Film Study Fundamentals: Techniques in the Tight Zone

By Kyle Jones on July 31, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Last week we introduced the Tight (Inside Zone) that is the foundation of the Ohio State offense.

After examining how the Buckeyes set up the play, it's time to look at what happens once the ball is snapped.

Covered or Uncovered?

When discussing zone blocking on TV, analysts will often reference a player being "covered" or not on the line, and for good reason. A lineman's responsibilities are determined entirely by this concept, of whether or not there is a defender lined up across from him.

If an opponent is lined up over the real estate directly in front of them, a lineman is considered "covered." That defender must also be on the line, though. Linebackers 4 yards back from the line do not apply here.

As you might have guessed from here, there are multiple ways of being "covered" in these situations, depending entirely on the opponent.

As you can probably imagine, each covered lineman may be in a different situation than their teammate lined up just 2 feet away, meaning his rules are different. To fully illustrate what this looks like in reality, let's look at an example from last year's Michigan game:

Before the snap, we can see each Buckeye lineman's situation: