New Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett landed the job in part because he was able to sell an offensive plan to general manager George Paton during the interview process.
Only now we are seeing that plan coming together in the shape of the outside zone system he is currently installing.
On Tuesday, Hackett sat down with Broncos TV presenter Steve Atwater to detail some of the finer points of the system he will run in Denver with new quarterback Russell Wilson.
“I’ve always been enamored by the outside zone, and I think from the standpoint of its explosiveness,” Hackett said on Broncos TV. “When you go inside zone you’re going to be very efficient, you are going to be able to get a couple of 3 yard, 4 yard, 5 yards, maybe an 8 yarder but when you are going outside zone, and were talking true outside zone, we are trying to capture that edge. When you are really stretching that thing, you now make people have to cover sideline to sideline it opens up some gaps that now there aren’t just those 4 yarders, there those 8 yarders, 10, 12… and big hits.”
Bigger-chunk plays also cut both ways; Hackett will also be faced with the conundrum of putting up a barrier to the oncoming rush of the exact same system he will be running while the Broncos are on defense.
Hackett had that firmly on his mind when he also told Atwater his new defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evero, particularly likes establishing a strong perimeter edge on defense. How the former Rams assistant really likes to attack the outside zone made for a very interesting and informative sound bite.
“They are going to make it hard to run that outside zone because they are going to have two big dudes on the outside trying to really hold that edge,” the Head Coach explained. “So they make it so you have to - they kind of determine what you’re going to do to be successful. But it makes you as a coach get frustrated at times cos you want to do things, you want to get those explosive plays and they force you to kind of just do little things.”
Training camp in five weeks will give ample opportunities for both units to master the finer points of the outside zone, as one unit looks to master it, and one unit looks to stop it.
Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithC_NFL.
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