Alex Gibbs teaches the outside zone/wide zone to Dan Mullen, Steve Addazio, and Urban Meyer’s old Florida staff

This unbelievable set of videos is courtesy of Brophy. I don’t know what he had to do to obtain these (nor do I want to know), but you’re all the beneficiaries of what was undoubtedly some unspeakable sacrifice he made. Brophy has put up roughly six or seven hours of video; check out parts one and two.

The context is that Alex Gibbs, then offensive line coach for the Atlanta Falcons while they had Michael Vick at quarterback, visited with Florida’s staff to learn about potentially adding some quarterback read plays to his vaunted zone schemes (the same scheme they ran with the Denver Broncos). Florida’s staff, meanwhile had just spent their first season in the SEC to decidedly mixed results.

Because Florida’s quarterback was not, by himself, much of a run threat (Chris Leak was still their quarterback) and defenses clogged the inside zone and simply slow played the reads and options, the Florida staff installed the outside zone mid-season with some modest success but obviously some ups and downs. The rationale was that the outside zone would get defenders’ feet moving better to open up creases and the associated options. (This is essentially Chip Kelly of Oregon’s gameplan every week.) This meeting with Gibbs was an attempt to learn that particular scheme from the best, though throughout the videos you can see the Florida coaches trying to think about how to fit it within what they already do in terms of the shotgun spread run game, with Dan Mullen, Addazio, and others each having their own points of view. All of this is great stuff, and the problems these coaches wrestle with in these videos — how to apply zone blocking to an ever increasing variety fronts and how to adapt the spread offense and its various reads and options to ever evolving defensive reactions — remain with us today. Check out the whole thing.

  • Anonymous

    Wow

  • DREw

    When looking at the defensive front what are you looking for when calling inside zone vs. outside zone?

  • Jason

    Watched about the first three hours of these vids today. Great stuff from Coach Gibbs.

  • Mr.Murder

    OZ- Reach the first down lineman, if you can, run it. IZ- see if the  backside end plays inside of the tackle or straight up. Seemed to be the gist of his IZ link that I’ve previously viewed.

  • Jumpy

    Coach Mountjoy posted this over at Brophy’s site:

    I have studied (& used) Alex Gibbs’ zone blocking since
    he was line coach under my friend, Dan Henning, with the SD Chargers.

     

    Here is a TECHNIQUE WRITE UP that may be of interest to
    those watching the videos on this site: 
    (billmountjoy@yahoo.com)

     

    INSIDE ZONE TECHNIQUE (DRIVE BLOCK TECHNIQUES):

     

    COVERED:  Take a 6”
    lead step aiming eyes at playside number. 
    Second step to crotch (do not crossover).  Hands at base of shoulder pads.

     

    If DLM stretches with you – stay on block and uncovered teammate
    works up on LBer.

     

    If DLM anchors on you – double team with uncovered
    teammate.  Stay on block until wiped off
    & then work upfield  aiming eyes to playside
    number of LBer.

     

    If DLM slants inside – force him to flatten his slant and
    double team with uncovered teammate. 
    Stay on block until wiped off & then work upfield aiming eyes to
    playside number of LBer.

     

    UNCOVERED:  Take a 6”
    lead step aiming eyes at helmet of DLM. 
    Do not cross over on second step.

     

    If helmet goes out on your 1st step  – 2nd step upfield aiming eyes to
    playside number of LBer.

     

    If helmet stays put – double team (hip to hip) with covered
    teammate & wipe him off on Lber.

     

    If helmet slants inside – get eyes to his playside
    number.  Double team with covered
    teammate & wipe him off on LBer.

     

    OUTSIDE ZONE TECHNIQUE (REACH BLOCK TECHNIQUES):

     

     COVERED:

    Take a 6” lead step aiming eyes at playside arm pit.  Second step slightly outside crotch (do not
    crossover).  Inside hand on midline &
    outside hand under armpit.

     

    If DLM stretches with you – stay on block and uncovered
    teammate works up on LBer.

     

    If DLM anchors on you – stay on block with eyes on playside
    arm pit. 

     

    If DLM slants inside – force him to flatten his slant by
    stiff arming him

    inside.  Stay on block
    until you feel uncovered teammate & then come off aiming eyes to playside number
    of LBer.

     

    UNCOVERED:  Take a 6”
    lead step aiming eyes at helmet of DLM. 
    You may crossover on second step.

     

     

    If helmet goes out & you haven’t contacted DLM by 3rd.
    step – work upfield  aiming eyes to
    playside armpit of LBer.

     

    If helmet stays put – shove him over to covered teammate and
    work upfield aiming eyes to playside armpit of LBer.

     

    If helmet slants inside – aim eyes to his playside
    armpit.  Take him over & wipe covered
    teammate off to LBer.

  • Jumpy

    Coach Mountjoy also posted this:

    MIKE DECLARATION 
    (AKA:  “spotting
    Mike”):   Affects both run AND pass
    blocking.

     

    I)  “HOME
    BASE” FOR MIKE (his “natural” alignment):

     

    A.   In a 3 LB scheme
    – the MIKE LB is always the “MIDDLE” of the 3 LBers.

     

    B.   In a 4 LBer sceme
    – the MIKE LBer is always the second LBer from the strong side of the formtion.

     

    1)  UNDER FRONT = on
    Strong Guard

    2)  EVEN FRONT =
    between the two DT’s

    3)  OVER FRONT = on
    Weak Guard

    4)  OKIE FRONT = on
    Strong Guard

     

     

    II)  SECONDARY
    ALIGNMENT OF MIKE LBer:

     

    A.  PLUS (+) ALIGNMENT
    – typically out of an “EVEN” front – MIKE moves over towards the Y.

     

    B.  MINUS (-) ALIGNMENT
    – typically out of an “EVEN” front – MIKE moves over AWAY from the Y.

     

    NOTE:  SOMETIMES he
    will plus OR minus BECAUSE a Safety drops down into the

    “box”  to
    the opposite sid

     

    We have used ALEX’S running game on both the High School
    & College level.  Hope this insight
    helps!

     

     

    billmountjoy@yahoo.com

     

  • Anonymous

    This thinking is a compilation of ideas we got from both Alex Gibbs & Joe Bugel (whose teachings are very similar:

    1. INSIDE ZONE (AKA: “TIGHT ZONE”)  is
    designed to DRIVE THE DLM OFF THE BALL INO THE LAPS OF THE LBers  (“move level 1 back to level 2”).  It is more of a “cram the B gap, or cut
    back” play. IZ better vs. defenses that play a little soft – striking a
    blow & pursuing laterally.   Using tighter
    POWER ZONE BLOCKING PRINCIPLES (seeking vertical double teams) – it is  important that we get movement off the LOS by
    the O-Line, so the RB can run off the first DLM outside the Center, finding the
    creases, and coming downhill towards the B gap to run to daylight.

    NOTE:  We love it vs “Okie”, &
    “Under” fronts, with a bubble over the ON G.  The  RB
    has a chance to cram the B gap, or cut back. 
    It’s tough as crap for most G’s to block a 3 on IZ (forcing the RB to
    stop his feet & change directions), AND, that is why MOST prefer the play
    towards the lowest # DT technique!!! 

    2. OUTSIDE ZONE (AKA: “WIDE ZONE”)  is
    designed to STRETCH THE DEFENSE.  It is
    more of a “cram the C gap, or take it wide” play. OZ better vs. defenses
    that charge straight ahead & try to overpower the O-Line. The O-Line uses wider
    FULL ZONE PRINCIPLES to create movement up front, seeking double teams, but
    will come off a little quicker in going to the LBers. The path of the RB to the
    butt of the TE will initially stretch the defense to the outside while the RB
    option runs off the block on the DE.

    NOTE:  We love it vs. “Over” &
    “Even”  fronts, with bubble over ON
    T.  The RB has the straight shot to cut
    UP (NOT back) at the C gap if the DE contains, and if the DE comes inside – the
    RB has a chance to “circle the defense”.