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