e began our football program in 1987 with a run-oriented wishbone offensive attack.

Over the past 14 years we have gradually spread things out, moved to a predominantly “I” attack, done away with the tight end position, and worked hard to develop an effective passing game. Though we have made numerous adjustments in our formations and within our passing game, we have maintained our commitment to option football. (mid-line, inside veer, and speed option). It is our desire to have a balanced (50 percent run — 50 percent pass) offensive attack. We believe that we can (and must) do both effectively in order to be successful and reach our goals. Our total offensive philosophy (running and passing) is predicated on creating blocking angles. We use multiple formations and numerous types of motion in order to create these angles. We feel that these angles give us an advantage in executing our offensive attack. From the prospective of an offensive line coach, implementing this philosophy is truly a process. We begin every spring and fall practice season stressing basic fundamentals and techniques. Even with our seniors, we start all over, beginning with how to get into a properly balanced stance. My year begins with making a list of all the things that we want to accomplish during that particular season and we work our way down the list until our offensive lineman have mastered the necessary skills. The list includes: stances, alignments, techniques, fundamentals, and numerous blocking combinations. I believe that it is also very important to work on the mental aspect of offensive line play. Offensive lineman accumulate no major statistics, receive few accolades, and get precious little recognition, yet I want them to know that they are the most important element of the game. The effectiveness of the offensive line sets the tempo of every game. We feel that positive motivation is critical to help an offensive lineman understand their role and to develop confidence. Early in the season we spend a great deal of time mastering the techniques of our basic drive block (stance, start, angle, chutes, dummies, sleds, and live work.) Everything else that we do in our option game and in our complimentary running game begins from good drive blocking techniques. I also differentiate between a


power drive block and a control drive block, with the situation dictating the technique to be used. When it is fourth and one we want a low, tough, power drive block, with a second and eight situation, we stress a controlled drive block. Beginning from a well-balanced three point stance, the drive block starts with an angle step at the hip of the defender. Our young men are taught to establish an aiming point by drawing a line from their big toe to the hip of the defender. We always want this first step to be short, forward, and powerful. In the power drive the emphasis is on low powerful shoulder contact and in the control drive block the emphasis is on hand contact and control. With both techniques we emphasize coming off the ball low, with a flat back and on the rise as contact is made. The feet must keep moving and turning the buttocks to the hole is also emphasized — this is especially true with the control drive block. Everything we do with our offensive line is predicated on mastering these two blocking techniques. Angles are also crucial in our offensive blocking scheme as we fold block to the backside, within our combination and chip blocks, blocking the linebacker's and releasing downfield to block on the backside. As we put together the pieces that make up our offensive line blocking philosophy, our young men know that they are filling their “tool box.” This tool box will contain the fundamentals and techniques that they and their teammates need to carry out their assignments. Mastering their tool box also develops confidence in our lineman, both as individuals and as a unit that must work together. During a game I listen to our players' input and suggestions, as together we make necessary adjustments. The approach that our offensive lineman takes to the line of scrimmage reflects our commitment to using blocking angles. Our lineman begin from a pre-stance position, before being set to fire off the line of scrimmage. This allows our young men to read the defense and make the calls and adjustments that they feel are necessary to carry out their assignments. (We do operate our shot-gun pass series from the prestance position.) Our expectations of our offensive lineman are as follows: • Know the play. • Know your assignment. • Read the defense (man over, man right, man left).

Angle Blocking in an Option Offense

Haywood Riner Offensive Line Coach Campbellsville University Campbellsville, Ky.

• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •

• Pull the correct “tool” out of the box. • Communicate with your teammates. • Know the snap count. • EXPLODE...DRIVE...FINISH. Proper alignment is another element that is vital to the proper execution of our offense, especially with the option phase of our game. Our guards always maintain a two foot split in order for our fullback to have a constant take-off point in our option. The tackles adjust their splits from three to five feet in order to create the best possible blocking angles and running lanes. While we also seek to create good blocking angles in our companion running plays and in our passing game, for the purpose of this article I will focus on our inside veer option, which we run to both the strong and weak sides. As stated earlier, we run our option from numerous formations and in combinations with several types of motion in order to set up maximum blocking angle advantage. The Inside Veer Option To the weak side we usually see a one technique, off-set nose or a defender lined up in the A gap. Blocking assignments are as follows: On-Side Tackle: The first man lined up head up to outside on the line of scrimmage is let go. The tackle works the split from 3-5 feet to create a maximum seam. If the defensive end pinches, he is blocked by the tackle, otherwise the tackle rips through the inside hip of the defensive end to block the linebacker from the head-up to inside-usually the middle linebacker (he never chases a linebacker outside). On-Side Guard: He has the angle to block down on the inside defensive lineman (usually a one technique). Center: His first step is playside to block the middle linebacker to the backside linebacker. Backside Guard: Blocks base up on two or three technique. Backside Tackle: While still working his splits, takes a sharp angle to zone through and block downfield on the frontside (he must be sure that the backside defensive end does not pinch inside.) (See Diagram 1). To the strong side we usually see a "two" or "three" technique. Blocking assignments are as follows: On-Side Tackle: The first man lined up head up to the outside on the line of scrimmage is let go. The tackle works the split

Diagram 1

Diagram 3

from three to five feet to create a maximum seam. If the defensive end pinches, he is blocked by the tackle or if the linebacker steps up he is blocked by the tackle. Otherwise he is responsible to help the guard block the inside down lineman. This inside down lineman is usually a three technique and must be blocked in order for the play to be successful. When helping the guard with a double-team block, chip or reverse chip block the aiming point for the hands becomes the outside number of the defender (The guard and tackle must remain aware of blitz combinations in the A and B gaps). On-Side Guard: Base block the inside down defensive lineman (usually a two or three technique.) The aiming point for the shoulder is the outside hip of the defensive lineman if he is lined head up, or the inside hip if he is lined up anywhere outside of head up. The guard's block is usually executed in combination with the tackle, as together they are responsible for the inside down lineman and the middle linebacker. Center: Blocks back on the backside down lineman. Backside Guard: Folds around the center to block linebacker or first opposite color. Backside Tackle: While still working his splits, takes a sharp angle step to zone through and block downfield on the frontside. (He must be sure that the backside defensive end does not pinch inside).

Diagram 4

cles, clinics, and instructional films can all be helpful in making offensive adjustments and in developing drills. I have tried to do things the way other coaches do (and are successful,) yet I always seem to come back to what works best for us. Adjustments — yes, pick up a new play or drill-yes, but the bottom line is. .. you know your players and you know your system. I firmly believe that the best drills are those that you design yourself. Establish a philosophy of offensive line play, decide how you can best reach your goals, determine the skills and techniques that you want to teach and creatively design your drills to best teach your young men. Remember, make your offensive lineman believe that they are the most important part of the game!

Diagram 2

2001 AFCA Committees Will Be Listed in the AFCA Directory

AB Gap Blitz Combinations We are committed to taking advantage of every possible blocking angle in executing our option/pass offense. Books, arti-

• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •

American Football Coaches Association Code of Ethics Summary “The ultimate success of the principles and standards of this Code depends on those for whom it has been established — the football coaches.”
Ever since the AFCA adopted its first formal Code of Ethics in 1952, the organization has had a keen awareness of its importance and has done all in its power to keep the public aware of the AFCA’s concern with morality and integrity. A complete copy of the Code of Ethics is sent to every member.Vital tenets include: “PREAMBLE: The distinguishing characteristic of a profession is its dedication to the service of humanity. “Those who select football coaching must understand that the justification for football lies in its spiritual and physical values and that the game belongs, essentially, to the players. “The welfare of the game depends on how the coaches live up to the spirit and letter of ethical conduct and how the coaches remain ever mindful of the high trust and confidence placed in them by their players and the public. “Coaches unwilling or unable to comply with the principles of the Code have no place in the profession... “The Code should be studied regularly by all coaches and its principles should always be followed. Violations of the Code should be reported to the Ethics Committee.” “PURPOSE: The Code of Ethics has been developed to protect and promote the best interests of the game and the coaching profession. Its primary purpose is to clarify and distinguish ethical and approved professional practices from those considered detrimental. “Its secondary purpose is to emphasize the purpose and value of football and to stress the proper functions of coaches in relation to schools, players and the public.” The AFCA Code of Ethics deals at length with the following subject areas: Article One: Responsibilities to players Article Two: Responsibilities to the institution Article Three: Rules of the game Article Four: Officials Article Five: Public Relations Article Six: Scouting Article Seven: Recruiting Article Eight: Game day and other responsibilities Article Nine: Acceptance of all-star assignments and other all-star coaching honors

Be A Responsible Member Of The Football Coaching Profession Follow The AFCA Code Of Ethics
• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •