Author Topic: Inside Zone Combos  (Read 12984 times)

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Offline Seabass

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #60 on: November 27, 2016, 08:23:30 PM »
I just finished my second season coaching zone as our base or primary run blocking scheme. I'll admit that we were 80/20 OZ/IZ but that our biggest plays came from IZ. I'm coaching 7th and 8th graders for the most part. We do have 2- 6th graders playing with us. I don't have a million years worth of coaching experience like some of these guys do. I never played the position of O-line, hell I didn't even play all that much football. Just putting that out there so as not to falsely advertise my advice.

We were terrible running it in our first year. Our O-line wasn't very good and when they were our backs ruined anything positive we did up front. I know this isn't a thread about backs but their job is equally as important. I stuck with zone because I like the idea of being able to block any front we saw without the need for massive game planning adjustments. It seemed like every team we played this season ran a 5-3 with a 9 tech. That probably has a lot to do with the 80/20 OZ vs IZ. I stole and modified a phrase from Zach, "put your DE in a 9 and we are all but guaranteed 9 ourselves".

I took Michael's approach to the whole deal and it worked well for us. Our O-line produced a 2,600/21 TD RB. Before you get your panties in a wad....that kid was a converted TE from the year prior. He's no super freak!  To me zone blocking was like pick and roll in the sense that it's conceptually as simple as it gets but it takes a ton of reps to make it work consistently. Every pick and roll ends unravels its self differently because its dynamic. Not every defender defends it the same way and that forces the offensive players to make decisions on the fly. I got a lot more comfortable once I realized zone blocking is as much art as it is science and it takes time. For youth players, I would argue that it takes more time than most are willing to dedicate.

We spent as much time working on "how" we would block as we did "who" we were going to block. Most of the time we didn't get into a combo because it wasn't needed. Most of our combos cam on IZ runs. We got some awesome combos (the kind that make a coach want to cry tears of joy) but it wasn't a focal point for us. If it happened it happened and only because it probably need to. Our rule (again Michael's) was that the uncovered backside guy established the combo if it was necessary. We looked at every combo as a 2 on 2 that ended 1 on 1.

The 2 things that made us successful were....

1-Learn how to block as if you will never have help. By the time the whistle blows you WILL be in a 1 on 1 with somebody.

2-NEVER get spit...it doesn't matter who has who if neither of you get anyone. A devastating double team on a LB doesn't mean shit if the DT crushed our guy in the backfield

We used a TON of practice time and we didn't really get very good until October, we started August 1 and went 4 times/week until September and went 3 times/week after that. Some would probably get it done faster but it took me that long as a 2nd year OL coach. After the season my OC admitted that he was very frustrated with me for the first month of practice because I took my guys for 1 hour every day. He thought we should be running offense as a team. Luckily I'm the HC and I took how ever much time I thought we would need. After the first game he almost had me convinced to abandon it because we has another scheme that worked well game 1. I'm glad I stuck to my guns because it paid off later on.

We used the sled a LOT in August and September. We also used medicine balls, Michael's 1 & 2 board drills to teach how to block. Michael's 2- cone drill became the staple for working on combo's. I made my OC learn Zach's pre-snap read system for our backs and that combination made us pretty damn good by the end of November when we played in the regional championship game.

I think we made it clear and simple for our guys and that helped because they are too young to understand "concepts". I think the more clear you make it the better your results will be....even if that means breaking traditional rule or two along the way. We had some guys block back against the play when they really should have flowed play-side and found the next guy BUT we didn't end up with lineman NOT blocking ANYBODY on a play because we made the rules too esoteric. If number 55 is your guy then you damn well better block his ass.

Hope that helps and for 10$ you can get the same instruction I got.


Offline coachmsl

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #61 on: November 27, 2016, 09:09:08 PM »
I just finished my second season coaching zone as our base or primary run blocking scheme. I'll admit that we were 80/20 OZ/IZ but that our biggest plays came from IZ. I'm coaching 7th and 8th graders for the most part. We do have 2- 6th graders playing with us. I don't have a million years worth of coaching experience like some of these guys do. I never played the position of O-line, hell I didn't even play all that much football. Just putting that out there so as not to falsely advertise my advice.

We were terrible running it in our first year. Our O-line wasn't very good and when they were our backs ruined anything positive we did up front. I know this isn't a thread about backs but their job is equally as important. I stuck with zone because I like the idea of being able to block any front we saw without the need for massive game planning adjustments. It seemed like every team we played this season ran a 5-3 with a 9 tech. That probably has a lot to do with the 80/20 OZ vs IZ. I stole and modified a phrase from Zach, "put your DE in a 9 and we are all but guaranteed 9 ourselves".

I took Michael's approach to the whole deal and it worked well for us. Our O-line produced a 2,600/21 TD RB. Before you get your panties in a wad....that kid was a converted TE from the year prior. He's no super freak!  To me zone blocking was like pick and roll in the sense that it's conceptually as simple as it gets but it takes a ton of reps to make it work consistently. Every pick and roll ends unravels its self differently because its dynamic. Not every defender defends it the same way and that forces the offensive players to make decisions on the fly. I got a lot more comfortable once I realized zone blocking is as much art as it is science and it takes time. For youth players, I would argue that it takes more time than most are willing to dedicate.

We spent as much time working on "how" we would block as we did "who" we were going to block. Most of the time we didn't get into a combo because it wasn't needed. Most of our combos cam on IZ runs. We got some awesome combos (the kind that make a coach want to cry tears of joy) but it wasn't a focal point for us. If it happened it happened and only because it probably need to. Our rule (again Michael's) was that the uncovered backside guy established the combo if it was necessary. We looked at every combo as a 2 on 2 that ended 1 on 1.

The 2 things that made us successful were....

1-Learn how to block as if you will never have help. By the time the whistle blows you WILL be in a 1 on 1 with somebody.

2-NEVER get spit...it doesn't matter who has who if neither of you get anyone. A devastating double team on a LB doesn't mean shit if the DT crushed our guy in the backfield

We used a TON of practice time and we didn't really get very good until October, we started August 1 and went 4 times/week until September and went 3 times/week after that. Some would probably get it done faster but it took me that long as a 2nd year OL coach. After the season my OC admitted that he was very frustrated with me for the first month of practice because I took my guys for 1 hour every day. He thought we should be running offense as a team. Luckily I'm the HC and I took how ever much time I thought we would need. After the first game he almost had me convinced to abandon it because we has another scheme that worked well game 1. I'm glad I stuck to my guns because it paid off later on.

We used the sled a LOT in August and September. We also used medicine balls, Michael's 1 & 2 board drills to teach how to block. Michael's 2- cone drill became the staple for working on combo's. I made my OC learn Zach's pre-snap read system for our backs and that combination made us pretty damn good by the end of November when we played in the regional championship game.

I think we made it clear and simple for our guys and that helped because they are too young to understand "concepts". I think the more clear you make it the better your results will be....even if that means breaking traditional rule or two along the way. We had some guys block back against the play when they really should have flowed play-side and found the next guy BUT we didn't end up with lineman NOT blocking ANYBODY on a play because we made the rules too esoteric. If number 55 is your guy then you damn well better block his ass.

Hope that helps and for 10$ you can get the same instruction I got.

Thanks Coach

I imagine we will see a lot of 53 with wide 9's as well.  Seems to be the default.  I might have to check out those clinic tapes!!
What makes the grass grow?...........BLOOD!

Offline Seabass

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #62 on: November 27, 2016, 09:33:24 PM »
I'm not sure why teams didn't play us differently. We ran outside the tackles 4-5 times the entire season but everybody played us the same way. We probably gained 1500 yards this season running under those 9's.

Offline coachmsl

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #63 on: November 27, 2016, 09:38:57 PM »
I'm not sure why teams didn't play us differently. We ran outside the tackles 4-5 times the entire season but everybody played us the same way. We probably gained 1500 yards this season running under those 9's.
Tell me  how your G/T dealt with DT and OLB on OZ.
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Offline Seabass

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2016, 12:16:02 AM »
I think somebody asked early on about your scheme....how we handle a 5-3 and how might do it could different. Your personel and alignment would make a difference.

We used a TE and an H back of sorts.  OZ for us against a 5-3 with a 3tech and 9 play side would have the C on his own, G&T would have the 3 tech and Mike (sometimes it would end up with G on the Mike and T on the DT OR the reverse depending on how those defenders played it. The OLB was handled by TE because we kicked the 9 with our H back.

I have no idea if that is sound or would work for you. We saw that same defense so many times that our kids could block it on auto pilot. I should say they knew WHO to block on autopilot. Sometimes you face an athlete that kicks your ass.

Offline coachmsl

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #65 on: November 28, 2016, 12:22:55 AM »
I think somebody asked early on about your scheme....how we handle a 5-3 and how might do it could different. Your personel and alignment would make a difference.

We used a TE and an H back of sorts.  OZ for us against a 5-3 with a 3tech and 9 play side would have the C on his own, G&T would have the 3 tech and Mike (sometimes it would end up with G on the Mike and T on the DT OR the reverse depending on how those defenders played it. The OLB was handled by TE because we kicked the 9 with our H back.

I have no idea if that is sound or would work for you. We saw that same defense so many times that our kids could block it on auto pilot. I should say they knew WHO to block on autopilot. Sometimes you face an athlete that kicks your ass.

Thanks Coach!  Look forward to talking to you this offseason.
What makes the grass grow?...........BLOOD!

Offline blockandtackle

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2016, 01:19:25 AM »
I know that I just posted about how Inside Zone could be your entire run game, but if you're seeing 5-3 a lot, that's when you want to use a TE (and maybe a WB) and hit them with Power or Counter.  Block down on everything from C gap on inside, kick the 9, and run off tackle.  You have the leverage.  If they slide their front to the strength, then you attack the new bubbles that get created in the middle.

If you wanted to use the "All Zone" plays I mentioned earlier against this, I'd consider putting a TE and a WB in there, going Trips or End Over, and then running the Inverted Veer with that Wide 9 isolated for the read and the stacks all being down blocked.  That's something I'd take a long look at.  Also, going with a double tight look and running zone counter or spread them out to see if they go with the spread receivers would be other things that look good.

Offline Seabass

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2016, 02:44:15 AM »
We used an inverted veer scheme as our second scheme. To me it was zone blocking against the play instead of with it AND because we spent so much time on combos we were pretty good with any head up player when blocking down. Our rule was inside gap/on/Line backer. We used the uncovered player to help on his way to the backside LB if his buddy inside had a DL on him. We also left the DE to be read by QB or kicked by a WB.

Offline ZACH

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2016, 12:44:36 PM »
The 9tech qoute i stole from philly sports radio when Juan Castillo when we ran the wide 9.

Radio host " this defense sucks, the language barrier makes it look like the wide 9 is where we line up wide and they get 9"

After almost crashing my car laughing i used that a thought for zone.

If you give me "red" (3 tech ) and you give me a 9 with a lb for C gap i will expect us to run you into the ground if we cant get good yards its a blocking issue flat out.

Seabass if you want to go over an easy audible system for run plays pm me
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Offline Seabass

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #69 on: November 28, 2016, 02:11:53 PM »
Zach- I will take you up on that. I was going to e-mail you soon anyway. I am way behind on stuff at work so it might take me a few days. Thanks!

Offline ZACH

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #70 on: November 28, 2016, 02:37:26 PM »
Zach- I will take you up on that. I was going to e-mail you soon anyway. I am way behind on stuff at work so it might take me a few days. Thanks!

Im in hawaii for the next few weeks so email me first.
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Offline coacho

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #71 on: November 28, 2016, 07:38:23 PM »
This is a video clip of my team using the OZ blocking for the Jet from our Nasty Set. Watch the right side of our formation. The kids did a nice job.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2016, 08:55:59 PM by coacho »

Offline defensewins

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #72 on: December 04, 2016, 10:51:15 PM »
To add to what has already been said...we "deliver the DL to the LB's Lap".  If that is a passive action, they my jimmy's are better than your joe's and it won't matter what I teach. 

the other thing is that OL have to KNOW (drilled in to them so it is second nature) the relationship between space and leaving the combo/DL...in other words, "when to come off of the DL."  The distance/space between an OL and an LB that the OL needs to stay on the DL or leave to the LB is going to be different for each OL.  I start with "an arm's length away" and adjust for each player, as needed.  Just as an example, let's say that a RG and a C are combo'ing a DL inside shade of the RG and an LB stacked in the B gap to the right, while running IZ to the right...

RG will go "big to to little toe" with his right foot and slam his left flipper into the near number of the DL.  It is imperative that the RG does NOT put his right hand on the DL, as this will turn his shoulders and, therefore, take his eyes off of the LB.  The C will step to take the playside number of the DL, and get hip to hip with the RG.  As the playside LB comes downhill to break glass through the B gap, the RG will stay on the DL until the LB is an arm's length away from the LB...once the LB has gotten to that distance, then and only then, will the RG come off to the LB with a great base. 

Offline Michael

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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2016, 11:17:33 PM »
To add to what has already been said...we "deliver the DL to the LB's Lap".  If that is a passive action, they my jimmy's are better than your joe's and it won't matter what I teach. 

the other thing is that OL have to KNOW (drilled in to them so it is second nature) the relationship between space and leaving the combo/DL...in other words, "when to come off of the DL."  The distance/space between an OL and an LB that the OL needs to stay on the DL or leave to the LB is going to be different for each OL.  I start with "an arm's length away" and adjust for each player, as needed.  Just as an example, let's say that a RG and a C are combo'ing a DL inside shade of the RG and an LB stacked in the B gap to the right, while running IZ to the right...

RG will go "big to to little toe" with his right foot and slam his left flipper into the near number of the DL.  It is imperative that the RG does NOT put his right hand on the DL, as this will turn his shoulders and, therefore, take his eyes off of the LB.  The C will step to take the playside number of the DL, and get hip to hip with the RG.  As the playside LB comes downhill to break glass through the B gap, the RG will stay on the DL until the LB is an arm's length away from the LB...once the LB has gotten to that distance, then and only then, will the RG come off to the LB with a great base.

Our rule was you can't leave early and lose the LB over the top (which means he was never yours) and get picked, and you can't leave late and have him go past you before you get there.  In between those two points is (a) some time and (b) some space on the field.  That's the sweet spot.  You leave when the LB is in the sweet spot.  Not before and not after, but as soon as you know for a fact he is in it.  We did a ton of a particular drill that really helped the kids get good at it.
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Re: Inside Zone Combos
« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2016, 03:22:19 PM »
If you are chasing linebackers going east and west, it is not a wonder zone doesn't work for you.
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