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Adapted from the St. Norbert College Coaching Staff Offensive Manual No unit is more important to the overall success of your team than offensive linemen. It takes physical and mental toughness to play on the offensive line, and a tremendous amount of pride because most linemen know they will never receive the public recognition so many of their teammates will. Our players and coaches hold the offensive linemen in the highest regard. We ask a lot of, and expect a lot from them. We know offensively we are only going to be as successful as they will allow us to be. The following is an overview of what we are looking for in a Yellowjacket lineman. I. GENERAL. A. Philosophy In order to excel as an Offensive Lineman, the football player must have great discipline, determination, athletic ability, and master basic fundamentals and blocking techniques. There are three basic questions that a lineman must ask himself prior to the snap of the ball: 1. Who do I have? The lineman must understand who his basic assignment will be on a given play versus a specific defense. 2. How do I block him? This question pertains to the first steps, aiming points, ball location, and specific techniques. 3. What is the nature of the play? Understanding of the play concept is important here. The lineman must know if it is a run or a pass, is he at the point of attack or away from it, is it a finesse play or attack type of play? Intelligent, aggressive line play is vital to the success of a great offensive football team. Each and every lineman should feel that the success of the team is dependent upon his ability to stop the man across him. The mental aspect of the game is what separates the great offensive lineman from the average one. Understanding assignments, techniques, and defensive strategy is critical to success. The ability to visualize ones role within the offensive scheme aids the lineman in his mental preparation. Always picture yourself playing the game in an aggressive, dominant mode with perfect technique and relentless energy. Effective line play begins in the huddle. All players should break from and return to the huddle as quickly as possible. Focus on the quarterback and begin concentrating on your assignment. Visualize the possible defenses, adjustments, and line calls. Keep the snap count continually in mind. The snap count is the greatest advantage a blocker has. If he is slow coming off the ball, or uncertain about anything, he can expect to get beat. As coaches, we realize that not all players are blessed with great natural ability. But, we expect every player to dedicate himself to being the best he can be. Commitment to physical improvement, mental preparation, and an outstanding work ethic must ever be present. Great football teams may not win every game. However, they are always in position to win. The most basic rule to winning is to never beat yourself. Master the fundamentals, learn your assignments and let the other team break down, or make the mistakes. Remember, most games are lost rather than won. ACT LIKE A WINNER - Prepare, study, learn, work - always work to improve yourself.
The following tips can help you contribute to a great practice.enjoy it with your teammates! 8. Leave your ego at home! 3. Be Focused: Concentrate on the business at hand.Unity comes from within. You are only as good as you practice. Hustle: Time is our enemy.Physically defeat your opponent at every opportunity. Set the good example. and get it done . The minute you stop working to improve is when you start getting worse. that cannot be changed. Our practice tempo depends on you. 2. However. An old adage that is timeless in its value. NO EXCUSES ACCEPTED! The following elements make for a great offensive lineman: 1. Eliminate Errors . The following questions should be asked concerning the opponent: 1. every moment. Besides life itself. 1. The last play is history. Know Your Opponent. The great offensive line prides itself on its Work Ethic -.Every play. 2. What is discipline? It is being responsible and accountable. machine-line manner. emotionally. It comes from common goals.Play every play like it is your last play. Is he a blower that charges recklessly? 3. when and where you are suppose to do it. Be Aggressive . football is the greatest game of all . Believe that every coach is there to make you better. Be Disciplined . It is doing what you are suppose to do. Is he protecting an injury? 11.NO EXCUSES! C. Each lineman should plan his own individual GAME PLAN for his opponent.the ability to work harder and improve faster than any other position on the field. every day. Be Prepared . Does he use one arm and shoulder more than the other? 7. Does his alignment give away stunts or games? 8. Sell-Out .B. When it is all over. Does he pre-determined his moves? (Inside. No detail should be overlooked. What are his strengths and weaknesses? D. dedication. DISCIPLINE allows the lineman to execute his assignments in a sharp.Let the other guy beat himself.DISCIPLINE! The greatest challenge in football is to play on the offensive line. 6.Physically. 4.Understand that every play is crucial. Be Unified . regardless of how small it may seem on the surface. The single most important character trait for an Offensive Lineman to develop is . have no regrets. Does he use his hands well? 6. Be Patient . Is he a reader that reacts to the flow? 2. 5.Know what you are suppose to do. Everything we do is vital to winning football games.treat it that way! 7. the most important play is the next play. respect. Can he step first with either foot? 9. Improve . . outside. and attitudes. Does he charge low or high? 5. The game is meant to be fun . mentally. 3. Practice Habits. and spiritually. Be Coachable: Buy the Program. in then out?) 4. Character Traits Of A Great Offensive Lineman. Can he be cut? 10.
The toes are straight ahead or outward. The hands are on the side of the knees or thighs. 3. 6. Understand your role and do your best. This provides balance. Extend the ball away from you to create separation from the defense. BASIC FUNDAMENTALS. low. Emphasis is on a stronger forward lean. The back is parallel (flat) to the ground. 2. Help the Young Players: Everyone needs help at the beginning. The tail is arched. Make each day a winning effort. but anyone can make a difference toward winning. straight ahead charge. This is very important. Help Your Buddy Get Better: The most important man in any drill is the defensive player. There is a proper bend in the knees and waist. This should not be detectable by the defender. 4. Toe to instep. 7. we want to keep all Freshman and Sophomores in the program. 3. The stance looks the same for all plays. You may use a two-handed snap or a fourpoint snap. lineman are too hard to find to lose. 6. The shifting of weight is permitted to allow for a quick start. . 1. Understand each drill and execute your role properly. 9. This is a two-point stance. Center Fundamentals. 8. The player should be looking through is eyebrows to see the defense. Be Positive: Not everyone can start. If you use one hand to snap. The ball is held with the laces up and the needle valve in the palm of your hand or by the quarterback’s preference." II. 1. Going easy only loses games. you do not just win on game day. Set the feet in the proper stagger position. 4. A. B. "Remember. Weight is evenly distributed to allow the player to move in all directions. or lose a little. 5. rest the off hand on your knee. The feet feel flat footed with the heels slightly elevated. The feet are as even as possible to enable stepping with either foot. You win a little. You did! Your goodwill can only earn you respect and help build tradition. allow for a quick. 5. The weight is on the inside of the feet. Goal Line Stance: Similar to the regular stance.4. each day by your effort. 2. Feet are spread slightly wider than the shoulders. The ball is positioned straight out from the shoulder area. The hand is placed on the ground directly from the shoulder area. Sit down. The Stance. The head is up but not straining. The feet are slightly wider than a regular stance.
Leverage. C. Everything we do will be based on our ability to beat our opponent to the PUNCH. maintain approach toward the proper contact point. Hear the pop. Shotgun Snap: Short snap to quarterback (five yards). Hold onto the ball until it hits the quarterback’s hand. Quickness: Always work for quickness.5. Grab the bottom half of the ball and lift slightly so that the ball is cocked upward. Drive from your stance with the starting signal. Make your opponent react to you. All of this is one movement . Do not give away your intentions by staring or leaning to one direction. or feel your way. Keep your eyes open and LOOK YOUR EYES into the target. . If you will apply dogged determination. keep your wrist straight. Base: Maintain technique to maximize balance and a wide base with the feet. Use the principle of leverage by lowering your center of gravity by bending your knees and striking pad under pad. 5. At the Snap: Step with the proper foot. Concept: Blocking is a matter of Position. Use the Waddle power. Moving on the Count: Be stepping to your assignment as the ball leaves the ground. D. and drive for six seconds. hustle. Center-Quarterback Exchange 1. Never hesitate. A. Never throw the ball up to the quarterback. Turn ball one-quarter turn with the laces to the right hand side. Determination 3. Do not anticipate the count. F. 2. Snap: Lift the ball directly into the quarterback’s hands without bending your elbow.the smack of the ball and moving of your feet. Make no effort to turn the ball as it will turn naturally. 3. Snapping the ball too early penalizes the rest of the linemen by giving the defense an advantage. 6. Position of the Ball: A 45 degree angle in the crotch. Soft snap with wrist flick. we will be an outstanding football team. and Force. Any player can become a good blocker if he has: 1. Courage 2. C. Snap to quarterback’s waist Blocking the Run I. locate your target. Visualize the contact point and your first step. Body Position: Do not bend at the waist. Count: Listen to the quarterback. read. Line is in up stance. Action is one quick movement. Hand: Fork the front part of the ball with the thumb (second lace) and forefinger. We are on OFFENSE! E. B. Life (Pop): Mentally slap yourself on the tail. Pre-Snap Look: Always take a pre-snap look to locate your probably blocking assignment. Willingness to give maximum effort for six seconds The good blocker is an indispensable man to any good football team. Intelligence 4. GENERAL BLOCKING PRINCIPLES. 4. Scan the defense from left to right to straight ahead.
Hit on the rise. It is important that the following progression be used in exactly the order that is presented. HIT . Contact: Be a hitter. Make your opponent go the long way around you. Generally. It is more important to secure the line of scrimmage first.G. Hit in the coiled position. Your opponent will turn himself as he tries to disengage . C. Always position yourself between your man and the ball carrier. timing. The best strategy is to use meaningless terms. Both offensive lineman must be aware of: A. back at the proper angle. and your feet digging for the full six seconds. C. Climb: Once movement has been started. Keep your feet moving until the whistle blows. controlled body extension at the moment of contact. B. There are two key elements necessary in developing proper run blocking fundamentals. Hit is a matter of quickness. you must stay on your man. The techniques and assignments of the defensive scheme. PROGRESSION OF THE BLOCK. Maintain the contact by keeping your knees bent. All linemen can use dummy calls.CLIMB – SUSTAIN A. Hit: Hit with a quick. FEET . . Block through the man. A good pop will momentarily stop or stun your opponent and enable you to control his charge. Arch your back. The ability level between the offensive and defensive players.FEET . not to the man. head up. accelerate your feet and bury him! III. Step on his toes and take the ground that he stands on. Drive: It is vital that you get movement and force your man away from the ball carrier. The proper first step puts the lineman on course to attack the defender with quickness and proper blocking angles. Stay away from calls which cause confusion. The contact point involves the proper placement of the shoulders . Keep your head up and eyes on the target. The second element necessary for an effective block is the Contact Point. We want the ground that he stands on. Maintain maximum body contact. line calls involve two offensive linemen being responsible for two defensive players. D. How will they react? D. H. and leverage. LINE CALLS. B. extend your arms. Finish: Finish your block by exploding through the man. climb up and through your man. Do not allow the defender to disengage. KEEP THEM MOVING! II.DRIVE . avoid overextending. Dummy (fake) calls should be used to disguise the intent of the play against defenses that are familiar with the meaning of the basic line calls. The uncovered lineman will make most calls. SINGLE BLOCK FUNDAMENTALS. and bring your feet under you to insure your ability to control your man and not allow him to disengage from your block. The starting point of any block is the First Step taken by the offensive lineman.at that moment .FEET. IV. Keep your feet moving upon contact. The nature of the play versus the defensive alignment. Line calls are used on the LOS to confirm basic blocking assignments. Sustain: After the proper Hit-Drive-Climb has your opponent under control. .
A heavy shoulder block. Slide: A parallel step towards the defender." B. Emphasis is on swinging the blockers hips until he regains front-side position. Reach Block: A run block used to seal the defender away from the point of attack.Wide Alignment – Open Step (*Trail Technique) *Trail Technique: A lose ground-to-gain-position technique. Outside Shade: POA .Upfield Step . Upfield: A straight-ahead step. Drop: A straight-back step.Settle Step with Inside Foot. Under: A 90-degree pull step.Backside Shade . upon the moment of contact with the defender. Bucket: A short angle step that loses ground. . POA: Sternum (Between numbers) 4. 2. Contact Point: Three-point fit. Lead: An angle step towards the defender. Used on double-team lead zone blocks.Far number. First Step: . A. STEPWORK: (Playside Foot Stepping) 1. We use this technique on Zone Blocking schemes and tags.Slide Step . POA: Front-side armpit. Flat back through the hit. Third Step: Outside of defender's body to widen the base. Second Step: Down the middle of defender's body. Second Step: Outside of defender's body to widen the base.Inside Shade . "Step on the defender's toes.Bucket Step . allowing for a weight transfer to occur on the second step. 3. 4. the moment of contact. The objective is to cover the defender up and move him off the line of scrimmage. First Step: -Head-up Defender . Base Block: A basic run block used at the point of attack. This should widen defenders charge. Used by the frontside blocker.Outside Shade .Head-up . .Lead Step . Good fundamentals allow the blocker to strike on the Second Step. STEPWORK: (Near Foot Stepping) 1. The first step aligns the blocker to his target. 2. and feet of the lineman.Front-side Shade . Blocker must delay hit until he can successfully fit into the contact point. Hands lead to the chest. Definitions of steps by offensive lineman: Settle : A pick it up.Bucket Step (*Drive Technique) * Drive Technique vs. 3. in relation to the ball location. put it down step. Open: A deep angle step that loses ground.hands.
Use a reach block fit on assignments. E. Contact Point: Backside shoulder is square to defender's body. Backside hand punches the body and settles on the inside breast-plate. Is used by the inside blocker on Doubleteam gap blocks. Read Block: A variation of the Reach Block.work the gap to the linebacker level . D. Using a forearm rip. The basic fundamentals are the same. The variation is the action of the backside arm. Opposite Rip Block: Same fundamentals as the RIP Block. Second Step . the blocker intent is to turn the defender shoulders and lead through to the linebacker level. The front-side arm settles on the outside breast plate.reach block him .If he veers .If no veer . STEPWORK: 1. Used by the lead blocker in Zone Blocks. Pure zone blocking where the blockers first responsibility is the onside gap. The blocker works the same techniques opposite of the hole called. First Step .5.Open Step 2. C. Key .Next Playside Down Defender .To Onside Gap 3. Rip Block: A variation of the Reach Block.
Slide Step with inside foot. 2. STEPWORK: 1. STEPWORK: 1. Cut-Off Block: A backside reach block where position is more important than fit. . Be prepared to slide in front of a hard penetrator. Technique . 2. POA . Down Block: A block used to seal an inside defender from penetrating into the backfield. The blocker works to get his feet and body past the defender. Generally used versus an inside gap defender. Keep wide base.Keyed to defenders charge. POA . First Step .Same as Reach Block H. If cannot get position .Read Charge .Inside hand across chest outside hand on hip. STEPWORK: 1.Bucket Step with inside foot.use cut block.Upfield Step . Contact Point . . If over-reach use box-out technique. 3. Gap Block: A variation of the Reach Block.The Space Past the Defender 3.Penetrates .Near armpit. First Step .Open Step (Pull Technique) 2. Used on a “Reach” call on the LOS. POA .F. First Step . Second Step . G.Pivot and Push 3.Use a forearm rip to gain position.
Away from the Point of Attack: Execute a Reach Block.POA . Outside Chip .Outside Settle Step 3.Outside Leg of EMLOS. Primary objective is to zone the gap on the way to a linebacker assignment. 2. Clear LOS. Inside Chip .POA . Reverse pivot to pull.POA .Open Step .Outside Slide Step 2.First Two Steps .I. . 6. Chip Block: A "body presence" block used to help partner control his man. Blocking Linebackers: The key to blocking LB's is balance and timing. Center .Under Step.First Step . he approaches his target under control. Pull-Trap: A kick-out block on the LOS.Drop Step .Pause and release to trap or lead fundamentals. 5.Base Block LB 4. .Base Block LB's inside-out.First Step . Gather and punch near defender. At the Point of Attack: Execute a Base block. K. The hit occurs only when the blocker is close enough to "Step on his toes. ." 1. . Help on overhang defenders.First Step . 1. STEPWORK: 1. Pull-Lead: Long pull to a linebacker assignment . . Set-Pull: Can be a Trap or Lead block. Emphasize playside position. The blocker waddles through the line of scrimmage with enough force to clear the down linemen.First open area at or past point of attack. Pivot-Pull: Influence Pull . . 2.Near Foot Settle Step J.Slide Step opposite intended direction.Inside Armpit. Pulls: Blocks where a lineman leaves his position to block a man in another area. 3. .First Step .Drop steps with both feet. Me-You: Used by BST to determine who pulls (BST or BSG). "YOU" call indicates BSG pulls and center blocks back.Course .POA . make defender adjust to you. Responsible for inside blitz. . Anticipating flow. If-Pull: Short Pull to a LB assignment.
The elbows should be in and the thumbs are up. THE PASSING AREA. 2. PHILOSOPHY. Keep a wide base and walk. you must first develop an attitude that thinks of yourself as the best. Do not hold an opponent who has broken down your lockout technique. thus keeping him away from the quarterback. Maintain a wide base with the inside foot slightly forward. NOTE: The Claw is effective only if you are in front of your opponent. and stop the initial charge of the pass rusher. and hands up. Your balance is key. The weight is evenly distributed on the inside of the feet for proper balance. To be effective. 3. work hard to master the fundamentals and you will become a great pass protector. The blocker must explode through the man.3. The great protectors always position themselves between their man and the quarterback. The Lock-out Techniques: 1. Visualize yourself making the perfect block. III. steer your opponent away from the quarterback. Be aggressive. cocked in a position to punch. Walk into Technique: 1. Successful people are successful because they have made excellence their way of life. The hands should form a Claw. A. B. often finishing the block with a Bear Crawl. punch the defender with enough force to stop his initial move. especially the launch point of the quarterback. Using the Claw. 3. 2. the back straight. A basic breakdown position is assumed. do not lean/lunge. Control your opponents chest by walking into him. into your opponent. The great pass protector must be extremely disciplined in his technique. The same fundamental of the reach block apply. Firmly lock-out the Claws to the shoulder pads of the rusher. The passing area is an area from a depth of 4 yards to 9 yards. Protecting the Passer I. B. The eyes are focused on the defenders numbers. The target for the hands is the armpits of the defender. He understands defensive strategy and the offensive protection concept. Maintain the breakdown position at all times. the protector pressures the rusher by .walking into him -. we must develop a tremendous personal pride in our ability to protect the passer. Keep your weight off your toes. BASIC FUNDAMENTALS. 4. A. the pass blocker must set up quickly. . With the proper timing and balance. C. In order to maintain consistency in our passing attack. but collectively to become the best in the business. Using a solid lockout technique. II. 3. and your balance on the inside of your feet. knees bent. have active feet. We must not only work individually. The POA is the hip/thigh area. In order to be the best. tackle to tackle. with a slight inside preference. The body is aligned to the target. Is best away from the point of attack and on fast flow defenders. The Set-Up: 1. Cut Technique: Used as a change-up or as a last resort. always maintaining the breakdown position (Do the Duck walk). It is the responsibility of every lineman to prevent his defensive man from penetrating into the passing area. The head is up. 2. 5.
C. D.sift rule. Holding Hands: Guards. 3. Guards: 1. 2. Be prepared for an inside charge. . Make a quick decision and commit to it. Set in the fundamental position. Set short and square on the line of scrimmage. Be prepared for a straight charge. Work the angle to maintain your position. If uncovered . Give ground grudgingly. Stop his momentum and make him start over again. Tackles: 1.C. Fight to stay square. During the snap. punch out with your free hand to ward off the defender. post the inside charge. Tackles (tight end) key assignment . Follow with snap hand as soon as possible. Your visual key is the middle of the defenders numbers. Guards watch football . Read area-block first inside rusher. 4. work to the middle to assist both guards. Force your man to Bail to the outside. 3. Centers: 1. The tackles are responsible for the width of the pocket. Must be in a two-point stance. 2. yet always anticipate the inside move. A. you are at the base of the cup. If uncovered. The center and guards are responsible for maintaining the depth of the pocket. 5. B. In setting.feel inside players movement for snap signal. tackles. set where you are and scan inside-out to help. 4. GAINING THE PROPER SET POSITION: The footwork of the offensive line is based upon the alignment of the defenders and the location of the pass blocker to the quarterback launch point. Cover-up the pass rushers body. INDIVIDUAL TECHNIQUES. Your visual key is the middle of the defenders numbers. Work the angle initially. 3. After initial assignment. Use a drop step to gain initial separation from your opponent. V. 4. and potentially tight ends may hold hands if they cannot hear the snap count.upon snap. Normal 2-step set. Blockers must set to stop the straight-ahead charge. IV. break hand hold to signal snap. Responsible for any rush defender from head-up linebacker to any outside rusher. do not allow yourself to turn so much that you give away the outside. 2. Your visual key is the inside number of the defender. Control the rusher with your body position.
Work the Angle: Versus the outside rush .Deep Kick Step. do not guess.S.Slide Step. Two pass blockers. Inside Gap . Be prepared to run the rusher around the quarterback on the third Kick-Post (Bail Technique .meet force with force. Upfield Wide Rush . is anchored prevents a player from over-committing to one direction. React to the twist game. Keys: 1. the pass protector mentally keeps two-thirds of this weight on his drag foot.Kick-Post to the outside to force a wider course. or reacts to. Stay square and balanced. Lower the hips and drop your feet back 4.The first defender who is attempting to penetrate the gap between the two lineman (Penetrator). Inside Eye .open Hips on the third kick).Slide Step and Shuffle 2. Post 5.Settle Step. defenders are aligned in a position where a game may occur. The pass protector’s weight should never be over-shifted to one side or another. and balance. Outside Gap . The Crasher . Whenever two. games involve two rushers vs. .Two Step Set. and the center of gravity straight down the center of the body.O. Head Up . Settle (Soft Post) 4. his assignment.A. or more. The image created is on the drag foot. Outside Eye . The most basic rule is to block your man first. Anchor Technique: The pass protector must have great balance. opposite the direction of his movement.Two Step Set 7.Kick Step. the two blockers should give ground and stay parallel to each other. The Anchor Technique is concept used by the pass protector to maintain proper balance as he moves toward. as an alert to this possibility. the corresponding lineman will call AREA. on the first two kicks. Generally. This is the far foot. The Looper . B. and honor all inside moves. PASS PROTECTION VERSUS GAMES. thus losing his balance. Post (2-Step Set) 6. weight on the inside of the feet. During movement. Step-work vs. Settle (Hard Post) 3. Pound the Post: Versus an inside charge. Key points are wide base. Work the angle.The defender who goes behind his teammate and is second to the LOS. adjust to the Looper. slam the rusher and lead with the inside foot. Stay fairly square to the L. 2. When an area is called. Angle In Wide Rush . 3. Base the Bull: Versus the straight charge . Double team the Crasher. Defensive Alignment: 1. This that the players weight. VI.
Zone the twist off. Good coverage that prevents the long return of an interception. Be prepared to switch to the Looper when partner bumps you off. B.Stop the charge of the crash man. VII. Be alert if your man does not engage you quickly of the snap. After each pass is thrown. it is probably a twist. If the pass is completed. 2. on collision with partner . An offensive lineman’s job is not done when the pass is thrown. can turn a good pass offense into a great pass offense.Inside Loop Twist: 1.Block inside charge.GET DEPTH. COVER THE PASS. look to slam (Blow-up) the crash man. Key your assignments eyes . D. Versus an Outside Crash .Get depth and work behind your partner. Inside Man .if he is looking at you. 1. Be patient and get depth. When in doubt . If he is looking down the LOS.A. it is probably a one-on-one rush. sprint to the ball and tackle the ball carrier. 2. all offensive linemen must quickly locate the football.Outside Loop Twist. C. sprint downfield and block for the receiver. Outside Man . Inside Man .switch to the Looper. or turns a completion into a long gain. Versus an Inside Crash .Give ground. Outside Man . If the pass is intercepted. .