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Football 101 - Explaining Offensive Line Schemes

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    I thought I'd do a post about offensive line schemes as these always used to go down so well before and with Mike Solari on board, we will very likely see a change in scheme.


    Zone Blocking Scheme, often referred to as ZBS

    A zone blocking scheme is used by just about every team. Not exclusively, but most teams have the scheme at least incorporated into their playbook at some point.

    The general idea of a ZBS is to simplify things. If you're a guard and you have a defensive tackle lined up in front of you who suddenly motions to the left or right just before the snap, what do you do? The ZBS removes that potential confusion by giving each lineman a specific area to block. It isn't always directly in front of them, either. In fact, it very rarely is directly in front of them.

    The ZBS is very much designed around the run game and not the passing game, it is designed to not only create holes for running backs in the trenches, but to also get lineman downfield blocking linebackers and safeties at the second level. That's why you sometimes saw Seattle lineman sprinting downfield as soon as the ball is snapped, more often than not, the lineman responsible for the initial block failed their assignment which made the lineman on his way to the second level look a bit silly to the untrained eye, if the original blockers back at the line had done their job, it would very likely result in a chunk play for the RB.

    Typically, the ZBS relies very heavily on double teams to create lanes.

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    In the example above. You can see the RG and RT's zone is to the right and straight ahead respectively, this means the defensive end will get double teamed. The centers zone is just to the right of him and is solely responsible for dealing with the defensive tackle.

    As you can see, depending on how the play actually goes, the RB has 3 potential holes to choose. He's got the 2 gap between the center and the guard, the 4 gap between the guard and the tackle, or the 6 gap between the tackle and the tight end. Although before the play it looks like the 8 gap will be another option (between the tackle and tight end), as you can see the tight ends immediately heading to the second level to deal with the strong side linebacker so that gap won't be available once the ball is snapped.

    Because the ball is running to the right, you don't need to 'over assign' for the weak side defensive end as he's on the opposite end of the line, however if the other defensive tackle is athletic, there's a chance he could try and break his block and go after the running back, so it's wise to assign the left tackle and left guard to block him and keep him where he is.

    That's just one example, but you get the idea.

    The reason you will often hear in scouting reports that an offensive lineman either has 'quick feet' or 'slow feet' or 'more of a north/south mover' is directly relating to his ability to play the ZBS.

    Because ZBS lineman are doing a whole lot more moving, their agility, athleticism and footwork are far more important. 'technicians' is often a term used for lineman that are better suited to a ZBS. They don't need to be as strong or heavy (relatively speaking, of course) as they are very often double teaming someone and two 'technician' lineman will win match ups more often than not against all but the very best defensive ends and defensive tackles.

    Communication is very much an important aspect of the ZBS, too. In each specific play, the lineman kind of choose their zone depending on what the defense is showing them. Communication was almost non existent on the Seahawks line last year, it's arguably the biggest reason for their failures.

    If the line is communicating and knowing exactly what they're doing on that specific play, the play will almost certainly result in positive yardage. If just one of the lineman (especially on the playside rather than the backside, in the example above the playside is to the right, the backside is to the left) don't know what they're doing, there's a very strong chance the required holes will not be opened for the running back, thats when you see tackle's for losses and defensive lineman bursting through the trench untouched. I guarantee if the play was executed correctly, at least one lineman would have been responsible for the player bursting through the line, possibly even two offensive lineman.

    Simply put, if you're not all on the same page, mistakes will happen and those mistakes will likely be costly.

    If you had to categorize the ZBS, it would fall under 'finesse' and 'athleticism'.

    What types of running backs fit a ZBS?

    Speed isn't as important to a running back in a ZBS, it's all about their ability to see where the holes are being opened and getting there quickly.

    Good footwork, ability to more laterally and acceleration are the most important. Once you get past that initial block, the play is a positive one and would be deemed successful. Of course, top speed may help once they're at the second level but the priority is to have the RB get past that initial block and you do that by identifying the hole quickly (vision) and getting to and through that hole (footwork and lateral movement).

    Power Run Scheme

    The basic principles of a PRS are to block a certain defensive player. They are all told to down block, meaning to block the gap away from the play side of the run. Their first rule is to block a man in their back-side gap, or work to the second level if they have no defender in their gap.

    Typically the backside guys (the players lined up on the opposite side to where the running back will go going are expected to act as lead blockers in the second level (provided they can get there of course). The same applies to offensive lineman that don't have an assigned player, purely down to how the defense lines up.

    The main difference with the power scheme is it creates a specific hole for the running back to burst through rather than giving him multiple options. It's probably more simple for the RB but can be complex for the lineman, especially the center as he often has multiple responsibilities and 'tasks' in the PBS.

    If you have to categorize the PRS, it would fall into categories such as 'violent' and 'smash mouth'. Simply lining up, and beating up the guy opposite you. Obviously it is more complex than that, but you get the idea.

    I'll be the first to admit that I don't have anywhere near as good a understanding of a power run scheme as I do the zone blocking scheme hence the lack of detail compared to the ZBS. I do however understand the basic principles and am currently learning the intricacies of the PRS so will come back to it at a later time once I can explain it in more detail.

    What types of RB fit a PRS?

    Because the gap is already predetermined, getting to that hole is the most important, so acceleration, top speed and strength are key. Acceleration to get to the hole quickly, top speed through the second level and strength to be able to deal with the defensive lineman that may be able to get a hand on their jersey to try and bring them down. If the play is successful, it's unlikely a defensive lineman will be in a position to actually tackle the RB, so his main concern once he's got through the first hole is linebackers and safeties (and occasionally cornerbacks). Good open field vision is handy as well as various moves such as stiff arms, jukes, etc.

    It would be ridiculous to say that certain running backs can only thrive in one type of blocking scheme because that is rarely the case, however certain traits of said running back will certainly make him more successful in a given scheme.

    What scheme will Seattle use under Mike Solari?

    As we identified at the start of this article, most teams do use a combination of the two, however one is very often more favoured than the other. In Seattle's case, they ran a ZBS the vast majority of the time. When they did run a power scheme, it was very successful which is a bit of a head scratcher, but I guess that's one of the many reasons Tom Cable is no longer responsible for this group.

    I obviously don't know for sure, however If I have to guess I'd say Seattle will predominantly run a power run scheme moving forwards, mixing in the ZBS to keep the defense on their toes.

    John said himself in a recent interview that Fluker would not have fitted with their scheme last year however would fit this year. Again, indicating that it will mainly be the PBS given Fluker is certainly a mauler rather than a technician. The man is huge.

    In terms of personnel, Ethan Pocic may very well find himself without a job next season if they go PRS. He is very much a technician whereas someone like D.J. Fluker and Germain Ifedi are more 'maulers' who would excel in the PRS. If Seattle finds a way to draft Will Hernandez he would be the ideal replacement at LG for a power run scheme and it would be hard to see how the run game wouldn't improve given the personnel, coaching change and scheme change but that's not really the point of this article and where the main point of discussion should be.

    Also, if Solari does go heavy on the PRS, expect an investment at full back either via the draft or as an undrafted free agent. A good full back is essential to run a PRS. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Dimitri Flowers drafted with one of Seattle's fifth round picks at the end of the month. Seattle has (or is) brining in fullback Khalid Hill into the VMAC for a pre draft visit. When you put all this info together, it shouts to me that Seattle will be going heavy with the power run as opposed to zone blocking.

    Expect some mistakes in the early part of the season as it's quite the challenge for lineman to transition to a new scheme, but in the long run, I would say there's an incredibly strong chance the early struggles pay dividends in the not too distant future and Seattle can get back to the type of football that made them so great in recent years.
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  • The Pocic pick really baffles me. It's like he was picked with the intention of him being a backup. Maybe he'll stick around as the heir apparent at center, but that was an awful high pick to spend to get a versatile backup.
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  • “Expect some mistakes”... going way out on that limb?
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  • brimsalabim wrote:“Expect some mistakes”... going way out on that limb?


    Thank you for your valued contribution.
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  • As always, great indepth post Poster!

    I am in no way shape or form a ZBS fan at the pro level.... but, how do you think it will impact RW's game? I only ask because I think having some big meathead power blockers might make for a pocket he can actually work out of.
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  • Would love to see them get Will Hernandez.......and more power!
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  • Sox-n-Hawks wrote:As always, great indepth post Poster!

    I am in no way shape or form a ZBS fan at the pro level.... but, how do you think it will impact RW's game? I only ask because I think having some big meathead power blockers might make for a pocket he can actually work out of.


    I think it will impact his game for the better, 100%.

    Power schemes suit mobile quarterbacks tremendously. It is also by far the best blocking concept for play action passing.

    If Schottenheimer turns out to be any good, he will create designed QB runs (using the power run scheme).

    Let the lineman do their thing with the blocking, put 4 WR's on the field and put them out wide to stretch the defense to 100% and let Russ do his magic. Russ has proven to be very sensible in designed QB runs in the past, although he fights for every inch, he knows, more than most QB's, when to bail out and forget about the extra yard to prolong his health.

    The only problems with that is late hits and the risk of serious injury to Russ. There isn't much he can do to avoid them and if our new OC does create some designed QB runs using the power scheme, the team need to be mindful and not run them repeatedly.

    If they do go power run, I'd be surprised if Russ didn't finish the season with 700+ rushing yards.
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  • Atradees wrote:Would love to see them get Will Hernandez.......and more power!


    So would I! I originally preferred Isaiah Wynn however Wynn is a bit more suited to the ZBS.
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  • were gonna need a mauler blocking scheme to have any chance against what sounds like on paper to be a crazy dline like the lambs
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  • Good post thanks for sharing! The Cable era is baffling to me. It seems like he whiffed on so many levels from evaluation, personnel decisions, scheme fit for the players and he never seemed to regroup after the rule change. What's odd to me though is that no one in the building saw it as a problem for so long or did anything about it. Ray Roberts interview was telling. He was trying to be professional but you could tell he was baffled by what Cable was doing and was allowed to do for so long.
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  • original poster wrote:
    brimsalabim wrote:“Expect some mistakes”... going way out on that limb?


    Thank you for your valued contribution.


    :D :lol: :mrgreen: :rofl: :irishdrinkers: :2thumbs: Good reply.

    Thanks for the detailed ZBS explanation. I greatly enhances my previous understanding level, which was approximately "this scheme sucks". Hopefully Pocic spend the off-season doing power lifting, doing squats with a LOT of weight on his shoulders, and pushing Chevy Suburbans around.

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  • You're welcome guys. It's all about getting .Net back to greatness.

    Pocic is a funny one for me, even with the added weight he still screams technician.

    Here's where I stand with the line.

    Ifedi - Very good athlete, he will shine in years 3 and 4, he will get better, trust me.

    Fluker - Ideal mauler at guard for the power run scheme

    Having those two guys on the right hand side is going to be a dominating force. While Ifedi does have the feet to succeed at tackle, he also has the pure strength and nastiness to succeed here. He was a man amongst boys at A&M.

    Justin Britt - Ideal center, the center probably has the toughest job in a PRS, he will have multiple assignments in any given play. He will be getting involved in just about everything.

    LG - Huge question mark. I maintain, even considering he has got his weight up to 322lbs that Pocic is not a good fit at LG. He's a technician and will always be a technician. The PRS requires brute strength guard play.

    LT - Duane Brown is (I think) the smallest of all of these guys both in terms of weight and height but as it's LT, you need that athleticism. I am really, really pleased we've got him and imagine he has, at minimum, 3 good years left in him.

    Jordan Roos - Another technician.

    Joey Hunt - My comments on him aren't suitable for this forum

    George Fant - I haven't heard anything about how his offseason has gone, I am sure he will add to competition at RT but I'd bet Ifedi beats him out with ease. He will be LT insurance should anything nasty happen to Brown

    Isaiah Battle - I really don't know enough about him to comment. IIRC he is super tall but super light, can't really see him being anything other than a camp body and won't be carried on the 53.

    I am all but certain the team will add at least one more guard either via free agency or the draft. If it's Will Hernandez I will be jumping for joy but some other names to watch out for in the draft are Taylor Hearn, Skyler Phillips and Cody O'Connell.


    Believe it or not, I can say with a totally straight face that by the mid point in the season, this group has the potential to be a top 12 unit.
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  • original poster wrote:You're welcome guys. It's all about getting .Net back to greatness.

    Pocic is a funny one for me, even with the added weight he still screams technician.

    Here's where I stand with the line.

    Ifedi - Very good athlete, he will shine in years 3 and 4, he will get better, trust me.

    Fluker - Ideal mauler at guard for the power run scheme

    Having those two guys on the right hand side is going to be a dominating force. While Ifedi does have the feet to succeed at tackle, he also has the pure strength and nastiness to succeed here. He was a man amongst boys at A&M.

    Justin Britt - Ideal center, the center probably has the toughest job in a PRS, he will have multiple assignments in any given play. He will be getting involved in just about everything.

    LG - Huge question mark. I maintain, even considering he has got his weight up to 322lbs that Pocic is not a good fit at LG. He's a technician and will always be a technician. The PRS requires brute strength guard play.

    LT - Duane Brown is (I think) the smallest of all of these guys both in terms of weight and height but as it's LT, you need that athleticism. I am really, really pleased we've got him and imagine he has, at minimum, 3 good years left in him.

    Jordan Roos - Another technician.

    Joey Hunt - My comments on him aren't suitable for this forum

    George Fant - I haven't heard anything about how his offseason has gone, I am sure he will add to competition at RT but I'd bet Ifedi beats him out with ease. He will be LT insurance should anything nasty happen to Brown

    Isaiah Battle - I really don't know enough about him to comment. IIRC he is super tall but super light, can't really see him being anything other than a camp body and won't be carried on the 53.

    I am all but certain the team will add at least one more guard either via free agency or the draft. If it's Will Hernandez I will be jumping for joy but some other names to watch out for in the draft are Taylor Hearn, Skyler Phillips and Cody O'Connell.


    Believe it or not, I can say with a totally straight face that by the mid point in the season, this group has the potential to be a top 12 unit.



    Good write ups Original Poster. I do have a few questions that perhaps you or anyone else may be able to answer.

    1. What was the main blocking scheme when we played the Lions in the 2016 playoffs where Rawls ran for 160 yards?

    2. Other than Hernandez what other draft prospects look like a strong fit for the PRS scheme in the early or mid/later rounds?

    3. What RB's do we have on the team that fit this type of scheme best?

    4. What RB's in the early to mid rounds look like the best fit for the PRS scheme?
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  • Good post. I'll add Pat Kirwan's rule, which is that on any given play you can quickly diagnose angle blocking vs. zone blocking based on whether a guard is pulling.

    The huge angle blocking guys were gone early in the draft every year and making a lot of money. Zone blocking cropped up as a response to this. It allowed teams to pick up smaller quick guys who were much much cheaper. Like everything else in the NFL that turned out to be a cyclical trend, as the increase in demand led to an increase in cost for athletic linemen and that has made zone blocking less valuable in turn recently. Teams are switching back to angle blocking as a result, and when that happens enough then zone blocking will start to gain steam again.
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  • kf3339 wrote:

    Good write ups Original Poster. I do have a few questions that perhaps you or anyone else may be able to answer.

    1. What was the main blocking scheme when we played the Lions in the 2016 playoffs where Rawls ran for 160 yards?

    2. Other than Hernandez what other draft prospects look like a strong fit for the PRS scheme in the early or mid/later rounds?

    3. What RB's do we have on the team that fit this type of scheme best?

    4. What RB's in the early to mid rounds look like the best fit for the PRS scheme?


    Good questions KF :2thumbs:

    That Lions game was predominantly power run IIRC, I remember being so excited about the run game after that game then bang...In true Seahawk football fashion when something works they divert to something else.

    Outside of Hernandez keep an eye on Taylor Hearn, Skyler Phillips and Cody O'Connell. Most of them are later round guys but with ZBS being the 'creme de la creme' at the moment, don't be put off by their late round grades, they could come in and win a starting job.

    Guice is a match made in heaven for a power run scheme, he's very much a one cut and go type back with the power to be able to deal with tackles, too. To be honest 95% of running backs would suit either scheme in reality, I probably exaggerated the point slightly by even highlighting the ideal traits in the original post for each scheme.

    The reality is, there would be very, very few running backs that wouldn't be considered for a specific scheme, especially considering just about every team does a combination of the two.
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  • AgentDib wrote:Good post. I'll add Pat Kirwan's rule, which is that on any given play you can quickly diagnose angle blocking vs. zone blocking based on whether a guard is pulling.

    The huge angle blocking guys were gone early in the draft every year and making a lot of money. Zone blocking cropped up as a response to this. It allowed teams to pick up smaller quick guys who were much much cheaper. Like everything else in the NFL that turned out to be a cyclical trend, as the increase in demand led to an increase in cost for athletic linemen and that has made zone blocking less valuable in turn recently. Teams are switching back to angle blocking as a result, and when that happens enough then zone blocking will start to gain steam again.


    Good additions AgentDib. I knew about the way to diagnose the difference quickly however the second paragraph is very interesting and something I wasn't aware of, thanks for the info, exactly what I was hoping from this post :2thumbs: :2thumbs:
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  • original poster wrote:
    kf3339 wrote:

    Good write ups Original Poster. I do have a few questions that perhaps you or anyone else may be able to answer.

    1. What was the main blocking scheme when we played the Lions in the 2016 playoffs where Rawls ran for 160 yards?

    2. Other than Hernandez what other draft prospects look like a strong fit for the PRS scheme in the early or mid/later rounds?

    3. What RB's do we have on the team that fit this type of scheme best?

    4. What RB's in the early to mid rounds look like the best fit for the PRS scheme?


    Good questions KF :2thumbs:

    That Lions game was predominantly power run IIRC, I remember being so excited about the run game after that game then bang...In true Seahawk football fashion when something works they divert to something else.

    Outside of Hernandez keep an eye on Taylor Hearn, Skyler Phillips and Cody O'Connell. Most of them are later round guys but with ZBS being the 'creme de la creme' at the moment, don't be put off by their late round grades, they could come in and win a starting job.

    Guice is a match made in heaven for a power run scheme, he's very much a one cut and go type back with the power to be able to deal with tackles, too. To be honest 95% of running backs would suit either scheme in reality, I probably exaggerated the point slightly by even highlighting the ideal traits in the original post for each scheme.

    The reality is, there would be very, very few running backs that wouldn't be considered for a specific scheme, especially considering just about every team does a combination of the two.



    Thanks for the information. Hard to say what the Hawks will do for both G and RB in the draft.
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  • Agreed, this team has never been easy to predict, even more so when we don't even have any idea how many selections they will make in each round.

    I can see Hernandez going in the early 20's, somewhere around 20-24. I think he gets picked before Wynn.
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  • Crack back, cut blocking dual engagement, all things in the ZBS that have been killed as far as new rules which also has killed the Broncos Gibbs version of the ZBS which Cable is a stalwart of, he could not adjust technique to the rules and why we looked horrible. The Ravens use the ZBS scheme but modified the techniques used and as OP said mixed in a lot of Power technique.

    The RB's in a ZBS have to read and cut, they really don't have a assigned hole since the whole thing is a moving part, PBS typically have a target and hole they are trying to create a lane in and the RB can head there with a FB lead blocking to take out the secondary guy coming to fill while the RB makes a cut and can go.
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  • original poster wrote:Agreed, this team has never been easy to predict, even more so when we don't even have any idea how many selections they will make in each round.

    I can see Hernandez going in the early 20's, somewhere around 20-24. I think he gets picked before Wynn.


    Yes, most mocks definitely have him available at #18. On top of him being a great fit at a position of need, he's on the short side, which is obviously to Wilson's benefit. It just seems to be a win-win this time. I'm obviously not a scout/GM, so I can't comment on the bigger picture of value and opportunity cost, he's just the guy I really want this time around.
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  • Jac wrote:
    original poster wrote:Agreed, this team has never been easy to predict, even more so when we don't even have any idea how many selections they will make in each round.

    I can see Hernandez going in the early 20's, somewhere around 20-24. I think he gets picked before Wynn.


    Yes, most mocks definitely have him available at #18. On top of him being a great fit at a position of need, he's on the short side, which is obviously to Wilson's benefit. It just seems to be a win-win this time. I'm obviously not a scout/GM, so I can't comment on the bigger picture of value and opportunity cost, he's just the guy I really want this time around.


    He’d probably be the player I’d be most excited about if they do select after a slight trade back.
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  • Calling Ifedi a 'great athlete' seems a stretch to me. His feet seem incredibly slow, whether at RG or RT. Fant is the better athlete.

    Hope is was all Cable.
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  • original poster wrote:I thought I'd do a post about offensive line schemes as these always used to go down so well before and with Mike Solari on board, we will very likely see a change in scheme.


    Zone Blocking Scheme, often referred to as ZBS

    A zone blocking scheme is used by just about every team. Not exclusively, but most teams have the scheme at least incorporated into their playbook at some point.

    The general idea of a ZBS is to simplify things. If you're a guard and you have a defensive tackle lined up in front of you who suddenly motions to the left or right just before the snap, what do you do? The ZBS removes that potential confusion by giving each lineman a specific area to block. It isn't always directly in front of them, either. In fact, it very rarely is directly in front of them.

    The ZBS is very much designed around the run game and not the passing game, it is designed to not only create holes for running backs in the trenches, but to also get lineman downfield blocking linebackers and safeties at the second level. That's why you sometimes saw Seattle lineman sprinting downfield as soon as the ball is snapped, more often than not, the lineman responsible for the initial block failed their assignment which made the lineman on his way to the second level look a bit silly to the untrained eye, if the original blockers back at the line had done their job, it would very likely result in a chunk play for the RB.

    Typically, the ZBS relies very heavily on double teams to create lanes.

    Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 09.06.33.png


    In the example above. You can see the RG and RT's zone is to the right and straight ahead respectively, this means the defensive end will get double teamed. The centers zone is just to the right of him and is solely responsible for dealing with the defensive tackle.

    As you can see, depending on how the play actually goes, the RB has 3 potential holes to choose. He's got the 2 gap between the center and the guard, the 4 gap between the guard and the tackle, or the 6 gap between the tackle and the tight end. Although before the play it looks like the 8 gap will be another option (between the tackle and tight end), as you can see the tight ends immediately heading to the second level to deal with the strong side linebacker so that gap won't be available once the ball is snapped.

    Because the ball is running to the right, you don't need to 'over assign' for the weak side defensive end as he's on the opposite end of the line, however if the other defensive tackle is athletic, there's a chance he could try and break his block and go after the running back, so it's wise to assign the left tackle and left guard to block him and keep him where he is.

    That's just one example, but you get the idea.

    The reason you will often hear in scouting reports that an offensive lineman either has 'quick feet' or 'slow feet' or 'more of a north/south mover' is directly relating to his ability to play the ZBS.

    Because ZBS lineman are doing a whole lot more moving, their agility, athleticism and footwork are far more important. 'technicians' is often a term used for lineman that are better suited to a ZBS. They don't need to be as strong or heavy (relatively speaking, of course) as they are very often double teaming someone and two 'technician' lineman will win match ups more often than not against all but the very best defensive ends and defensive tackles.

    Communication is very much an important aspect of the ZBS, too. In each specific play, the lineman kind of choose their zone depending on what the defense is showing them. Communication was almost non existent on the Seahawks line last year, it's arguably the biggest reason for their failures.

    If the line is communicating and knowing exactly what they're doing on that specific play, the play will almost certainly result in positive yardage. If just one of the lineman (especially on the playside rather than the backside, in the example above the playside is to the right, the backside is to the left) don't know what they're doing, there's a very strong chance the required holes will not be opened for the running back, thats when you see tackle's for losses and defensive lineman bursting through the trench untouched. I guarantee if the play was executed correctly, at least one lineman would have been responsible for the player bursting through the line, possibly even two offensive lineman.

    Simply put, if you're not all on the same page, mistakes will happen and those mistakes will likely be costly.

    If you had to categorize the ZBS, it would fall under 'finesse' and 'athleticism'.

    What types of running backs fit a ZBS?

    Speed isn't as important to a running back in a ZBS, it's all about their ability to see where the holes are being opened and getting there quickly.

    Good footwork, ability to more laterally and acceleration are the most important. Once you get past that initial block, the play is a positive one and would be deemed successful. Of course, top speed may help once they're at the second level but the priority is to have the RB get past that initial block and you do that by identifying the hole quickly (vision) and getting to and through that hole (footwork and lateral movement).

    Power Run Scheme

    The basic principles of a PRS are to block a certain defensive player. They are all told to down block, meaning to block the gap away from the play side of the run. Their first rule is to block a man in their back-side gap, or work to the second level if they have no defender in their gap.

    Typically the backside guys (the players lined up on the opposite side to where the running back will go going are expected to act as lead blockers in the second level (provided they can get there of course). The same applies to offensive lineman that don't have an assigned player, purely down to how the defense lines up.

    The main difference with the power scheme is it creates a specific hole for the running back to burst through rather than giving him multiple options. It's probably more simple for the RB but can be complex for the lineman, especially the center as he often has multiple responsibilities and 'tasks' in the PBS.

    If you have to categorize the PRS, it would fall into categories such as 'violent' and 'smash mouth'. Simply lining up, and beating up the guy opposite you. Obviously it is more complex than that, but you get the idea.

    I'll be the first to admit that I don't have anywhere near as good a understanding of a power run scheme as I do the zone blocking scheme hence the lack of detail compared to the ZBS. I do however understand the basic principles and am currently learning the intricacies of the PRS so will come back to it at a later time once I can explain it in more detail.

    What types of RB fit a PRS?

    Because the gap is already predetermined, getting to that hole is the most important, so acceleration, top speed and strength are key. Acceleration to get to the hole quickly, top speed through the second level and strength to be able to deal with the defensive lineman that may be able to get a hand on their jersey to try and bring them down. If the play is successful, it's unlikely a defensive lineman will be in a position to actually tackle the RB, so his main concern once he's got through the first hole is linebackers and safeties (and occasionally cornerbacks). Good open field vision is handy as well as various moves such as stiff arms, jukes, etc.

    It would be ridiculous to say that certain running backs can only thrive in one type of blocking scheme because that is rarely the case, however certain traits of said running back will certainly make him more successful in a given scheme.

    What scheme will Seattle use under Mike Solari?

    As we identified at the start of this article, most teams do use a combination of the two, however one is very often more favoured than the other. In Seattle's case, they ran a ZBS the vast majority of the time. When they did run a power scheme, it was very successful which is a bit of a head scratcher, but I guess that's one of the many reasons Tom Cable is no longer responsible for this group.

    I obviously don't know for sure, however If I have to guess I'd say Seattle will predominantly run a power run scheme moving forwards, mixing in the ZBS to keep the defense on their toes.

    John said himself in a recent interview that Fluker would not have fitted with their scheme last year however would fit this year. Again, indicating that it will mainly be the PBS given Fluker is certainly a mauler rather than a technician. The man is huge.

    In terms of personnel, Ethan Pocic may very well find himself without a job next season if they go PRS. He is very much a technician whereas someone like D.J. Fluker and Germain Ifedi are more 'maulers' who would excel in the PRS. If Seattle finds a way to draft Will Hernandez he would be the ideal replacement at LG for a power run scheme and it would be hard to see how the run game wouldn't improve given the personnel, coaching change and scheme change but that's not really the point of this article and where the main point of discussion should be.

    Also, if Solari does go heavy on the PRS, expect an investment at full back either via the draft or as an undrafted free agent. A good full back is essential to run a PRS. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Dimitri Flowers drafted with one of Seattle's fifth round picks at the end of the month. Seattle has (or is) brining in fullback Khalid Hill into the VMAC for a pre draft visit. When you put all this info together, it shouts to me that Seattle will be going heavy with the power run as opposed to zone blocking.

    Expect some mistakes in the early part of the season as it's quite the challenge for lineman to transition to a new scheme, but in the long run, I would say there's an incredibly strong chance the early struggles pay dividends in the not too distant future and Seattle can get back to the type of football that made them so great in recent years.

    Great post OP..Learned some things I was not aware of ..
    Will Dissly
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    IndyHawk
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  • Great post! Thanks. It makes sense for the Seahawks to employ a mix of schemes. Fluke and Ifedi should do well. I'm hoping Odiambo will flourish. Looking forward to seeing how this seasons oline does.
    gmor
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  • Another fantastic post OP

    Pleased to learn we are moving to a PRS scheme. As well as being ostensibly simpler for our linemen to hack, I think it definitely suits Chris Carson down to the ground in terms of style.

    In a way, it makes you realise why CJ Prosise was so highly valued by the coaches over the past few years, and why they were desperate for him to get healthy, as he was the only one who really displayed proficiency in terms of decision-making and being nimble on the few occasions he did run between the tackles.

    Rawls was mindless and impatient. Trust Carson to fully consume his role this year, with Mike Davis as a role player/change of pace back.

    Feel optimistic about the run game for the first time in a while....!
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  • You're welcome guys.
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