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How NY Jets’ new gap-blocking scheme can unlock Breece Hall

Breece Hall, NY Jets, Gap Blocking Scheme
Breece Hall, New York Jets, Getty Images

Breece Hall is poised to maximize the New York Jets’ new blocking scheme

There are not many players on the New York Jets who I am more excited to watch this season than Breece Hall.

Breece has dealt with a lot in his first two years as a Jet. From horrible offensive line play to even worse quarterback play, he has been dealt far from a perfect hand. Despite it all, he has still shown that he can and will be a dominant player in the NFL.

This year, with a revamped offensive line, Aaron Rodgers back, and additions to the receiver room, Hall is primed for a huge year. The Jets’ moves in the offseason have indicated that they are going to a more gap-heavy scheme rather than the zone scheme that they have used in the past. This is another piece of great news for Hall, who is the perfect back for a gap scheme.

I went through Hall’s film from 2023 to show where he excelled and how the Jets can use him better going forward. Along with that, I went over a couple of Ravens games to understand their gap scheme and show how the Jets can succeed with a similar one in 2024.

Let’s dive into Hall’s film from 2023 and see how some of the gap schemes the Ravens used last year could even unlock him and his potential further this year.

Moving to a gap scheme run game will allow for plays like this to be called for Breece. The Ravens call a power run with the H-back inserting and the right guard pulling. This would be Alijah Vera-Tucker leading Hall. Again, the gap scheme allows Breece not to have to think too much and just hit the hole, and we know how fast he is. If blocked similarly well to this rep, a play like this would create a big explosive for Breece.

Another example of a run scheme the Jets were not able to use last year due to the lack of good O-line play is “pin and pull.” Here, the play features pulls from the center (would be Joe Tippmann) and right tackle (would be Morgan Moses, who was not on the field for this play). As you can see, this run allows the running back to get on the edge, break a tackle, and then use his speed for an explosive. This is a play I think the Jets will use a lot next year, allowing Breece to use his explosiveness.

While the Ravens did use a lot of gap scheme runs, they still used some bread-and-butter zone run plays as well. Wide zone is a run concept where the RB reads the tackle’s block (to whichever side the run is to). Morgan Moses does a great job quickly getting to the second level at a good pad level here. He engages with former Jet Blake Cashman, displaces him, and easily gives Hill a massive lane to run through for an explosive gain. This would be the same if you insert Breece for Hill here.  

While the Jets did have a more zone-heavy approach last year with a lack of creativity in the run game (hopefully due to the injuries on the line), they did run some counter. Counter involves two pullers, with the majority of the rest of the line blocking down. The running back will take a step in the opposite direction of the play, only to get the handoff in the other direction. Here, Breece has that exact footwork, and the hole is huge. Breece hits it, and the race is on, but it’s a race that only Breece can win.

Funny enough, another long Breece touchdown came on a gap scheme run – counter again! Interesting how that works. It’s a similar counter run here, just a bit different with a bit of a wind-back schematic to it. Breece shows great patience to press the hole and wait for his blocks to develop. Xavier Gipson cracks on the safety and creates a small hole for Breece to explode through, which he does for the long touchdown. Elite contact balance from Breece at that point of the run, which is one of his best attributes.

Another outside zone – the same play I showed earlier from the Ravens and Morgan Moses. Breece’s vision on the cutback is perfect here. Joe Tippmann does a great job keeping balance and opens up a crease that would be 6 with a normal Breece burst. His vision is so good that he really will excel with a good mish-mash of zone scheme runs and gap scheme runs.

RPO with Breece here. The edge doesn’t crash, so it should be a clear decision for Zach Wilson to hand the ball off with a ton of room, but Wilson pulls it and tries to rip it to Tyler Conklin in the flat as Allen Lazard clears out; Jason Pinnock flies in and breaks the ball up. Breece jumps in the air because he knows this is a missed opportunity. Plays like these will not be missed with No. 8 under center. This was a third-and-2 and could’ve been a 55-yard touchdown easily. I hope the Jets also incorporate RPOs with their gap/zone scheme runs.

Lastly, this is my PSA to Nathaniel Hackett: Please use Breece as a pass catcher. I do not mean dump-offs out of the backfield. I mean plays like this.

The Jets run a variation of my favorite pass play: mesh. Breece is lined up outside, and they motion Breece in to confirm man coverage and allow for a free release. Gipson and Breece run the underneath crossers that define the mesh concept, and Breece breaks wide open with a LB trailing him. Easy pitch and catch for the TD. More of this, please. It is not that hard sometimes.

Overall, I think the Jets will have a lot better variation in their scheme this year, running-wise. Having a good mix of RPOs, zone runs, and gap runs will allow for Breece to be an absolute monster in this offense. Along with that, as I showed in the last clip, he is very useful outside of the backfield as a pass catcher. For Breece, the sky is the limit this year. I think he is in for at least 2,000 all-purpose yards, and it shouldn’t be that hard for him to get it.

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