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Scarnecchia: new offensive line scheme not written in stone

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SlowGettingUp

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I think the Pats have used zone blocking before and I am surprised Scar didn’t mention that, so maybe I’m misremembering.

Scar in another interview I saw absolutely said they have used outside zone blocking in the past. Just not with a boot, because when they tried that it nearly got Brady killed.

Also in this interview:

“I can tell you without a doubt, we ran the outside zone play,” said Scarnecchia. “What we didn’t run off that action are the bootlegs off that, which is what you’re seeing from San Francisco, the Rams, all those teams where that came from. And why didn’t we do that?”

The answer is because Tom Brady, as great as he was, wasn’t suited to rolling out and running the bootlegs that the Patriots are now trying to incorporate.

Scarnecchia, McDaniels and Fears didn’t have to squelch the notion. They didn’t have to sway Belichick to stop that in its tracks. It was obvious it wouldn’t work with the personnel involved.

According to the legendary assistant, they actually tried during Brady’s time, even though it didn’t seem like the best option for the GOAT. They practiced the boot actions and ran a few in games. But when Brady was stripped of the ball the first time they tried it, that was pretty much the end of that.


He also noted that they ran it well to the weak side, and to the strong side when they had Gronk:

“I’d say we were as good a team at running the outside zone to the open side, the non-tight end side, as anybody in football,” said Scarnecchia. “And we were good at running it to the tight end side when we had a good enough tight end to block it – Rob Gronkowski. So we ran it.

“We ran it out of two-back sets a lot with Sony Michel (in 2018). … We ran toss-crack, we ran outside zone, we ran the gap runs inside, whatever we felt like we could do, we did.”
 
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On Sports Tonight Bedard and Johnson faced off with Bedard taking the Scarnecchia position that Bill will scrap the scheme if it doesn't work with Ted Johnson insisting Bill will not not change.
It’s not really “scrapping the scheme”. As Scar says we have always run those plays. The purported change is that we will run them more frequently, which still may or may not happen depending upon its success.
We haven’t changed the offense, we have been considering using some aspects of it ore frequently that we have in the past. For example going from 80/2o man blocking to 80/20 zone blocking isn’t changing the offense, it is changing the plays within the offense that we are calling.
Belichick is notorious for adapting his ”scheme” to his roster. What is happening is that he perceives that this group of players will do better with a heavier emphasis on the outside zone run portion of the playbook. If that is wrong, we will use it much less than we anticipate now.
Another common BB approach is to work early in camp on things they do not use often. It would not be out of character to focus early in camp on these concepts but not end up using them more frequently than in the past, but if they like what they see, incorporate them more,
 

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Scar in another interview I saw absolutely said they have used outside zone blocking in the past. Just not with a boot, because when they tried that it nearly got Brady killed.

Also in this interview:




He also noted that they ran it well to the weak side, and to the strong side when they had Gronk:
This is the point. It’s not a “new offense” it’s a focus on aspects, and plays within the offense that we used more sparringly. If it fits the current personnel better, we will use it more, if not, we won’t.
 

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A bunch of points.

It’s harder to power block with 8 in the box.

Zone blocking and EP are complimentary because they’re both flexible.

Probably good for Harris because he has good vision and can find his own hole.

Both blocking schemes can be used. That’s where I think they’re going with this.

I think the Pats have used zone blocking before and I am surprised Scar didn’t mention that, so maybe I’m misremembering.

Brown is a damn good athlete for his size and moves well laterally.
Scar spoke at length (maybe in a different article) that we have ALWAYS run zone blocking schemes as part of the offense. This is nothing new. How frequently we use those plays, which we have always run. Is what MAY change. It is what the Patriots always do, adapt game planning and “season planning” to the personnel.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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I've mentioned this before but it deserves a repeat. The Pats run everything. Typically we've ran about 40-45% gap/power while guys like Shanahan run OZ about the same. I'd be surprised if we flipped that script like that. Like now we're a zone team but we've run everything forever. I'll never forget us running 17-18 different types of runs in the SB against the Rams.

Some old OZ clips with Gronk I took. They love running this weakside.

Mix of runs, combos, second level.

So again I'm not sure with that type of flip in terms of % but we're obviously focused on expanding in certain areas.

Regarding Brown I'll say this. He's got a lot better with OZ. He struggled big time at times when they switched in SF. Mostly with his stance, weight distribution and moving laterally but he's got better. Obviously a lot surrounding his weight. More than capable though.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
I agree with Scar no way the Pats keep running their head into a wall if the zone scheme isn’t working.

Since the defense in the past has had trouble against zone schemes having the offense exclusively run the zone scheme in camp creates a big benefit for the defense. The offense can always scrap the zone blocking scheme in the future but the helpful reps the defense faced against that scheme have already happened by that point.

That’s a good point about the defense benefitting from seeing this every day for the past fortnight; and I certainly hope this is scrapped if/when it looks like a QB is about to be carted-off before it’s too late.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
I've mentioned this before but it deserves a repeat. The Pats run everything. Typically we've ran about 40-45% gap/power while guys like Shanahan run OZ about the same. I'd be surprised if we flipped that script like that. Like now we're a zone team but we've run everything forever. I'll never forget us running 17-18 different types of runs in the SB against the Rams.

Some old OZ clips with Gronk I took. They love running this weakside.

Mix of runs, combos, second level.

So again I'm not sure with that type of flip in terms of % but we're obviously focused on expanding in certain areas.

Regarding Brown I'll say this. He's got a lot better with OZ. He struggled big time at times when they switched in SF. Mostly with his stance, weight distribution and moving laterally but he's got better. Obviously a lot surrounding his weight. More than capable though.

Yeah, seeing some of these edge-pressing runs reminds me of Sheriff Woody & later da Burkmeister fly downhill, either completely around the edge or after a cut-n-go… Sure would be nice to have somebody lead the way, however, like a Kyle Jusczyk, a Ben Mason, and a (hope against hope) Dalton Keene…
 

Vindicate

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
Not for nothing, but can I ask what you particular area of expertise that allows you to make these blanket judgements from the keyboard of your laptop?

Not picking on you per se, Captain. I am starting to get REALLY pissed off about what is going on about this issue. Do you really understand zone concepts and the skills you would ideally like to have when running them. You DO NOT have to be a gazelle to be successful. What you DO need to have is the ability to identify the defender who comes into your zone, and THAT comes with reps and there is no short cut to get from here to there.

There is a REASON why more teams are going away from power blocking concepts. The plus for that concept is when the OL gets to the LOS and look at what's in front of them, they have all have a SPECIFIC man to block based on their particular rule for that particular play. On, over, inside, usually. As defense have become more complex, less static and the athletes have become MUCH more athletic on the first 2 levels offenses have had a harder time matching up man blocking schemes because of post snap movement along those 2 levels.

Brown and Owenu might not be the ideal athletes to run this scheme, but believe me, teams have successfully run zone blocking schemes with OLmen that are NOT the athletes that Owenu and Brown are.

Just sayin'

Is the rest of the Oline up to snuff on the athletic side? Genuinely asking. I do remember reading a long article awhile back that detailed why these zone blocking techniques do require a rather athletic line. However, IIRC, we had like, the 'largest' oline in terms of either height or weight last year.

Really going off the cobwebs in the back of my head, so I may be misunderstanding some things, however, I'd like to hear your take on the personnel we have right now and how it fits into the desired zone-blocking archetype.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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Is the rest of the Oline up to snuff on the athletic side? Genuinely asking. I do remember reading a long article awhile back that detailed why these zone blocking techniques do require a rather athletic line. However, IIRC, we had like, the 'largest' oline in terms of either height or weight last year.

Really going off the cobwebs in the back of my head, so I may be misunderstanding some things, however, I'd like to hear your take on the personnel we have right now and how it fits into the desired zone-blocking archetype.
Most zone blocking OL's hover around 305-310. While the converse is probably 315-318 Doesn't seem like much on paper but it's clearer in person or real time. I know Kelly's lines were all under 310 usually 307-308. Old Broncos used to be 304-305.

Brown struggled with zone blocking early on in his career. Inside or outside. Weight issues, stance, moving laterally. He's improved a good deal imo and we'll do a good job hiding his flaws. Most important thing he'll be tasked with is quickness though and he has that. I actually think we might have seen some of his flaws when he was on the backside and that helped make the move to LT.

Strange, Wynn and Andrews are all very athletic, agile and quick. I'm very excited to see Wynn on the backside in a scheme like this.

Traditionally OL for zbs are athletic maybe even undersized with precise footwork and agility (3C, shuttle etc is some of the most important drills for OL) You have guys like Tom Cable and Scar who favor size no matter the scheme though. Cable wasn't afraid go big when he ran zone.

Ken can give his answer but our OL matches up well for what guys are tasked with. Zone is a lot more simpler in general than other schemes but the details matter more imo bc there's less room for error in real time. You have to precise/on time, timing is key. You can't practice some of blocks. Like you won't have Wynn cutting guys down in practice. So being in the same page. The mental aspect is huge here. It takes a lot of time, a lot of reps but belief and confidence might be more important. RB have less room to create so again believing in what you're doing is key.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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Yeah, seeing some of these edge-pressing runs reminds me of Sheriff Woody & later da Burkmeister fly downhill, either completely around the edge or after a cut-n-go… Sure would be nice to have somebody lead the way, however, like a Kyle Jusczyk, a Ben Mason, and a (hope against hope) Dalton Keene…
Yea we're definitely using Smith and like you said "Never Seen Keene" (how'd I do?) in the backfield but not as true FB. Would have loved to see Mason in a BB offense.

Still love that Kyle gave Juice a 4/22 million dollar contract a few years ago.
 

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Plummer vs Pats: 3-0, 5 TD, 1 INT, 103 rating, 1 playoff win. Go figure

Great college QB too....delivered the National Title on a silver platter to the ASU defense...who couldn't stop Joe Freaking Germaine from marching down the field one more time... 26 years later...that still bothers me!
 

Sect140

Practice Squad Player
I was listening to NFL radio this morning, the hosts were talking about the Pats moving to a zone run blocking scheme, one of the hosts was Ed Mccaffrey who played for Mike Shanahan, he went into a lengthy description of the zone blocking, especially the outside zone blocking, he said fans will have to be patient, it’s not an easy switch, if you can go back and listen to it was very interesting. He said that most OL coaches that teach the outside zone blocking scheme call it wide zone blocking and would get mad if someone referred to it as outside Zone blocking.
 

zydecochris

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Most zone blocking OL's hover around 305-310. While the converse is probably 315-318 Doesn't seem like much on paper but it's clearer in person or real time. I know Kelly's lines were all under 310 usually 307-308. Old Broncos used to be 304-305.

Brown struggled with zone blocking early on in his career. Inside or outside. Weight issues, stance, moving laterally. He's improved a good deal imo and we'll do a good job hiding his flaws. Most important thing he'll be tasked with is quickness though and he has that. I actually think we might have seen some of his flaws when he was on the backside and that helped make the move to LT.

Strange, Wynn and Andrews are all very athletic, agile and quick. I'm very excited to see Wynn on the backside in a scheme like this.

Traditionally OL for zbs are athletic maybe even undersized with precise footwork and agility (3C, shuttle etc is some of the most important drills for OL) You have guys like Tom Cable and Scar who favor size no matter the scheme though. Cable wasn't afraid go big when he ran zone.

Ken can give his answer but our OL matches up well for what guys are tasked with. Zone is a lot more simpler in general than other schemes but the details matter more imo bc there's less room for error in real time. You have to precise/on time, timing is key. You can't practice some of blocks. Like you won't have Wynn cutting guys down in practice. So being in the same page. The mental aspect is huge here. It takes a lot of time, a lot of reps but belief and confidence might be more important. RB have less room to create so again believing in what you're doing is key.
Very informative, but also nicely written. I’m not sure if I’ve seen it explained so clearly and succinctly. Much appreciated.
 

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I was listening to NFL radio this morning, the hosts were talking about the Pats moving to a zone run blocking scheme, one of the hosts was Ed Mccaffrey who played for Mike Shanahan, he went into a lengthy description of the zone blocking, especially the outside zone blocking, he said fans will have to be patient, it’s not an easy switch, if you can go back and listen to it was very interesting. He said that most OL coaches that teach the outside zone blocking scheme call it wide zone blocking and would get mad if someone referred to it as outside Zone blocking.
The basic difference is with man blocking presnap you are assigned a man to block based upon the alignment of the defense. With zone you are assigned an area to block and you block whoever shows up. The more detailed difference is in man blocking you not only have a man, but a direction to block him in, creating a hole for the RB (think of it like this, if the hole is the LG/C gap the LG and everyone to his left block out push their man left and the C and everyone right of him pushed their man right). With zone you don’t have an established hole but everyone blocks left and takes the man who shows and the RB runs laterally until he picks the hole based upon how the blocking develops.
Zone blocking will produce more negative plays but more big plays.
 

BTTA

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Watching those healthy runs by Harris, they often have Johnson in the lead...concerned about that for this year.
 

ArchAngel007

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
The basic difference is with man blocking presnap you are assigned a man to block based upon the alignment of the defense. With zone you are assigned an area to block and you block whoever shows up. The more detailed difference is in man blocking you not only have a man, but a direction to block him in, creating a hole for the RB (think of it like this, if the hole is the LG/C gap the LG and everyone to his left block out push their man left and the C and everyone right of him pushed their man right). With zone you don’t have an established hole but everyone blocks left and takes the man who shows and the RB runs laterally until he picks the hole based upon how the blocking develops.
Zone blocking will produce more negative plays but more big plays.
Great breakdown, thanks
 

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