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SCOOP BLOCKING: PART 1 - WHY WE SCOOP

Scoop blocking is the most important block in our arsenal. While many coaches focus on playside blocking
techniques, I feel like the backside blocking oftentimes is more critical to running the Flexbone offense
successfully. On the frontside, we usually have a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 blocking situation with the numbers in our
favor. On the backside, however, we are usually faced with a 3-on-3 or 3-on-4 situation while also being out
leveraged.
There are 2 main reasons as to why we SCOOP as opposed to Seal & Wheel or utilizing some type of "Down"
or "Back" scheme.
1. To get an extra hat playside (Center or PSG) and cut off backside penetration.
2. To get defenders "cut" and on the ground to try to slow them down and stop their upfield charge.
The main plays that we utilize Scoop blocking are Veer, Zone Dive and Toss. It is important that you work
diligently on improving your scoop blocking. This is where 90% of our cuts come from, which helps to slow
down those DL. We need to slow the DL from coming upfield and attacking us every play. I really stress to
my OL that we need to get the DL on the ground as often as possible early in the game. If the DL are coming
hard every play, then our job is going to be tougher and our B back is not going to have a very fun night. We
want to get the DL on their heels worried more about protecting their knees, shins and ankles, than they are
about trying to tackle the dive. If we can get them on their heels, then we will have an easier time running the
ball. You’ve probably read some of the complaints about cut blocking from opposing coaches (Virginia Tech,
Rutgers and Notre Dame) when playing against Navy and Georgia Tech. None of the techniques that we teach
are illegal. We teach techniques which are consistent with rules of our governing body, be it NCAA or NFHS
rules. We don’t teach hi-lo blocking and we work hard to cut block correctly. We take a lot of pride in it.
"DIRTY" TECHNIQUE
Every year it seems that I have an Offensive Lineman that doesn't want to Cut block a defender. Some have
felt that it was a "dirty" technique or an attempt to injure. Others have felt offended because they thought I
didn't have confidence in them to Man block the defender. In every case, I've had to teach the rationale as to
why we Scoop block and utilize Cut blocks.
I've had to respond to this allegation of "dirty play" on more than one occasion from my own players and
opposing coaches. My response to this is simple. We are going to play as hard as possible within the
framework of the rules. When I've had OL tell me their uncomfortable cutting because they felt it was "dirty"

We start off with 3’ splits and adjust according to the skill level of our players.TECHNIQUE ALIGNMENT/STANCE/SPLITS In my opinion. Offensive Line play begins from the ground up." That has usually put the technique in perspective for them. We want to be as deep as possible without getting called for being in the backfield. Do everything you can to keep a minimum of 3’ splits on the backside. If we were 2 point in the Gun or Pistol. The steps . then we might adjust (tighten) the split a bit. "Do you think the defenders are going to take it easy on our QB or B-back? Those defenders are going to try to hit our Backs are hard as humanly possible. Due to these concerns. SCOOP BLOCKING: PART 2 . so we're unable to adjust our splits once we're in our stance. we try to maintain 3' splits at all times. regular scoop and a slice scoop.or that I was asking them to hurt the opponent. The steps for tight scoop are 45-90. We generally are going to avoid that at all cost in case we want to check into a different play where 2’ splits might not work as well. If we have a bad stance." We're also in 3 point stances. my response to them has been this. but we are definitely going to legally get defenders on the ground. check the OL depth off the football. The main reason that we run into problems with them is because we check our plays at the LOS. our "smart splits" have suddenly become "dumb splits. By being further back off the ball. Before changing the splits. I get asked quite often about "smart splits. We are not out to hurt anyone. they generally don't work too well for us. then we're going to have some problems doing our job. then maybe we could do it. alignment or split. We use the tight scoop (called a SOLE at Navy and a VEER Scoop by Kenny Wheaton) when the defender is aligned tight on our backside shoulder (3 tech on BSG or Shaded Nose on Center) and no threat to our playside gap. If we change to a different play or run the play to the opposite side. alignment and splits. This will help with your scoops and releases. I try to stress to our players the importance of stance. STEPS The 3 types of SCOOP blocks that I teach are a tight scoop. If we are having a ton of run-throughs on the backside. We use a regular scoop when trying to reach a DL to our playside gap." While "smart splits" might work for some people. it gives our OL a chance to get in front of the defender before making contact.

They should extend both arms. We want to lead with our facemask. . It also increases the chance of getting called for an illegal block. "Run through the back of the football. They still need to gain ground and have that "falling forward" feeling." The second point of emphasis is that we want to ensure that the OL are not popping up out of their stance. Our steps for the cut scoop are 30-30-45 with an emphasis on 3 steps to the cut. We use a cut scoop when a defender is so far inside that our only chance is to go flat and try to throw on him. We are aiming for thigh pads. this will slow us down and we will not cover as much ground. COACHING POINTS The first point of emphasis is obviously the steps. I told them to aim for the football and turn up on their path. I heard Kenny Wheaton talk about Scoop blocking and I stole his term. shins or ankles if that’s all we can get. It’s all about effort. this will lead to us missing blocks. knee and hip joints. but sometimes we will take knees. If the OL is popping up (legs straighten and hips go up). and 45-60-90 stuff. We want to explode our body and uncork it through our ankle. Officials don’t like to see an OL pop up and then dive down at a defender’s legs or knees. I used to teach my guys the 30-60-90. As usually happens. I try to teach my OL to stay low through the entire SCOOP. The 3&3 Drill that I use really helps with this. Consequently. I showed them the J shaped path that I wanted them to run and even put down those plastic spot dots that lie flat on the ground for them to follow.for regular scoop are 45-60-90 and then tunnel (throw body upfield vertical). lead with the facemask and attempt to bear crawl out of it. That worked a lot better. The important thing is that they’ve got to get going and run. until I realized that most of them had no idea as to what that meant. They’ve got to go fast and outwork people to make these blocks work.

Toss. Left side on the Scoop. Zone Dive).Play going to the right (Veer. .

Loser does up-downs. The biggest key is that they OL need to feel like they're constantly falling forward on this drill.This helps to improve the shoulder strength of our OL and also get them used to the type of forward lean we're looking for when they come out of their stance. I work almost all of our drills in the chutes (bascially two 10' X 10' squares of pipe or steel tubing joined together to form a 10' X 20' chute with six 4' legs). The should be placed 5' or so from the Middle far leg and the Right far leg. We run our Bear Crawls down the long part of our chute (20') and go with 2 guys at a time. but now we are going to take Scoop steps with it instead of straight ahead steps. One OL on Middle near leg of chute (inside of it) with butt cheeks on the chute leg. .SCOOP BLOCKING: PART 3 . we will place a hand shield (ours will standup on their own) right inside the stepover (between the stepover and the chute leg). It usually becomes a race (loser does 2-5 up-downs). 3&3 DRILL . TRAINING DRILLS: 1. At the far end of the stepover. hand even with the edge.*****Drill Setup for Scoop to the right: Two lines of OL. almost out of control. BEAR CRAWLS . SCOOP 3&3 .OL will come out of their stance and sprint for 3 steps and then Bear Crawl for 3 "hand" steps and then try to sprint the rest of the way to a bag or dummy lying on the ground. This drill will be in the short part of the chute (10') and we'll go 2 guys at a time (left square of chute first and then I'll move over to the right square). We also do 2 other drills to get the OL used to the type of pad level and "get off" that we're looking for in all of our blocks.DRILLS There are 3 main SCOOP drills that we do. Another OL on the Left near leg of chute (inside). First guy to touch the bag wins. Stepover bags will be placed outside the far end of the chute at the edge.Same concept as the previous drill. See the picture below for drill setup. This is also usually a race. OL will start with their body outside of the chute. We do these in our chute. 2. 3 Bear Crawl "hand" steps and then sprint to bag. It would be 3 Scoop steps. 3. Short board placed at a 45 degree angle towards the Middle far leg of the chute for the Left OL and towards the Right far leg of the chute.

If they hit the ground. Towel Drill .For the Cut scoop. Guard on the middle of half of the chute and Tackle would align on outside leg of chute. we normally work the drill with 2 OL at a time. On the snap count. I want them to bear crawl out of it and get running. Guard. We place a cut bag on top of a stepover bag. If you run 3 at a time. Cut Drill . For tight scoops. This helps to cut down on hi-lo calls and it also helps us get more movement on the DL.http://www.com/presview/262127 .SCOOP DRILLS: 1. Hand Shield .http://www. I want them to throw both hands and their body upfield like Superman. Players would Scoop towards the interior of the chute.hudl. as well. 2. 3. Towels that have been taped up are used for players to grab with their backside arm as they rip on their 2nd to 3rd step. The defender holds the hand shield in one hand and lifts both hands away from his body 45 degrees extended.We put a defender on the outside edge of the chute with a hand shield. but I'd probably only go in one direction at a time. We lean the cut bag against the edge of the chute so it stands up by itself. we usually work those in a group drill outside the chutes where we can go over certain defensive looks.hudl. alternating as they rip thru and pick up the towel. the OL will take the 45-60-90 steps past the defender’s body and then try to tunnel upfield through the hand shield. Again. then the Center would align on the middle leg of the chute. but you can also do it inside the chute. we work very hard to ensure both OL are making contact through the hip to thigh area. aligned on the defenders empty hand. Our lead man on the tight scoop also has a better chance to come off to the next level when staying lower.A lot of people run this drill outside the chutes.com/presview/240108 Game Examples of Scoop Blocking . Links to Video: Scoop Drills . Tackle) working together on it. The OL begins the drill in the chute. We'll work them both sides. Navy has some cutups of them using 3 OL (Center. You could do the drill with 3 OL at a time. The OL line up in the chute and on the snap count they execute the Cut steps. You can do it with 2 or 3 OL at a time. Under the chutes. we work a cut drill in the chutes.

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