Fundamentals of Run Blocking Line Coach: Paul Orr

Five Fundamentals of run blocking 1. Stance (Three Point) a. Shoulders square b. Feet Shoulder width c. Heel toe relationship d. Back flat e. Knees bent (Z’s in the knees) f. Eyes Forward g. Hand down (Ship won’t sink) h. Weight on in step 2. Start a. Pre-load foot b. First step in a forward direction c. Step over a board “Chop-Chop” d. Hips out like a rocket not up like a Jet (Do not unload hips until contact) 3. Target a. Hands inside for base block or Shoulder on Hip of defender b. Thumbs up palms out c. Elbows close to body 4. Finish a. Roll Hips! on contact b. Move feet on contact c. Power steps (Walk like a duck) d. Keep a wide base 5. Balance (No Slip) a. Adjust to defender b. Open Hips up c. Catch up with feet d. Keep hands inside the framework Steps On step-is an aggressive six inch step straight ahead and is used primarily to start a base block to a defender who is head up. Fire step- is an aggressive six inch step to a forty-five degree angle to a shaded defender and is used to start a base block to a defender. Do not point toe and keep at a perpendicular angle to the LOS. Reach Step-Is a sideways step used to reach and seal a defender outside of the blocker. Do not point toe and keep at a perpendicular angle to the LOS. Bucket Step- Like a reach step but blocker takes a step back and around an imaginary bucket. 3 o’clock (To the Right) and 9 o’clock (To the left)- Lineman throws offset hand to open hips and runs down the LOS. 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock- Lineman throws off set hand and rotates hips at a forty-five degree angle behind. Used to get depth around down blocks. 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock (Punch Pull Step)- Lineman punches at 2 or 10 and sets up to come across the LOS at a forty-five degree angle. Used to set up the trap block.

Individual Blocks Down Block (Same Shoulder block) Used to block the first man on the line inside an adjacent lineman. Fire step to pull step down to inside with the inside foot, deliver a blow with the near shoulder and forearm (Aim at the hip) and drive the man down the line. Head should be on the back hip of the defensive lineman. If defense is penetrating use the GAP technique.

Gap Block (Wrong or Opposite Shoulder block) Used to block the man on the inside gap. Fire Step to pull step down inside with inside foot. Rip backside arm and leg through the defender. Deliver a blow with the far side shoulder and forearm, (Aim at the hip) getting head across the D-lineman’s belt. (Head cuts penetration) Finish down the line (when contact is made the blocker should try to get his hands on the defender and lock and push him down the line). A good gap block will create dominos.

Fire Block Used to aggressively block a man on play side. Step with a fire step (6 inches forty five degrees) to opposite shoulder of the defender. Deliver a blow with the opposite shoulder and rotate shoulders and put camera to the hole. Key is to get head outside the defender .

Reach Block We use this block when trying to reach a defender outside the blocker. Use the reach block parallel to the LOS and reach the outside pad of the defender. If hard to reach, the blocker can use a bucket step. It is crucial to get the opposite pad reached and the shoulders of defender turned. To avoid a holding call the blocker needs to get his hips outside of the defender’s hips. This can be done by using an athletic cross over step instead of a traditional shuffle step and needs to be run downhill. If defender cannot be reached, kick him to the sideline. If defender is reading the tackle, then consider a down block with the tackle and then log with the guard.

Log The log block is used to log pinching and stationary defenders. Pull step at 3 or 9strike defender with opposite shoulder and then shot put with play-side shoulder and log. If defender cannot be reached, kick him to the sideline. This is a great compliment to the trap if the trap defender is pinching or wrong arming and should be used on the run in a trap situation.

Trap Block Blocker is to punch pull at 2 or 10 allowing Gap or Down blocks to happen then the blocker should cross the LOS. (It is critical that the trapping blocker crosses the LOS). Tell guards “Cross the nose of the football”. It is important to cross the LOS, because this prevents the defender from slipping under the block. This is a wrong shoulder block, the blocker should stay low and aim at the hip. The blocker should kick out “scoop out’ on contact. Tell players to “scoop the defender out like an ice cream scoop”. If defender is pinching, Log. If the center is uncovered then you can apply the “speed trap” technique, this is where the trapper takes his opposite foot and tries to step on the near foot of the center, this will motivate the center to hurry-up on his down block and will make the trap faster.

Superman Backside penetration cut off block. This is also referred to as the “Cut block” or the Chop block”. When a sweep or a power is away from a tackle this should be used to make fast flow defenders honest. The tackle leaves his feet and aims his oppsite shulder and forearm through the far knee of the defender. This block is best executed when the blocker gets his head across; moreover, this block can even be followed through with a crab block, that is to say when contact is made the blocker goes to all fours and swivels his hips to the play and walks into the defender like a crab.

Touchdown Block- Used when we want to get an extra blocker at the point of attack from across the field. Used mainly on Sweep where the OT will sprint across field at the depth of the linebackers and kick out the cornerback. This is why it is important to

superman early in the game, as this will keep the backside defender honest and allow a tackle to get a DB from the opposite side of the formation, which can spring a big play, hence the title. Fold Block Down + Trap. In this illustration the man to the outside goes first with a gap block and the man inside performs the trap block. This is a great block to send a lead wing or fullback through. Is a great compliment to up-field ends trying to take away sweep and/or when tackles are pinching. If tackles are upfield rush use the Gap technique (Note: The gap technique is not as effective for this scheme as it allows for a DT to spin back into the hole.

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GUT-Guard Under Tackle The guard traps out and the tackle reaches in and up to backer. This is a great way to blind side a middle backer and account for a pinching tackle.

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TUG- Tackle Under Guard Tackle blocks down and the guard reaches around up to a backer. This is a great way to take advantage of a 5-3 with an up-field end. Inside

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Odd or Nose (Double Gut) Odd front Good for a solid double team on a middle backer, can be used for draw and or counter action in the backfield. Inside

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Moses- Even Front Pinching tackles and Up field Ends, Tackle kicks out by taking first step inside and the blocking straight out and guard blocks down.

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Trap Block- Use this block when tackles are standing their ground in double teams to take away off tackle plays or are up-field in pursuit of sweep. If the tackle is inside the guard then a squash call can be made and the guard blocks the two down and the trap goes to the first player outside of the guard. If there is a nose then the guard should double team and work to the backer. Note: Trap means tackles go to backers.

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Squash against a one technique

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Deuce-This is a play-side two on one block. The tackle takes a right foot on step left shoulder block to the left hip of the defender (this can be referred to as a post). The Guard

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reach steps right and takes a right shoulder block to the left hip of the defender. As contact is made, both blockers should slide hips together and roll hips while moving feet. This is called locking the defender in the box, because he has a head of a blocker on either side and he cannot split the double team. Tell the blockers that the double team cannot get split and the way to do this is by a tight mesh at the hips, if there were a pillow between them at their hips, it would not fall to the ground through entire block. If both defenders will take their knuckle and grab underneath the pad of the defender, this will prevent him from falling to the ground before the linemen can get three feet of movement. A great deuce block will not allow a backer to scrape over the top.(Note: For varsity players, tell the tackle he is 100% drive and the guard is 95% drive with his eye on the next backer inside. If that backer comes through the guard has to come off the deuce block and close the door. Younger players need to focus on driving together without separation to the echo of the whistle.)

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Scoop- Zone double team to protect backside gaps. Guard fire steps right into the gap and across the face of the defender. (If backer stunts “A” gap the guard has to take him) Tackle fire steps to reach steps right to the defender. It is the object of the tackle to run down Backside Play-side

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hill through the gap and through the defender and knock the guard off the block to the next level. (If the backer blitzes “B” gap, the tackle has to take him).

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