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RUNNINGBACK TECHNIQUES

AND FUNDAMENTALS
by Russ A. Molzahn

RUNNINGBACK TECHNIQUES AND FUNDAMENTALS


1) Ball Carrying Technique - There are four sides to the football - - cover
all four sides.
A. Front Tip - entire tip covered by the palm, wrapped firnly over the
entire front surface.
B. Back Tip - squeeze up in under armpit - - squeeze between the bicep and
the armpit.
C. Outside Surface - covered by the forearm.
D. Inside Surface - protected by the rib cage.
General notes:
- - Carry the ball like this at all times; in an open field or in a crowd.
- - NEVER switch the ball, the arm you put it in initially is the arm it stays
in.
2) Blocks
Chop Block: Technique used when the RB is to "cut" the defensive man.
A. Approach - sprint for leverage on proper course; stay low.
- Do NOT attempt contact until you can step on defender's feet.
- Keep your head up with eyes on the outside hip of the defender.
B. Contact - drive head through the contact point (outside thigh).
- as you drive your head, throw fist of inside arm through the contact
point.
- Do Not dive - - EXPLODE through the man with your head up.
- get your head upfield - - Do Not get flattened out.
C. Follow-Thru - after getting head and inside arm through, twist and
squeeze back inside to get back inside.
- stay active - - get defender down.

Running Drive Block (RDB)


1. Approach - drive at defender with good body lean - - maintain a good
base.
- keep eyes on the contact point (will vary depending on the play).
- BE LOW and under control with shoulders square as you approach
contact.
- when you are about to step on defender's toes, sink your hips.
2. Contact - drive into contact point with eyes up and open.
- snap your arms up and roll your hips - - hit and lift.
- keep shoulders square and maintain a wide base.
- accelerate feet on contact with choppy steps.
3. Follow-Thru - as you are getting movement - - drive up and through the
defender maintain your base - - bring your feet with you - - drive your legs.
FINISH THE BLOCK ! ! !
Butt Block (Pass Protection)
1. Approach - sprint to set-up point on proper course, eyeballing your
responsibility.
- at set-up point, come under control with a wide base, feet moving and
head up.
- get position so your outside foot splits the defensive man.
2. Contact - as defender rushes, explode into him under control (Butt him
in the numbers); keep head up and feet moving with knees bent - - DO
NOT OVEREXTEND !
- after initial contact (get a good shock) - - recoil and set again; You Can
Not Lose Him Afer One Hit !
3. Follow-Thru - stay between defender and ball until the ball is thrown
- may cut as a change-up.
3) Explosive Running
- - Protect the Ball at all times.
- - Think North - South - Score ! !
- - When in traffic:
1. get pads down.
2. roll over the front knee.
3. drive back leg through.

4. - if tackler is coming from "free arm" side - rip through with free arm.
- if tackler is coming from "ball arm" side - squeeze ball and reduce
tackling surface.
- - when in the openfield:
1. one-on-one: avoid the tackler - make him miss.
2. two+on-one: split - drive between two tacklers
3. sideline: Deliver a blow - drive away from the boundry.
4) Faking
- - run low with good body lean and head up on a proper course.
- - form a "Pocket" as if receiving a hand-off.
- - as QB fakes to you (either with the ball, an open hand, or by proximity),
close over the fake and explode upfield carrying out the fake.
- - if you are not tackled, block your assignment.
5) Footwork
Counter Step - initial short step taken away from the direction in which
the RB will ultimately go, with the upper body turning slightly in the
direction of the initial step.
Crossover Step - initial step taken.
Control Step - a counter step taken keeping shoulders square to the line of
scrimmage until the ball is received.
Drop Step - a short jab step backward, perpendicular to the L.O.S.,
allowing for greater separation between the FB and HB. Lead Step - initial
step taken at a particular point at the L.O.S., staying low and pushing off
the backside foot. Open Step - initial step taken with the frontside foot
parrallel to the L.O.S., turning the shoulders with the step, and throwning
the weight over the first step in the direction going. Slide Step - initial step
taken with teh frontside foot (but not turning the foot) parallel to the
L.O.S., keeping the shoulders square to the L.O.S.
6) Hip Hinge: techinique used by the HB when in Up position on the
backside of 7 step pass protection. First Step - lateral step with inside foot;
secure inside rush lane as you make your check. Second Step - pivot on
inside foot to a 45 degree to L.O.S. getting inside-out position on your
rusher. Keep your butt to the QB - - position your outside foot down the
middle of the defensive man. Keep your knees bent, head up and feet
moving as you make your check. If your Check Drops - Run Pattern; If
your Check Rushes - execute Pass Protection Technique.

7) Pitch Relationship (4 X 4) Relationship between the QB and Pitch Back


on Options in which the PB is 4 yards behind the QB and 4 yards in front
(outside) of the QB at the option point. As the QB turns upfield (as on
Outside Veer), stay 4 yards outside the QB and slightly behind him.
8) Receiving the Handoff Form a Pocket with the: - - Inside arm up across
the top of the numbers; keep the inside elbow up. Turn the palm of the
inside arm out with the thumb pointing to the ground. - - Outside arm
parallel to the ground at the belt buckle with the palm up.
As the QB slides the ball in, close down over the ball by closing the pocket,
covering both tips with the hands. - - If the handoff is made on or near the
L.O.S., keep 2 hands on the ball until you clear all garbage, then slide the
ball in the outside arm - execute ball carrying technique. - - If the handoff
is made deep behind the L.O.S., ball can be slid into proper position in the
outside arm after receiving the handoff.
DO NOT REACH FOR THE BALL; RECEIVE THE BALL FROM THE
QB - DO NOT TAKE IT ! !
Do Not Look at the QB - he will be there. Read the Defense's Reaction !
Sure could use a roster with names, height, weight, position, experience,
and any other data you have. Also when is training camp scheduled to
start. A season schedule with any data you might have on our opponents,
what type of offense and defense they run, key players, rosters if available.
If you want to be a successful football team you have to know your team
and your opponent's team just as thouroughly.
Send the data as soon as possible.
Sincerely,

Coach Russ A. Molzahn


Email: RUSSMOLZAHN@aol.com