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"Stretch" blocking is out and "Pin and pull" blocking is in

GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654
edited July 2019 in Wolfpack Sports

We will be seeing a different blocking scheme with the Pack this year. The "stretch" play blocking is out and "pin and pull" blocking is in. Or so OL coach Garrison implies. This facilitates the RPO (run/pass option). With Ryan Finley at QB there wasn't much run in the RPO.

We saw "pin and pull" blocking a lot and it is a nightmare to defend. Remember all the 3rd and longs we faced and couldn't stop? Whatever the defense commits to stopping can be taken advantage of by quarterbacks who can read a defense. Try to stop the pass and you create running lanes with 2 pulling guards leading the play. If the QB keeps and runs add the running back as a lead blocker.

IIRC the Syracuse starting QB was out and the back-up killed us with this scheme.

I suggest googling "pin and pull" and educate yourself. Simply put, the tackles and center "pin" the defender to his "away from direction of play" side. The blocker doesn't have to move the defender just hook up and get in the defender's way. This is the "pin" of "pin and pull" blocking. This is described as an "easy" block. The 2 guards pull to the play side, giving them about 1.5 seconds behind the LOS before they turn up field. Agility and ability to move traits needed in this scheme.

My hope is that by seeing and practicing against it, we will better defend it. If I were defending it I would blitz through the holes the pulling guards leave. Perhaps Garrison will have picked up on some defensive schemes he can pass on. We have picked up a very valuable assent in John Garrison. The dude knows how to coach the OL. IMNSHO there are going to be some surprised opponents and prognosticators this fall.

IMO 1 or 2 or maybe all 3 of our QBs have the skill set to be very effective QBs. I will say that Mckay may have an advantage with the RPO but I don't really know how well either Hockman or Leary run. Leary is 6-2, 205 now which ain't frail. He rushed 36 times for 344 yards and four scores in 11 games his Sr. year of HS.

All 3 QBs were told what they did wrong in the spring and told to fix it over the summer. It's going to be an interesting competition this fall.

This is my analysis. What's urinalysis?



  • Well said Grey, and great finish. Now to wait for "the shake" (per Mel Brooks in History of the World)

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,030PFN Referee

    I don't know much about OL technique, except that it usually takes a "transition" season to get the hang of such significant changes.

    So if they's gonna do it, now would be the time. 2019 feels very transition-y to me, and I will watch and judge accordingly. Like a good boy!

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 1,910

    The rule is Shake, but do NOT B>A>K>E..... or so I’ve been told.

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,030PFN Referee

    yeah, a high OL probably ain't too effective!

  • TheAliasTrollTheAliasTroll Posts: 2,012PFN Referee

    Good stuff, grey. If (big IF) we do indeed have 3 capable QBs then letting them participate a bit more in the run game could make sense. Less of a concern of injury if next one up isn't that much of a drop off.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    Knowing you don't much puts you ahead of most of us. ;-) And you are right, it does usually take a season of transition. I would be more concerned were we transiting to and not from a 'Stretch' blocking scheme. Why? The 'Pin' part of the blocking scheme is similar to pass blocking. Don't let the defender get around you. The 'Pull' part of the scheme does require blockers who are mobile and can run. We have a number of them a in the OL room. Fortunately Fedd-Jackson, a 3 year starter at right guard, is one of them.

    We had the spring and will have fall camp and 4 not-to-difficult games to start 2019. That should allow time to teach and train the relatively simple blocking scheme. Remember, he did it in that same time frame at FAU. BTW FAU was 14th in D-1 rushing while averaging nearly a yard more per rush than the Pack in 2018.

    Not unlike the Pack, FAU lost 3 starters from the year before Garrison coached there so it wasn't like he inherited a line of experienced blockers. I will admit I don't know if FAU used the Pin and Pull scheme in 2017 before Garrison got there.

    We will still have to watch and wait. I will just have other more pressing concerns to worry over. Such as the secondary.

    KH, it's not like I thought you needed all this. I just used your post as a segue to talking to myself. Even I'm not foolish enough to think many here care 2 cents about what I think.

    Go Pack!

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    Good thoughts TAT. Along the same lines of thinking, I'd like to see us "break the rule" and use more than one QB more often. Think about having to prepare for all 3 with one being a lefty.

    This really is a "take what they give you" offense. And we have a stable full of RBs who can take it to the house if they choose to give you the run. We don't have to run our QBs to death. ;-)

  • I hate having to deal with 2 different QBs in a game so would love to see us see those assets if we can.

  • SamIamSamIam Posts: 404

    I just hope to see RPO by design and not because defenses are in our QB's ear.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    I think you mean you'd like us to be able to use 2 QBs because that is harder for their defense to deal with,

  • KingHippo_fka_BJD95KingHippo_fka_BJD95 Posts: 3,030PFN Referee

    Thanks, Grey - I found your detailed breakdown fascinating. Things like this allow me to understand footballing better. I am ready for it to be back, consarnit!!

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    One of my wife's friend told her that text messages from her mother were much more interesting since someone told her mother that WTF stood for Wow! That's Fascinating. ;-)

    Glad my comments are interesting to you. And thanks for saying something. Let's me know somebody is reading what I sometimes put a lot of thought and time into writing.

  • 1984Met1984Met Posts: 159


    Great story about your wife's friend and her mom.

    Liked your breakdown on the blocking scheme. I'm definitely not football savvy having never played.

    By the way, in the NWS office where I worked before retiring, WTF stood for "Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!" Got to hear that alot during the Houston floods of 2016 and 2017.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654
    edited July 2019

    The unknown is usually a little scary or worrisome. Our offense fit that description for me. We have co-coordinators for the first time. Our quarterback quarterback of 3 years has moved on. Not only have 3 of starters are moving on but our OL coach has gone to work as the OC for a team in our division. Our TE coach (and ST coordinator) is now coaching in the pros although IMO the big loss there is his value as a recruiter.

    Whew! What's girl to do? Well I'm going to attempt to take some of the unknown out of the equation called our offense.

    Coaching wise the new TE coach, Todd Goebbel, is an up stat in the area of Special Teams coaching. Doeren is happy with him as a position coach and that is okay with me.

    A lot hs already been said about John Garrison already. While I thought Dwayne Ledford was a good coach for us, the ground game lacked something. While we did lose 3 starters, we had a sixth lineman, Joe Sculthorpe, who subbed at both guards and center playing starter minutes. In essence we have to find 2 additional starters, not 3. Doeren says we have 5 all set and 6, 7 or even 8 linemen who are ready to step up. This is not the usual HC poor mouthing you usually hear.

    On to running backs -- we graduated one of my favorite, Reggie Gallaspy. Playing hurt, Reggie put the team on his back in the 4th quarter and OT and buried the holes. The good news is the RB room is full of good backs. Freshman Jordan Houston is unknown but reportedly very good. If he has good hands he could get a nice amount of play time. With our RPO system we have 4 backs capable of taking it to the house. Replacing Reggie's pass blocking is my only consideration and with the RPO there will not be nearly the need for a back pass blocking.

    Receivers? Emezie is probably equal to a Harmon/Meyers combination. (You'll have to figure that our for yourself.) Jabari Hines, who killed us a few years ago for WF, is transferring in. He and Thayer Thomas will man the slot receiver. The other wideout has more than adequate receivers pushing to start and man the depth chart.

    Was there any other area of concern? Oh yes, quarterback. A lot has been said about the 3 who are competing for the job. Ryebread has had some interesting things to say about it. All I have to add is at this time it appears as though McKay is the leader with Leary second. There were 7 on 7 drills run Wednesday evening in the IPF and all did well. I heard the best ball all evening was thrown by a freshman walk-on.

    McKay has stepped to be the leader of the 3 which makes it tough on the other 2. How do you show your leadership without being a jerk? There is some speculation about with all the running our qb us subject to be doing, we want to have the 2nd string guy ready to go.

    Here's the deal: you can't favor one over the other. You've got to let the statistics tell you who is the man. That is the one thing DD has been adamant about. We probably won't know who it is until August 31.

    Bottom line? We are going to be young and inexperienced but talented. I'll take talent every time. Remember 2014? We were the 3rd youngest team in the country and still won 8 games with a hole lot less talent. What we did have was a qb who would not let us lose -- Jacoby Brissett.

    With a better than average QB and a little luck we could be enjoying a banner season. A lot of things could happen to cause us to stumble. The injury bug, pure bad luck, or run into a team having a hot night. The odds are in our favor. We've had our share of heart ache and heart break.

    This is my story and I'm sticking to it.

    If Alias doesn't ban me for being too optimistic, I might take a look at the defense.

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 1,910


    This is one of the most (if not the MOST) outstanding posts that has graced these pages. I mean that from both a content and also "writing ability" standpoint. Pity we don't have "LIKE" buttons.👍️

    I admit to being totally illiterate and also uninformed about our offense. i followed the coaching defections....as well as the additions. You put it in a manner that is understandable and concise.

    Same goes for the talent and the background to support your assumptions. I feel much better NOW than I did a few weeks ago. i have always (and this contradicts my uninformed statement) been very concerned about our OL this year....especially with an untested and maybe timid QB. You can't make NFL, much less P5, throws/completions when you are running for your life.

    Thanks again for the summary. If TAT gives you any static or moderates or whatever, we have WAYS of dealing with him. I know a BUNCH of political mailing and phone lists that he could end up and SOME of them might espouse his particular views.... JUST KIDDING....I would NEVER do that to TAT....think about it from time to time....but NEVER actually do such...👺

    Keep posting things as you see them....

  • TheCowdogTheCowdog Posts: 144PFN Referee
    edited July 2019

    Well done, Mr. Grey. I will probably be forever stuck with what I know best... Receivers and back 5.

    Last year, pre-season, I blatantly claimed to whomever may have had an ear on, that State had 6 receivers that would have a shot playing on Sundays. Three of them are getting that shot now, and 3 of them are still here. That's not even counting Angeline.

    When I get motivated, I may delve deeper into the back 5 on the other side of the ball

  • AdventurooAdventuroo Posts: 1,910


    Another ‘easy’ schedule for NC State? Depends how you look at it.


  • freshmanin83freshmanin83 Posts: 1,188PFN Referee

    Only 43 days left until we get to see some action. Grey and Cowdog are getting my juices flowing with their insight and wisdom, and it may not be MNF cause its better but I am getting ready for some football.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    Mr. DOG, Don't hold out on a poor blind boy. Who are those 3 receivers?

    And give us the goods on the back 5. Co-DC Tony Gibson may put us over the top on defense IMO. Can't wait to hear/read your thoughts.

  • ryebreadryebread Posts: 1,420PFN Referee

    Grey: Great post. If we’re switching blocking to set up the spread option/RPO, the McKay looks like the QB. He had the best Spring game, but your post suggests the offense will be more of a fit to his game.

    This will be offense number three under DD. I suspect though this one will look the most like what he ran at Northern Illinois with Lynch.

    It will be an interesting season. I still think even switching blocking schemes that we get to 8 wins. The schedule sets up well.

    Regarding last year’s offense, I thought the line struggled to run block early. Reggie took a lot of heat from the fans, but I wasn’t seeing a lot of holes. We were also trying to use Reggie in the stretch play as opposed to his natural north to south. By the end of the year, the holes were there and the play calling adjusted and for the most part the run game came alive. I am not sure I would put that on Ledford. To me it was more Drink, and what he wanted to do with a 5th year QB who was expected to possibly be the ACC’s best QB.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654
    edited July 2019

    Rye, Excellent commentary on what i wrote, not only spot on but also complementary. I see nothing I disagree with. Drink is gone and good luck to him. DD did him a wonderful service giving him a chance to gain experience. I see Ledford the way you put it too.

    I agree about McKay but at the same time have some space for the other 2 to be the number 1. As I understand the RPO with Pin and Pull blocking the pass is the preferred option. If this is true, the better/best passer, the one who makes the best choices will be tough to keep on the bench.

    Last year we gave up a lot of rushing yardage when we had opps in 3rd and long. I'm thinking Syracuse. My theory is that defenses naturally or mentally played to stop the pass from picking up the 1st down. This opened up running lanes and space for quarterbacks to exploit. With open lanes and space the QB doesn't need to be a great runner, just take what the defense gives him and slide to avoid a big hit.

    It isn't but if this was last year, IMO we would have had a similar situation as we have now. McKay was the better runner but Finley was the better option for passing. I do like the close completion. If the No.1 QB goes down or gets injured, we will not have a great drop off in talent and ability to run the offense.

    No matter what or who the choice for number one is, I'm going to trust Doeren, Kitchings, McDonald and Roper to have made the best choice.

    Now last thing. I like our way of interacting lately. We did go at it in the past without much agreement or willingness to see the others point of view. I'm speaking for myself here.

  • 44rules44rules Posts: 359

    Bravo to Grey's stuff. This is why I come back - no way I have the knowledge or the time to learn and break down stuff like that.

    After reading your posts, it's obvious we'll win the national championship!

    (Well, maybe not, but we could get to 9 wins again.)

  • Rye, spot on with your observation about the use of Reggie early on, and that it wasn't likely Ledford drawing those plays up, although he was Run Game Coordinator. Interesting either way.

    Personally, I thought it made sense to get Reggie some more early year success (keep it simple) due to having significantly less experienced backups.

    Of course, I like that strategy from an offense play calling perspective. That's why I get frustrated when we try to make the "big play" on our first possession against teams we should beat. Get a first down or two anyway you can and then start to look to open it up based upon what the defense is actually doing.

    Yes, I realize you shouldn't always do the same thing, but against lesser opponents, controlling possession, "winning" field position, etc , my thinking is that this puts the other team in a more difficult position even if we don't score.

    Anyway, that's my view from Section 2 (hopefully near a beer stand, starting August 31st)

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    Another of those areas of unknown, at least for us, is the co-OC coaching arrangement. It eased my mind to remember that Clemson had co-OCs and Alabama as well -- at least in the near past.

    But what sealed the deal for me was the revelation that Des Kitchings was going to be in the box calling the plays outside the red zone and George McDonald on the sideline calling plays in the redzone. Des will send the play down to the field and George will send it in or somebody will signal the play in or however they do it.

    I don't know the particulars but there is plenty of communication between the coordinators and the other offensive coaches. Des and G have been coaching together going on 5 years and both are pleasant, easy to get along with guys. Both have had OC experience at other coaching stops. IOW this ain't their first day.

    The game day coaching assignments are intriguing. Des gets to concentrate on moving the football to the red zone and G takes it in from there. Of course they use each other in the process.

    An interesting possibility is "economical" practice time. Des could be practicing plays with one group while G is practicing red zone plays on an adjacent field. They switch and both groups get reps in both coordinators area of accountability. Down time cut in half for players not involved in the play at the moment. We could invent practice combinations all day but the big advantage of cutting the stand around time in half makes it worth consideration IMO

    With a practice script a GA could run either session if and when either coach needed to be with the other group.

  • GreywolfGreywolf Posts: 654

    A complaint, concern, issue or whatever we want to call it has been our failure to use the TE. In a previous coaching gig McDonald has a history of very effectively coaching and using the TE. We will have to wait and see on this but we know that McDonald at least knows we have a TE that can be used for something besides blocking. As confusing as defensive assignments can be defending the Pin and Pull, the TE could be wide open at times.

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