Making a Path: How the Offensive Line Opens Gaps

By on June 5, 2015 are two types of offensive line blocking protections used: man blocking and zone blocking. In the below article we discuss how each works, the difference between the two and how they impact Miami.

Each week State of the U will look at different strategies that a football team employs come gameday to outwit and outplay their opposition. Some of these different looks change play to play, other times the schemes employed by a team are philosophical staples used at all times. Whatever it is, we’ll delve into it here and go over what the concept is, how does it work on gameday and if the subject can impact the Canes in 2015-2016.

Last week’s article discussed different defensive line responsibilities and how each team can use different schemes to rush the quarterback or bottle up the running back, the article can can be read HERE. For this week’s post we’ll look into the difference between the man blocking scheme and the intricacies of the “new age” (relatively new, it’s been around 15 years or so) zone blocking schemes that are used by the offensive line.

Man Blocking Scheme: offensive linemen take a predetermined person across from them on the defensive line/unit to block on a given play.

Zone Blocking Scheme: each offensive lineman blocks an area in front or to the side of them on a given play.

The man blocking scheme has been around football since its inception. Fundamentally, the purpose is to line up across from your counterpart on the defense and “punch them in the mouth.” However, defenses over the years have gotten more creative in avoiding this mauling style of play. Whether the evolution of schematic changes in defenses like stunts or blitzes or even personnel changes with more hybrid rush end; in many instances the man blocking style has gone the way of the dinosaur.

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