Zolak & Bertrand

Weekdays 10am-2pm

May 23, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (37) works on his footwork at the team's OTA at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

During a recent, off-season edition of X’s and Zo’s on Zolak & Bertrand, Scott Zolak revealed what he was hearing about rumors of the Shanahan offense coming to New England.

“I’ve been talking, digging around a little bit. These new little things, these little wrinkles that have been added or maybe the way the offense is changing,” said Zolak. “I think the linemen are actually excited about it from the zone blocking scheme. Everything was so deliberate when things were called in the past. If I’m pulling, I’m going two-hole. Now, it’s like a guy crosses your face, you got him, boom. Now you’re on to the next one, and then it’s up to your two really good backs, Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, to get downhill, find the lane and get through it, which I think they’re really good at. I think it gives them more running opportunities.”

Zolak pointed to the retirement of Ivan Fears as a possible factor in the decision to implement more of the zone blocking scheme.

“I know Ivan and I know the way I’ve been taught it for so many years because I had Ivan too. If there’s nothing there, you freakin’ better not get tackled for loss,” said Zolak. “I’m just talking about what I’ve heard with the running game.”

Why would the Patriots make the move to the Shanahan run game? Some say it simplifies the offense. Zolak is not buying it.

“Everyone is like, ‘Oh, this is dumbing it down,'” said Zolak. “It’s not dumbing it down, it’s changing what you do with what you have.”

Listen to the Full X’s and Zo’s segment below, which includes Zolak’s two “X-factors” for the Patriots offense in 2022.

(Click here to subscribe to Patriots Audio on 98.5 The Sports Hub.)

NEXT: Patriots roster overview heading into training camp