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angle blocking in an option offense

angle blocking in an option offense

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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Nov 16, 2008
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e began our football program in 1987with a run-oriented wishbone offen-sive attack. Over the past 14 years wehave gradually spread things out, moved toa predominantly “I” attack, done away withthe tight end position, and worked hard todevelop an effective passing game.Though we have made numerous adjust-ments in our formations and within ourpassing game, we have maintained ourcommitment to option football. (mid-line,inside veer, and speed option). It is ourdesire to have a balanced (50 percent run — 50 percent pass) offensive attack. Webelieve that we can (and must) do botheffectively in order to be successful andreach our goals.Our total offensive philosophy (runningand passing) is predicated on creatingblocking angles. We use multiple forma-tions and numerous types of motion inorder to create these angles. We feel thatthese angles give us an advantage in exe-cuting our offensive attack.From the prospective of an offensiveline coach, implementing this philosophy istruly a process. We begin every spring andfall practice season stressing basic funda-mentals and techniques. Even with ourseniors, we start all over, beginning withhow to get into a properly balanced stance.My year begins with making a list of all thethings that we want to accomplish duringthat particular season and we work our waydown the list until our offensive linemanhave mastered the necessary skills. Thelist includes: stances, alignments, tech-niques, fundamentals, and numerousblocking combinations.I believe that it is also very important towork on the mental aspect of offensive linep lay. Offensive lineman accumulate nomajor statistics, receive few accolades,and get precious little recognition, yet Iwant them to know that they are the mostimportant element of the game. The effec-tiveness of the offensive line sets thetempo of every game. We feel that positivemotivation is critical to help an offensivelineman understand their role and to devel-op confidence.Early in the season we spend a greatdeal of time mastering the techniques ofour basic drive block (stance, start, angle,chutes, dummies, sleds, and live work.)Everything else that we do in our optiongame and in our complimentary runninggame begins from good drive blockingtechniques. I also differentiate between apower drive block and a control drive block,with the situation dictating the technique tobe used. When it is fourth and one we wanta low, tough, power drive block, with a sec-ond and eight situation, we stress a con-trolled drive block.Beginning from a well-balanced threepoint stance, the drive block starts with anangle step at the hip of the defender. Ouryoung men are taught to establish an aim-ing point by drawing a line from their big toeto the hip of the defender. We always wantthis first step to be short, forward, and pow-erful. In the power drive the emphasis is onlow powerful shoulder contact and in thecontrol drive block the emphasis is on handcontact and control. With both techniqueswe emphasize coming off the ball low, witha flat back and on the rise as contact ismade. The feet must keep moving andturning the buttocks to the hole is alsoemphasized — this is especially true withthe control drive block. Everything we dowith our offensive line is predicated onmastering these two blocking techniques.Angles are also crucial in our offensive blocking scheme as we fold block to thebackside, within our combination and chipblocks, blocking the linebacker's and releas-ing downfield to block on the backside.As we put together the pieces that makeup our offensive line blocking philosophy,our young men know that they are fillingtheir “tool box.” This tool box will containthe fundamentals and techniques that theyand their teammates need to carry out theirassignments. Mastering their tool box alsodevelops confidence in our lineman, bothas individuals and as a unit that must worktogether. During a game I listen to our play-ers' input and suggestions, as together wemake necessary adjustments.The approach that our offensive line-man takes to the line of scrimmage reflectsour commitment to using blocking angles.Our lineman begin from a pre-stance posi-tion, before being set to fire off the line ofscrimmage. This allows our young men toread the defense and make the calls andadjustments that they feel are necessary tocarry out their assignments. (We do oper-ate our shot-gun pass series from the pre-stance position.)Our expectations of our offensive line-man are as follows:Know the play.• Know your assignment.Read the defense (man over, manright, man left).
Haywood RinerOffensive Line CoachCampbellsville UniversityCampbellsville, Ky.
Angle Blocking in anOption Offense
• Pull the correct “tool” out of the box.Communicate with your teammates.• Know the snap count.EXPLODE...DRIVE...FINISH.Proper alignment is another element thatis vital to the proper execution of ouroffense, especially with the option phase ofour game. Our guards always maintain atwo foot split in order for our fullback to havea constant take-off point in our option. Thetackles adjust their splits from three to fivefeet in order to create the best possibleblocking angles and running lanes.While we also seek to create goodblocking angles in our companion runningplays and in our passing game, for the pur-pose of this article I will focus on our insideveer option, which we run to both thestrong and weak sides. As stated earlier,we run our option from numerous forma-tions and in combinations with severaltypes of motion in order to set up maximumblocking angle advantage.
The Inside Veer Option
To the weak side we usually see a onetechnique, off-set nose or a defender linedup in the Agap. Blocking assignments areas follows:
On-Side Tackle:
The first man lined uphead up to outside on the line of scrim-mage is let go. The tackle works the splitfrom 3-5 feet to create a maximum seam. Ifthe defensive end pinches, he is blockedby the tackle, otherwise the tackle ripsthrough the inside hip of the defensive endto block the linebacker from the head-up toinside-usually the middle linebacker (henever chases a linebacker outside).
On-Side Guard:
He has the angle toblock down on the inside defensive lineman(usually a one technique).
His first step is playside to blockthe middle linebacker to the backside line-backer.
Backside Guard:
Blocks base up ontwo or three technique.
Backside Tackle:
While still working hissplits, takes a sharp angle to zone throughand block downfield on the frontside (hemust be sure that the backside defensiveend does not pinch inside.)
(See Diagram 1)
.To the strong side we usually see a"two" or "three" technique. Blockingassignments are as follows:
On-Side Tackle:
The first man lined uphead up to the outside on the line of scrim-mage is let go. The tackle works the splitfrom three to five feet to create a maximumseam. If the defensive end pinches, he isblocked by the tackle or if the linebackersteps up he is blocked by the tackle.Otherwise he is responsible to help theguard block the inside down lineman. Thisinside down lineman is usually a threetechnique and must be blocked in order forthe play to be successful. When helping theguard with a double-team block, chip orreverse chip block the aiming point for thehands becomes the outside number of thedefender (The guard and tackle mustremain aware of blitz combinations in the Aand B gaps).
On-Side Guard:
Base block the insidedown defensive lineman (usually a two orthree technique.) The aiming point for theshoulder is the outside hip of the defensivelineman if he is lined head up, or the insidehip if he is lined up anywhere outside ofhead up. The guard's block is usually exe-cuted in combination with the tackle, astogether they are responsible for the insidedown lineman and the middle linebacker.
Blocks back on the backsidedown lineman.
Backside Guard:
Folds around thecenter to block linebacker or first oppositecolor.
Backside Tackle:
While still working hissplits, takes a sharp angle step to zonethrough and block downfield on thefrontside. (He must be sure that the back-side defensive end does not pinch inside).
AB Gap Blitz Combinations
We are committed to taking advantageof every possible blocking angle in execut-ing our option/pass offense. Books, arti-cles, clinics, and instructional films can allbe helpful in making offensive adjustmentsand in developing drills. I have tried to dothings the way other coaches do (and aresuccessful,) yet I always seem to comeback to what works best for us.Adjustments — yes, pick up a new play ordrill-yes, but the bottom line is. .. you knowyour players and you know your system. Ifirmly believe that the best drills are thosethat you design yourself. Establish a phi-losophy of offensive line play, decide howyou can best reach your goals, determinethe skills and techniques that you want toteach and creatively design your drills tobest teach your young men.Remember, make your offensive line-man believe that they are the most impor-tant part of the game!
Diagram 1Diagram 2Diagram 3Diagram 4
2001 AFCACommitteesWill Be Listedin the AFCADirectory

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