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ZBS

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by texaspackerbacker, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. texaspackerbacker

    texaspackerbacker Cheesehead

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    Zone Blocking Scheme - it was sold, to me at least, as what gave teams like the Denver Broncos a consistently great running game without necessarily super talent at RB or in the O Line. Terrell Davis, a 6th round pick, was an All World performer before his devastating injury, and even when he was out, a couple of nobodies - who never played like stars before or after - ran wild to the tune of about 150 yards a game.

    Somebody tell me what went so horribly wrong for the Packers so that we never had anything like that. Is Campen to blame? Are our O Linemen simply substandard compared to teams running ZBS in the past? WHY?

    Now, we are saddled with that damn scheme, and the "small mobile" O Line personnel it requires, and it not only tends to mess up the running game, but it jeopardizes our superstar QB and at very least, results in so much pass rush pressure on him that his effectiveness is diminished.

    Anybody got a solution?
     
  2. HyponGrey

    HyponGrey Caseus Locutus Est

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    We don't cut block, or at least not often. That's what sets us apart from Denver or even Houston. Our OL is actually big for a ZBS, and that allows us to add in elements of a power blocking scheme. Look up the "Fire Campen" thread, specifically ThxJackVainisi's posts. Very informative.
     
  3. mradtke66

    mradtke66 Cheesehead

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    I've said this before. The only smaller starter on our line last year was Saturday. Compared to the 49ers:

    Newhouse/Staley
    6-4, 319 / 6-5, 315. PACKERS heavier, 4lbs.

    Lang/Iupati
    6-4, 318 / 6-5, 331. 49ers heavier, 13 lbs.

    Saturday /Goodwill / (EDS)
    6-2, 295/ 6-3, 318 49ers heavier, 23 pounds (305, advantage falls to 13 pounds)

    Sitton/Boon
    6-3, 318/ 6-8, 300 Packers Heavier, 18 pounds

    Bulaga/Davis
    Sitton = 6-3, 318/ 6-5, 323. 49ers heavier, 5 pounds

    Packers Average: 313 and change
    49ers Average: 317 and change

    If we swap in EDS at center, our average jumps to 315.6 pounds per player. We don't have a small line.
     
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  4. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Thanks for that, HyponGrey. I couldn't find the "Fire Campen" thread but a search for just the word "fire" in a title and got some interesting results. One of the most interesting ones was asking whether or not McCarthy should be fired mid-season. The thread was started in October 2010! Timing is everything! :D

    Anyway, here's part of a post I made in the "OL what was it built for" thread:

    As close as I come to hating anything in football it's the zone blocking scheme (ZBS). I agree with HardRightEdge's post on the subject and believe the Packers went "full in" on the system because of 1) Denver's success with it, and 2) the availability of OL who should be able to succeed in the system later in the draft and cheaper to keep, so more money would be available to "skill" positions.

    The reason I "hated" it is because the version Denver practiced per Alex Gibbs, is dirty IMO. I have no problem with the front side of a ZBS play but on the backside the idea is to cut DL instead of "reach block". That accomplishes two things: It gets the pursuit on the ground and it makes DL worry about injuries to their legs, particularly their knees. At its most effective, DL use their hands to protect their legs rather than to attack OL. I thought it was disgusting when the Broncos used it against the Packers and I didn't like my team using the same technique. More generally, I don't like any technique that can't be practiced against one's own team for fear of injury.

    Jags was taught the technique by Gibbs (its most noted "current" advocate) and he in turn taught the assistant coaches in Green Bay. When Jags left for Boston College (?) after just one year I was hoping that would be the end of the ZBS - what better time to scrap it? Failing that if they were going to continue using it I thought they should have hired Gibbs himself as a consultant or hire someone better versed in it. No such luck but I do want to mention it was never Campen's idea to go to ZBS - that's not the system he learned and used in the NFL. I don't think he's a great OL coach but the ZBS isn't his fault. Anyway, to their credit I don't think the Packers OL ever bought into the dirty aspect of the ZBS but that makes it less effective. The good news is over time they have moved away from it although it's still part of their playbook, it's not featured dominantly as it once was.
     
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  5. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    For starters, most schemes in football have been successful at one point or another but there is no guarantee that it works for every team. The ZBS works for certain teams because their coaches and players are well-suited to run it effectively. We don't do it effectively. I'm not sure that we would run a power scheme effectively either. I just don't think that MM puts a big emphasis on running the ball, but that could be chicken and egg. Does he not emphasize it because he knows that it sucks, or does it suck because he doesn't emphasize it? My intuition is that it's the latter because if he saw it as a problem he should've/would've made coaching changes by now to fix it.
     
  6. texaspackerbacker

    texaspackerbacker Cheesehead

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    Some interesting stuff. I wouldn't want to be the one to advocate the "dirty" aspect of ZBS, but what we have now seems to be the worst of both worlds. I LOVE ice cream, but once (and only damn once!) I mistakenly got Light Ice Cream - Yuck! It seems to me, we are playing ZBS LIGHT. Duly noted, the post above about the size of the O linemen. That makes it point more toward a difference in quality then, if not size. I guess we do seem to be drifting a little bit toward power running. IF we get Sherrod back healthy and IF Bulaga is back to his old self, and IF EDS really is the upgrade he seemed to be late in the season, we are a few steps toward a better running game - and Harris is kinda sorta that speed back somebody mentioned.
     
  7. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Washington runs a very effective ZBS, mixes in some nifty pulling plays (which the Packers rarely do), and while they do some cut blocking I haven't noted any of the nasty backside stuff. They ran for a lot of yards last year with a low round RB. The Seahawks run a ZBS; it seems Lynch has taken to it like a duck to water.

    We've been using a ZBS since McCarthy came to town. We saw Starks kick a*s down the stretch in 2010. We had Ryan Grant (not exactly Mr. Dynamic) run for 1253/4.4, 1203/3.9 and 956/5.1. Ahman Green had a 1,000 yards in 2006 in MM's first year.

    History would suggest the lackluster run game, to put it charitably, in recent years is a matter of personnel. Subbing Starks for Brandon Jackson in 2010 illustrates how night can become day with the right (healthy) runner.

    I will concede that even in the years where we've had decent RB productivity our short yardage run game has often left something to be desired. Again, that's a personnel issue or failure to come up with effective short yardage packages. The "bone" (inverted wishbone) met with mixed success but isn't used much anymore. We've used more single back with a big front and some Kuhn in the lead. Kuhn and Starks were pretty effective in 2010, but they're not the same players anymore. In the end, the problems getting one yard mostly boil down to having an RB who can get the job done.

    ZBS does allow a team to use cheaper O-Linemen...in terms of draft picks and cap. TT/MM like picking those college OTs who don't grade high for that position in the pros and then moving them inside. I happen to like the approach. It's not like you're getting some guys who are necessarily deficient in all aspects of the game...those ex-OTs have agility and pass pro capability that is perhaps not NFL-sufficient at OT but more than adequate over a smaller amount of turf playing inside.

    We have not cheaped out on our OTs, but again they are drafted for pass pro capability first.

    In my opinion, the ZBS approach is sound for a pass-dominated offense. Bringing in a road grader for RT, say a guy like Fluker or some lesser player, exposes your franchise QB who plays past the 2.5 second buzzer to potential nastiness. Now, if you want guys who can both grade the road and protect the franchise, we've got Sitton and Bulaga on a good day. Otherwise, those guys are going for $$$$.

    Who are you willing to pay and for what? You can't afford everything.
     
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  8. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Fire Newhouse.
     
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  9. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    I count only eight posts until this gem was launched
     
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  10. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    Well the point is I'm not sure any system is the culprit when you have Newhouse at LT. :)
     
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  11. GeeDogWarrior

    GeeDogWarrior 0 - 0

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    I wouldn't blame the oline coach - you come to town, you've got injured veterans (Clif/Tauscher) - you're given late round/undrafted guys to work with - then the two high draft picks you're given wind up injured ...

    Tough to blame a coach when he's stuck with Newhouse and Barbre, a Playcaller that likes deep passes and a QB that likes to hold onto the ball for a long time .... give him Duane Brown or Jason Peters and listen to analysts talk about what an incredible job he's done.
     
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  12. El Guapo

    El Guapo Cheesehead

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    I know. I thought that your post was humorous. However, we've had the ZBS long before Newhouse and it wasn't anything to brag about before him. I understand the criticism of Newhouse's pass protection but they all suck at run blocking....all of them. I remember exactly ONE play last year (versus SF) when Harris burst up the middle and the announcers praised the run blocking. The whole village, not just the scapegoat, need to share the blame here
     
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  13. 13 Times Champs

    13 Times Champs Cheesehead

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    I don't like the ZBS system and neither do I think Campen is good at coaching it. But having said that Newhouse couldn't block in the CBS, or any other letter you want to put before BS.
     
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  14. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Sitton does not suck at run blocking and that’s not just my opinion. IMO a healthy Lang playing OG doesn't suck at run blocking and neither did the healthy Bulaga of 2010 and 2011 (no excuse for his play at the beginning of last season though). The problem with any OL in either run or pass blocking is it has to work as a unit and if one member of the OL breaks down that one mistake can blow up the play. If one member of the line consistently fails or if they take turns even a line with a couple of good/great players can look like crap.
     
  15. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    Lombardi brought the zone blocking scheme (he called it do-dad, or area blocking) from Army, where he learned it from Red Blaik. It seemed to work ok for his Packers teams. I suspect we don't have the players, but, then, Lombardi turned a 1 win team into winners with basically the same personnel.
     

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