7 Ways to Block Wide Shades in the Outside Zone

Sep 29, 2014 | Offense, Run Game, Run Game Mechanics, Offensive Line, Wide Zone Run Concepts, Position Groups

By Mike Kuchar - @MikeKKuchar

Senior Research Manager

X&O Labs



One of the problem areas offensive line coaches struggle with in the outside zone scheme is how to man block wide techiques in the outside zone or stretch concept.  If that block is not made at the point of attack, the threat of first level penetration occurs, thus styming the rhythm of the play.  Our research presents up to seven variations coaches are using to get those wide defenders accounted for at the point of attack.


Editor’s Note:  The following research is part of XandOLabs.com special report on the middle and outside zone concept.  The full length report can be found by clicking here.


Blocking Wide Techniques


Drop & Pop Technique

When defenders are in a wider alignment, Donatelli will use what he calls drop and pop footwork in his middle zone concept.  In this technique the play side foot drops, steps behind the L.O.S. for equal width and depth to achieve “Big toe/Little Toe” Landmark.   The second step is on the same angle but again on an up field attacking angle.  We utilize this footwork for  attacking a hard defender off of our body’s or when piercing the backside second level.



To see how Coach Donatelli teaches the Drop and Pop Footwork, click on the link below: