Monday, October 26, 2009

Geaux Hawkeyes: Outside Zone

Congratulations to the Iowa Hawkeyes and their battle against Michigan State this weekend. As they climb the BCS rankings this season, take note of former Oline coach, Kirk Ferentz's bread-and-butter running play, Stretch (Outside Zone).

Ferentz and Oline coaches, Reese Morgan and John McLaughlin ( no, not THAT guy ), stress key fundamentals for gaining leverage on defenders. The system they have used since Ferentz’s arrival in Iowa City has consistently featured a dominant run game (regardless of talent).

Their teaching progression for gaining leverage is as follows;

  • Get underneath and inside
  • Eyes on Target
  • Flat Back
  • Pad under chin
  • Elbows in
  • Hands Under
  • Knees under chest

They stress the Olinemen to attack low-to-high, deliver an initial punch and then get the defender on his toes.

Once locked on to the target, if the defender tries to get away, they should accelerate their knees (and run over him). When the defender attempts to run away, that’s when guys get flattened because the inertia and combo blocking is too much to overcome.

The first step of the Olineman is a tight reach to the defenders' playside number. It doesn’t really matter if it is 3” or 6”, it all is relative to the athlete’s ability. The second step should be placed to put the lineman’s knee in the crotch (center of balance) and get vertical by driving his feet. From there, leverage is something they fight for with every step, looking to overtake the defender with movement.

HAWK RUN GAME from ragin caucasian on Vimeo.

Here we see their stretch run game utilized heavily throughout the game from various formations (both strong and weak). The following clips coming from their last drive in the game and the exciting last minute play (just basic 3-step slant-shoot concept) in the final 2 seconds is worth seeing again....

HAWK STRETCH from ragin caucasian on Vimeo.

Having coached one, and also against five Hawkeye starters, I don't feel so bad about my situation now.

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