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Offensive Line

Not trying to conjure a debate on this, but I'm curious as to what are the mechanical blocking benefits with longer arms ?

Maybe I can see more horizontal blocking area that makes it harder for the D to get around the block, but I also think that with longer arms they are perhaps more likely to grab or extend beyond where they should and get called for Holding.

Regarding your 2nd statement ....

With regard to pass blocking, there is a strong effort (usually always) to execute a pass play that allows the QB to find a Receiver and release the pass ASAP. My thinking on this is that the Secondary is more vulnerable (not reaching for an interception) and the 'QB protection zone' is more secure within the 1st 4 seconds after the snap. Obviously this quick release effort allows the O line guys to end their pass blocks sooner.

With regard to a run play, they attempt to maintain their design block pattern at least until the RB is beyond their own position. Any effort to block after the RB has run beyond their own position will likely trigger a Clip, unless they are directly trying to push their own RB across for a 1st down or the Zero-yard line.

Not sure any of this explains why SF Inc is looking for taller, leaner guys; other than maybe they can keep better pace with a quick tempo offense. I'm not sure I see an obvious benefit to the taller, 'lankier' O line guy with regard to better blocking mechanics.

I'm very curious to see what others have to say about this topic regarding a taller, leaner O-line guys .... why go that direction ?
In zone blocking schemes it's imperative that the OL get their hands on their defender as soon as possible while moving their feet to establish position. Longer arms allow that to happen more easily, and it gives a bit more cushion for when someone unexpectedly shoots a gap. Nebraska ran zone blocking in the 90s also, but almost every play began with a step forward in run blocking, and that means shorter, stronger guys will do fine with that leverage. With an Outside Zone running play (or any number of other more complicated running concepts in Frost's offense) the O-line's first step is lateral, and they need to be able to pick up defenders on the fly while passing off guys in double-teams in order to climb to the next level. Longer arms mean a longer radius with which to work, and even if a defender shoots a gap, the O-line can still steer him out of the play if he can get his hands on him, and the RB reads the blocks correctly, which is usually not an issue on that play even at the high school level.

If this doesn't make sense, let me know, and I can go deeper into it, but I don't want to bore people.
 

Huskerthom

All Legend
5 Year Member
In zone blocking schemes it's imperative that the OL get their hands on their defender as soon as possible while moving their feet to establish position. Longer arms allow that to happen more easily, and it gives a bit more cushion for when someone unexpectedly shoots a gap. Nebraska ran zone blocking in the 90s also, but almost every play began with a step forward in run blocking, and that means shorter, stronger guys will do fine with that leverage. With an Outside Zone running play (or any number of other more complicated running concepts in Frost's offense) the O-line's first step is lateral, and they need to be able to pick up defenders on the fly while passing off guys in double-teams in order to climb to the next level. Longer arms mean a longer radius with which to work, and even if a defender shoots a gap, the O-line can still steer him out of the play if he can get his hands on him, and the RB reads the blocks correctly, which is usually not an issue on that play even at the high school level.

If this doesn't make sense, let me know, and I can go deeper into it, but I don't want to bore people.
Nothing boring about these types of posts.
 

HuskerHeathen

Recruit
5 Year Member
In zone blocking schemes it's imperative that the OL get their hands on their defender as soon as possible while moving their feet to establish position. Longer arms allow that to happen more easily, and it gives a bit more cushion for when someone unexpectedly shoots a gap. Nebraska ran zone blocking in the 90s also, but almost every play began with a step forward in run blocking, and that means shorter, stronger guys will do fine with that leverage. With an Outside Zone running play (or any number of other more complicated running concepts in Frost's offense) the O-line's first step is lateral, and they need to be able to pick up defenders on the fly while passing off guys in double-teams in order to climb to the next level. Longer arms mean a longer radius with which to work, and even if a defender shoots a gap, the O-line can still steer him out of the play if he can get his hands on him, and the RB reads the blocks correctly, which is usually not an issue on that play even at the high school level.

If this doesn't make sense, let me know, and I can go deeper into it, but I don't want to bore people.
I appreciate this level of detail. I think the Longer Radius part you mention provides a good reason to go 'lankier/longer'.
 

Redfish

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
Being able to carry the weight and move laterally makes sense when you are reaching for the edges each and every play. I was concerned about the qb being able to see over these mountainous men, but if you are on the move it may not be as big of deal. The pancake block may be a thing of the past. We may need to find another stat to follow that gives us an indication of dominance.
 

djlhuskerfan

Junior Varsity
10 Year Member
Being able to carry the weight and move laterally makes sense when you are reaching for the edges each and every play. I was concerned about the qb being able to see over these mountainous men, but if you are on the move it may not be as big of deal. The pancake block may be a thing of the past. We may need to find another stat to follow that gives us an indication of dominance.
wins?
 
I appreciate this level of detail. I think the Longer Radius part you mention provides a good reason to go 'lankier/longer'.
Being able to carry the weight and move laterally makes sense when you are reaching for the edges each and every play. I was concerned about the qb being able to see over these mountainous men, but if you are on the move it may not be as big of deal. The pancake block may be a thing of the past. We may need to find another stat to follow that gives us an indication of dominance.
I forgot to mention that longer arms also mean that the O-linemen can comfortably handle wider splits, which then helps to create running gaps on inside running plays. Different offensive schemes call for different spacing in the splits between the O-linemen. For example, most high school teams who run a Double-Wing offense will have the linemen's feet as tight to each other as possible as the initial push is straight ahead, and pulling linemen don't leave as much of a gap for a defender to shoot. The option offenses--Wishbone, Veer Split-T, I-Formation--typically have as wide of spacing as possible so that linemen can get better angles on blocks, and so that the base is wider for the QB to get a read before getting to the edge. Frost's offense also benefits from wider splits. I don't know how they do it at the college level, but I use medium splits for my offense, and I tell my guys to touch "hands to elbows," meaning that when they hold their hands straight out, their hand should reach to the next guy's elbow and vice versa. There are some spread teams that we see who go fingertips to fingertips, and they somehow never allow you to attack those wide interior gaps. Longer arms would mean wider splits.
 
I forgot to mention that longer arms also mean that the O-linemen can comfortably handle wider splits, which then helps to create running gaps on inside running plays. Different offensive schemes call for different spacing in the splits between the O-linemen. For example, most high school teams who run a Double-Wing offense will have the linemen's feet as tight to each other as possible as the initial push is straight ahead, and pulling linemen don't leave as much of a gap for a defender to shoot. The option offenses--Wishbone, Veer Split-T, I-Formation--typically have as wide of spacing as possible so that linemen can get better angles on blocks, and so that the base is wider for the QB to get a read before getting to the edge. Frost's offense also benefits from wider splits. I don't know how they do it at the college level, but I use medium splits for my offense, and I tell my guys to touch "hands to elbows," meaning that when they hold their hands straight out, their hand should reach to the next guy's elbow and vice versa. There are some spread teams that we see who go fingertips to fingertips, and they somehow never allow you to attack those wide interior gaps. Longer arms would mean wider splits.
Good post (and post earlier as well)! One of the reasons I'm not so worried about replacing Foster is that to my eyes he really struggled with the splits and was often reaching to get to a spot due to his shorter arms and slower foot speed (even on the interior).

I have been curious about Frost/Austin's recruiting strategy. I suspect a lot of it is that they need these types of high-ceiling OT's so that they can anchor the outside of the OL and that they may feel they can get local talent (augmented strongly with the walk-on program) for some of those interior positions which could give us a recruiting advantage that we desperately need and allow us to use some scholies elsewhere.

He really added in a lot of pulls during his second year at UCF including something that looked like Malzahn's buck sweep. I'm hopeful we'll be able to see more of that type of thing this year as it gives the perimeter D a lot to think about when you can have a couple of guards or a center coming at them on the outside after your help has been pinned down with the interior running game. It took him to the second year at UCF to start to get taht working though, so I'm not surprised we didn't see too much of it last year as that takes reps by the OL to go from that IZ blocking to the pulling, and, IMO, time for Duval/Ellis/Austin to get and build the kind of linemen they need with that kind of mobility
 

Native

ToungeInCheek since 2010
5 Year Member
Good post (and post earlier as well)! One of the reasons I'm not so worried about replacing Foster is that to my eyes he really struggled with the splits and was often reaching to get to a spot due to his shorter arms and slower foot speed (even on the interior).

I have been curious about Frost/Austin's recruiting strategy. I suspect a lot of it is that they need these types of high-ceiling OT's so that they can anchor the outside of the OL and that they may feel they can get local talent (augmented strongly with the walk-on program) for some of those interior positions which could give us a recruiting advantage that we desperately need and allow us to use some scholies elsewhere.

He really added in a lot of pulls during his second year at UCF including something that looked like Malzahn's buck sweep. I'm hopeful we'll be able to see more of that type of thing this year as it gives the perimeter D a lot to think about when you can have a couple of guards or a center coming at them on the outside after your help has been pinned down with the interior running game. It took him to the second year at UCF to start to get taht working though, so I'm not surprised we didn't see too much of it last year as that takes reps by the OL to go from that IZ blocking to the pulling, and, IMO, time for Duval/Ellis/Austin to get and build the kind of linemen they need with that kind of mobility
Good info and Welcome!
 

Bleed Red

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
Good post (and post earlier as well)! One of the reasons I'm not so worried about replacing Foster is that to my eyes he really struggled with the splits and was often reaching to get to a spot due to his shorter arms and slower foot speed (even on the interior).

I have been curious about Frost/Austin's recruiting strategy. I suspect a lot of it is that they need these types of high-ceiling OT's so that they can anchor the outside of the OL and that they may feel they can get local talent (augmented strongly with the walk-on program) for some of those interior positions which could give us a recruiting advantage that we desperately need and allow us to use some scholies elsewhere.

He really added in a lot of pulls during his second year at UCF including something that looked like Malzahn's buck sweep. I'm hopeful we'll be able to see more of that type of thing this year as it gives the perimeter D a lot to think about when you can have a couple of guards or a center coming at them on the outside after your help has been pinned down with the interior running game. It took him to the second year at UCF to start to get taht working though, so I'm not surprised we didn't see too much of it last year as that takes reps by the OL to go from that IZ blocking to the pulling, and, IMO, time for Duval/Ellis/Austin to get and build the kind of linemen they need with that kind of mobility
I do foresee more pulling from the OL as time goes on. I think that is an important part of SF's plan to blend the UO spread and NU power into his preferred offense.

As for recruiting OL....it makes sense to recruit a large number of OT prospects. Those that don't quite develop will still make very good interior guys (see this all the time in the NFL), especially when they want length at those positions as well. Why limit the team by recruiting alot of guys who will be ticketed for interior simply by their physiques? Just recruit twice as many OT prospects and move the ones you need to move. Smart plan.
 

Power of Corn

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
I like the guys we have recruited in the last 3 classes for OL, but some of the recent guys... I wonder if they are too tall, you wouldnt think that to be a problem, but more often than not, they dont have the agility of a shorter guy, they seem to be short on quickness.... but not always.
 
He really added in a lot of pulls during his second year at UCF including something that looked like Malzahn's buck sweep. I'm hopeful we'll be able to see more of that type of thing this year as it gives the perimeter D a lot to think about when you can have a couple of guards or a center coming at them on the outside after your help has been pinned down with the interior running game. It took him to the second year at UCF to start to get taht working though, so I'm not surprised we didn't see too much of it last year as that takes reps by the OL to go from that IZ blocking to the pulling, and, IMO, time for Duval/Ellis/Austin to get and build the kind of linemen they need with that kind of mobility
I do foresee more pulling from the OL as time goes on. I think that is an important part of SF's plan to blend the UO spread and NU power into his preferred offense.
I absolutely agree about more pulling O-linemen this fall, and, yes, Frost does run plays that look like Malzahn's Buck Sweep. Even better, he ran RPOs at UCF that pulled linemen one way, faked passes the other, and then still had options all around. When you can attack the defense's reads, it's tough for them to do their jobs.
 

36Blast

Slow Blinker
2 Year Member
I like the guys we have recruited in the last 3 classes for OL, but some of the recent guys... I wonder if they are too tall, you wouldnt think that to be a problem, but more often than not, they dont have the agility of a shorter guy, they seem to be short on quickness.... but not always.
Hence the reason why they are drafting ATHLETIC big men. That's why prospects like Oleseni, who they could have gone after was an afterthought as he didn't fit the mold they were looking for...despite the kid being a 6'8" road grader. They are being very specific in the types of guys they are looking for....in the same mold as Wisconsin (athletic dudes who played multiple sports).
 
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