick´ call the backside tackle and guard are blocking the 2 or 3 techniques to the WILL LB (4i at depth), the WILL is thick on the 2 or 3 techniques (the WILL is stacked on the END or in the C gap on the backside) the backside guard will hang getting vertical push on the down defender (1st level defender) creating a double team until the WILL LB commits.
WILL LB is thick

W E T

BST & BSG ³Thick Call´

THIN
³Thin´ call the WILL LB (3 technique at depth) is splitting the crotch or stacked over the 2 or 3 technique, the guard will make a thin call to alert the tackle that he will not hang on the 1st level defender. The footwork will also change on a thin call the guard will take uncovered steps.

WILL LB is Thin

W T

M T

MIKE LB is Thick

E

BST & BSG ³Thin Call´/ C & PSG ³Thick Call´

THIN & THICK
If the linebacker is aligned over the call side linemen he will make a thin call to alert the backside lineman he will have very little to no help on the down defender. Both linemen will execute a bucket (set to reach) step aiming for the call side shoulders of the defenders. If the linebacker is aligned over the backside lineman the call side lineman will make a thick call and hang on the down defender one arm benching, maintaining pressure and inside leverage as both linemen work to the second level defender.

CO-OPS

CO-OPS
Co-ops in the zone concept are defined as two or more adjacent linemen working together on a down defender on level one to a second defender on level two. There are playside and backside co-ops. The line calls start from the call side out and working in to the backside. Thin and thick calls are made depending on the alignment of the second level defender.

BACKSIDE CO-OPS

CO-OPS
BACKSIDE CO-OPS: Slug: Backside TE and Backside Tackle. Buzz: Backside TE and Backside Tackle working to a Safety on the second level. Swap: Backside Tackle and Backside Guard. Scoop: Backside Guard and Center. Solid: Backside TE, Backside Tackle and Backside Guard. Trip: Backside Tackle, Backside Guard and Center.

Backside co-op between the Backside TE and the Backside Tackle. Slug Call. W E
SLUG

Backside co-op between the Backside TE and the Backside Tackle working to a Safety on the second level. Buzz Call. SS W E
BUZZ

Backside co-op between the Backside Tackle and the Backside Guard. Swap Call. W E T
SWAP

Backside co-op between the Backside Guard and the Center. Scoop Call. M N
SCOOP

Backside co-op between the Backside TE, Backside Tackle and the Backside Guard. Solid Call. M W E T
SOLID

Backside co-op between the Backside Tackle, Backside Guard and the Center. Trip Call. W E T N
TRIP

PLAYSIDE CO-OPS

CO-OPS
PLAYSIDE CO-OPS: Single: Center and Playside Guard. Double: Playside Guard and Playside Tackle. Triple: Playside Tackle and Playside TE. Gang: Backside Tackle, Backside Guard, Center, and Playside Guard. Trio: Playside Guard, Center, and Backside Guard. Triplet: Playside Guard, Playside Tackle, and Playside TE.

Playside co-op between the Center and the Playside Guard. Single Call. M T
SINGLE

Playside co-op between the Playside Guard and the Playside Tackle. Double Call. M N E
DOUBLE

Playside co-op between the Playside Tackle and the Playside TE. Triple Call. S E T
TRIPLE

Playside co-op between the Backside Tackle, Backside Guard, Center, and Playside Guard. Gang Call. M N

T

T

GANG

Playside co-op between the Backside Guard, Center, and Playside Guard. Trio Call. M N T
TRIO

Playside co-op between the Playside Guard, Playside Tackle, and the Playside TE. Triplet Call. M N E S
TRIPLET

ZONE SCHEMES

SCHEME

Scheme is defined as a combination of blocks in either the running game or passing game.

WEAK INSIDE ZONE vs. 5-3

WEAK INSIDE ZONE Vs. 5-3
TE: Set to Reach; (Buzz call) with the Tackle SST: Set to Drive; ³Thick´ (Buzz call) with TE SSG: Set to Drive; (Scoop call) with Center C: Set to Reach; ³Thick´ (Scoop call) with SSG BSG: Set to Drive; maintain inside leverage BST: Set to Drive; maintain inside leverage

W E

WEAK INSIDE ZONE Vs. 5-3 SS M T N T S

W E

WEAK INSIDE ZONE Vs. 5-3 SS M T N T S

W E

WEAK INSIDE ZONE Vs. 5-3 SS M T N T S

W E

WEAK INSIDE ZONE Vs. 5-3 SS M T N T S

W E

WEAK INSIDE ZONE Vs. 5-3 SS M
SCOOP BUZZ

T

N

T

S

OUTSIDE ZONE vs. 4-3

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3
TE: Set to Reach; (Triple call) with the Tackle SST: Set to Reach; (Triple call) with TE SSG: Set to Reach; (Single call) with Center C: Set to Reach; (Single call) with SSG BSG: Set to Reach; (Swap call) with BST BST: Set to Reach; (Swap call) with BSG

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 W S M E T T E

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 W S M E T T E

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 W S M E T T E

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 W S M E T T E

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 W S M E T T E

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 W S M
SWAP SINGLE TRIPLE

E

T

T

E

INSIDE ZONE vs. 4-3

INSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3
TE: Set to Drive; ³Thick´ (Triple call) with the Tackle SST: Set to Reach; (Triple call) with TE SSG: Set to Drive; ³Thick´ (Single call) with Center C: Set to Reach; (Single call) with SSG BSG: Set to Drive; ³Thick´ (Swap call) with BST BST: Set to Reach; (Swap call) with BSG

W E

INSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 M T T

S E

W E

INSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 M T T

S E

W E

INSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 M T T

S E

W E

INSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 M T T

S E

W E

INSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 M T T

S E

W
SWAP

INSIDE ZONE Vs. 4-3 M
SINGLE

S
TRIPLE

E

T

T

E

OUTSIDE ZONE vs. EAGLE WEAK

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak
TE: Set to Reach; Maintain inside leverage, possible Triplet with Tackle and Guard SST: Set to Reach; Maintain inside leverage, possible Triplet with TE and Guard or possible Double with Guard SSG: Set to Reach; possible Triplet with TE and Tackle or possible Double with Tackle C: Set to Reach; (Scoop call) with BSG BSG: Set to Reach; (Scoop call) with Center BST: Cut the 3 technique

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

OUTSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

INSIDE ZONE vs. EAGLE WEAK

INSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak
TE: Set to Drive; Maintain inside leverage SST: Set to Drive; Maintain inside leverage, possible double with SSG SSG: Set to Drive; ³Thin´ (Single call) with Center, or possible Double with SST

INSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak Cont.
C: Set to Reach; (Single call) with SSG or a possible Trip call with the BSG and BST BSG: Set to Reach; ³Thin´ (Swap call) with Tackle or a possible Trip call with Center and BST BST: Set to Reach; (Swap call) with BSG or a Trip call with the Center and BSG

INSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

INSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

INSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

INSIDE ZONE Vs. Eagle Weak W M E T N E S

CONTACT INFORMATION

Copyright © 2006, Ken Wilmesherr and Grossmont College. All rights reserved

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