Why we zone block by Coach Mountjoy


Our DEFINITION of zone blocking = “ZONE BLOCKING IS TWO ADJACENT OFFENSIVE LINEMEN RESPONSIBLE FOR BLOCKING TWO DEFENDERS IN A CERTAIN AREA.” It BEGINS at the bubble. The more bubbles – the more zone blocks on a given play (the fewer the bubbles – the fewer the zone blocks on a given play. WE normally get from ONE to THREE zone combos on a zone play (strictly depending on the defense’s alignment). THEREFORE – ZONE & MAN BLOCKING ALWAYS HAS TO FIT TOGETHER WITHIN EACH PLAY!!!

1. Zone blocking means that our blockers are responsible for only HALF a man (they have “ass protection” coming from an uncovered teammate to their inside). This way, we frequently get DOUBLE TEAMS from the DLM to the LBer. A blocker can come off the ball FASTER, & with MORE CONFIDENCE if he knows that he has help. If the DLM goes inside – he will be turned over to your inside teammate.

2. In a zone blocking scheme, fleet-footedness and athletic ability trump size as desirable qualities in offensive linemen. Coordination and technique matter more than muscle in implementing a successful scheme because defensive linemen are often double-teamed at the point of attack. Creating movement on the defensive line is more important than opening a specific hole in the defense.

3. You cannot MAN block all twists, slants, angles, stacks, etc. Sooner or later – you HAVE to zone off with another man, or defenders will run free. If you look at Vince Lombardi playbooks from the 1950’s & 1960’s – he EMPHASIZES zoning off on certain RUN schemes (he called it “Do-Dad” blocking), and on pass protection schemes vs. “twists”, etc.

4. It has proven to cut off penetration, & create movement on level 1 (DLM), with someone coming off on level 2 (LBer).

5. Can interchange positions EASILY!

6. WHO to block is EASY.


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