882

Why Raiders will stick with ZBS

Anyone hoping the Raiders will junk or alter their zone blocking system in short-yardage and goal line situations _ and judging from what I’ve read from Twitter followers it’s a good number _ will be disappointed.

Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp is a ZBS (zone blocking system) guy from his days with Alex Gibbs with the Atlanta Falcons. Dennis Allen was there too, and he agrees. Offensive line coach Frank Pollack was hired off the staff of the Houston Texans specifically because he could teach what Allen and Knapp want to execute.

The background is this _ Tom Cable, also a Gibbs disciple _ is a huge believer in zone blocking. Without getting overly complicated, it has to do with closing off gaps and giving cutback lanes to runners, then cut-blocking on the backside. Dancers need not apply. Make the correct read, put a foot in the ground, and then go.

Cable had to give up the strict adherence to zone blocking when Al Davis brought in Hue Jackson as the offensive coordinator, and Jackson immediately went to running back Darren McFadden and asked him about his favorite plays. Some of those plays included runs where there was no thinking or reacting involved before making a cut. Simply take the ball and go.

Included were gap and power runs not employed by the Raiders. Jackson put them in immediately and lo and behold, McFadden flourished in Year 3.

A lot of that had to do with health, of course. Probably most of it. Because McFadden looks fine running zone plays so far. The beef comes in short yardage, where there’s a school of thought that linemen don’t fire off as quickly in a compacted area and it hurts near the goal line and when defenses are stacked to stop the short run.

For what it’s worth, I addressed that topic with Pollack recently and this is what he said:

Q: Can the zone scheme be just effective in short-yardage and near the goal line as power and gap schemes?

Pollack: Absolutely.

Q: Why would that be the case? Isn’t it sometimes easier to go straight forward rather than wait for the `one-cut’?

Pollack: The zone scheme is a misnomer, we’re not playing laterally. It’s not a soft scheme. We’re coming off the ball, north and south, it’s just how we’re accomplishing our scheme where we’re not staying on specific defenders. We’re working through gaps, sorting out the trash if you will, we’re playing north and south and downhill. The goal line is just an extension of our zone scheme with maybe an extra two guys to block and we’re adding two extra guys to block as well on offense.

McFadden got stuffed on two goal line runs as well as failing to gain a yard to get a first down. And still finished wtih 34 yards on nine first-quarter carries.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • ddwight

    Yeah; Gonna be a long year for the offense. A washed up Carson Palmer, and a Horrible OC (Knapp). Our Defense will be good. Last year it was the Defense, this year it will be a bad Offense. Knapp & Palmer are useless, and our backup QB’s suck!

  • realtruraider

    What? LOL

  • blackandsilverside

    Realtruraider Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Hey backside, are you Al D/Hardline? No need to respond, its way to obvious. Now I will go back to skipping over your nonsense
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Real, you started it by calling me a troll over my comments about the serially injured players. I have never, ever made a comment about one of your posts. Some even have merit.

    Your personal attacks are repugnant.

    Return to your alter and bow down before your savior Jason Campbell.

  • blackandsilverside

    ddwight Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Yeah; Gonna be a long year for the offense. A washed up Carson Palmer, and a Horrible OC (Knapp). Our Defense will be good. Last year it was the Defense, this year it will be a bad Offense. Knapp & Palmer are useless, and our backup QB’s suck!
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    You are correct Dwight. I suppose stranger things have happened, I just can’t remember when, lol!

  • realtruraider

    Looks the the troll got his handles mixed up, LMFAO. What a fkin clown

  • RaidO

    Ddwight Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:10 pm
    Yeah; Gonna be a long year for the offense. A washed up Carson Palmer, and a Horrible OC (Knapp). Our Defense will be good. Last year it was the Defense, this year it will be a bad Offense. Knapp & Palmer are useless, and our backup QB’s suck!
    ______________________________________________

    Yup Reggie should have learned from the Giants last year about team continuity. Keeping Hue for at least one more year and upgrading the defense would have been the correct thing to do. Instead he brought his frickin ego. A Healthy Hue offense with what looks like an improved D would have been a playoff team. CP cannot run a WCO system and Knapp is still crap.

  • blackandsilverside

    Backstageatapuppetshow:

    In your opinion, what is the reason for our current backslide in the 1st two preseason games?

    Last night I watched the Lions v. Ravens (first half) and it was a good, competitive showing for both teams.

    I also watched the second half of the 4th quarter when all the 2nd and 3rd stringers were in, and it was great: big offensive and defensive plays.

    The was no chaos, no darkness, or regression that I have seen with the Raiders. The QBs looked polished and not coming apart at the seams like CP.

    I just ask why…..

  • realtruraider

    I try to stay out of the drama, but I got into with you back when you were Al D. It was around the time we hired DA, I come around when ever something happens like a new coach, start of training camp etc. Im not a regular, but i do know who you are.

  • Dakota

    Fire Dennis Allen!

  • http://raiders.com Seymour Bush

    realtruraider Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Looks the the troll got his handles mixed up, LMFAO. What a fkin clown
    ==========================

    You’re right. That troll must be gripping because Manning looked like crap.

  • blackandsilverside

    I don’t waste my time in disputes with posters. Every one is entitled to voice his/her opinion without being called disparaging names, etc.

    I should have just let your comment go.

  • backstageatapuppetshow

    blackandsilverside Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Backstageatapuppetshow:

    In your opinion, what is the reason for our current backslide in the 1st two preseason games?

    Last night I watched the Lions v. Ravens (first half) and it was a good, competitive showing for both teams.

    I also watched the second half of the 4th quarter when all the 2nd and 3rd stringers were in, and it was great: big offensive and defensive plays.

    The was no chaos, no darkness, or regression that I have seen with the Raiders. The QBs looked polished and not coming apart at the seams like CP.

    I just ask why…..

    ____________________________________________________

    There are two ways to look at it thus far…

    One is that Coach Allen & Company is forcing the team to adapt to the way they want things done….which results in mistakes….

    Understand that mistakes are POSITIVE at this point in the year….making them can be a huge deal….

    WHY? When a mistake is made the entire team has an opportunity to get better through the correction of the mistake.

    Coach Allen made a great point tonight regarding our special teams and that they are trying many different guys at spots to see what guys can or cannot do….this is positive.

    So far, the defense has looked great up front (with an exception of Seymour’s performance) the LB looks promising considering Curry is out….The DB’s haven’t and won’t be challenged until San Diego….

    As far as the Offense goes….seems like the Raider brass is hell bent on the ZBS….which is the wrong move….

    Bruce Lee has a quote I love that applies to this situation:

    “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind”

    Right now our staff is out to prove they can do it their way, and have forgotten that their way was never theirs to begin with….it’s just a way of doing something….another way….one way of many….

    The fact that they are defending this speaks to a crack in their armor…..right now, this is our biggest concern…

    The other way to look at it is that we are looking at a complete collapse of this team….

    We are on shaky ground…..I only hope the first example I shared can be corrected and we can move forward….but for this to happen….someone is going to have to admit they were wrong….

    That person, this time, isn’t me.

  • The Village Idiot

    Do the Raiders really get something if they win the preseason west? Like what, a trophy of HFA? SD lost, KC lost and Denver is gonna loose. Its all good stuff those bastards lost too. SMMFHAT

  • morilla

    Rivera threw 2 pics. Cut him. Start Charlie.

  • Missus Beeecham

    HOLLA

    been waiting all day to pinch this duece thats bangin at the rear door. holla is gonna get it on video. im expecting a very big loaf.

    JUST KEEP IT FO REAL

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Plunketthead Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 7:38 pm
    Back up dude
    Im the soccer ambassador
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Soccer ambassador rules!

  • blackandsilverside

    Backstageatapuppetshow,

    Good analysis, thank you.

    I suppose we will just wait and see what happens.

  • hendu

    Lets see, Palmer threw a pick, some say he may be losing it.Manning threw 2 picks, and Rivers the same. PRE-SEASON, HELLO.

  • Kirk

    I just watched our game again.

    Palmer did a great job considering that he was running for his life for most of the game.

    Goodson and the blocked kick cost us the game.

    Miller still looks good. Keep him.

  • backstageatapuppetshow

    “There are 3 kinds of people. Those that watch things happen, those that make things happen, and those who don’t know what’s happening”

    -John Madden-

  • Missus Beeecham

    YO HO HO

    gonna treat my self to a gallon of gallo. just got done rollin a duece that came out sideways. vein in the forehead type struggle, but its a doozie.

    WAFIZZLE SHAGIZZLE MO DIZZLE

  • Raiders for life

    Steve Corkran ‏@CorkOnTheNFL
    LB Aaron Curry has rejoined the Raiders, coach Allen said. Curry ran today and “looked pretty good,” according to Allen. Curry has hurt knee

    ###################

    Interesting…..good news though.

  • Raiders for life

    Steve Corkran ‏@CorkOnTheNFL
    Coach Allen said, “I’m hoping to have both of them back this week,” when asked about injured RB Taiwan Jones and injured TE Brandon Myers.

    #################

    Myers I can believe, Jones, Ford and D.WOW……well I have my doubts.

  • armond

    714.JB Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:05 pm
    My vote is in: TP is NOT that guy who is going to develop into an NFL starting QB. He doesn’t even seem to have the basic QB throwing skills. You can’t develop something that simply isn’t there. Say what you will, the QB position is one that MUST be able to pass all types of throws. TP has demonstrated a minimal Tebow skill set which simply is not what we need. Find a real thrower, draft him & develop him. But he must have some skills to begin worth other than to be able to roll out & scramble.

    ——————————————————-
    you also said dmc would never be a quality rb and he was only a slot reciever. how is that looking right now?

  • 504 Raider

    836.RaiderDuck Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 7:42 pm
    With all respect to Burris, a healthy Curry makes the D even better.

    ————————————————————————————————————–

    LMFAO! About 9 days ago Curry leaves team to get knee checked on and it was addition by subtraction. Burris was the second coming of Jack Ham. Two preseason games later we get posts like this one above.

  • Raiders for life

    Steve Corkran ‏@CorkOnTheNFL
    #Raiders coach Dennis Allen said: “It looks like Jacoby’s going to miss a little bit of time” in regard to Ford’s foot sprain

    #######################

    I’m officially done with Ford. Trade him.

  • 504 Raider

    Somebody needs to ask the Coach straight up regarding Ford’s foot: “Is it a Lisfranc injury?”

  • morilla

    With Streater playing like he is I’m not so worried about Ford. I think his days are numbered on the depth chart.

  • Raiders for life

    Mike Goodson ‏@GoodNplenty33
    Excellence isn’t a skill…. It’s an Attitude!!!! #RaiderNation

    #####################

    Really? Your Raider debut fkn sucked sh1t.

  • RaiderSam

    Raiders For Life Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 9:00 pm
    Mike Goodson ‏@GoodNplenty33
    Excellence isn’t a skill…. It’s an Attitude!!!! #RaiderNation

    #####################

    Really? Your Raider debut fkn sucked sh1t.

    ———————–

    in the Arizona game, we had 3 trips in the redzone resulting in FG’s

    In Chicago, Michael Bush had a 1 yd run for a score and an 8 yd run.

    That was a tough loss in free agency. Especially for our red zone offense.

  • Pingback: Posts about The Raiders From Other Great Blogs issue #1 | Raiders Central | Oakland Raiders Blog

  • DKnight007

    Well, we are seeing what will worry about Knapp and play calling this season. Let’s hope he not showing all of his cards though.

    Some things that really bothered me about his play calling in Fridays game.

    Why is he running zone blocking in goal line situations??

    In short yardage and especially in goal line runs, it should man to man power formations and blocking with double TE sets and an extra linemen. Like what Hue was running the last two years.

    Or maybe Knapp should be running a play action on 1st down instead of 3rd down??

    It was absolutely inexcusable to not score a TD from the 1 yard line on that series!

    Knapp is on watch from here on out Nation…I’m sorry to say.

    The passing game looks out of whack and there is no rythem either.

    This is what I was worrying about when Hue was fired, was the offense regressing from the last two years or consistently being able to score TD’s and execute efficiently.

    McK and Allen should have just kept Hue’s play book and have Saunders call the plays. Maintaining continuity on offense was a key and now they have to start all over again with a mediocre below average play caller like Knapp calling plays.

    Oooff! Ugh!