Part of the Bay Area News Group

Why Raiders will stick with ZBS

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, August 18th, 2012 at 2:00 am in Oakland Raiders.

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.

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  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    11/2011: JaMarcus gives a career-killing interview to SI where he states his desire to come back, but openly mocks the CFL and UFL (which would be legitimate avenues for a comeback)

    2/2012: Debo guarantees that JaMarcus will get another shot in the NFL and WILL be in training camp.

    7/2012: JaMarcus is invited to no tryouts, and gets not even a sniff from any team.

    8/2012: Debo now says that JaMarcus may not even want to come back. Yes, I’m sure that’s it.

  • lefty12

    There are players in the league that have been busted for a lot worse things than cough syrup,get real.He isn’t in the league because he doesn’t and never did give a sh!t.He got his money and is happily sitting in Ala. getting fat.

  • Good hands

    #741 good point. Peace out.

  • lefty12

    AIG-all is good.Same to you.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    believe he’s out of football because of that bogus arrest where they confiscated a bottle of Vicks 44 that wasn’t even his. It got lauged out of court, but that made him radioactive. Before that, the Jets, Bengals and Vikings were all interested. Don’t know the guy so I don’t know if he really wants to come back now, but if he does, enough time has passed that I believe he will get another shot.
    ================================================
    LMAO. That’s the best you can come up with ?

    He was arrested ? He’s not in jail is he ?

    At a time when teams are falling over themselves to find a competent QB, this guy can’t land a job or doesn’t want to ?

    Bwahaha. Guess he’s content to be a fat slob that’s universally regarded as the biggest bust in NFL history.

    Debo, your answer is ridiculous. More likely that JaMoron is out of football bcz he couldn’t play with your head lodged in his sphincter than the absurd reasons you propose.

  • Raidernationdave

    The only thing about the Raiders John Elway is an expert in is ‘lickin’ deez nutz’!!!!

    +++++++++++++++++

    RaiderDuck Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:20 pm
    Quoting John Elway as a Raiders expert is seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  • RaiderDebo

    RAIDERMAN99 Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:29 pm
    By the way Debo, when you’re drafted number one overall, it almost goes without saying that you’re going to a lousy team and a bad situation.

    Good players and true professionals persevere. They overcome obstacles. They male the players around them better. They turn a bad situation into a good one.

    Now tell me again why JaMoron is out of football at the ripe old age of 26.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Why the hell do you think I’m so pissed off that we cut him? The guy did persevere. He was booed mercilessly at home, had his jersey burned in the parking lot, was destroyed in the media, got his ass kicked in week in and week out because of shoddy pass protection and garbage weapons, got benched for a scrub and endured that POS coach blame him for a losing season in front of the cameras. Yet the guy came off the bench against Denver on the road and pulled it out in dramatic fashion with nothing to play for but the name on the back of his jersey. Yet he’s benched again the next week against Cleveland so Charlie Frye can throw 3 picks in a blowout. Then he plays pretty well in relief against Baltimore before bustining his ass at the facility all summer and kicking ass during the team’s 1st minicamp. I believe he was cut prematurely. The guy was tough as nails and never let the media or fans see him sweat. My kind of QB.

  • Car wash dude

    Rivers = head case. 2 Raider wins there.

    Elway = stupid move dumpin Tebow. 2 wins there.

    KC = no nutsack. 2 wins easily.

    AFC West champs.

    Word.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    RaiderDebo Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Then he plays pretty well in relief against Baltimore before bustining his ass at the facility all summer and kicking ass during the team’s 1st minicamp.

    =========================================

    HAHAHAHA. Was that the minicamp where Hackett asked him to slim down from 270 to 255-260, and he walked in at 290 instead? After that, even Al knew he wasn’t even trying.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    If Pryor doesn’t pan out here, there is one other possibility: Reggie calls Rex Ryan and convinces him to go all-in on the spread option, in which case Tebow will need a backup. Rex sends us Sanchez and we send Pryor and some really neato foot pictures of the Raiderettes.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Michael Bush has 2 TDs in first quarter. RGIII stinking the joint.

  • lefty12

    never let the media or fans see him sweat.
    =======================
    He never sweat because he never did any work.

  • Raidernationdave

    I think you seriously do more of the ‘purple’ than JaDumbass.

    He persevered at nothing.

    He deserved to be booed at home because he sucked.

    The pass protection was actually fairly consistent for JaDonut.

    As for the rest of your points? From the delusional, no hope to address.

    +++++++++++++++

    Why the hell do you think I’m so pissed off that we cut him? The guy did persevere. He was booed mercilessly at home, had his jersey burned in the parking lot, was destroyed in the media, got his ass kicked in week in and week out because of shoddy pass protection and garbage weapons, got benched for a scrub and endured that POS coach blame him for a losing season in front of the cameras. Yet the guy came off the bench against Denver on the road and pulled it out in dramatic fashion with nothing to play for but the name on the back of his jersey. Yet he’s benched again the next week against Cleveland so Charlie Frye can throw 3 picks in a blowout. Then he plays pretty well in relief against Baltimore before bustining his ass at the facility all summer and kicking ass during the team’s 1st minicamp. I believe he was cut prematurely. The guy was tough as nails and never let the media or fans see him sweat. My kind of QB.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Debo, pls give it up, your continual excuse making and JaMoron worship is downright embarrassing.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Lefty12 Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:46 pm
    never let the media or fans see him sweat.
    =======================
    He never sweat because he never did any work.

    ===========================================

    Exactly. Jerry remarked once that it was hard to tell whether JaPaycheck was super-calm and collected, or just didn’t care. We found out the correct answer within the year.

  • RaiderDebo

    RaiderDuck Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    HAHAHAHA. Was that the minicamp where Hackett asked him to slim down from 270 to 255-260, and he walked in at 290 instead? After that, even Al knew he wasn’t even trying.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    When the fck did Hackett (joke of a coach who was another reason for the team’s demise) ask him to slim down to255-260? When did he walk in at 290?? You have a link?

  • RaiderDebo

    RAIDERMAN99 Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    Debo, pls give it up, your continual excuse making and JaMoron worship is downright embarrassing.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    I’ll never in a million years be embarrassed for calling like I see it. And that’s the way I see it.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    http://suite101.com/article/redskins-trade-campbell-to-oakland-for-4th-round-selection-in-201-a229469

    “Russell recently entered the Raider’s offseason mini-camp at over 290 lbs, and that move is not highly regarded among Raider’s management, especially after the three year veteran finished his worst NFL season by passing for 3 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and an abysmal 50% quarterback rating through nine games.”

  • lefty12

    Do you have a link that other teams were interested in his services?And was he ever brought in for a looky-loo?Anywhere?

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Pretty good thumping the Giants are putting on the Jets.

    I’m enjoying it.

    Mark Sanchez stinks and I like seeing Rex squirm.

    Glad the NFL Jetwork is televising it.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Lefty12 Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:51 pm
    Do you have a link that other teams were interested in his services?And was he ever brought in for a looky-loo?Anywhere?

    ========================================

    He was brought in by the Redskins and Dolphins in late 2010, weighed over 290 both times, and was passed over for Patrick Ramsey and some other total scrub.

  • lefty12

    Didn’t realize that.I knew Miami inquired,but didn’t realize they actually brought him in.

  • http://out-of-whack 909RaiderLifer

    Pure comedic genius!……….

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Why is Raider Debo defending worst Raider ever? Biggest bust since Mae West.

  • RaydaSwagger

    RaiderDebo Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    RAIDERMAN99 Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:47 pm
    Debo, pls give it up, your continual excuse making and JaMoron worship is downright embarrassing.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    I’ll never in a million years be embarrassed for calling like I see it. And that’s the way I see it.
    _____________________________
    In other words, you’re blind?

    Why didn’t you just say that from the start?

    If you weren’t blind, you would have seen his huge gut hanging over his pants when he showed up for camp.
    Or you would have seen him walk between stations, while everyone else ran.
    Or you would have read how he made it clear that his horrible play wasn’t his fault.
    Might have read how he slept during meetings.

    If only you could see.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Terrel Pryor 2/3 for 9 yards. 66%, not bad!

  • RaiderRob

    Klas Tjorborn Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Why is Raider Debo defending worst Raider ever? Biggest bust since Mae West.
    ______________________
    Small man syndrome, it appears
    Some who are wrong refuse to ever admit it.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Defending Jamarcus is like defending Hitler. It’s just not possible.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Goodson 6 carries for 5 yards and 2 fumbles. Yikes!

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Jason Campbell is coming into Bears game. He wears #2, LOL.

  • DJ Johnny

    Didn’t Goodson fumble 3 times insted of 2? I thought there was a 3rd one we ended up getting back.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Maybe he had 3 fumbles.

  • DJ Johnny

    778.Klas Tjorborn Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 6:16 pm
    Defending Jamarcus is like defending Hitler. It’s just not possible.

    So Al Davis is Hitler?

    C’mon man.

    (ha…kidding again)

  • PurpleDrank81

    Im pretty sure I’d defend Hitler over Jamarcus

    I mean at least Hitler had work ethic… OH SORRY

  • Carl Weathers

    766.RaiderDebo Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:48 pm
    RaiderDuck Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    HAHAHAHA. Was that the minicamp where Hackett asked him to slim down from 270 to 255-260, and he walked in at 290 instead? After that, even Al knew he wasn’t even trying.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    When the fck did Hackett (joke of a coach who was another reason for the team’s demise) ask him to slim down to255-260? When did he walk in at 290?? You have a link?

    ***********

    768.RaiderDuck Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 5:50 pm
    http://suite101.com/article/redskins-trade-campbell-to-oakland-for-4th-round-selection-in-201-a229469

    “Russell recently entered the Raider’s offseason mini-camp at over 290 lbs, and that move is not highly regarded among Raider’s management, especially after the three year veteran finished his worst NFL season by passing for 3 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and an abysmal 50% quarterback rating through nine games.”

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Wow you just got b!tch slapped!! Done with Jawalrus for good now?

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Yeah, Hitler was impressive. He also had good fashion sense. If it wasn’t for the genocide and kidnapping of Swedish children, he might have been a cool guy.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    True story, Nazis took Swedish children to raise them as super soldiers. They thought Swedes were the purest Aryans around.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Jason Campbell looking decent against Redskins.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    DJ Johnny Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 6:19 pm
    Didn’t Goodson fumble 3 times insted of 2? I thought there was a 3rd one we ended up getting back.

    =====================================

    http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2012081756/2012/PRE2/raiders@cardinals#menu=highlights&tab=analyze

    Official stats say 2 fumbles but if one was negated by a penalty, that wouldn’t be reflected.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    If Hue hadn’t have panicked and traded for Palmer, we would have Jason as QB (or maybe Kyle Orton) and maybe they would have had enough money to resign Bush.

  • J Hill

    Now that you’ve given up on him, I fully expect him to put on 20 lbs of bulk, not lose any speed, and develop into an all-pro.

    ———————————————————-

    LOL!

    Wouldn’t that be something.

    Let me hurry up and give up on Pryor then.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Campbell has been sacked 3 times in less than a quarter. Same ole Jason, I guess. Afraid to throw the ball.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Klas Tjorborn Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 6:29 pm
    If Hue hadn’t have panicked and traded for Palmer, we would have Jason as QB (or maybe Kyle Orton) and maybe they would have had enough money to resign Bush.

    =========================================

    Resign Bush? Why? So we can watch the world’s slowest Eric Dickerson impression?

  • 504 Raider

    The Village Idiot Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 3:25 pm
    Raiders should have drafted Luck. He bona fide.

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

    So according to this “Idiot,” Reggie passed on Luck 3 times.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Resign Bush? Why? So we can watch the world’s slowest Eric Dickerson impression?
    ——-
    LOL, lot better than Goodson.

  • Intrepid

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

  • Just Fire Baby

    Looks like Soup is going to be third string with this type of performance.

  • http://raiders.com Klas Tjorborn

    Bears punter injured. Raiders trade King and Pryor for Bush!

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Intrepid Says:
    August 18th, 2012 at 6:38 pm
    Mike Goodson ‏@GoodNplenty33
    Excellence isn’t a skill…. It’s an Attitude!!!!

    =============================================

    So is hanging onto the ball.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I’ll give it until week 4 before Tebow is starting for Sanchez.