Team by Team Offensive/Defensive Schemes

"Football x's and o's"Every Tuesday I release a mock draft which will bring a ton of hatred via email and the comment board.  Once the hate comes in I get on top of my soap box in my responses and preach team needs versus scheme.  Offenses and defenses are built upon specific schemes and tendencies.  In each draft room, a team’s draft board is built upon players that fit a team’s scheme on both sides of the ball.

The square peg, round hole philosophy comes into play on draft day.  For the purposes of this article we will look at run blocking schemes which will affect offensive line and running back picks. On the defensive side of the ball we will look at the coverage style of each team affecting the corners and safeties.  The intention of this piece is to get a better understanding of why team’s rate players ahead of those higher on “our boards.”  A lot that drives fans nuts on draft day when they watch their team pick some “no name” instead of a USC All American is this chart.  After the break check out our offensive/defensive scheme chart.


Arizona CardinalsMike MillerMan/Power
Atlanta FalconsDirk KoetterMan/Power
Baltimore RavensCam CameronStretch/Zone
Buffalo BillsCurtis ModkinsStretch/Zone
Carolina PanthersRob ChudzinskiStretch/Zone
Chicago BearsMike TiceStretch/Zone
Cincinnati BengalsJay GrudenMan/Power
Cleveland BrownsBrad ChildressStretch/Zone
Dallas CowboysBill CallahanMan/Power
Denver BroncosMike McCoyMan/Power
Detroit LionsScott LinehanMan/Power
Green Bay PackersTom ClementsStretch/Zone
Houston TexansRick DennisonStretch/Zone
Indianapolis ColtsBruce AriansMan/Power
Jacksonville JaguarsBob BratkowskiMan/Power
Kansas City ChiefsBrian DabollStretch/Zone
Miami DolphinsMike ShermanMan/Power
Minnesota VikingsBill MusgraveMan/Power
New England PatriotsJosh McDanielsStretch/Zone
New Orleans SaintsPete CarmichaelStretch/Zone
New York GiantsKevin GilbrideMan/Power
New York JetsTony SparanoMan/Power
Oakland RaidersGreg KnappStretch/Zone
Philadelphia EaglesMarty MornhinwegStretch/Zone
Pittsburgh SteelersTodd HaleyMan/Power
San Diego ChargersHal HunterMan/Power
San Francisco 49ersGreg RomanMan/Power
Seattle SeahawksDarrell BevellStretch/Zone
St. Louis RamsBrian SchottenheimerMan/Power
Tampa Bay BuccaneersMike SullivanStretch/Zone
Tennessee TitansChris PalmerStretch/Zone
Washington RedskinsKyle ShanahanStretch/Zone

Base Defense/Coverage Scheme

Arizona CardinalsRay Horton34Man
Atlanta FalconsMike Nolan43Zone
Baltimore RavensDean Pees34Press Man
Buffalo BillsDave Wannstedt43Zone
Carolina PanthersSean McDermott43Zone
Chicago BearsRod Marinelli43Zone
Cincinnati BengalsMike Zimmer43Man
Cleveland BrownsDick Jauron43Man
Dallas CowboysRob Ryan34Man
Denver BroncosJack Del Rio43Man
Detroit LionsGunther Cunningham43Press Zone
Green Bay PackersDom Capers34Press Man
Houston TexansWade Phillips34Press Zone
Indianapolis ColtsGreg Manusky34Zone
Jacksonville JaguarsMel Tucker43Man
Kansas City ChiefsRomeo Crennel (HC)34Press Zone
Miami DolphinsKevin Coyle43Press Man
Minnesota VikingsAlan Williams43Zone
New England PatriotsBill Belichick (HC)43Press Zone
New Orleans SaintsSteve Spagnuolo43Man
New York GiantsPerry Fewell43Zone
New York JetsMike Pettine34Press Man
Oakland RaidersJason Tarver43Press Man
Philadelphia EaglesJuan Castillo43Zone
Pittsburgh SteelersDick LeBeau34Press Zone
San Diego ChargersJohn Pagano34Press Zone
San Francisco 49ersVic Fangio34Zone
Seattle SeahawksGus Bradley43Press Zone
St. Louis RamsGregg Williams (ind. suspension)43Man
Tampa Bay BuccaneersBill Sheridan43Zone
Tennessee TitansJerry Gray43Zone
Washington RedskinsJim Haslett34Press Man

Author: Brad

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  • Taco Joe

    Perfect, I’ve wondered which schemes teams run. Can you explain the difference between stretch/zone and man/power? Secondly, I thought man was press coverage, what’s the difference?

    • bradc11

      ZBS refers to blocking an area rather than an assigned defender. Man is assignment blocking – man on man. For our purposes ZBS teams will look for smaller, quicker, more athletic blockers and man will look for powerful, bigger frame. We can probably thank the spread offense for a lot of NFL teams switching to ZBS. There’s off man and press man. Press man and zone refers to a team’s tendency to play tight at the LOS. What you typically hear as “bump and run”. Hope that helped, I probably should have explained better in the intro. Good questions.

      • Taco Joe

        Thanks Brad, that’s a great help (and great web site).

        • Brad

          Thanks, glad you enjoy it

  • Jsteppling

    Id love to have you guys break this down further. Over the next months… great to have a detailed account of say how the Ravens play a 3-4 in a quite different way than GB. Or what man coverage means to Ryan in Dallas, and what press man means to dom capers or wade phillips. They’re all quite different.

    • Brad

      Sounds like a great project for the months of June and July when things are dead. I will put that on the agenda.

  • Sean

    Hey Brad,

    Great work, but correct me if I’m wrong – I thought the Dolphins were moving to a zone blocking scheme this year, right? Noticed you have them down in man/power.

  • FYI – Sherman runs a zone blocking scheme for Miami

  • Answer Seeker

    Update this for 2014 please.