Sunday, September 24, 2006

Finally, About That Zone Blocking?

I looked some stuff up and came up with the following observation.
In 1984 Dan Reeves hired an unknown assistant coach named Alex Gibbs. Gibbs was the O-Line coach to save John Elway.
Gibbs inserted a new blocking scheme called zone blocking.
The returns were immediately impressive for the new coach.
In Denvers first game of 1984 they ran for 121 yards on 30 carries. Not great shakes but Denver beat the Bungles so all was good.
Game two was against the formidable Shitcago Bear D (that would set records the next year) and they held Denver to 53 yards on 22 carries.
Game three was again pedestrian 26 carries for 136 yards. But Denver won again. Finally in games four and five the O-Line got it and Denver ran for over 200 yards each game. 236 in game five was telling.
It took awhile but the zone blocking scheme took hold and Denver rolled to an 11-5 record.

Fast forward to 2004, Atlanta. Jim Mora Jr. is hired as HC and his first hire is Alex Gibbs. Gibbs arrives in Atlanta and brings a young assistant named Jeff Jagodzinski. Gibbs job is to revive a dormant Falcon team and bring life to its running game to take pressure off prize rookie Mike Vick.
The first game of that season a mediocre SanFran team held Atlanta to 95 yards on 28 carries. Atlanta won the game and was praised for "sticking to the run". Atlanta won there second game but ran the ball much better. By the third game Atlanta smoked an overmatched Arizona for 194 yards rushing on 30 carries, a 6.5 yard per average. Game four was more of the same albeit a little less gouging as Atlanta ran for 165 yards on 40 carries,averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
This is what Alex Gibbs is all about. 4.1 yards per carry yields a first down every time. Move the chains with the running game in the NFL and you win.

The point of this post is to point out that early on in the zone blocking scheme games will be hit and miss until the O-Line masters its intricacies. This should be a good week for GB running the ball. If that translates into a win is anybodies guess.
With Ahman out and Morency running I bet a dime to a doughnut that Morency runs for a buck fifty and GB wins 32-13. Morency is much more adept at running the cut back scheme that zone blocking employs, then we have a controversy at RB with Green. Thank Goodness.

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