Friday Football Q&A: July 11, 2008

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The Friday Q&A is back to its regularly scheduled time this week. In this
edition, Raleigh Hokie talks about zone blocking, as well as the most important
position on Tech’s defense. Chris Coleman answers the defensive question as
well, and then talks about possible bowl destinations for Virginia Tech at the
end of the season.

Have a question you’d like to see answered? Email it to Chris at chris@techsideline.com.

1) With the advent of zone blocking, are running plays still designed to hit
a particular hole or are they primarily a read type of play?

Raleigh Hokie: With zone blocking, the running back doesn’t have a
specific hole to hit. He uses his vision, instincts and cutback abilities
to choose one of several possible lanes.

On inside zone plays, the OL blocks more downhill and the running back looks
for a cutback lane between the tackles. The deeper handoffs are intentional to
give the running back the maximum vision and flexibility to pick his
seam/cutback lane.

On the zone stretch plays, the offensive line blocks more to the perimeter,
trying to open seams by stretching the defense horizontally. The
handoff actually requires the QB to sprint hard to get to the running back, who
is taking a severe angle
towards the perimeter. In the zone stretch, the running back looks for the best
seam created by the horizontal stretch of the defense, again using the deeper
handoff to give him as much room/vision to see the seams and make his choice.

This differs from the old-style man blocking based plays where the running
back takes a shorter handoff and hits a particular hole as called out by the
play. The blocking scheme will isolate and lead, opening a window at a
specific hole at a specific time. If the play is executed correctly,
the back hits that hole aggressively as the window opens.

2) Given the defense that Tech runs, what positions are the most important
to the success of our defense? Why? In an NFL type draft with all players
being equal, what positions would you draft

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