See how the switch from zone to man blocking schemes propelled Don Lugo (CA) to the CIF semi-finals. Read the report....
By Alex Roy
Offensive Line Coach
Don Lugo High School (CA)
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In our first meeting as a new staff, the first thing the head coach said was “If you want to win it all, you got to run the ball.” We bought into that philosophy at Don Lugo and it has brought us tremendous success. We nearly doubled our production on the ground in rushing yards, yards per game, carries and touchdowns. With our change to a man blocking scheme, it ignited our run game that took us from six wins to ten wins and a CIF semi-final appearance.
The man blocking scheme allowed our players to just fire out and play, without all the clutter and adjustments. I gave our lineman four pre-snap principles to remember:
- Know the play
- Identify your blocking rule
- Identify your defender
- Fire out and play!
With these four things, it made our blocking schemes simple, to allow our players to play fast and block the defender as fast as you can. We want to step on their toes before they can make a read. We do not want our players to think too much.
We have four main blocking rules with variables attached to each, but the principles and scheme is the same. These four rules apply to all of our run plays, most especially our bread and butter plays (the blast, power g and reverse).
Our Drive rule is “G-O-L.” This stands for is “Gap-On-Linebacker.” The lineman go through this three-step process when they are about to execute their “Drive” block.
- Is there anyone in their INSIDE GAP?
- Yes? Block the man
- No? Question 2
- Is there anyone ON you, as in a head up defensive lineman?
- Yes? Block the man
- No? Then…
- Block the LINEBACKER (
- First Linebacker HEAD UP to INSIDE of you.
There are a few adjustments to the Drive rule, and those include “Drive Out” and “Drive Away.” This enables our players to adjust to a specific run play. For instance, on “Drive Away” our center will apply the same “G-O-L” rules to the gap away from the play. Another example is our play side tackle will follow the “G-O-L” rules for “Drive Out” to the outside as opposed to the inside.
Our focus for executing the Drive block is aggressiveness like a board drill. We want them to take a play side drive step out and up 6 to 8 inches. From there, we want movement up the field and no lateral movement. Their hips are still parallel to the line of scrimmage and their helmets to the play/hole side. If the play is going right, we want their heads on the right side and vice versa. This type of block should look like a sled drill if executed properly.
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- How the lead/post fundamental is applied to the power concept in Coach Roy’s scheme.
- How the angle fundamental is applied to the reverse concept in Coach Roy’s scheme.
- How the pull and trap fundamental is applied to counter concept in Coach Roy’s scheme.
- Plus game film on all these concepts.
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In the age of playing fast and less thinking, many people thought that by us huddling up, playing slower and having an old school attack would be detrimental to the season. In actuality, we had success in all phase and only increased our win total. We provided our players with less complex concepts and allowed them to line up and go. Man blocking helped the lineman play faster, and execute the blocks more consistently. Blast, Power G and Reverse were great plays for us, you can apply this blocking scheme to any type of offense. I would like to thank X&O Labs for allowing me the opportunity to talk about our run game and our football program.
Meet Coach Roy: Alex Roy recently joined the Don Lugo football program alongside new Head Coach Greg Gano in 2016. After a brief break from the game of football in 2015, Coach Roy has been coaching for six years with stops at Citrus Community College, Ohio Dominican University, Diamond Bar High School and Bonita High School. Alex played Offensive Line at Diamond Bar High School and played both Offensive Line and Defensive line at both Citrus and Ohio Dominican University. Coach Roy has also coached on both sides of the line as well. Alex is currently pursuing his teaching credential to become a Math teacher.