General blocking problem question

Yaller Jacket

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
806
The great write-ups about the offensive linemen competing in the spring reminds me of something which has been nagging me for some time. After a poor game, when asked on the radio show, PJ would almost always point to a number of times when our linemen blocked the wrong guy or failed to pick up someone they were supposed to. I'm always left with the impression that we have two issues. One is the physical limitations of our linemen not being as good as the defensive linemen. The other is not understanding our assignments.

If PJ was the defensive coordinator and head coach, I think he'd be hollerin' about the need to simplify the offense. Is there something about our scheme that leads to more of this? Or is it the case with all teams but since I only follow one closely, it seems like a bigger problem for us.
 

takethepoints

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4,519
The answer is that the entire offense is built on deception based on blocking schemes. We only run about 25 or so plays in the entire O. Everybody knows what plays we run. If it were a matter of just preparing for those plays, we'd be sunk.

Instead, we are pretty proficient offensively. The reason is that the 25 plays are run out of a plethora of different formations using a plethora of different blocking schemes. The blocking can and does change from play to play depending on what the D is doing. This classic post about the 2008 Tech - Georgia game illustrates the problems this creates for both us and the other side:

http://thebirddog.wordpress.com/200...e-futility-of-defending-against-the-wishbone/

Take particular note of the first two clips. In the first, Roddy gets stopped. In the second, the very same play is called to the other side with different blocking and a different formation. And it's off to the races.

This leads to all kinds of problems for the OL. You talk about the QBs missing their reads! That's nothing compared to the OLs missing their blocks, usually because they can't figure out who to block after an audible or their path to their target is cut off. Yet we still rush with the best in the country.

Now, me, I love this. As an old (believe it) OL, I spend an inordinate time at Tech games trying to identify blocking schemes and how they are working off of different formations. This is why I always find the complaints about how boring the O is hard to understand. For me, it's like watching a series of reactive solutions to problems presented by Ds and trying to figure out what Coach is going to do next. But, hey, I'm peculiar and I know it.
 

gtg936g

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2,032
My understanding of our scheme may be incorrect, but I think our tackles read the player they are supposed to block on the fly. The center calls the base scheme, but if the defense shifts or moves at the snap of the ball the Tackles have to read the D and determine how to get to their assigned player as the play develops. Sometimes they get confused and take the wrong guy, and sometimes the D prevents one of our guys from getting off the line and attacking the player he is supposed to. Our blocking is very technical. It is probably the most technical scheme I have seen for an offensive line. The slip and release are as important in some cases as the actual block. Some defensive concepts are designed to just tie up our tackles such that they cannot release and block a linebacker.

More pass oriented teams have base protections, and in some cases zones that call for them to defend an area, and not necessarily a player. This has its' own set of technical challenges.

Our offense is very complex, and when it get's executed correctly it is magic to watch.
 

Boomergump

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Featured Member
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Well, in a general sense, I think offense lends itself to being more technical or complex than defense does. After all, a defense has to react to what the offense is doing. Is our blocking scheme complex? I would say decidedly yes. However, I am not sure simplifying it is the answer. When offense breaks the huddle, they already know where they are going. The defense has to read the formation and make the needed adjustments to assignments before the snap or they get burned.
 

IEEEWreck

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
588
The answer is that the entire offense is built on deception based on blocking schemes. We only run about 25 or so plays in the entire O. Everybody knows what plays we run. If it were a matter of just preparing for those plays, we'd be sunk.

Instead, we are pretty proficient offensively. The reason is that the 25 plays are run out of a plethora of different formations using a plethora of different blocking schemes. The blocking can and does change from play to play depending on what the D is doing. This classic post about the 2008 Tech - Georgia game illustrates the problems this creates for both us and the other side:

http://thebirddog.wordpress.com/200...e-futility-of-defending-against-the-wishbone/

Take particular note of the first two clips. In the first, Roddy gets stopped. In the second, the very same play is called to the other side with different blocking and a different formation. And it's off to the races.

This leads to all kinds of problems for the OL. You talk about the QBs missing their reads! That's nothing compared to the OLs missing their blocks, usually because they can't figure out who to block after an audible or their path to their target is cut off. Yet we still rush with the best in the country.

Now, me, I love this. As an old (believe it) OL, I spend an inordinate time at Tech games trying to identify blocking schemes and how they are working off of different formations. This is why I always find the complaints about how boring the O is hard to understand. For me, it's like watching a series of reactive solutions to problems presented by Ds and trying to figure out what Coach is going to do next. But, hey, I'm peculiar and I know it.
That's not being peculiar, it's engaging with the sport. I'd wager 90% of fans haven't tried to watch the line because its complicated. QB's and WR's are easy to identify and track. Football is a lot more interesting if you decide to try to watch more than 1/4 of the game.
 

AE 87

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12,967
I've written this in other threads but it seems to apply here as well. I don't know how modern college football practices in general or CPJ's in particular are run, but this is what it looks like to me, fwiw.

It looks to me like our OL practices a lot against air. And when they get to the second level, either straight ahead or pulling, their looking at a fairly narrow fov in front of them. Consequently, if the LBs or DBs that they are assigned to block are slightly outside their narrow fov, they don't block anybody.
 

Oldgoldandwhite

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3,807
As a former Offensive Lineman, blocking is grit, determination, and to some degree talent. There is no excuse whatsoever in whiffing on a block if you know the snap count. Getting beat is excusable but missing your man entirely is cause for concern.
 

alaguy

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,117
Well, in a general sense, I think offense lends itself to being more technical or complex than defense does. After all, a defense has to react to what the offense is doing. Is our blocking scheme complex? I would say decidedly yes. However, I am not sure simplifying it is the answer. When offense breaks the huddle, they already know where they are going. The defense has to read the formation and make the needed adjustments to assignments before the snap or they get burned.
The OL blocking scheme is DIFFICULT. It makes one wonder if having only one OL coach now after the other guywas dismissed,might not be one of the HUGE problems on the teamEven with several very exp'd starters we were only ok last yr.Goodness,with much less exp ,where does that leave THIS yr? We may need JT's quickness just to fight the mistakes.
 
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