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Dan in Philly

Not just an excellent and informative tutorial, but also a good use of who/whom (seriously). Well done.


Love these posts, thanks for doing them.

Quick question - in part 3, you said that if the defender is lined up in the gap, the corresponding OL isn't covered. Who blocks defenders lined up in gaps then? Probably you were going to cover this in a later post anyway...


@TCS I will cover that but the short answer is you block to the playside, period. If there's a DL in the immediate gap to your playside, you block him. If he's in the gap to the backside you ignore him and go playside. It's the next guy's job to block him. Take a look at Herremans in the last picture in this series. he's got a man in the gap to the backside and no one over him or even head up on Kelce. The closest guy playside is a gap-and-a-half away! Even so, he goes playside. It's up to Peters to pick up the guy in the B gap to his right. Hope that clears things up.

Dan in Philly

If I'm reading your posts and responses correctly, the defense usually knows who is going to block whom, right? I've always assumed zone blocking was a finesse scheme, but it looks like there's little deception.


@DAN IN PHILLY. The IZ is not a finesse play. It is a power play. It does not rely on deception; to the contrary: it tells the defense exactly where it is attacking.

You'll see, when I get to that point, that almost all IZ plays begin with a double-team block.

Wil Reiner

Thanks for this informative breakdown of the zone blocking scheme.

It seems a little bit strange though, if I understand correctly — you're literally pushing people towards the play side and basically right to the area where you wish to run the ball through?

Also, the DL and LB's can easily read the play and accurately predict who's going to block them? That seems like it would open the door for a lot of DL stunts, tricks like dropping someone into coverage at the last minute, etc. just to beat the zone blocking and confuse the OL.


Wil, Your timing is perfect. I'm addressing what I believe are your issues in my next segment. Please let me know if it doesn't clear things up for you.



Thanks for the explanation - makes sense. Again, really appreciating these posts.


Good stuff. But...

If the play side is left and the OL is zone blocking (left), shouldn't the right tackle block the DE on his left (backside) shoulder to encourage him to move laterally in that direction?


Double team block then kelce breaks off to the next level to block the next guy up, McCoy follows him then does his thing.


∆ in some instances at least. Whoever isn't covered will double team then break off to block a next guy.

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