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Founder and Owner of the Flexbone Association. Since 2007 we have provided the tools necessary for teams to succeed running the Flexbone Association System. Over the last ten years over 200 teams have been instructed by the Flexbone Association. I've consulted with teams and or run camps everywhere from Belfair, WA to Key West, FL. The Flexbone Association strives daily to help coaches succeed with this time tested offense, I have been a football coach for 16 seasons, currently at Harrison High School in Kennesaw, GA I played at St. Mary's Springs High School in Fond du Lac, WI under legendary head coach Bob Hyland. I've been fortunate to be part of five state championship teams (1997,1998,2002,2011,2012). In 2011-2012 St. Mary's Springs led the state of Wisconsin in scoring and set consecutive school records for points scored, Psalm 27

The Definitive Guide to Zone Dive: Part Two – Blocking Techniques

Written by: Mark Kleinpeter, Former Offensive Line Coach/Athletic Director, United States Naval Academy 

Playside Zone Blocking

There are three playside blockers on this play (PSG, PST & PSA or Heavy Tackle).  We are basically working a 3-on-3 or hopefully a 3-on-2 situation, blocking-wise.  The biggest mistake that I see on this play is with PSA blocking.  The PSA MUST step correctly and block what he sees.  The PSA has to be ready to block the DE or LB, depending upon who shows.  The PST and PSA must work upfield in their “cylinders” and block what shows.  If PST clears 1st level, then he looks to close back to PSLB.  Do not chase the 5-technique. 



Our Zone Dive rules are driven by the looks that teams are giving us.  Against a true 50 look, we will sometimes FAN block the playside and allow the PSA to insert like Midline track.  That is usually a called play or game adjustment.  Here is what we teach by position:


If both PSG & PST are covered, then the PST will step with his Inside Foot.  He is looking to get vertical in his “cylinder” and block whatever threat enters it as he moves upfield.  If PSG is uncovered, the PST will step with outside foot and follow “cylinder” rule.  We might make a FAN (White) call, depending upon the opponent (good against Blood stunts).


If covered, the PSG will step with his near foot towards the defender.  If PSG is uncovered, he will step with playside foot and protect B gap, being especially mindful of a 4i technique. 




Backside Blocking       

As I wrote in the previous article, Scoop blocking is very important, especially on this play.  Against an odd front, the ball could easily cutback behind the Nose.  Against an even front, the Shade/BSLB blocks are critical to making this play work.  Pad level and speed are the two critical components to the Scoop blocks.  Occasionally, we will work a Fold scheme backside between the C/BSG.  This is usually against a 6-1 defense or when we are struggling to get movement on the playside DL and the backside 2i is squeezing down hard to take away the cutback.  We will FOLD block it (Center block back on 2i, BSG wrap around and fill cylinder over where ball was snapped.  The B back normally hits in there right behind the BSG’s pull.


You need to rep the inside 3-on-3 drill often so that B back can get used to reading the action key.  It also helps your inside guys work their BASE, ACE, SLIP, SCOOP and FOLD blocks.  The C/BSG scoop is where we get most of our high-low penalties called, so you really need to work that block.  The Center needs to be low and go through the hip.  He needs to be fast.  If the Center gets stood up and gets slow, then you’re probably going to get called for high-low block.

The other area that needs to be worked quite a bit is the PST/PSA block.  The PSA needs to understand and recognize what the PST is trying to do against certain defensive looks.  He needs to know which way the PST is working every time.  Everything is happening really fast for the PST.  The PSA will have longer to recognize what is going on because he’s deeper and standing up.  If the PST locks on or falls out of his cylinder, then the PSA needs to adjust and take over the PST’s cylinder.  You need to work the PST and PSA on all the combinations of looks and post-snap movements that they will be getting on this play.

There are two scenarios that are tough for the PSA.  The first instance is when the PST is using outside footwork (PSG uncovered vs odd front) against a 5 or 6 tech.  Sometimes the PST will really lock up with the 5 tech and ride him out instead of passing him off to the PSA.  The PSA needs to adjust and go under the PST block, much like he does when he inserts on Midline.  The other instance is when the PST is using inside footwork (PSG & PST covered even front) against a 4, 5 or 6 tech.  If the DE squats and then collapses inside, the PSA needs to stop penetration.  The PST will have moved upfield in his cylinder, leaving the DE to the PSA.  The PSA can’t let that guy cross his face.  You can also pair this drill up with Load blocks on Triple and have them work on those blocks together as well. Give your team the Flexbone Association advantage in 2014.

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One Comment on “The Definitive Guide to Zone Dive: Part Two – Blocking Techniques”

  1. Mike Percie December 11, 2013 at 3:33 PM #

    Didn’t Key West (FL) HS go 1-9 this year?


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