FanPost

Football Outsiders breaks down the Skins OL vs Dallas; Verdict: Positive

Verdict: Trent Williams had a GREAT game.
Also good: Brown and Hicks.

There is some great stuff in the article. I encourage you to read the whole thing. (Skins are one of three teams the writer is watching all season.)

This passage may have done more to help me understand zone-blocking and the stretch play more than anything else I've read:

However, in this game the Redskins really struggled to run the stretch play and the reason was pretty simple. DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer did a phenomenal job setting the edge all night. What I mean by "setting the edge" is that when you are the last guy on the line of scrimmage, as Ware and Spencer usually are, it is your job to keep your outside arm free so you are able to keep contain. Not only that, but since birth, these guys have had it pounded in their heads that losing contain is the eighth deadly sin. I once had a coach who said, "You can either lose contain, or you can play defensive end. You can't do both." (In a 3-4 defense, especially in the Wade Phillips variant, the outside linebackers basically are the defensive ends.) Well, the zone stretch play was introduced to take advantage of that style of coaching. The offensive player, usually a tackle or tight end, attacks the defender's outside shoulder. The defender, fearing he is about to be reached, freaks out and starts working like crazy to get back outside. During this process, the defender will be so worried about getting outside that he won't notice that he has moved eight yards from his original alignment creating a huge seam.

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