Teaching the Zone Scheme:
Part I: The Basics of Offensive Line Play

Mark McHale
Offensive Line Coach, Florida State University (Retired)

Editor's note: Mark McHale recently retired after a long and distinguished coaching career that included positions at Florida State, Marshall, Louisville, South Carolina, Southern Mississippi, East Carolina, Appalachian State, Shepherd College, and in the NFL Europe and CFL leagues.

We are honored that coach McHale is sharing his experience and knowledge with Coaches Learning Network members. This is the first article in a series he is providing on playing on the offensive line.

In over 30 years of coaching at the high school, college and professional levels, I have been seen just about every offense imaginable.

However, one constant I have seen regarding any offense, is that if a team canít effectively run the ball, they wonít consistently win.

It doesnít matter if you use a one-back offense, the Run and Shoot, or have a pass-first philosophy, you will have to be able to run the ball at key points in a game - and in a season - to be a consistent winner.

In all of my experience, one of the most consistent and enjoyable running schemes to coach is the zone. This scheme allows you to take advantage of your talent year in and year out. It works with smaller quick backs or bigger stronger backs. It works with big strong linemen and with smaller quick linemen. ... To read this article, and for full access to all CLN resources, get your MEMBERSHIP NOW.