Systemic Problems Part II: Zone Blocking

Systemic Problems Part II:

Zone Blocking

 •  by Ransom Hawthorne

“Systemic Problems” is a 3-Part Series.

Read “Systemic Problems- Part I: West Coast Offense” –> here.

In the NFL, there are two primary run blocking systems: the Zone Blocking System (ZBS) and the Power Blocking System (PBS). Chiefs predominantly run a Zone Blocking System. The central goal of zone blocking, is to create holes for the running back through lateral, rather than forward movement. In pass blocking, the ZBS teaches linemen to focus on their part of the field, rather than the man in front of them. This requires a great deal of communication and coordination. The ZBS was, at one time, the most revered blocking system in the NFL, and Alex Gibbs used it to propel the Charger’s running game to first in the NFL, but times change, and the ZBS is hurting the Chiefs ability to succeed.

Personnel: A zone blocking lineman has to be mobile. If you look at the players Chiefs have drafted early, on the OL, you’ll see that all of them are uniquely mobile for the position. This is not a bad thing, but it’s problematic, in that, more mobile OL tend to also be smaller. This means, that while the Chiefs can scheme up some creative runs, they are often vulnerable to strong DL and pass rushers, especially in pass protection. If you’re plan on running a ZBS, you’ve got to have this kind of player.

Practice: The ZBS is completely dependant on coordination between offensive linemen. If one guy is out of position, a gap gets filled or a defender runs free, either way, the play is DOA if not properly executed across the board. This coordination requires a great deal of practice. The pass protection fits can be even more complex than the run blocking. A ZBS that lacks coordination and experienced players will be especially vulnerable to stunts (defensive players rushing through abnormal gaps). This, not unlike the WCO, requires a long term commitment to acquiring and retaining experienced OL, since one injury, or weak link, on the OL can derail the entire thing. The fact that the Chiefs have acquired some truly bad OL since 2013 (Mike McGlynn, Paul Fanaika), is likely due to the fact that these players had experience in a ZBS. With modern NFL practice rules, there’s simply not enough time to get a backup OL up to speed in a ZBS in a single off-season.

Support: Every run scheme is supported by a passing scheme. The ZBS is supported by a diverse passing attack that spreads defenders across the field. By it’s nature, a ZBS can’t hold up against eight defenders in the box. The running back’s job is to run up to the OL and then follow along until the designed hole, or a different hole, opens up. This is why ZBS running backs are often referred to as one cut backs. Their job is to find the hole, make a cut, and then run through the secondary for extra yards. The problem is, with eight defenders, the D can simply watch for the gap to open up, and then hit the RB immediately as he goes through. A ZBS, when challenged by an 8-man box, needs to have a QB who can throw deep off of play action. Without a deep passing game, a ZBS will fail, because it’s not designed to overpower the defense, it’s designed to out-finesse them, something that’s harder to do, the more players you’re dealing with.

What Does This Mean For The Chiefs: In this era of limited practice time, to build a quality ZBS takes a major commitment in the draft and the salary cap. It’s not enough to draft good players, you have to develop them and keep them. It’s incredibly hard to build quality depth for the system, because backup OL have to play multiple positions. This means they often have relatively little experience starting at their spot. The Chiefs started the year with an incredible running game, but it was quickly derailed by both injury and the disappearance of the deep ball. Either of those things hurts the run game, both together, will completely destroy the ZBS, as we’ve clearly seen.

A good quality zone offensive lineman is an incredible athlete with a rare combination of strength and speed. Many OL in the system, however, are either strong or mobile. The ZBS often forces you to pick your poison. Go with a great run blocker who will struggle with stunts, or go with a great pass blocker who will struggle with run fits. Assembling a ZBS that is both good in the run game, and good in pass protection, is both time consuming and expensive. At it’s best, it’s unstoppable, but teams are rarely able to maintain such a line year in and year out.

Solution: A Combo Blocking System

The traditional Power Blocking System can struggle in pass protection, due to it’s simplicity, but it can offer much more level production in the run game. In the PBS, OL simply attack the blocker in front of them, and try to shove them straight back. This is very easy to teach and really only requires the OL to be strong, and quick out of his stance. A PBS will often employ a pulling LG, so you have to be more mobile at that position, but other OL are not required to be freakishly mobile, just adequate. The beauty of the PBS, is that the running back simply follows his blockers up field. If you have players who can win at the point of attack, you’re going to gain at least some yards almost every play. You may not rip off the same kind of chunk runs as the ZBS, but you should be able to maintain steady production and still gain a yard or two, even against stacked boxes.

In pass protection, the Chiefs should continue to run zone concepts. NFL pressure schemes are too complex for the traditional PBS. Since power blockers are only responsible for the guy in front of them, they can get caught off guard by stunts or twists. Zone blocking in pass protection doesn’t require you to be quite as mobile, just aware. It still requires communication and coordination, but, for pass blocking, there’s really no way around that.

If Chiefs can resurrect their deep ball game, they can resurrect their big time run game. In the interests of sustainability though, I think they should switch to Power Blocking in the run game. While the ceiling of the PBS is much lower, it’s floor is much higher. I also feel like power blocking tends to wear an opposing defense out more, over time. If Chiefs can make this switch, without diminishing their effectiveness in pass protection, which hasn’t been marvelous anyway, they should absolutely do it. For the future, for the fans, Go Chiefs.

Bonus Thought: If switching to a PBS in the run game means that we never again sign a Mike McGlynn or Jeff Linkenbach in free agency, that alone should be worth it right?

If you are viewing this in Apple News and would like to join the Discussion, [GO HERE.](http://arrowheadone.com/systemic-problems-part-ii-zone-blocking/#disqus_thread)

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017

Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne

Ransom Hawthorne is an electrician living in central KS. He's married and has two young boys. Born in KS, and raised in Tucson, Ransom spent his middle school years in southern Mexico.
Ransom Hawthorne

Related posts

  • berttheclock

    Those who keep demanding Mahomes II to start are missing an important reason why the current Chiefs are heading nowhere.

    When teams begin to employ the Cover Two against your team in order to keep your speedsters from getting deep and making sure to keep those same speedsters in front of them even on short passes, then, there is one solution to beat this system. That is called a running game.

    Consider this fact. In the first 5 games of the season, Kareem Hunt averaged 3.88 yards per carry before making his first contact with a defender. In games 6-12, he has only averaged a paltry 1.37 yards per carry before making his first contact. This comes down to being 41st in the league. Those stats are from an ESPN NFL thread which is up this AM.

    In addition, Brian Baldinger’s GIFs concerning the lack of run blocking is up over at AP. He shows such as the line pulling to its right with a hole seemingly opening behind Fulton, only to see the Bills LB hit Hunt at the LOS. Other examples show absolutely no push by the O-line of the Chiefs against the Bills D-line. In another example, Reid went to Tom Osborne’s I-formation with Sherman trying to lead the way for Hunt. Did not work as the O-line had no push and there was no hole left for Hunt.

    Unless Master Mind Guru Andy “Mea Culpa” Reid can figure out how to motivate the O-line to begin to holes and gaps for Hunt, he will never be able to solve the current problem of the Cover Two.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I don’t think you can boil it down to one thing. Traditional cover two is employed to stop the deep pass, but you don’t load the box in a traditional cover two. The run blocking absolutely has to get better, but when you have eight men in the box, it’s pretty tough to run. There are several ways to combat that. One is by throwing deep, another is by playing 10 personnel to get the defenders out of the box and then let your OL win one on one, they can’t do that because the OL is not winning one on one. In essence, Chiefs need to run the ball for the offense to work, but they need either Smith or the OL to be great, and, right now, neither is. Fulton is the weakest link and needs be replaced by either Ehinger, or Witzmann.

      • berttheclock

        I saw the same problems in the playoff loss and it was never addressed in the last draft. There was and is still not any push back by either the offensive or defensive lines. Both lines are getting man handled by other teams. As noted in my comment above from Baldinger, he saw no offensive push back against the Giants. When, your O-line can not push back and they can not create holes for runners such as Hunt, Cover Twq will kill off your best options on the outside. BTW, some excellent runs have been made by Hunt against 8 in the box. Just open holes nearest the LOS and he can cut back against the grain. When a runner is able to cut back, he has nothing but daylight ahead of him. But, first he has to be able to get to that crease. Notice again what was noted above about the decrease in getting through the hole and being hit by the first defender in the first 5 games and what has happened in the last 6 games. Hunt is not being able to get through the LOS and that drop off from 3.88 to only 1.37 is killing his ability to gain big chunks.

      • or 2: One an immediate ie, a TE and a second deeper, say 7 yards. If the LBs are being held to the first slant by a TE, a hole opens behind by the second slant. Hill, Wilson and Robinson have the speed to get that separation. We don’t see much of either and not enough called plays with a receiver over the middle. Robinson and Kelce should be excellent but timing is crucial, and being able to contest for the ball is necessary. Both Robinson and Kelce can handle that. They are both physical and will go up for a pass and take it and keep it away from the Corners who are covering them. But Reid has to call the plays and Al Smith has to hit the receiver. They are not using this much at all. In fact, Harris had one reception v the Bills that demonstrates my point about the TE over the middle.

        • berttheclock

          One of the things which interested me about Robinson in college was his ability to gain many YACs. However, so far with the Chiefs, it appears every time he catches a pass, some defender is there to hit him or he is going out of bounds with the ball.

      • Orson Charles is a more traditional TE and he is a good blocker and that should give the Chiefs more options at TE>

        We need to utilize both your observation and his blocking ability against team cheating to stop the run. And again, I think we need to utilize a different look to the offense, play-action, with Sherman lead blocking along with Charles tight and Al Smith under center. You create the ability to shift up, play-action and then the pass game against this 7 and 8 man front should give the Chiefs sequencing. From that, you then bust them deep as was happening in the first 5 games.

        • berttheclock

          Yes, he is a H-back type. When, he first played in the NFL, he was switched to FB. But, did you notice that last week, as noted in Baldinger’ comment I mentioned below, when Reid went to Sherman leading in an I-formation, Hunt was still jammed.

          • Because we are still having difficulty blocking…. Running that play as a play-action would work but you have to run it, then use it and do play-action out of it with a TE set up for blocking. Remember the effectiveness of Fasano and why he was so important to the early success of the Chiefs and the run game? Or even the “Beard”.

    • Delaware Chief

      Although Alex Smith is not playing well at all lately, the offensive line is doing a terrible job the last 5 games or so. I know this isn’t going to happen, but I would love to see Coach Reid give the play calling to Nagy with some help from Childress and he really focus on the offensive line with Coach Heck. To me everything offensively relates to offensive line play. Another problem is generally the offensive line was an afterthought in the draft as many of the lineman were picked late in the draft. Offensive and defensive lines along with CB need to be a priority in almost every draft. Unfortunately,that won’t be this draft because of the #1 pick being traded as well as some other picks leaving the Chiefs with only 4 total picks, they will have to hit on every one of them

      • Big time support for Nagy doing the play-calling. I am trading back in my mocks to pick up another 4th or 5th round pick. I think that gives the Chiefs the opportunity to make up the loss of the 5th round pick. Nothing to be done about round 1. It’s going to make it difficult to get two top prospects, round 2 and 3 but if Veach does his homework, something at which Dorsey excelled, then we should see two players capable of coming to the Chiefs game. Like you, I believe at least one trench player has to be found one side of the ball or the other. I see CB and OLB as huge exposures so the focus of the first 2 picks, and a strategic trade back would be a “coup”.

  • HOMER!! Dave

    “If switching to a PBS in the run game means that we never again sign a Mike McGlynn or Jeff Linkenbach in free agency, that alone should be worth it right?”

    Crazy thought. but maybe McGlynn and Linkenbauch were more suited for a PBS rather than a ZBS like they were thrust into while with KC.

    I still think the KC scouts suck at choosing lineman and that Heck might be one of the worst O-line coaches out there.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I dunno. Both played ball at Pitt, which traditionally ran a ZBS, both played for Indianapolis. I’m afraid they were at least considered scheme fits.

      • HOMER!! Dave

        my point being is that maybe they were both miscast as ZBS guys, and should have been PBS instead. It happens everyday in the NFL, the wrong guys in the wrong schemes.

        • Chiefly Bacon

          What I’m saying is I don’t think those guys are a fit for a PBS either. They just suck, but they come closer to fitting the profile of ZBS blockers.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            lol, point taken

  • HOMER!! Dave

    Another great point Chiefly:

    “A ZBS, when challenged by an 8-man box, needs to have a QB who can throw deep off of play action. Without a deep passing game, a ZBS will fail, because it’s not designed to overpower the defense….”.

    If I may add to the thought though, the passes don’t necessarily have to be “deep” as in 30-40 yards , they just need to be vertical and challenge the defenses enough to keep the Secondary honest. If the QB completes enough passes at the 20-30 yard mark the box will unload. 86 passes behind the LOS, and 155 passes attempted at less than 10 yards this season so far. http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/splits/_/name/kc/kansas-city-chiefsf

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      I rewatched the Skins and Eagles games this morning, or rather most of the Chiefs offensive plays. Our O-line hasn’t been good all year. But Smith was more accurate earlier. I’m not going to disagree with what you said, but I think the passes just need to be deep enough to move the chains consistently. We have had way too many 3 and outs lately, and that is what is killing our O.
      BTW, if I’m not mistaken, the Skins were in cover two part of he time and AS11 didn’t nave much trouble with it, but most of the passes were to Conley and Wilson.
      Also our run game didn’t come alive until late in both games, at half time of both games, Hunt had like 9 yards rushing against the Eagles and 24 vs the Skins.

      • HOMER!! Dave

        55 of 92 on 3rd downs this year. Pretty rough.

        • PaulFromNorthMo

          Not gonna argue that. Watching some this morn, I saw Harris drop 4 that coulda made that a 59, add in the “not thrown to an open receiver” stat, and it’s a little more skewed. And that was just 2 games.

  • I was anxiously awaiting this and Ransom, you fufilled my expectations. I want to call attention to one specific observation you made, because what is not being used enough is motion and play-action. When you have an 8 man front, it is up to the receiver to get separation against a limited secondary. Linebackers are cheating in and the play must utilize holding the LBs in along with a cornerback, and that is what is not happening. At the same time, limited motion which we are seeing doesn’t force the secondary to move, and certainly doesn’t create an “uncertainty”. The previous game to the Bills game, the Chiefs used two motion guys and were penalized due to timing…. two guys in motion at the same time. Another play was a pass to the outside where two guys tried to receive the ball. One of them failed to be the blocker.

    It’s as if the confusion is related to the play-calling, failure to hold the LBs for pass plays and failure to get into the second level with blocking(and that is because the opposing defense is focused on an 8 man front but with two players cheating in and reading the play which I think is happening — lack of success for even short routes with the WCO.

    Anyway, what we are doing is not working. Viewers can see it. Reid is not using two TE sets, nor using a blocking back, putting guys in motion is not being used much and play-action is nearly absent.

    “…A ZBS, when challenged by an 8-man box, needs to have a QB who can throw deep off of play action.A ZBS, when challenged by an 8-man box, needs to have a QB who can throw deep off of play action.A ZBS, when challenged by an 8-man box, needs to have a QB who can throw deep off of play action.”

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      I wonder if the reason Reid has gotten away from some the motion is the health of the players. Hill has come off the field several times kinda limping and holding his hip, and Wilson has missed several games with his hammy, and those are our two main misdirection guys.

      • good point: Hill has had an injury report, but did not miss time. Wilson is back but he was out across 3 games. I hate to give him credit but he dos know the offense, playbook and he is in a contract year. His play is vastly more aggressive than last year and it shows. It also show that he his knowledge is solid whereas Hill and Robinson, for example, are just beginning to get it down. At the same time, Timing and sequencing the QB looks as he progresses through the receivers depends on timing, and guys getting separation.

        • PaulFromNorthMo

          Watching what I did this morn, Wilson is second to Kelce as Smith’s go to guys. With Conley out and then Wilson, Smith’s comfort zone was reduced by ⅔. I’ve never been a Wilson fan like some, but Alex is comfortable with him and it shows. I think our offense will get back on track this week vs the Jets.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            we can hope.

        • berttheclock

          In the early part of his return last Sunday, he appeared to have cobwebs in his head. But, later in the game, he turned it around. Now, just because I have demanded him to be cut about quadruple times does not mean I fail to see his current importance to the team.

      • plus the injuries to the OL….

        • PaulFromNorthMo

          The funny thing is, the O-line hasn’t really seemed to improve with the starters back. IIRC we gave up 16 sacks the first 4 games and a ton of pressures, but I think Smith handled the pressure better then also.

          • they are still using Fulton and he is mis-cast at Guard. If we used a PBS and had a reflection at Guard on the opposite side who was a PBS guard, it might be different. But the Chiefs don’t have that guard, hence I think Ehinger should be starting opposite LD-T.

          • berttheclock

            As noted by a GIF from last week, the defender (LB) was able to cut behind him as he and the blockers to his right were all heading right. Plus, Fulton is not fast enough to pull and help to his left.

          • berttheclock

            I mentioned a few days back that Chung is getting raves for his work with the Eagles’ O-line, especially, concerning their ZBS blocking schemes.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            Fulton hasn’t been good, but I’m not so sure Fisher hasn’t been worse. He is getting beat any which way a defender wants to go, inside, outside, through him. On his 5th year in this system he should be better, so was that a Dorsey blunder or bad OL coaching.

          • berttheclock

            Did you read that several of the Chiefs’ O-line, including soon to be Dr LDT went to a local blood drive in KC. Perhaps, some of them needed some transfusions, as well. LDT spoke of how he worked off season in a emergency trauma center and how having O negative blood had saved injured patients. So, more O negative for the O-line.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            Yeah, that was all over the local news, what was unclear was if they actually donated or were just there for moral support, or simply a PR thing.

          • berttheclock

            From the pictures, it seemed to be more of a PR deal.

          • HOMER!! Dave
          • Chiefly Bacon

            Those things are pretty heavily related. Watching some of Fisher’s bad snaps, he appears to be worrying about Fulton’s guy too much and, as a result, is late to reach his own block. Put someone next to him, who he trusts, and he’ll get better.

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            IMO, Fisher should be doing his own job first, then worrying about his neighbor. If Fulton fails, so be it, but having them both fail is a double whammy.

          • Chiefly Bacon

            Agreed. Just saying, that’s what I see happening. It’s a common thing among ZBS blockers. Makes a huge difference if you can or can’t trust the guy next to you.

          • jimfromkcj

            Dai I have been wanting the Chiefs to draft a road grader type of guard forever. In 2010 I wanted them to draft John Jerry who is still starting for the Giants. In 2014 I wanted Gabe Jackson who is starting for the Raiders. It seems the Chiefs would rather convert a tackle to a guard instead of getting a pure guard who is strong in the phone booth..

    • berttheclock

      Motion, also, helps QBs with their pre-snap reads.

    • Chiefly Bacon

      I’ve mentioned this before, but motion is predominantly used against man defenses. Chiefs aren’t using less motion because Reid had a brain fart. They’re using less motion because they’re facing defenses that don’t react to motion (zone).

  • berttheclock

    Off topic, but, I was just reading the Jets Fansided. Robby Anderson is a six three wide out from Temple. He is a rising star for them. Ran a 4.36 forty and was in the East-West Game. But, coming from Temple, GMs overlooked him and he walked onto the Jets. He has become the favorite target of McCown. Against the Panthers last week, they hooked for a 54 yard TD. However, McCown threw the ball from his 41 and Anderson caught the pass in stride at the six of the Panthers. Interesting thing happened following the TD. Anderson stood in the end zone begging Jets’ fans to vote for him for the Pro Bowl. Todd Bowles was not very impressed and talked with him immediately. He has a temper. He was kicked out of a concert in Florida for being disruptive and prior to the last play of Game 7 this year, he threw his helmet to the turf in disgust over not being thrown to enough. That cost him a nice chunk of change from NFL HQ.

    Last year, he caught two passes against the Chiefs for 34 yards. Since joining the Jets in 2016, he has caught 83 passes for 1,301 yards and has scored 9 TDs.

  • berttheclock

    Interesting reading the comments from both Reid and Todd Bowles as they approach this crucial, for the Chiefs, game. Both are saying that the team has to work on the little things in order to improve.

  • berttheclock

    The Dolphins, of whom the Chiefs will play later, have claimed the TE A J Derby who was cut by Elway after he injured his shoulder. Prior to that injury, Derby was the favorite target of Siemian.

    Plus, benching Manning in NY has not set well with the Mara family. Now, Mr Mara has said dumping McAdoo prior to the close of the season is an option.

    • berttheclock

      It would not surprise me to see Mara fire both McAdoo and their GM, Reese. Reese signed off on the benching of Manning.

      • I think this is a foregone conclusion to the season now.

        • berttheclock

          Hey, did you read that the current crop of wide outs from this past draft are not doing that well? Injuries, of course, have hurt some. But, consider how well Anderson of the Jets is doing and he was a walk on. Plus, Thielen of the Vikings was a both a walk on and he passed through waivers his first year He might be only 2nd to Antonio Brown, who was a 6th round pick originally.

          • There always are guys that are missed, for whatever reason. Both these guys are demonstrating that scouting by all NFL teams is missing something. I am completely impressed by Thielen!!!!

          • PaulFromNorthMo

            That just show how much of a crap shoot the draft is and has always been really.

          • berttheclock

            My favorite comment from fans about some former UDFA making it is “But, 32 GMs passed on him”.

          • berttheclock

            In the mind set of many fans, a player is only as good as the round in which he had been taken.

          • Another reason that I think Dorsey was tops at this, up and down the draft board. When I look at his draft, even 2013, I think he structured the team that with draft picks that were fits to the team. He got even better after 2013 and that is why I think the 2017 draft was uncharacteristic of JD.

          • aside from that: The addition of Revis may help solve the secondary defense and help improve v the run. I like what I am seeing from Ragland and Pierre-Louis both. I wonder about Ramik Wilson who has fallen down the steps to the basement of LB time. Whatever has to happen on offense is ‘fixable’ but it depends on Staff to get that facet of the game back on track. DJ remains a constant but I expect he will not be on the roster 2018 which may ensure Wilson a spot on that roster. Don’t know though. I saw where he had improved his initial contact with the RB at the LoS. I wonder about this.

            On our side? I am becoming more and more happy with what I See from Robinson who was tossed into the mix “dilly, dilly”, ? He is getting more and more involved and making an impact. Your comment about Wilson? I wanted him released. This season? He is proving his import, something which he did not do last year at all. Or the year before.

          • berttheclock

            A ton of credit goes to Veach as he stole Ragland and the deal with Seattle sending a LB to help their STs, while, bringing the bettter defending LB to KC has worked. Of course, the jury may set records being out on picking up the OG I once thought would be a great draft pick for the Chiefs. Something happened to Erving. He was so much better in college. Did bouncing up and down the line in Cleveland dull him or was he just a one hit wonder at Florida State?

          • I think he needs more time. The Jury won’t convene until next season.

          • berttheclock

            Did you read about the young LB, Eligwe, spelling completely wrong, has an issue with a sore Achilles?

          • berttheclock

            Sherman of Seattle complained about a sore Achilles for quite a while before it tore.

          • yes. So now, what should occur is how to treat it and hold them out of games until it is resolved. I think this is a horrible prob.

          • no I missed that. What the hell is going on with these Achilles problems. The medical support staff has got to figure this out. It is a manifestation of an injury which has emerged as a serious problem, league wide.

          • berttheclock

            Two injuries I rarely read about until the last few years are problems with the Achilles and High Ankle Sprains. One of the corners for the Chiefs suffered a HAS last week. Pat still maintains is comes down to improper taping and stretching, while, I still remember few problems from the old high tops.

          • berttheclock

            Also, I question how much the new versions of artificial turf are hurting players. I have noticed on several plays around the league, the turf appears to give way under one push off foot of the player.

          • berttheclock

            However, I never saw any indication of that on the play in which Sherman was injured. He appeared to just lay out for the tackle and at first it looked as though he had hurt his rib cage as he sat on the ground.

          • I have seen that too but I think it has to do with muscle weight and development of body mass over the top of the feet with lack of support for the ankle. During my day? Converse canvas was it for BB and it’s support was very poor. in Football? I went from cleats to Soccer shoes which gave me mobility and still good footing and were totally comfortable compared to the cleat shoes of the 60s. it helped my speed also, but It was a losing batttle I am afraid.

          • berttheclock

            The only serious sprain I ever had was in West Germany. I played in a pickup BB game on the Kaserne. Ironically, the fellow I stepped on was getting out due to bad feet. Medics down at the other Kaserne were very happy to see me come in as they had not set an ankle sprain before. I just remember it felt like a bit of lightning had passed through my ankle.

          • it got so that it wasn’t so much the pain. I would get nauseated. My routine was an ice bucket with water to keep the swelling down after games, then again the next morning. After that? light heat. Hold out of practice on Monday, then Tues&Fri game time I was at it again. Over and over to keep playing.

          • granted. I had a terrible problem with sprains throughout my time play BB and FB. It was really what ruined my career(vis a vis, right ankle replacement). Being a tough kid, I used to climb and apple tree over the back of the chicken house, and jump off to the ground. I probably did the most damage early due to that. It hurt like hell. But was not a sprain. Later, about the same time on a “wagon ride” I hopped off and my right foot was run over by the wagon. Wasn’t the wagon itself, but the weight of the corn I suspect. I never told my parents of either injury. My sophomore season BB I was on the Varsity. I had move up to Varsity along with our center and the other foward for the Frosh BB team. 3 trophies, 1st place, no losses. I was put in the game as guard when we played “Archie” and did well in that game. Archie was runner up in the 4A championship game. 4-A at the time was the grouping of schools and it was the “Smallest” schools in the state system. That season, I had to tape up for all practices, both ankles. 11 sprains across both BB and FB. My ankle was already shot.

          • berttheclock

            I remember the days before there were any rankings based on size of a school. My HS only graduated about 135 students, yet, we played every season against what is, now, Shawnee Mission North. Shawnee Mission at that time had well over 600 students in their graduating class.

          • My big memory is Wyandotte round ball. Can’t rcall the coaches name but he was very good. He came over to Mizzou when I was there summer of 67 for BB camp. He and Gary F???? of NWMO ST were the most memorable men and influence on my play on the hardwood. Oh. My school was cheap. they built it new but it was tile not wood. that hurt too. Significantly, when we played everywhere else, I loved playing on wood compared to playing at home. FILBERT was his name.

          • berttheclock

            KU’s great Bill Bridges insists that playing on wood placed over concrete in Atlanta shortened his career. He said there was not really any give to the surface.

            But, on the KU team with Wilt which lost in triple OT, had two players on it from Argentine HS in KCK, one from Wyandotte and two from Shawnee-Mission. The other Wyandotte and Shawnee-Mission stars went to K-State and, perhaps, the best of the lot from Wyandotte, Lucious Allen, went to UCLA when KU thought he was going to be a lock for them.

          • ladner morse

            Ah, the days of Lucious Allen at UCLA. Many fond memories.

          • I still think he was a good choice btw. and aside to that? It is Eligwe, spelling is correct. Ukeme

          • berttheclock

            Whew!

          • berttheclock

            Now, my all-time suggestion was taking DeCastro instead of Poe. Just think if he was blocking for KC.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      From what I read, Mara endorsed the decision.

      • berttheclock

        But, he quickly went into reverse when the NY press and fans tore into him. Manning is noted for his great charity work around the area.

        • berttheclock

          Even Mara’s own family turned on him for that OK.

  • jimfromkcj

    As I have always advocated Air Coryell offense and a PBS I thought it might be interesting to give some input how Joe Gibbs used it to win 3 Super bowls. feel fortunate to have LEARNED this offense in 1981 from the Redskins staff – it is PRECISION!

    Don Coryell Route Tree

    By Warren Simmons – TE Coach Washington Redskins (Joe Gibbs’ Staff)

    Receivers’ routes are designed to look like trees. Branches shoot off “tree trunks” in one direction or another and in ever-increasing distances from the base.

    Routes go either inside or outside, toward or away from the sideline. Even-numbered routes go inside in the Redskins scheme, odd numbers outside.

    The routes are numbered, 1 through 9, with 1 being closest to the line of scrimmage and 9 being a deep route toward the end zone.

    “An example would be a 1 (outside) route, where our receivers run that short stop route, which we call a hitch”, Simmons said. As you go up the tree, a 1 is a hitch, the 2 is what we call a “slant” at the same depth, five yards. All the numbers have different yardage corresponding to the route. When we call a number, they know the depth of the route, and whether they’re breaking in or out”.

    A 3 route is an outside break at 13 yards (“out”), and a 4 is an inside break at 13 yards (“in”). A 5 is an outside break at 15 yards (“comeback”) while a 6 is coming back inside at 15 yards (“curl”). A 7 is a “post-corner” move where, at about 15 yards, the receiver fakes inside then breaks back to the corner. An 8 is the actual “post” route. A 9 goes for the bundle in the end zone (“up”).

    The routes are packaged to match the number of receivers on the field and are coordinated depending on what the offense is trying to do to the defense. While it is a package, though, the routes are independent of each other.

    And there are what Simmons calls “the adjustments”, the multiple variations for each pattern depending on what the defense is doing from the time the huddle breaks to when the ball is snapped. Each receiver must read the defense in his own area and react. The quarterback must read the entire field, then get the ball to the correct “adjusted” spot.

    “It’s a memory thing first, but then it has to become instinctive for the receiver to be effective”, Simmons said. “And if there’s an adjustment and the receiver and quarterback aren’t on the same page – well, I guess you know what can happen then”.

    • berttheclock

      It all began with Paul Browns’ Ohio River System. Then, the splitoff was made. Walsh took the lateral route and it became to be known as the West Coast Offense, a term which was used as a derision by Bill Parcells. Parcells said Walsh would not beat him with some gimmick from the West Coast. Don Coryell changed his version to go vertical. Also, originally the WCO was devised due to Walsh not having a strong armed QB. So, he came up with a system which utilized quick sharp short throws.

      I still prefer the system used by Belichick of the Pats. The Perkins-Erhardt is a much more simple system which allows new players coming in from other teams and new rookies to learn quickly. Plus, the QB does not have to spend an hour and a half trying to call the play.

      Mr Reid, simplify your system to more of a Ray Kroc type of Keep It Simple Stupid..

      • jimfromkcj

        bert, the aircoryell system has a short call for the Qb much like Erhardt. In some ways even simpler Here are some quotes you might find interesting: From Don Coryell: It was a timeing system, and I had only one rule: Never pass up an open receiver. You look and look and look, but if #1 is open, you get the ball to them. Don’t wait and hope that #3 or #4 might be open deeper. And if you have any doubts throw it out of bounds.
        Dan Fouts (Coryell’s QB) My rules for Chargers were: #1 Never fool the QB and #2 Always be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there.
        Good advice for any system.

  • HOMER!! Dave

    If you don’t pay attention to 538 Sports, you should. 538 logs and records statistics as to whether or not you pay attention to logged and recorded statistics. They also employ every manner of reporter in an attempt to cover all the bases when they attempt to make a case. They are diverse, to put it mildly.

    I fully understand that nearly everyone has decided who is and, is not, responsible for this latest episode of “what made KC collapse?” but instead of hot taeks I present to you this article.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-chiefs-are-collapsing-at-record-speed/

    do with it as you will. I’ll be back later on to further my self-charged task of not allowing everyone and everything to be blamed minus-Smith in this mess. But until then….enjoy.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      I saw that article earlier but went back. What I didn’t see before was the predictions for this week. I found it interesting that ELO gave the Chiefs the exact same chance of winning as it did the Eagles over the Seahawks.

      • HOMER!! Dave

        it’s a crazy metric, and far from fool-proof, but it IS a tool to at least take into consideration.

  • HOMER!! Dave

    Hahahaha, I couldn’t resist this!!!

    Okay I think we're ready… #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/UxJDAc08XU— _ (@MissFit_) November 26, 2017

  • HOMER!! Dave

    Andy Reid says #Chiefs' struggles aren't "an Alex Smith thing." His stats have gone from off the charts to average since the slump began.Weeks 1-5Comp%: 76.58YPA: 8.8Rating: 125.8Weeks 6-12Comp%: 63.0YPA: 7.0Rating: 88.6 pic.twitter.com/bxj2bJrKme— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) November 30, 2017

  • HOMER!! Dave

    Ragland has some downhill speed, and his instincts are getting faster. I likey.

    Reggie Ragland revenge game..#Chiefs pic.twitter.com/3us4Hr1eDF— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) November 29, 2017

  • HOMER!! Dave

    yup, another dang example of Reid not properly scheming to get defenders out of the box and afford Smith open targets. Dammit Reid!!!

    The end zone view of the play where Kelce was open for a TD is even more damning. As soon as that safety starts driving on Wilson, Smith should be firing it down the seam to Kelce. #Chiefs #BenchAlex pic.twitter.com/SQKCq9f7uO— Clay Wendler (@ClayWendler) November 28, 2017

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Clearly Smith stuck to the play that was called in….his line of sight never moved off of Wilson. To bad, that was an easy TD to Kelce.

      • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

        Kelce was meant to be a decoy there….drawing the safety away from the middle, but the safety stayed put.

      • HOMER!! Dave

        and there lies my problem. There is no way that a QB 13…..thousand years in the league should be thought to not be given options by the OC. Smith has options, he’s allowed to call protections and audibles and such. There is also, no way that Kelce throws the arm gesture of disgust that he did unless he was an option in the 1st place. Decoys don’t throw tantrums. Smith felt pressure and checked down…again.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      That was rookie QB play right there. Smith’s eyes never left Wilson, so of course the safety drove on him. No pressure so no excuse.

  • HOMER!! Dave

    The #Chiefs currently have -5.3M in cap room for 2018. They can get to $48M pretty easily. The moves: Cut/Trade Alex Smith ($17M), DJ ($8M), Tamba ($8M), Dee Ford ($8.7M), Allen Bailey ($6M), Darrelle Revis ($4.5M) & Demetrius Harris ($2M).— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) November 30, 2017

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Don’t forget Reid

      • HOMER!! Dave

        7.5 Meeeelyun, right?

        • HOMER!! Dave

          but I’m not sure that coaches count versus the cap. Could be wrong though.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            I don’t think so.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            I already knew the answer, I was just joking along with your joke

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            Half joking, I’m ready for the Reid era to come to close unless we find an accomplished OC and he is allowed to have complete control.

          • HOMER!! Dave

            I know this, I just don’t think it’s going to happen minus a complete meltdown of the season. If a complete meltdown happens then a complete rebuild might occur and that means starting from square. Who survives that scenario? Ragland, Morse, Peters, Hunt, a couple of non-established WRs and perhaps Berry and Houston? That’s a scary thought.

  • drwillez37

    I’ve been thinking about Revis and I’m under the belief that he is ready to bring it. He didn’t need to come back the MO ey was coming no matter what. But he wants to show the league he can still play and is worth another contract. He’s down 20 lbs from last year and I don’t see him as a person to make himself look like a fool. Don’t be surprised when he snatches his 1st int. Sunday. Hopefully you’ll all see me on the TV I’m at the 20 yard line on our side 10 rows bavk…GO CHIEFS!!!

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Wear a green shirt so we know which one is you..lol

      • drwillez37

        That’s funny!!!

      • drwillez37

        I’m trying to think of sign ideas. Something to motivate the Qb

        • drwillez37

          Maybe the happy feet penguin wearing AS11 jersey??

        • HOMER!! Dave

          “Get ’em MAHOMES!!!” ?

      • HOMER!! Dave

        LMBO!!

  • drwillez37

    And where’s the Kelce across the middle passes???

  • tm1946

    Good news the Chiefs have MADE THE CHANGE. Thats is correct, I am reporting the Chiefs have announced they are making a change Sunday…. different colored shoes. Not sure what it is about but 41 announced it as I type.

    • PaulFromNorthMo

      Boy, it’s about time. Those old ones were so ugly it was probably causing them to run off course.

  • Chiefs-Kings-A’s