Subject: Every coach has a system, but none have a play mor
Content: Derrick Henry and The Outside Zone When Matt LaFleur was tapped as the offensive coordinator in Tennessee Navy Josh Kline Jersey , it signaled a philosophical shift in the way the Titans will attack opposing defenses.It will account for the vast majority of run calls, and even runs that aren’t outside zone are designed as a complement, or counter, based on how a defense is reacting to it.This even trickles down to the passing game, which will rely on a lot of play action off of outside zone looks.Like most things, this isn’t completely black and white.There’s a spectrum.Mularkey and Company ran outside zone, but it was used sparingly.Alternatively, LaFleur will still run power, counter, and gap concepts, they just won’t be a staple like they were in years past.Today, we’ll look into the base concepts of an outside zone run using a 2016 play with Derrick Henry.This will hopefully give us all a better understanding of not only the concept, but also how this projects forward with our personnel.The PlaySituation:1st Quarter - 6:01.Score:0-0Titans Personnel:12 (1 Back and 2 Tight Ends)Dolphin Personnel:Base - 4-3Down and Distance: 2nd Down and 8As you can see, this is a well run play that goes for a nice 5 yard gain, but let’s take a look deeper into how this play functions.Pre-Snap, Marcus will be tasked with identifying the direction of the run.This is done simply by counting box defenders versus the gaps on each side.Here, we see that to the left there are three gaps, but 4 defenders fitting the run.To the right side, there are 5 gaps, however there are only 4 box defenders.The run is correctly called to this side of the formation.Next, the linemen will determine their assignments based on whether they are covered or uncovered.This is a fundamental principle of zone blocking.A player is covered if there’s a defender in their playside gap (which would be to the right side since the play is being run to the right here).So, in this instance Youth Corey Davis Jersey , that’s Spain, Kline, and Fasano (note, Fasano isn’t clearly covered here, but that’s how it was blocked.Clearly he and Supernaw were on the same page, which is what matters).The players that are uncovered can initially help with a double team if need be, but their main task is reaching the linebackers at the next level.Note the footwork of the offensive linemen:The initial step is playside, not toward the defender.The objective of the offensive lineman is to reach the outside shoulder of the defender in the playside gap.It’s a race to the sideline.This trademark footwork is a classic thing to watch for when identifying outside zone runs.Given the assignments, the blocking should look something like this:In order to make this all hum, the running back has to be able to read his own set of keys.The initial target is to the outside hip of the tight end (Fasano here).Henry is going to read that defender’s leverage, which will signal what he does next.Fasano isn’t able to reach the defenders’s outside shoulder, which signals the play runs back inside.The next read is the next down lineman inside.If that player isn’t reached, then the run is cut back further.There are terms for this.Bounce - If the initial read defender is reached, then Henry bounces the run outside.Bang - If the initial defender is not reached, but the second defender is, then you bang the run to that gap.Bend - If both defenders are not reached, the runner then bends the run back inside.Otherwise called a cutback.It’s critical for the back to be decisive here.If the read is muddy, most coaches will tell the running back to bang it inside and get what yardage is available.Back to our play:The initial read isn’t reached by Fasano, but the second read is reached by Kline.In this instance, the read is obvious.But, in many cases, the read is not nearly as straight forward.You’ll often here the term “one cut back” when talking about zone runners.This is the ability to “plant and go”.That is, read the defense Youth Kevin Byard Jersey , plant a foot in the ground, and then get North South.Henry isn’t this type of back.He has so much mass, and momentum, that we shouldn’t expect him to be.And, you see that here.In a perfect world. he’d plant and get North South at right around the right hash.However, he takes more time to make that read.It’s not a huge deal, but even in a well blocked play like this one, that split second removes the backside defender that eventually makes the tackle.It isn’t the difference between 5 yards and an explosive, but it probably would have added a few more yards to this run.With every player, there are compromises.There certainly are with Henry.It’s unreasonable to expect a 6’3”, 240 lb player to move like Devonta Freeman.Initially, I had this fear with Henry entering this system.Yet, as I rewatched every run of his NFL career this offseason, my concerns were gradually reduced.This isn’t to say they are non existent, but his strengths in this system will far outweigh that his weaknesses.Given his size, he’s often viewed as a power back, but he’s really a home run hitter in a power back’s body.So, while there may be a handful of plays a game where Henry leaves yards on the table, I believe they will be made up for with the additional explosive opportunities this system affords him. Sam Darnold is one step closer to returning from his foot injury.The New York Jets rookie quarterback was a full participant at practice Wednesday, putting him on track to start at Buffalo against the Bills on Sunday."That's the goal," Darnold said. "I'm really excited about this week and where we're headed. I'm really excited about how I felt today, so as of right now, I'm really excited about hopefully getting a chance to play on Sunday."Yes Youth Marcus Mariota Jersey , he's really excited.After all, Darnold has missed the past three games with a strained right foot. He was injured against Miami on Nov. 4 and hasn't played since. Despite Darnold fully participating and Josh McCown limited with a sore back, coach Todd Bowles wouldn't commit to the rookie starting this week."We'll see," Bowles said. "It's too early in the week."Darnold certainly is preparing as though he'll be playing in the icy cold of Buffalo, where the temperature is expected to be right around freezing Sunday.So, instead of hitting the practice field bundled up in layers Wednesday with the temps in the low-30s, the California kid wore a short-sleeved shirt."It was cold today, but I had a little wet suit underneath," Darnold said with a big grin. "So, I was really warm and felt like I didn't really need long sleeves. I just kind of went with it."Added Bowles: "This is going to be about how it's going to be on Sunday, so I'll think he'll be fine. He's 21, he'll shake it quick."Darnold returned to practice on a limited basis last week , but was not active last Sunday as McCown started in his place for the third straight game. Bowles said the No. 3 overall pick was working on shaking off the rust by getting his timing right."He looked fine," Bowles said of Darnold's performance Wednesday. "I mean, he threw the ball around pretty good, but it's Day 1, so we're trending."Darnold acknowledged that there's occasional soreness as he works his way back from the foot injury, the details of which haven't been disclosed other than the team calling it a "strain." The quarterback was in a walking boot for a few days after the injury and has been gradually improving during the last four weeks."I knew it was three or four weeks, but for me it was really just depending on how I felt, if I felt ready to go, so hopefully this week," Darnold said. "So far after that last practice, I feel really good Youth Derrick Henry Jersey , so I'm really hoping to get back out there this Sunday."The 39-year-old McCown had one touchdown pass and four interceptions filling in for Darnold, and the Jets went 0-3 in those games.Darnold still leads the NFL with 14 interceptions despite missing three games, but will try to jumpstart an offense that has struggled during New York's six-game losing streak."It's been tough," Darnold said of sitting out a month. "It (stinks). Josh has done a great job, honestly, of everything, really handling everything the way he has has been amazing. But for me, watching and not having a chance to do anything about it (stinks), but at the same time it is what it is and I knew that going into it."So, I was just trying to get healthy every single week and come back and hopefully this week is the week."If Darnold returns this week, it will be the first time he'll take on Buffalo's Josh Allen, who was taken four picks after New York took its quarterback.Darnold and Allen got to know each other well during the months leading up to the draft, both working with Jordan Palmer and preparing for the next step in their football careers. Darnold said it would be "fun" to face Allen, even though he knows the Bills rookie 鈥?who set a Buffalo record for quarterbacks with 135 yards rushing last week against Miami 鈥?could be trouble for the Jets' defense."The dude is a freak athlete," Darnold said. "He's so big and runs so fast and can throw the ball a mile. He's a handful for defenses all around the league, but I know that 鈥?like I've had 鈥?there's just some different looks that you go against than college. So he's, just like I've been having, a little bit of rookie struggles and not seeing some of the defenses."I think for both of us it's just about continuing to get those reps, but Josh has been doing amazing."NOTES: OL Spencer Long didn't practice because of an illness, along with knee and finger injuries. RB Isaiah Crowell (toe) also sat out. ... WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and TE Jordan Leggett (knee) were both limited. ... S Marcus Maye had surgery Tuesday on his injured shoulder. Bowles said Maye, who's on injured reserve, will need a few months to recover. ... LB Josh Martin returned to practice after being designated for return from IR after missing the past eight games with a concussion.