Baldinger: Falcons need OL balance, mix athleticism with ability to 'knock guys off the ball'

NFL Network's Brian Baldinger joined Dukes & Bell...

Dukes & Bell
January 09, 2019 - 2:46 pm

© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Brian Baldinger joined Dukes & Bell Wednesday and talked about Gary Kubiak becoming the offensive coordinator in Denver.

“It’s a great combination," Baldinger said. "Fangio has had the best defense this year, had it in San Francisco then Gary Kubiak has won a Super Bowl as an OC in Baltimore and has one as a HC. Gives you two really good coaches who know how to run their sides of the ball.”

When asked about the trend of hiring young NFL head coaches...

“This has always been a league that copies trends," said Baldinger. "So when Sean McVay, Kyle Shanahan come out of Mike Shanahan’s system teams are looking for the next best thing. I hope these teams are going to surround these coaches with real adults who have coaching experience at this level.”

Baldy told the guys what he thinks of Dirk Koetter and Mike Mularkey coming back to the Falcons.

“Sometimes the devil you know is the devil you don’t know," said Baldinger. "They know Dirk, they know Mularkey and I think it’s important to have some level of continuity. I think Dirk is comfortable coming back there, just hope he’s not too comfortable because sometimes tension is a good thing. I thought it was good when Kyle was there because he got the best out of Matt.”

Baldinger gave us a “Baldy Breakdown” of the Falcons zone-blocking scheme.

“Zone blocking almost implies that you’re not moving the line of scrimmage," said Baldinger. "Sometimes you have to move the line of scrimmage, you've got to knock people off the ball. You can't just do one thing. Sometimes you can get too athletic with guys trying to do zone blocking. That looks good except on third and 17 when you've got to stop Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald, you'd better be stout up front and be able to hold the ground and hold the pocket for Matt to be able to step up and get rid of the ball.

"You've got to have some sort of balance in the run game between the two. You just can’t run horizontally in the zone-blocking scheme and win a lot of times. You've got to have some balance there and run some power, some double teams at the point, inside zone and knock guys off the ball."