Will changing blocking schemes help the Detroit Lions’ ground game gain traction? That and continuing to upgrade their offensive line could be the spark.
When it comes to running the football in the Motor City, I believe the fault lies more with the Detroit Lions‘ offensive line than the running back themselves. In fact, I think the answer to fixing the Lions’ rushing woes is continuing to upgrade this O-line while also implementing a new blocking scheme.
There are two current members of the Lions’ offensive line that have me seeing red. Guard Graham Glasgow and center Travis Swanson. Glasgow is routinely beaten by defenders and often struggles to get off the line. While Swanson simply lacks consistency across the board.
In Glasgow’s case, it could have been a sophomore slump. His versatility could see him shifted to center this offseason if the Lions decide not to re-sign Swanson, find a replacement in free agency or in the upcoming draft.
That said, I believe the Lions can fix or aid their running game by doing some tinkering. It will be interesting to see how the coaches go about this in the offseason.
Let’s take a quick look at some blocking schemes that could help. First, there are three different types of blocking schemes to consider: Man, gap and zone blocking.
In man blocking, the offensive linemen need to get a push by getting vertical in order to open holes for the running back to run through.
Gap blocking is designed for a specific spot to run through. The running back and offensive linemen all know the predetermined spot and work to get the hole open.
Finally, with zone blocking, it is extremely important that two linemen work together to create a run lane. Good chemistry with teammates is the key to good zone blocking.
Man blocking is not really an option given the Detroit Lions current roster. Although gap blocking has had some success, I’m not sure that’s the answer either. I believe the Lions should explore more zone blocking scheme and upgrade both the guard and center positions this offseason. That could be the spark that is needed to ignite Detroit’s rushing attack.