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Offensive Line Manual 2014

Dominick Zappia Bethpage, NY


Bag Drills
LINE DRILL Technique: Have lineman all line up on one line facing the same sideline and standing on one side of the line. On coaches command linemen will jump with both feet together on either side of the line for 30 seconds. Repeat after a short rest and then do same drill but facing end zone and jumping forward and backwards REACTION DRILL(PASS PRO) Technique: Have lineman line up in groups of 5 and face coach in 3 point stance. On cadence linemen will pop up in pass protection stance and chop feet. Coach then points a direction and linemen shuffle that direction. Coach switches direction and then signals them to sprint through 5 yards T-TEST Technique: Pair up lineman and have them face each other but facing the sidelines on the five yard line. On cadence lineman sprints to the ten yard line and touches hand then sprints to the goal line and touches hand and then finally finishes through the five yard line. Repeat 2-4 times BAG DRILLS NOTE: In the Straight and Lateral drills both feet must land inside the bag boundary before moving on to the next.

Conditioning Drills T-Sprint

Drill Instructions: Player In three point stance touches outside lines on each side and accelerates thru
Br uis ers

Br uis ers

Br uis ers

10 yds.
Br uis ers

Coaching Points: Record times Verify player touches outside lines on each side and accelerates thru To increase speed open up hips and point outside toes to line Use left hand to touch left side and right hand to touch right side. Verify player keeps head forward and does not cross-over Objective: Good for determining speed and potential RBs who have cut back ability

Conditioning Drills

Acceleration - Sprint

Sprint Side Shuffle Drill Instructions: Sprint to end of cone. Side Shuffle to next cone rotate and sprint to next cone.

Sprint Side Shuffle

Coaching Points: Verify players accelerate and maintains Good running form. Release a new player when first player has gotten half way. Repeat with players backpedaling When backpedaling maintain weight over toes or you will lose balance and fall backwards


5 yds

Objective: Acceleration and conditioning


30 yds

Square Shoulders Purpose: Teaches linemen to keep shoulders square to LOS when moving and also good lateral by upfield movement. Technique: Set up cones in a staggered fashion. The player will start in a 2 pt. stance at the first cone. On signal the lineman will side shuffle to each cone making sure his shoulders do not turn.




Core Run Blocking Concepts

Get movement on the LOS.
This way Not this way Not Usual

Initial step should gain width and depth. 6 directional step with eyes on landmark (LM), which in most cases is the playside (PS) number. Do not step straight upfield or flat down LOS. Angle depends on alignment of defender. Why do we do this? This takeoff puts me in the right position to react to whatever post-snap movements the DL makes. We want to use our 2nd step to redirect the defender and get him moving. This technique will be especially helpful when we are in MAN scheme and cannot afford to lose the DL inside because we have no adjacent help. By establishing this initial position, we can both prevent the DL from penetrating across the LOS, and get him moving horizontally. In the case when we have combo calls being made, we do not have to change the footwork to make the scheme work. How we react to the DL may differ, but the takeoff stays the same. For example, in many combo schemes if the covering DL makes a hard inside charge, the covered OL will still attack the PS LM but will not necessarily stay on this DL. He will attempt knock him off his track while an adjacent OL takes over the block. In almost all cases, the uncovered OL will make the same takeoff and attack the inside hip of the nearest PS defender on his way to the 2nd level. In some cases he will wind up overtaking an inside charging DL.

PS Step usually in this range

Possible actions post-snap

Least desirable path

Proper footwork and head placement will allow us to counter the DLs movements and to redirect him.

Teaching Progression
A good practice plan must be in place in order to develop top lineman. It must follow a certain progression that starts with the fundamentals of proper stance and alignment and then proceeds to proper footwork, contact, block finish, and ultimately to blocking schemes and strategies. The three specific skill groups that should be incorporated into most practices are as follows:

Agility and Conditioning Blocking Skills Blocking Rules and Strategy

1. 2.

Stance and Footwork 1. Using round bags and boards to teach the proper stance and footwork to hit Landmark. (GET PS




Mechanics 1. Proper takeoff (staying low, head up, flat back, eyes on target). 2. Contact. (Punch (2 or 1 hand) or Punch with Shoulder in to increase blocking surface) 3. Square up and either isolate from POA or drive off/down LOS. Stay on your assignment (run him if you have to). Never allow movement across LOS. 4. Use the various drills in our package to teach these skills. Block Types 1. Individual (INDY) Types (Base, Down, Reach, Stretch, Pulling) 1. INDY blocks are differentiated based on the alignment of the DL or LB and the PS landmark to be hit. When we teach this segment, it must be stressed that the POA, the alignment of the man, and the PS landmark are the driving factors in determining how the block is executed. 2. Combo Blocks 1. Pinch Combo 2. Scoop 3. Fold Coaching Point: NOTHING takes the place of good INDY block execution. We can develop all the different schemes in the world to compensate for more athletic defensive players, but the bottom line is that all o-linemen must be able to handle their assignments 1 on 1. The INDY and Combo Block skill sets must be in place before any schemes are taught. Blocking as a team (Schemes) 1. Install base and zone blocking schemes. Execute inside, outside, and option plays as a unit. Operate in line format and provide different fronts. The idea is to see how they operate together in a semi-live situation with defenders who are moving and stunting.

Stance and Start

Proper Block Steps (Steps are short and choppy Do not overextend but Stomp your feet as you move.) Drive Block (Base) Down Blocks Gap Seal/Reach (Used in Inside and Outside Zone) Pull and Trap (Used in Trapping and Folding) A, Drive Step 6 inch drive step toward Aiming Point. Usually the 2nd power Step that gains ground up field. B. Lead Step 6 inch directional step toward Aiming Point. Used for Base, Zone Blocking schemes, or Down blocks. Use a sharper angle for Rip Reach and Overtake blocks. C. Slide Step 6 inch directional step toward Aiming Point. Used for Zone Blocking schemes, Hinge Blocks, and for Overtake blocks on stretch plays. D. Drop Step Pivot Step that rotates hips toward Aiming Point. Used for Outside Zone Blocking if covered, when facing an OUTSIDE SHADE defender, on combo blocks, or when folding. E. Bucket Step Drop Step that pivots hips and shoulders toward Aiming Point but puts hips more perpendicular to LOS. Used for Outside Zone Blocking when uncovered, inside trap and pulling. F. Crossover Step 6 inch directional step toward Aiming Point that puts hips slightly perpendicular to LOS. Used for Down Blocks. Before anything else is covered in the course of training or evaluating an O-Lineman, the initial stance and steps taken when delivering the block must be taught and mastered. If a lineman has improper footwork then the rest of the block will usually fail. Each type of step maximizes your speed and accuracy to the target and must always be focused on and practiced. The following is a list of the step types we will teach and the blocks they are associated with.




The player will get in a proper stance, the coach will evaluate and correct and on the call will fire out full speed with the steps he was instructed to use.

DUCK WALK. Make sure steps are short and quick. We are not running through chute. Pump arms back and forth. 2nd step should never go past 1st step in footwork sequence.

FIT UP AND DRIVE. Bag holder align a few inches away from blocker. On count, OL will execute drive block in correct fit position, (head at midline) and drive with short, power steps. After you get movement, usually when you clear the sled, then get the hips through and lift with the arms. KEY: Horizontal leverage followed by Vertical lift in a coordinated, arcing motion.

Base 90

Wide C

Rip / Overtake

45 degree PS Step 2nd step on ground, the power step Short choppy steps down board

45 degree PS step 2nd step crossover, shoulders square Drive up the field

Open Step/Drop Step 2nd step on ground quickly Should be in line with 1st step Also used in trapping / pulling

Single Man Drive Sled

Purpose: Teach lineman to stay low, take small choppy steps, and keep base on run blocking Technique: Execute base step. Strike with both hands inside cylinder. Head should be level with top band of bag. Keep arms slightly extended without collapsing into a shoulder block. After movement is established, get hips through, lift and continue to drive.

Purpose: Teach lineman to explode out of stance and make contact with blocking surface (hands, facemask, shoulder pads). Can be done at speed working up to full speed. Technique: THIS DRILL IS RUN WITH THE BOARD SETUP. From 3 point stance line up lineman vs. a bag holder or live. The timing is usually 1st step load hands up in a wrestling position (not on hips or ever behind them), 2nd step deliver short punch as you make contact with your blocking surface. Your head is up, aiming to LM, and your back is flat. LM is never the PS shoulder, rather it is the PS number. That is the aiming point for your helmet. Hands should be inside of shoulders and land as shown in picture. SHOULDER ARE ALWAYS SQUARE TO LOS. STAY LOW, FLAT BACK Base or Reach Block: PS (or directional) step, hands at ready, 2nd step is up field and SPLITS DEFENDER. At the same time rip your hands from the ready position in a short upward motion making contact with blocking surface at midpoint of defender. Head should be slightly PS on contact. Once contact is made, then work to est. PS leverage. Stretch Block or UC in COMBO: Open Step, 2nd step gains ground, and squares to LOS. Punch is landed at midline of the defender. If you have made contact head on, work head to PS LM.


Base 90

Wide C

Seal / Sift

45 degree PS Step, PUNCH 2nd step on ground, the power step Choppy steps drive down board Head at midline

45 degree PS step, PUNCH 2nd step crossover, shoulders square 3rd step does not pass 2nd. MAINTAIN Head slightly PS

1st step w/ inside foot flat & up field Work man & deliver forearm blow. Drive back using high knee. Used if you are UC man play side.

Sift to LB

Delivery Takeover

Half-Line Book

1st step w/ inside foot flat & up field Work man & deliver forearm blow Drive back using high knee Release and pickup flowing LB

1st step w/ inside foot flat & up field Each OL work man & deliver forearm blow & drive back (high knee technique) 1 Takeover, 1 Pickup LB

WB lined up slightly outside OL OL execute base block to PS WB loop past hip of OL and attack 1st inside LB

HALF BENCH TO LB. Deliver a one arm punch to PS DL the climb to LB. Note position of bag holder on LOS. Punch must be low and firm without turning shoulders. Climb to LB, fit up and drive.

Backside Tags
These drills can be done inside the chute.


Combo block between BS lineman Outside man is covered COV man - wide base step to midline UC man bench, work to LB

In this scenario the DT does not anchor in gap but flows play side. UC man picks up DT while COV goes to LB

COV executes wide base UC takes path to PS gap, extending arm ready to takeover on inside charge Climb to LB (watch for cross stunt)

Observe how the COV man is aiming for midline, while UC man is attacking PS half only. In this picture we would prefer that the UC man keeps his PS hand free, only delivering a shoulder and punch like in the Delivery/Takeover exercise. COV will work his hips PS.

TIGHT COMBO. Combo technique between COV and UC linemen to the play side. Used when DL is shading inside man, as in a 3 or a 5 tech (inside man is COV.) COV executes a wide base technique while the UC uses half bench, leading with inside step 1st, while climbing to LB. Always be aware of a cross charge when DL stunts play side with LB moving inside.


This drill can be done inside the chute.


Combo block between PS lineman COV man - wide base step to midline UC man bench, work to LB UC be ready to takeover.

In this scenario the DT does not anchor but plays inside gap. UC man picks up DT while COV goes to LB

3 Man COMBOS. Combo technique between 3 linemen to the play side. All the various techniques we have learned must now be executed. We will present the half line with various alignments. What we will do is present one pair (C-G or G-T) with a DL / LB combo problem, while leaving the third man covered. Alter the alignments so we have different COV / UCOV combinations. DT is in a 2i Tech with the OT covered by a 5 Tech DE. LB is playing a 30 Tech. OG is covered inside shade, will make a COMBO type call with the UC C. OT is solo and must drive DE off LOS or est. leverage and work to sideline.

DT played A gap, LB plugs B. COV OG works a Seal technique as he and the C execute Delivery / Takeover to the LB.

3 Man COMBOS. Combo technique between 3 linemen to the play side. All the various techniques we have learned must now be executed. We will present the half line with various alignments. What we will do is present one pair (C-G or G-T) with a DL / LB combo problem, while leaving the third man covered. Alter the alignments so we have different COV / UCOV combinations. DT is in a 2i Tech with the OT covered by a 5 Tech DE. LB is playing a 30 Tech. OG is covered inside shade, will make a COMBO type call with the UC C. OT is solo and must drive DE off LOS or est. leverage and work to sideline.

In this scenario we will have the 2i play over into the B gap while the LB comes over top to plug the A gap. The OGs initial path and technique put him in the right position to engage and take over the DT. The Cs initial path and technique tracks him right to the LB.

Pulling / Trapping. 2 man drill designed to teach men to work their trap and pull techniques. In the left side diagram the DL has anchored onto the LOS, so the lead man est. PS leverage and the trailer loops outside to the 2nd level. In the right side diagram the DL has played up field across the LOS. The lead man kicks him to the outside, while the trailer cuts up inside to the 2nd level. Remember to use open / drop steps.

Purpose: To teach the proper technique for blocking a LB flowing to playside. LB is 4 5 yds off ball slightly backside. On count, OL will takeoff through PS gap and cutoff LB pursuit. If near LB charges, then lock onto him else continue on angle to BS LB. If LB looks to cross face, rip BS arm across and get body through the LB.

Fire out playside and look to 1st protect PS gap.



DEFENSIVE RECOGNITION ________________ Formation

9 6 7 25 / 35 5 4 4i 32 101 43


4i 4 5

7 6 9

57 (37)









Bear (G-C-G covered)



INDY block types utilized in this system.

BASE, REACH, STRETCH BLOCK OR POST/OVERTAKE MAN IN COMBO A. Step with playside foot taking either a 6" to 8" directional step or a drop step to aiming point. B. 2nd step: Base power step split defender. Reach power step gain ground, 3rd step splits defender. Stretch Cross midline to PS half of defender. B. For Base, full bench to landmark. For Reach, strike with inside hand to landmark to est. leverage and work through aiming point. SHOULDERS SQUARE. C. Shoot the hands, get to a lock-out as soon as possible bringing the hips D. Do not cross over, keep shoulders square with LOS DOWN BLOCK OR PINCH MAN IN COMBO A. Step with inside foot 6" to 8" at approximately a 45 degree angle or lateral towards aiming point B. Aiming point is below outside number of defender. C. Drive through aiming point with strike bringing hips, working outside hand to kidney area and off foot upfield. TRAP/PULL A.Open step with PS foot, whip PS arm around to get shoulders perpendicular to LOS B.2nd step is flat down LOS gains ground and gets you running. SKIP PULL A.Drop BS foot back followed by PS foot almost like a pass set. B.3rd step is with BS foot, 4th is with PS foot. Both are directional like a base block step. C.Shoulders are parallel as you side step down LOS. At POA, explode up field. TURN OUT (May be covered or uncovered) A. Block out to defender to outside on LOS B. Bucket step and attack. Aim at upfield side of defender's hip C. Drive through hip of defender widening the hole, keeping base D. Do not get beat across face FOLD BLOCK (PINCH-PULL SCHEME) Turnout Blocker A. Execute pin (down) block Fold Blocker A. Take good drop step gaining depth and distance with inside foot B. Clear turnout block by adjacent lineman C. Work upfield squaring through inside number D. Maintain base.
2 3 4

1 1 2

Takeoff footwork:

Base Step

Drop/Bucket Step


Skip Pull


TRAP BLOCK A. Take pull step gaining depth and distance B. Take 2nd step back up into LOS C. Aiming point is upfield side of defender's hip D. Trap inside out, bring hips to dig man out of hole, and get feet out of hole X-BLOCK A. TE executes reach block on DE B.Wing cuts inside of TE block and reaches to 2nd level to block LB

FAN / HINGE BLOCK Pass block technique and BS run blocking A. Take good PS step (Zone Step) with inside foot without gaining depth and distance B. Begin to hinge step with outside foot, turn outside shoulder away from LOS, staying low, arms extended, and watching for inside rush C. Shuffle for depth and protect the backside gap CUTOFF BLOCK A. This is a position block. Idea is to get to the next gap over in anticipation of the DLs read of the play flow B. Step with inside foot 6" to 8" at approximately a 45 degree angle or towards next gap over at the LOS B. Plant and hinge step toward defender C. Do not look to chase 2nd level defenders unless they are blitzing or moving hard across the LOS INSIDE ZONE SCHEME A. Overall look of an inside zone blocking scheme for two OL B. In this diagram, the 3 tech is covering the guard. Since the running lane is in the B gap, the OT will POST the DT to help the G get on the PS shoulder of the DT. C. If the 3 widens into the path of the OT, then the OT will take over the block and the G will get to the 2nd level.


SIFT BLOCK A. Step with inside foot taking a 6' to 8" directional step to aiming point. B. Aiming point is through inside gap. C. Rip hard through inside gap. Do not get beat across face. D. Try to work to next level. Responsible for LB run through to second level. CUT LOG A. Pull, gaining depth and distance with drop step B. Hug LOS, throw head, shoulders, and hip across FAR hip. C. Drive through hip, do not cut too low. Aiming point is between hip and upper thigh area trying to get backside hip across defender's outside hip RIP-REACH The Rip-Reach block will be used by all covered blockers on the outside zone plays, and by the back-side OL on the inside zone play vs. an inside shade. The purpose is to overtake a defender that is head-up or outside, gaining outside leverage. There is less emphasis with this block on driving the opponent back, and more on gaining outside position, to allow our back to get outside. The blocker will take a normal 6" lateral step playside, and then crossover on his second step. While making the second step, the blocker will dip his inside shoulder and rip his inside arm low across the body of the down defender, gaining outside position. He will then drive his outside hand into the defender's outside pec, and squeeze him back while swinging to the outside. The blocker's shoulders should now be somewhat square as he drives the defender upfield. OVERTAKE BLOCK and POST BLOCK An Overtake block is used by covered linemen on the outside zone. The purpose is to "overtake" the next down defender, and assume that block, freeing the next blocker over to climb to the LB level. The covered lineman will step laterally 6 and get outside leverage, much like the Rip-Reach. He then tries to get "ahead" of the next down defender, in essence pushing his teammate off him so that he may climb to the next level. The PIN_RELEASE man will take a shallow PS step, working upfield and working the PS half of the DL w/o turning shoulders. This will assist the covered man to takeover block.

Coaching point. Combo blocks occur because there is an uncovered lineman. No matter what the situation, you must determine your landmark on your covered man at pre-snap and that will become your block path. That could all change at the snap if the DL does not anchor on you or in the pre-snap gap. Observe the alignments of your DL and LB. If the T has been 3 tech and is presnap 2 tech (head up), he is probably looking to shoot A gap while LB loops around to the B gap. A defender aligned in a gap is less likely to stunt because of the distance to cover, he will probably shade toward the gap he is stunting into.

This diagram shows a typical pre-snap alignment for a C and G. The C is UC while the G is COV. The arrows show a possible stunt between the two. Based on the WCS the C and G decide to execute a COMBO block. WCS Pre-Snap C 3 tech loops into A gap and crashes into me and/or across LOS G 3 tech gets across LOS through B gap or 3 tech stunts into A gap and crashes into C while I get caught up in his rush. Now no one blocks the LB coming over the top. Establish a LM and the footwork that will position me to prevent both scenarios.



Correct Zone Combo technique to handle WCS G directional step to LM, aim for PS . Look to control PS gap, cover up the 3 Tech and drive down LOS. If he anchors, isolate him from POA and drive off LOS. If he moves PS, run him down the line (square shoulders) and do not allow any penetration across LOS. Get movement so RB can make his read. C same step toward near hip of 3 tech. If he attacks, G will help steer him so you can work to LM while he climbs to 2nd level. C will work the PS hip of the T while climbing to the LB, waiting for him to declare. If he moves sharply to the PS, then release and get him. If he is anchoring, continue working the COMBO up field right to him.

Blocking Calls COMBO

A combination block between two adjacent players utilizing the PINCH technique to seal the down defensive lineman working to backside LB at 2nd level. In this scheme, the outside OL is working down not to the playside. If we append the term TO then the outside OL is still helping to seal backside, but is working to 2nd level PLAYSIDE LB. Trey Deuce Ace Ace Deuce Trey



Down (combo is off-block inside gaps)




Ace TO


Blocking Calls Scoop

2 or more adjacent offensive lineman working together toward the playside on a defensive lineman on level one to a linebacker inside covering DL. Covered man is getting help from BS Uncovered teammate who will attempt to takeover block. Concept is to work to first 2nd level LB inside of the covered OL. Slug Swap Scoop Single Double Triple

Solid Trip Trio






Double - TO
(G is Covered here, UC OT-no reason to help TE. Pinch from T, BS help from C.)

(OT was posting DE and climbing pre-snap. The stunt changed that)

Trip w/ ACE TO Playside

Blocking Calls - Fold

Eat Tag Gas Lt. Gas Rt. Tag Eat



Sag Lt.

Sag Rt.



The naming scheme indicates who the two OLs involved in the Fold and who is Pin Blocking and who is the Folder. The first and last letters are the indicators. The first letter indicates who the Fold blocker is and the last indicates the Pin blocker. In the case of Gas and Sag, we tag the call with a left or a right to tell which guard the center will be working with. 1.S is the Center 2.G is the Guard 3.T is the tackle 4.E is the End



Gas Rt (BSG and C)



Blocking Calls Additional

Trap 3 Call Trap 5 Call G Scheme

Trap - Rack

Toe It

TAE w/ Step It (RB must block ILB)

Power Seal

GB Sweep


Pass Blocking Fundamentals

PASS BLOCKING TECHNIQUES Set the feet (Quick to the Set) Balance the body (Wide base with stager) Control the Punch (attack the defender) Teaching Progression Fundamentals Know where the QB is and the depth of his set. Understand alignments and movement of rushers. Use correct levels/ splits and stance Maintain your square balance and angles (Keep the door closed, feet lead hands) All sets should maintain leverage between QB and rushing defender Operate under controlled aggressive, never lose poise Always know where your help is. STANCE Post Foot- is the foot closest to the quarterbacks set (inside). It should be slightly forward Kick Foot- is the foot furthest away from the quarterback set (outside). It should be slightly back Weight- Balanced, distributed on instep of feet, knees buckled- should be locked inward to shrink expansion of your hips, and control weight distribution. Tall at 90 degrees- shoulders should be perpendicular to ground and create 45-degree angle with legs. Eyes should up and out, control chin in an upward manor. Arms should be raised and relaxed within the framework of the chest Weight Balance- distribution on instep of your feet Back & Shoulders Straight Up should be perpendicular to ground and create 45 degree angles with your legs Head & Eyes Up & Out- should control chin in upward manner Arms Relax set high and tight to body ready to deliver punch to defender. Elbows cocked SETS Aggressive at LOS Drop set checking 2nd level defender inside out Vertical Edge Rushers Open- Slide side work depth 1st then width Inside Rusher Outside Rusher Wide Rusher Positioning & Targeting Inside out relationship Square to defender / Square to QB Frame feet to target Focus on target Movement (feet) keep feet active Uncovered Drop 1st step with inside step (Active Feet) Slide Shuffle (Kick)

Pass Blocking Fundamentals

CONTACT Contact with the rusher is made with a punch of the hands into the chest area of the defender. Listed below are techniques relating to the punch or contact phase of pass protection. 1. Timing of the punch is vital. Ideally, the elbows will lock out at the same moment as contact is made with the rusher. If the punch is too early, there is a tendency to lean into the defender plus there is no pop to stop the charge of the defender. If the punch is late, the arms never get locked out which allows the defender to get his hands on the defender. The blocker always wants to maintain separation between his body and the body of the blocker. 2. The primary thrust is delivered with the heels of the hand. The thumbs are up, the fingers extended loosely and the elbows in. If the elbows face out, the arms can be easily collapsed by a bull rusher. 3. The punch starts at the shoulders and extends through the elbow, wrist, and hands. Dont lean forward during the punch. Maintain the bent knee position for power in stopping the rusher. 4. The head and arms work together. When the arms extend, the head comes back with the chin tucked. 5. On contact the base widens while maintaining a stagger. Continue to maintain the bent knee position. The upper body is now more upright and rigid than before contact. 6. The blocker would prefer to punch at a slight upward angle. This can only be achieved if the knees are bent which lowers the body allowing for the upward punch. 7. The player, either blocker or rusher, who first establishes effective hand placement, will usually win. 8. Inside hand placement usually wins. AFTER CONTACT After the blocker sets and punches, he now has to maintain contact with the rusher, allowing as little closure to the QB as possible. Listed below are techniques and tips to accomplish this. 1. Dont try to get separation. Once contact is made, lock on (the exception is a tackle blocking a wide, upfield rusher) and maintain a full lockout position, with the elbows in, thumbs up, and open hand into the chest of the rusher. 2. Dont lean on the hands. Use the power generated through bent knees and the stagger to stop the forward progress of the rusher. 3. Keep the head out of the block with the upper body upright and rigid. 4. The base should widen after contact to aid in lateral stability. 5. The weight should still be on the inside of the feet with about 60% of the weight on the inside leg. 6. The heel of the outside or stagger foot should be on the ground to prevent tipping forward or getting pulled by the rusher. 7. If the defender tries to rush through the outside shoulder, widen him. a. Maintain nose to inside number alignment. b. Hard pressure with inside hand to prevent defender from coming back inside. c. Maintain bent knee position with outside foot stagger. d. Dont lean on hands. e. Keep the weight concentrated on the inside leg so that the outside foot can continue to kick up and widen the rusher. If the weight shifts to the outside foot, the ability to continue to kick out is eliminated. 8. If the defender tries to rush inside, power step to the inside, flattening the rusher to the inside. Try to trip the defender with the post foot. You wont actually trip him but by emphasizing this, the post foot wont bail out (drop back)

Pass Blocking
The inside foot is called the POST foot and the outside foot is called the SET foot. The feet should be about shoulder width. Keep in mind that too narrow a stance takes away from stability while too wide a stance inhibits lateral movement. Weight should be concentrated on the inside of both feet. Forcing the knees inside helps to place the weight on the inside. By having the weight inside, the blocker is able to move to the inside or outside more effectively. If the weight is on the outside foot, the lateral steps inside or outside will be big and slow.



Kick step - Outside step with the SET foot. Keep weight concentrated on inside foot and leg. The ankle is wider than the knee and the knee is wider than the hip. This helps to maintain the weight on the inside leg. If the weight transfers to the outside leg, the ability to continue kick stepping is lost. The nose should stay aligned with the crotch. Power Step - Flat, aggressive, inside step with the post foot. It is intended to take away inside rush lanes. Once again, dont let the head go past midline of the body. Slide - Move by opposite foot after Kick or Power step. 1 2 2 1 Power Slide Slide Kick As the defender works to your outside (kick foot side) you give ground on a 45 while keeping inside leverage. If the defender works to your inside (post foot side) then you work flat and don't give any ground. If the defender crosses your post foot, then you must turn the block into a run block because the defender is in a great position to beat you at this point. It is also very important to work the arms during pass protection. Whichever direction the defender moves you lock out that arm to try and turn the defender's shoulders so it is more difficult to continue in that direction.

Footwork vs. alignments

Tight (3 or 5 Tech)

2 4 1 3

1. Kick set in place, drive post knee toward ground 2. Move set foot to est. stagger and cover man 3. Time the punch 4. If outside rush, kick step and stretch defender.

Tight (3 or 5 Tech w/ inside charge)

3 1

1. Kick step to cover outside rush. 2. When he charges inside, be ready to power step to deny inside penetration 3. Dont let inside shoulder go soft 4. Drive block if inside position is lost.

Loose (3 or 5 Tech)

1 3 2 4

1. Kick step gaining width and depth. The wider the alignment, the deeper the kick 2. Nose to inside number 3. If very loose, dont overstep, use 2 kicks to est. position 4. Stretch him out 5. Inside charge, then switch to power step and flatten rush

1 or 4I Tech

3 1 4 2

All of these alignments should be practiced against in a 1 ON 1 PASS RUSH DRILL. Start slow to confirm that the footwork sequence is correct. Each OL will face all 4 techniques with a variety of rush directions as indicated by the arrows in the diagrams.

1. Power step to cover and continue to flatten out his rush 2. Dont let inside shoulder go soft 3. Drive block if inside position is lost. 4. Be ready to kick step if he rushes outside 5. If he is in a 2 or 4 tech (even) we dont know where he will rush. 6. Make a shallow power step and get in your set to react to his movement. 7. Be ready to punch if he bull rushes.

Technique vs. Wide Rush End

The most difficult skill to master in pass protection is the Tackles block on the wide aligned rusher. Below are techniques and tips for blocking the wide rusher. 1. Narrow the stance with the toe pointing outward slightly. The narrower stance allows the blocker to cover more ground on the kick step. Increase the stagger of the stance. 2. Determine the junction point. The junction point is the point at which the defender will turn toward the QB (and the Tackle). Knowledge of the junction point is important because the blockers shoulders should be parallel with the shoulders of the rusher when he turns toward the QB to prevent the outside shoulder from being grabbed. Tips to determine the junction point: a. If the rushers outside foot is back, he will usually make his move to the QB on the 3rd step. Be ready to get shoulders parallel to rushers shoulders when he begins his 3rd step.

1 2 3 Junction Point

b. If the rushers inside foot is back, he will usually make his move to the QB on the 2nd step. Be ready to get shoulders parallel to rushers shoulders when he begins his 2nd step.
NOTE: If the rushers backbone is pointed in rather than upfield, the above does not apply. Now block him like a normal rusher. 2 Junction Point

Technique vs. Wide Rush End

3. The target is the inside shoulder. If the blocker looks at a point on the defender wider than the inside shoulder, he may set too wide and expose himself to an inside rush. The defender is only as far upfield as his inside shoulder. 4. When blocking a wide rusher, emphasize most of the weight on the ball of the inside foot while in the stance. This allows for a better kick step to cover more ground. A common fault on blocking the wide rusher is not covering enough ground on the first step, then trying to make up for it by leaning out with the upper body. The blocker again becomes exposed to the inside rush. 5. Kick step with width and depth to the rusher. The wider the defender, the deeper the kick step. Kick, slide until reaching the junction point.

2 1 2 1

Observe that as the defender widens, we deepen the stagger of our kick foot and point the toe inward. This gets more weight on the ball of the inside foot.

6. Be in control at the junction; that is, the nose should be over the midline, the weight on the inside of the feet with more weight on the inside leg, and have equal ability to move back inside or continue kicking outside. This position must be maintained throughout the approach and at contact. 7. Punch the defender when you can reach out and touch him. If only the shoulder is exposed at the time of the punch, then punch the shoulder with both hands, attempting to pry his upper body into a position where his shoulders become parallel to the side line. If the rusher has exposed his chest to the blocker as will often be the case, then punch the chest with both hands. Maintain a slight inside-out position on the rusher throughout the block. 8. The blocker works the line for 3 yards on a 5 step drop and 5 yards on a 7 step drop. This means that the blockers outside foot must remain on a vertical line for these specified distances before allowing the defender to close toward the QB. By keeping the defender working upfield for these distances, the blocker will be able to push him past the QB once he starts to close on the QB. If the defender is not forced vertically for certain distances, they will have a path to the QB. 9. When the blocker gets the rusher past the point of no return, he then pushes the rusher upfield. Maintain inside leverage.

Kick / Power Step. Practice getting in your pass protection posture post snap and then kick setting and power setting. Kick set back 2 or 3 times then Power step. Setup in 2 groups and make sure each man works from both left and right sides of ball. We can vary the sequence of Kick Slide / Power Slide by having the coach direct the OL one way and then another at random.

1 1 Power Kick Kick


DL give and pull Start

Push / Pull. Practice maintaining proper balance and leverage once you have engaged your opponent. The DL will alternately bull rush then give ground and attempt to pull OL off balance. OL must stay locked on maintaining his pass set stance. He will move forward and backward without changing the posture and position of his feet.

DL bull rush

Power Punch. Starting in a proper pass pro position, power step and slide while mirroring direction of rusher. Good upright torso position keeping head out of block. As the rusher moves down the line he spins into different positions to simulate a twisting rush move. Coaching Points: Butt is down while back is straight and head is up. Punch comes up to shoulder level elbows in, hands tight together, head goes back. Stay off toes, be relatively flat footed with 60% of weight on inside foot. Do not lean on defender with hands. Cover defender with your feet (cant see this but you can sense it by your position).

Pass Protection and Redirect Drill

Purpose: Teach lineman to execute proper footwork to engage and then redirect on counter moves. Offensive lineman will be engaged with bag holder aligned in a variety of techniques. DL will either rush one way and maintain or redirect his path on the coaches signal. As the DL goes wide, use kick set to maintain position and widen his rush. If the defender is not forced vertically for certain distances, he will have a path to the QB. If the DL redirects and attempts inside rush, switch to power step to eliminate inside charge and flatten his path. If he gains inside position, go into a run blocking posture and drive him away from QB. Do not use punch, use hands only to steer. This drill is designed to develop footwork. The DL can start with an inside alignment then rush wide. With an inside man, your first move is a power step. You must then adjust to a kick set.

Pass Blocking / Protection


50 PROTECTION 300/400 Series 50 series designates Quick protection for short passes (The QB will take 1-3 drop steps). Blockers must attack their assignment, hit him low and keep his hands down. Offensive Line - Zone Block inside gap, get hands of DL down. -Center : Block On to Over. If you have no rusher directly in front of you then help the next man to weak-side but stay alert for rusher through your area. Do not pop-up or step back! Even if you have no one to block, keep low and out of the QBs vision. -Guards : Block Inside to Over, be aware of blitzing LBs -Tackles: Block Inside to Over to Outside. Do not get beat inside. Take one step to get to a wide Defensive End but you must then attack him low. Do not allow him to stand up tall in the QBs throwing lane. -Running Backs: Cut block the most dangerous man, over to outside of the Tackle. F to take Strongside, H to take Weakside. -Look Inside to Outside to be aware of any inside blitz not picked up by Linemen. If Tackle to your side is covered and there is another rusher outside of him that is your man. -For single back sets (Black, Bunch) H always looks for biggest threat.




50 Protection v 43 Defense






50 Protection v 44 Defense




50 Protection v 52 Defense

Pass Blocking / Protection


60 PROTECTION (inc 60 HOLD) 500/600 Series 60 designates Big on Big protection, which means the Offensive Linemen block the Defensive Linemen. The Running Backs will look Inside Out for any rushing LBs. Normally used for 5 & 7 step drop passes & when in single Running Back Formation. If hold is called, OL cannot retreat and must maintain their ground at the LOS. Offensive Line Linemen block D Linemen Center: Block On to Over, if uncovered check Strong-side LB. Guards: Block On to Over, if uncovered check LB to DE. Tackles: Block On to Outside, do not get beat inside. Running Backs: Check LB to first man outside Tackle, release after checking off. H to Weak-side F to Strong-side.




60 Protection v 43 Defense






60 Protection v 44 Defense

Pass Blocking / Protection


81 & 82 PROTECTION 700 / 800 Series and 100/200 Series 81 & 82 pass protection is used for QB roll out passes. 81 Roll out Left. 82 Roll out Right. Diagrams shown are 82 roll out, 81 is a mirror image. NOTE : The Linemen will use a combination of Hinge block & Reach block for the roll out pass. The RBs will block roll out side, unless told to check backside. Offensive Line -Basic assignment is Onside Reach to the call side gap, Backside Hinge & retreat. -Center: Reach block play-side if covered & Hinge block if uncovered. -Guards: Backside Hinge block, Play-side Reach Block. -Tackles: Backside Hinge block, Play-side Reach Block. Running Backs. Block end man to play-side. If 2 backs are in, one of them may be called to check back-side pursuit, dependant on Defensive alignment & rush. Stay tight to end of the line, do not leave a gap between the play-side Tackle & you.




82 Protection v 43 Defense



82 Protection v 52 Defense


Pass Blocking / Protection


61 & 62 PROTECTION 900/000 Series 61 & 62 pass protection is used for QB roll out passes after a play action / fake run to the opposite side. 61 roll out left 62 roll out right Offensive Line Fake side G & T sell the run, play side G & T run 81/82 protection Center: Reach block to playside. Running Backs: Run the play action / fake run as called. FB be aware that you may be required to block a blitzing LB in the fake side center-Guard gap, this should be your first read.
62 Protection after a Fake H3 Lead





Picture References

Florida State - University of Florida O-Line Drills _ AFC TUBE University of Wisconsin Offensive Line practice University Of Oregon Pass Blocking Drills Pass Protection Larry Zierlien Iowa Hawkeyes Pulling / Trapping Drills University of Michigan Combo Blocking Techniques & Drills for Creating Championship Offensive Linemen