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Offensive Line

Offensive lineman have to work together. Switching the right guard to the left tackle from week to week is not a positive thing for the team. By keeping the offensive line together and practicing together this helps insure that the unit functions as one. As the offensive line goes, so does the team go

Skills & Drills Offensive Linemen


Stance and Get-Offs Run Blocking
Drive Down Double-Team Cutoff Scramble Reach Cut Wedge Pull & Trap Combinations

Pass Protection

SAQ

Line Blocking Basics The offensive linemen have to be able to execute the following blocks:
Spring Practice
Drive Block - One on one vs. a defender, either down lineman or LB Double-Team - Both a post blocker and drive blocker Reach Block - Sometimes called a scoop block, especially if its on the backside; Wedge - It is not a pretty block. It is sheer brute force Aggressive Pass Blocking

Summer/Fall
Combination Blocks - Combos and Folds between 2 adjacent linemen on down defender and LB to the inside Pulling to trap or lead block Sprint-out Pass Blocking - Step/hinge technique

HOGS
Once an offensive lineman has graduated to a HOGS (hand on ground stud) he will receive a shirt stating that he is part of the HOGS. All offensive lineman will also be given a sideline hat stating that they are part of the PLOW BOYS. This is the only group on the whole team that has an individual name. So many kids do not want to be an offensive lineman. Not on this team. It should be a position sought out for. We should have tryouts for offensive lineman.

OL Characteristics
Before Stance 3-point Now 4-point

Depth

As close to LOS as possible

As far back from LOS as possible (Ears on hips of C)


Come to LOS, get set in 4-point stance

Getting Set

Come to LOS, get set in 2-point, then snap into 3-point (De La Salle) We will run plays from the 2point stance

Splits

3, but shorten on passes and wedge. Prefer a 4 split between the G-T

2.5 for G-C-G, 3 for G-T & T-TE. No shortening of splits for passing or wedge

Style Pulling

Aggressive We have a couple of plays where it will be very beneficial to pull/trap Must be able to handle a 0/1 technique so that our full playbook is available to us

Aggressive Will not trap

0/1-Tech (Nose)

Must be able to handle a 0/1 technique so that our full playbook is available to us

Stance and alignment are the first steps in the process of a lineman completing his assignment. A bad stance puts him at a huge disadvantage. Football is hard enough without self-imposed limitations.

STANCE AND ALIGNMENT

Stance
Objective: Develop the position that will enable the linemen to be most effective in starting their blocking assignment Key Points: The most important components of stance and start for the offense are:
Choosing the most appropriate stance Achieving balance Feeling comfortable in the stance Keeping the head and eyes up

Stance Technique
Feet just wider than shoulders. Inside of feet are even with outside of shoulders.
Toes always point directly forward. Body will go where the toes point. We prefer the feet/toes to be even
The individual may stagger his dominant/stronger foot back but no further than the toes even with the arch of the other foot.

Squat low and prepare to drop hands


Drop the rear and get low enough to place the elbows on the knees. Drop the shoulders as well. Back should be very nearly level. This position is viable for starting the play if desired.

Lean forward and place hand(s) on the ground


Thumb and 1st 3 fingers should be on the ground Pinky finger can be down if desired Heels should be no more than 1 off the ground
Higher and the player has too much weight on his hands Less and it might be a tell for pass blocking There is a tendency to start inching the feet back and the player ends up in a sprinter stance

Do not adjust the feet once the hands touch

Shoulders are square to the LOS and level not 1 shoulder higher than the other Back should be flat, even arched a bit (for 3-pt: Off-arm should be in front of the knee, not resting on the knee, not cocked back on the side) Head and eyes are up, looking for the defender

Stance Common Errors


Error Error Correction

Player tips off his direction

Emphasize using the same balanced stance on all plays. The player must not lean left or right if he is going to move laterally on the snap, he must not put too much weight on his down hand when he is going to move forward at the snap, and he must not take too much weight off his hand when he is going to pass set because any of these errors might give away his intentions
Emphasize keeping the head up in the stance and on the start, focusing on the defender, specifically the landmark for the block on the defender, so that if the landmark moves at the snap, the blocker can adjust Emphasize not leaning too far forward in the initial stance because the player might lose his balance and fall forward if he is overeager to start at the snap. The offense should practice snapping the ball on different snap counts (some short, some long) every day so that the blockers can get used to remaining poised in their stances for a different amount of time on each play and therefore will not jump on long counts. Emphasize keeping weight on the balls of the feet so that the pushoff foot does not come of the ground on the first step. Practice going left more often (for right-handed players) to eliminate the tendency to take the first step with the right foot on every play which is incorrect on plays going to the left.

Defense surprises the offense with a line game

Player jumps offside

Player takes false steps

The specific locations in which the offensive linemen will start the play.

ALIGNMENT

Hole Numbering
9 7 5 3 1 0 2 4 6 8

The holes are used to tell the players where the ball is going and to provide us with a consistent way of referring to the play.

All holes are based on the outside hip of the player. In this scheme we will number the holes odd to the left and even to the right.
0, 1 are over the hips of the Center. 9 is the far left, 8 is the far right. These are used identify the sweeps and very wide plays

Line Splits
3 3 3 3 3 3

The line split is the distance between the outside foot of a lineman and the inside foot of the next linemen to his outside. The split is used to spread the defense out and make their alignments very clear. For our run offense, our linemen will follow these rules:
Since we run option, we need the splits to spread the defense so we have room. We cannot close the splits down, no herding

Line Split Adjustments We want the hand-off key (HOK) to be as far away from the FB as possible (DeMeo, I need to look this up)
If the HOK is head up on the OL then move 1 to the outside If the HOK is inside the OL then move the 1 to the inside

If the PST has a 4i technique then


If hes in the i the gap must die The defense will do this to force a quick read Move down to 1 (foot-to-foot) with the PSG. That makes the 4i a 3-tech which is then doubleteamed

Inside the +10-yard line


Close splits to 2 across the line

Inside the 3-yard line


Close splits to 1 across the line Move the depth up as close as possible
The advantage we gain from being back off the ball is lost in the goal-line situation

Line Depth Linemen Depth


We want the OL to align as deep/off the ball as possible. We want the top of the helmet even with the belt of the center. This will help with the pulling and zone/scoop blocking It gives the OL time to read and react to stunts and slants and other DL games The closer to the LOS our OL are the better players they must be

Guards align with their down hand on the toes of the outside foot of the center
Tackles align with the toes of their inside foot splitting the arch of the outside foot of the guard

Two Laws of Blocking:


Low man wins Inside hands win

RUN BLOCKING

Play Calls and Run Blocking Each of the play descriptions in the playbook has the assignment and name of the blocking technique for each position
The names used in the descriptions are the same names used in this skills document

By reviewing the play descriptions, and the put-in schedule, it is possible to determine the importance of each technique as well as the sequence that the blocking techniques need to be taught The following sections go through each blocking technique and describe the block objective, key points, notes, specific techniques, and error resolution

Summary of Blocking Techniques


Block Base Combination Combo Cut Chop Cutoff Summary A drive blocking rule that gives the OL a numbering-rule system. Blocking adjustments in which the linemen who would normally block the man over them exchange assignments A block between two offensive linemen, or one tackle and one tight-end, that doubles a defensive linemen back to a linebacker. A block used in the open field in which the offensive man takes out the legs of the defender. Tells the down linemen to fire low at the thighs in order to chop the defensive linemen and to keep their hands down on Quick passes. Usually described as a back-side block, meaning it is on the back side of the play. This block is used to cut off a defender from getting to the play.

Double Team
Down Drive Hook Pull and Trap Reach Roll Scramble Stalk Wedge Zone Big On Big Fan Quick Stop

Two offensive linemen combine to block one defender.


Used when an OL that is supposed to pull is covered and the OL in that direction is not covered. The running game starts with the basic drive block where the lineman is in a one-onone situation with a defender on the line directly across from him. The offensive linemen shuffle steps with his playside foot and puts his head on the outside shoulder of the defender, and then turns his butt to the side of the hole. Taking a player from over here and having him move to a block over there The blocker has to block a defender that is either in the gap or lined up on the blocker next to him toward where the play is going Tells a pulling guard to seal a defender that has come hard inside. Scramble block is a variation of the drive block where the OL drives low at the hip or thigh of the defender. A drive block with hands on the ground Tells the receiver to mirror the defender and stay between him and the runner. A mass of blockers charging down the field like a herd of elephants Tells the OL to take a lateral step at 90-degrees and then turn upfield to block the defender. B-O-B is the blocking scheme for Quick, Stop, and Fan pass protection schemes. A Big on Big pass protection scheme. Tells the linement to aggressively pass protect. A Big on Big pass protection scheme.

Blocking Inventory Based on the assignments and techniques for the (current) plays, it is logical to look as the following blocks as being necessary skills for the OL to have:
Drive Block
On DL On LB

Cutoff Double-Team

With the current playlist, expending time/resources on teaching other blocking techniques does not contribute to the OL developing the proper skill set.

The running game starts with the basic drive block where the lineman is in a one-on-one situation with a defender on the line directly across from him.

DRIVE BLOCK

Drive Block (DW Forum)


I watched Murphy's talk on DVD, I believe it was at the second DW forum on how his offensive linemen take two short steps, I mean six inches long, and get into their block. Then, I recently read the book on De La Salle football, and read a brief article written by Coach Ladoceaur on how his line gets off the ball in those first two, short steps. But neither the video nor the article explained exactly why taking two SHORT steps is so important. Maybe I'm just a dim bulb, but it made sense to me that if you take two longer steps and did it faster than the other guy, that would be an advantage . . . but, of course, that is almost impossible because the two players are so close to each other. So, I lined up my kids and watched them very, very closely. And now it all makes sense. Just as Murphy said, you have to teach those kids to take two quick short steps and plant them on the ground, seven cleats on the turf. The key is that they must be SHORT steps, because your linemen are going to catch those defensive linemen with their second, longer step before they get that foot planted. That is the key to it all. Maybe this is obvious to most of you, but to me it was huge to understand this. Even if your guys are slower than the defense, momentum is destroyed when that offensive lineman catches that defender with his foot in the air taking his second step. Will the defender get that foot down? Sure. But it is too late. The OL has already started going forward on his third step. The defender has been stopped and is now trying to recover, but the battle is lost.

Drive Block (DW Forum) II


And let me tell you the results. Two kids, whom I've coached for three years now and have always been minimum play kids, are now kicking the living crap out of my bigger, faster, stronger linemen. Those two kids have the absolute best form of anyone else. They get those two short steps down bang, bang, and then start driving. We did the Sumo drill the other night, and these two guys finished first and second, and I would have said prior to that drill that the odds of that happening were about a gizzillion to one. All the other linemen took notice, and now most of them are concentrating, and I mean really concentrating, on taking those two steps. Two of them came over the other night and asked me to help them work on their steps, they were so impressed with the results shown by those two others who are doing it right. Just to add a little bit coach ... that first step is a directional step ... it gets us headed WHERE we want to go ... then that second step is the power step ... we are getting it down as quickly as we possibly can because contact will come during this step no matter what you do ... you can get your step down and have power or you can get caught in midstep and have no power ... That is the reason we use LEG and spend so much time repping our LEG progression ... to stay low on our directional step and to explode with maximum force on our power step

Drive Block (1-1) Objective:


This is a one-on-one block and is the foundation for all calls and formations
Job is to drive the defender off the LOS and keep him occupied so the back can pick a hole to run through

Key Points:
The most important components of the drive block are:
Creating a base of power Proper footwork Contacting the defender at the landmark Follow-trough

Notes:
First step ties, second step wins Remember: Influence the defender by making him react to his gap control. Shaded defenders are normally gap defenders If you get a head-up defender helmet placement is the play side ear

Drive Block Technique


Start in good stance First Step (Tie step)
On snap drive down hand back (may want to load both arms) while taking a 6 step with dominant/back foot. Eyes lock on the landmark the top of the numbers on the chest of the defender. Head must stay low.
If ball is coming over the OL then the head should go to the middle of the numbers If ball is going to the gap on each side then the head should go to the numbers on that side

Back stays flat, parallel to the ground

Step 2 is the power step (the win step)


Step to where the defender had his hand on the ground Bring both hands up and into the chest of the defender, lifting him up
Hands should be as close together as possible Keep the thumbs up, pointing toward the sky Keep the elbows down

Arch the back which will drop the hips. This will provide leverage

Continue to drive with short (6 or less) choppy steps


Keep feet 6 wider than the shoulders Step on the toes of the defender

Drive Block Linebacker Similar to base drive block Get off low, take steps to get to the LB Just before contact dip down low again to gain leverage Put forehead on the number to the hole side Hit leading with top of shoulder pad, getting under his shoulder pads, and get hands on inside of his chest The LB will usually try to take on this block with a shoulder, trying to get under the blocker, and then use shoulder and forearm as a flipper to shed the block
Getting hands on inside will allow the OL to control him and stay on the block longer

Drive Block Common Errors


Error Error Correction

Player makes very hard initial hit but stops feet

This usually results in a good hit but then the feet stop after 2 steps. Against a good player he will use their balance to defeat the OL. The OL must block through the defender and be aware that he is not likely to drive him 5 yards downfield.
Blockers must keep their feet going even after the initial hit. Have them practice driving a sled or teammate holding a bag, keeping the feet driving at all times. The urge is to grab the defender to stop him, but doing can become a bad habit and result in holding calls. Require the OL to maintain inside hand position and keep their feet moving to sustain every block. Usually the blocker is playing with his pads too high if the defender eludes him. If the pads are high, the blocker is standing too tall, limiting his ability to mover laterally and causing him to lose his balance or lunge at the defender. Have the players work on starts with a low pad level. Stress to blockers the need to play with their pads below the defenders pads The second step was too big. Linemen must work on getting the second step back on the ground quickly. In practice have the OL take 10 steps in blocking position without crossing over The blocker has too much weight forward on his toes. When a defender moves, the lineman who has too much weight forward will have difficulty keeping his balance.

Blocker stops moving feet on contact

Blocker grabs the defenders shoulders with his hands

Defender gets past the blocker

Blocker crosses over with second step

Blocker falls forward

Used when an OL that is supposed to pull is covered and the OL in that direction is not covered.

DOWN BLOCK

Down Block
Objective:
Block the defender away from the hole, usually to the inside gap.

Key Points:
First step is down the line forcing the defender to react to his gap
30-to-45 degree angle step toward the defender
Depending on the speed of the DL, this may need to be a 12 step laterally toward the sideline to stop penetration

Stay low - keep stomach on the thigh Aim head for defenders far hip or shoulder
Get the head between the defender and the LOS

Deliver blow to the near side of the defender, driving the shoulder into the defenders ribcage
Keep outside hand up and aimed for the defenders hip

Second step
Helmet placement is to the near ear, dont allow the helmet to drift across the nose of the defender. If the defender tries to go upfield then drive him to the sideline If the defender tries to go to the sideline then swing the hips and shoulder to face the sideline and create a big surface for the defender to get around

Punch placement is the near number. By making the defender react to his gap responsibility, this will help the push and finish the defender. Control the defender with the punch, this is the advantage the rule change of blocking with extended arms and hands gives you

Notes:

The double-team block involves two offensive linemen blocking one down defender and moving him out of the area.

DOUBLE TEAM

Double-Team Block
Objective:
Use 2 of our OL to move a defender from his position. Basically this is two OL drive blocking a DL out of the way

Key Points:
The most important components of the double-team block are:
Identifying the defender Proper footwork Creating movement Preventing the split Finishing the block

Notes:
The double-team will attempt to drive the defender back off the ball and into the path of the backside LB, who should be scraping to the play The double-team, also a one-shoulder block, where our two men work to stay stuck together at the hips The double-team block has an inside and an outside blocker. This block will normally occur in the B/Bravo/G-T gap, or in the C/Cat/T-TE gap
Ex: Double team on DT in 3-tech on Triple

Double-Team Technique
Inside Blocker Outside Blocker

First

Very short (3") & flat lateral gap step with inside foot keeping shoulders square.
Outside foot is up field thru the crotch of the DL, getting hip to hip with outside teammate Strike the inside breastplate of the DL with outside hand or both hands (get a little bite to help outside teammate try to stand the DL up). Eyes must go immediately to the inside as you work up field to build the wall to the first LBer offside (be alert for play side LBer running thru the inside gap as you go for first LBer offside). If the DL comes inside, lock onto him, and outside teammate will build the wall at the second level.

A flat lateral gap step with inside foot, keeping the shoulders square.

Second

Outside foot is up field, getting hip to hip with inside teammate. Place inside foot in the crotch of the DL. Strike the outside breastplate of the DL with the hands. Aim for the shoulder and ribcage of the defender.

Next

Finish Notes

Both OL continue to drive the DL while maintaining lower pad level Both teammates are working together both are blocking gap upstream (from the DL to the first LBer offside).

Double-Team Variations Post and Pivot


Same as the base double-team, but the outside OL drives into the DL hip (scramble block)
Drive the DL laterally down the LOS Aim for the hips, not the knees which is chop block and is illegal

Scramble
Both OL drive low at the defender, hip or thigh level, with their heads pinning the defender between them
Seal with their shoulders and hips

Usually the quickest way to get movement on the DL

3 Possible Defensive Responses Split the block


The DL will probably try to turn his shoulders, making himself thin and try to drive between the blockers This is prevented by working very hard on the seal between the two OL
Hips and shoulders together

Attack one of the blockers


Usually the DL will try to spin out of the doubleteam This is prevented by the OL maintaining outside pressure with their helmets and outside arms

Drop and create a pile


The defender may just drop and grab grass to prevent being moved out of the area
Blockers must stay on their feet, avoid falling down, and continue to try and push the DL backward out of the hole.

Double-Team Block Common Errors


Error Down defender splits the double-team Error Correction The blockers did not get shoulder-toshoulder as they started the double-team. In two-on-one drills emphasize control of the down defender with each blockers inside shoulder

Double-team does not create movement

The blockers pad level is too high, or one of the blockers bumped the other off the double-team, losing the two-to-one advantage

One of the blockers loses his footing

Although the blockers are pushing forward aggressively they must always keep their feet under them, not getting too much weight on their toes, so that if the defender moves they dont fall down. If one of the blockers falls down then the double-team loses its two-to-one advantage.

Usually described as a back-side block, meaning it is on the back side of the play. This block is used to cut off a defender from getting to the play.

CUTOFF BLOCK

Cutoff (Reach/Scoop)
Objective:
The OL is to cutoff the defender from pursuing the play.
Usually on a sweep or the backside A variation can also be used to get the PSG under a 3technique DL and get to the LB (Midline) OL is going to reduce his shoulder to get under the DL/DE tech and attack the linebacker We teach this technique as pickin grass

Key Points:
Dip and Rip, Going to the right
6 inch step with right foot, flat along the LOS, Throw (forcefully) right elbow back Take left elbow to inside of right knee Left foot steps directly in front of the first step, twist the shoulders to "Get Small
Left hand should be in position to pick grass

Rip with the left hand through to the 2nd level (never up) He picks grass with his outside arm and gets his eyes to the LB

Note:
See: SCOOP/SLIP DRILL

Scramble block is a variation of the drive block where the OL drives low at the hip or thigh of the defender. A drive block with hands on the ground

SCRAMBLE BLOCK

Scramble Block Objective:


Used by quick-hitting teams (plays) to control a defender by staying in his legs

Key Points:
OL uses his shoulder and upper and lower arms to create a triangular blocking surface
This is the older style of blocking

OL drives off as in the regular drive block, but the landmark is the hip or thigh of the defender Use the off hand on the ground to add more stability to the blocking position. Head is to the playside of the defender
Pinch with the ear Look to the sky

Arch back and lift the defender off the ground


Decreases his stability/balance Increases OL balance by adding weight

Notes:

The blocker has to block a defender that is either in the gap or lined up on the blocker next to him toward where the play is going

REACH BLOCK

Reach Block
Objective:
Block a defender in the playside gap and prevent him from being part of the play.

Key Points:
This is almost a pull-block Drop step toward the playside gap, throw back the playside elbow, turn and run
Aim for the outside number of the defender Wider the defender, the more lateral the step must be

By the third step the OL must have contact, turning into the defender and getting his hands on the defender Then try to square up with the defender and stop/hinder his progress

Notes:
Not usually called near the point of attack
OL has some distance/time to work with

Usually with the OT/TE trying to reach the DE on a sweep or outside play Get hands on the defender and deter him from running freely to the play

Reach Block Common Errors


Error Error Correction

Blockers first step is too far downfield

The first step on the reach block must point to the outside number of the defender. The wider the defender is aligned, the deeper the step must be. Blockers frequently take a first step that is not lateral enough to point them toward their target. Have them watch videotape of themselves doing this technique in practice and concentrate on placement of the first step.
Blockers must keep the feet going, even after striking the initial blow. Have them practice driving a sled or teammate holding a bag, keeping the feet driving at all times. The urge is to grab an opponent to stop him. The blocker must work the hands to the proper position and use the legs to drive the defender. Some blockers turn their shoulders to far toward the sideline in attempting a reach block. Although they are still trying to work the defender toward the outside they are no longer in position to reach the defender because they have turned their back into the hole and are in essence working on the defenders inside half instead of the outside half. Although they want to stretch the defender toward the sideline, they cannot turn and face the sideline on this block; they attack the defenders outside arm and try to gain leverage outside the defender. The second step was too big. Linemen must work on getting the second step back on the ground quickly. In practice, have linemen take 10 steps in blocking position without crossing over. The blocker has too much weight forward on his toes. When a defender move, the lineman who has too much weight forward will have difficulty keeping his balance

Blocker stops moving feet on contact

Blocker grabs the defenders shoulders

Blocker wheels in the hole

Blocker crosses over with second step

Blocker falls forward

The OL will take out the legs of the DL and create a pile of bodies at the LOS

CUT BLOCK

Chop Block Objective:


Used by quick-hitting teams (plays) to control a defender by taking out the his legs and putting him on the ground

Key Points:
Offensive linemen fire out low at the thighs in order to take out the legs (chop) of the defensive linemen

Notes:
This has to be a 1-1 block because if it is used with another OL it may be judged to be an illegal chop block and is a penalty

A mass of blockers charging down the field like a herd of elephants

WEDGE BLOCK

Wedge Block
Objective: Form a wall of blockers that are shoulderto-shoulder protecting the running back Notes:
This is not an elegant block. It is not a pretty block. It is sheer brute force. See the Installing the Wedge for additional insights on the Wedge

Technique:
The C is the apex of the wedge
Other linemen get into formation on the apex C does not drive block, he stands up the N and the other OL drive him forward

Inside shoulder is in the armpit of the OL to their inside. Outside arm is free to ward off defenders Inside arm/elbow is in small of the back of the player to the inside
Cannot grasp the jersey or otherwise link with another player

All players charge down the field in formation


The back will be tucked into the wedge formation The OL are low and charge ahead like a wall of elephants

B E

B T N T E

Taking a player from over here and having him move to a block over there

PULL AND TRAP

Pull or Trap Block


Objective:
Move an OL from one position to another location to block a defender

Key Points:
Pull blocker takes drop step and takes track to inside hip of defender
Throw the pull-side elbow back, hard, to get the body to turn in the direction of the pull
The elbow will end up behind the pull-side hip

Opposite arm is thrown toward pull-side to help the body turn Drop the pull-side foot back 6-12 and point the toes in the direction of the pull Lay the chest and stomach on the thigh to keep low

Run down the LOS, staying low, until the blow is delivered On contact allow base to explode
Pull to the left, hit with left shoulder Pull to the right, hit with the right shoulder

Notes:
Takes advantage of penetrating defenders

Pull or Trap Log Block The log block is used when the defender does not have outside contain or is slanting to the inside against the pull In that situation the OL will not be able to block the defender to the outside and will have to block the defender to the inside If the puller reads that the trap is not possible then the following changes are required:
Change the aiming point to the point of the shoulder of the defender Make contact with the inside/upfield shoulder When contact made then swing hips around to the outside and pin the defender to the inside Inside hand goes just below his shoulder Upfield hand then comes around to control him to the outside

Pull/Trap Block Common Errors


Error Error Correction

Blocker collides with adjacent linemen

The blocker took a poor first step. The first step must be a drop step, not a step straight down the LOS> Although the linemen is excited about the opportunity to pull and trap or kick out a defender, he cannot be in such a hurry that he fails to execute the proper drop step. Remind him that he will get their slower if he collides with a teammate.
The blocker is playing too high. Some linemen stand too tall when they pull, so when they get to the defender, they have no base of power in the lower body and cannot move the defender even though they have some momentum. Work the linemen in a chute where they stay low when they pull. On this play, the defender who gets his helmet downfield best will win. Defenders are often taught to spill a trap block or kick out block by getting the helmet inside and taking on the block with the outside shoulder. Conversely, the pulling linemen is taught to get his helmet downfield and execute the block with his playside shoulder. To trap a defender who is going to try to spill the block, the offensive linemen must attack the defender on a downhill course, getting far enough inside the defender that he cannot get underneath the blocker and spill the play. Blockers must keep the feet going, even after striking the initial blow. Have them practice driving the sled or a teammate or holding a bag, keeping the feet driving at all times. The blocker has too much weight forward on his toes. When a defender moves, the linemen who has too much weight forward will have difficulty keeping his balance

Blocker fails to move the defender

Defender spills the block

Blocker stops moving feet on contact

Blocker falls forward

Types of Pulling G
Alerts play side G/T that he is pulling Will kickout or log EMLOS Puller does not cross the rear of the Center

Power
Call tells G/T that he is targeting the 2nd level, not trapping May be from backside or play side

Trap
Alerts backside G/T that he will be pulling to play side Will kickout or log EMLOS Will cross the rear of the Center

Pulling G & Trap

G Play side on EMLOS/ Target B E B T N T E

Trap Backside pulls to play side B B

Pulling Power Pull from backside and look for 2nd level Pull around the DE and look inside (LB) B B E T N T E

Pull around the DE and look outside (DB) B B

B
T T

Combination blocks are blocking adjustments in which the linemen who would normally block the man over them exchange assignments

COMBINATION BLOCKS

Combo Block
Used to work first and second level defenders Gets better angle on the down defender Blocker on down defender takes track to near ear and hip Fold blocker takes drop step and works off hip of down block Two offensive lineman track a defensive lineman and a linebacker We have four eyes on the backer We secure the down guy first Players will step hippo (hip to hip) Linemen must not get split Drive d-lineman into backer, come off at backer level, dont chase Cross Block Both defenders are on the LOS Fold Block One defender is on the LOS, one is off as a linebacker

Combo/Fold Blocking Calls


Call Which Side?
(Usually a call by the Center)

Action Lima Romeo Left Right

Alpha Target Gap? Bravo Charlie

A-Gap (C-G) B-Gap (G-T) C-Gap 9 (T-E)

Charlie Golf Tango Who Goes First? Echo OR India Oscar

Center (C) goes first Guard (G) goes first Tackle (T) goes first End (E) goes first

Inside (I) player goes first Outside (O) player goes first

These calls are based on the military phonetic alphabet. Any naming convention for the calls may be used as long as they are understood by the coaches and players

Gap Naming Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie refer to the gap between the players that will combo.

Alpha Combo (A Gap)

Bravo Combo (B Gap)

Charlie Combo (C Gap)

Fold: Alpha India Center & Guard

Alpha Center & Guard Lima Left India Inside blocker goes first Charlie Center goes first B T T

Alpha Center & Guard Romeo Right India Inside blocker goes first Charlie Center goes first B T T

Fold: Alpha Oscar Center & Guard

Alpha Center & Guard Lima Left Oscar Outside blocker goes first Golf Guard goes first B T B

Alpha Center & Guard Romeo - Right Oscar Outside blocker goes first Golf Guard goes first B T B

Fold: Bravo Guard & Tackle

Bravo Guard and Tackle India Inside blocker goes first Golf Guard goes first B T T B T B

Bravo Guard and Tackle Oscar Outside blocker goes first Tango Tackle goes first B T T B

Fold: Charlie Tackle & TE

Charlie Tackle and End India Inside blocker goes first Tango Tackle goes first W T T M E

Charlie Tackle and End Oscar Outside blocker goes first Echo End goes first B E T N T E

Drills and techniques specific to the offensive line. Some good, some not so good. But a decent place to start from.

RUN BLOCKING DRILLS

Blocking Squares
Purpose:
To teach blocking techniques

Equipment:
4 cones, 3 blocking dummies Field marking

Execution:
Create a 6-ft. square on the field and mark the spot where the diagonals meet Put a defender/dummy inside the perimeter of the square and an offensive linemen on the outside the square On snap have the OL block the DL out of the square. Start in position 1 and move to 2, and then 3

Coaching points
Start with dummies and gradually add resistance Pair up players by size for full resistance Players maintain contact and drive until the DL is out of the square

OL 1

OL 2

OL 3

East-West
Purpose:
To determine who is better blocker To teach blocking techniques

Equipment:
12 cones,

Execution:
Create 3 2x3 yard blocking zones Put two OL in each blocking zone On the cadence each tries to force his partner out of the blocking zone with drive block Blocking must be legal Winners move 1 zone to the right (East), losers to the left (West) Winners and losers rotate back in

Coaching points
Players maintain contact and drive until the opponent is out of the blocking zone Winners (better OL) will end on the East side, lesser blockers will end in the West.

Pulling and Trapping


Purpose:
To teach trapping techniques

Equipment:
4 blocking dummies

Execution:
Line up the 4 dummies on the LOS Use 3 OL in various combinations of blocking and trapping

Coaching Points:
The pulling OL blocks with the outside shoulder, keeping his head toward the LOS Vary the angle and drive techniques to help the puller recognize a free defender Switch the pulling drill from right to left after each OL has gone through the drill OL maintain contact until the whistle blows

OL 1

OL 2

OL 3

OL 1

OL 2

OL 3

Pulling and Trapping - Technique


Technique: Trap Pull Step 1 STEP: From 3 Point stance Lineman picks up foot and turns it 90 degrees and steps while pivoting other foot also. Lineman needs to throw elbow on first step while keeping back flat. 2nd STEP: Step with other foot keeping good base and pump arms when running and keep a flat black.

Pull and Lead


Purpose:
To teach OL Perimeter pulling techniques

Equipment:
4 blocking dummies, cone

Execution:
Line up the 4 dummies on the LOS Use 3 OL in various combinations of blocking and trapping

Coaching Points:
OL should pull with depth to avoid congestion at the LOS Keep head up field Switch drill from side to side Maintain contact until whistle blows

OL

OL

OL

OL

Wax On Wax Off - Hand Combatives


Face both the blocker off together with the pass blocker in a pass protection stance Hands should be attached in a snatched position Defender will try and remove the hands of the blocker by clubbing down or from underneath The blocker will replace his hands by rotating his arms accordingly (wax on, wax off) Once blockers are comfortable then add the kick slide while maintaining proper base This is one of the most important drills for the blockers to master because it teaches the proper leverage and punch This is also an excellent drill for the DL/DEs to work on breaking the grip of the OL

Goal Post Combo Scrape and Pick-Up


Combo scrape and pick-up is great for punch and fit with a player simulating a LB scraping off the backside of the goal post Depending on which side the LB scrapes will dictate which lineman will pick up the flowing LB Both OL start from their stance. Upon firing out and fitting up with the bag they will not come off the combo with each other until the scraping LB gets to the same level as the blockers LB sits at a depth of 3-5 yards and then begins his scrape once both OL have fit up on the bag Coaching Point: This is a great drill for practicing zone footwork, both inside or outside zone

Base Check - Push and Pull


Have the OL get into a good pass protection stance Have their partner push from different sides, trying to make the OL lose his wide base set
Partner can either push or pull

Make the blocker maintain his base by sliding to recover, never crossing the feet, never losing shoulder width base
Blocker should start out with arms behind him and then work base with arms fully extended

Backside Cutoff/Cut
Purpose:
Teach lineman how to cut off an inside technique and use the cut block as a change up.

Technique:
Line up one of the bean bags and have 1 lineman hold it. Offensive lineman should line up 1 man away from bag. On cadence lineman takes drop step footwork and runs on 45 degree angle, pointing head to inside of bean bag. When lineman approaches bag, he rips backside arm through front side of lineman and leans body on bag as he adjusts body to parallel to line of scrimmage. As an alternate, lineman will lean body into bag and roll into the bag simulating a cut block

Sled Drive Block


Purpose:
Teach lineman to get off the ball as one unit, hip explosion on contact and develop leg strength and conditioning

Technique:
Line up 5 lineman across the Sled. On cadence lineman take steps and explode hands into sled and drive hips through, locking out elbows. All lineman must hit the bag at the same time and must lock out elbows and not rest head on bags. After linemen have driven the sled about 10 yards. start the next group.

Sled Rapid Get-Off


Purpose:
Teach lineman to get off ball as one unit, hip explosion on get off, and conditioning lineman

Technique:
Line up 5 lineman on sled. On cadence all lineman take steps and explode with hands and hips into sled. As soon as lineman lock out arms, begin cadence again and have lineman repeat 4-5 times for each group of lineman. Make sure lineman all hit sled at the same time each time and stress the importance of this. As they get tired they will tend to go on their own timing but we must train them to all go as one group.

Sled Hip Extension


Purpose:
Teach lineman hip explosion

Technique:
Line up lineman on the sled on both knees with hands at hip pockets. On cadence lineman explode hands through bag with elbows tight to body. Lineman also throw hips through on contact and end up with their hips on the ground and elbows locked out. Lineman should all hit the sled at the same time.

1-Step 2-Step Drill


Purpose:
Teach lineman footwork of reach, drop and trap pull steps

Technique:
Reach Step
1 STEP: From 3 point stance lineman picks up foot and steps 6 inches right or left and points foot at 45 degree angle. Drive both hands back tight to hip pockets, drive other knee to the ground and keep flat back. 2nd STEP: Step with opposite foot 6 inches on 45 Degree angle keeping a good wide base and throw arms tightly through sides of body with thumbs pointed up.

Drop Step
1 STEP: From 3 point stance lineman picks up foot and steps backwards 6 inches right or left and points foot at 45 degree angle. Drive both hands back tight to hip pockets, drive other knee to the ground and keep flat back. 2nd STEP: Step with opposite foot 6 inches on 45 Degree angle keeping a good wide base and throw arms tightly through sides of body with thumbs pointed up.

Front Side Reach


Purpose:
Teach lineman technique of reach blocks

Technique:
Have 1 lineman hold bean bag, Offensive lineman will line up 1/2 man to one side of bag and 1/2 yard away from bag. On cadence lineman takes reach step footwork (45 degree angle on first two steps) aiming head for play side shoulder of bag holder and striking hands on bag on second step. On third and fourth step lineman then works feet to straight up field while keeping shoulders and butt parallel to line of scrimmage and finally on 5th step lineman will slam the bag one side or the other and land on it

Chutes Chop Feet


Purpose:
Teach lineman to take small choppy steps and keep base on run blocking

Technique:
From 3 point stance line up lineman just outside chute. On cadence lineman take short quick choppy steps Lineman try to take as many steps as possible before getting through the chute while pumping their arms and keeping their back flat

Chutes Drive Block


Purpose:
Teach lineman to come off the ball with flat back and low pad level

Technique:
Put 2-3 flat bags on the ground under the chutes. These teach lineman to keep base during drive block. Have 3 lineman line up on one side of the chute with another person opposite each lineman holding a bag. On cadence, lineman come off the ball with low pad level and explode into the bags keeping a good base and locking out elbows on contact. Progress to using no bags.

One-on-One Drive Block vs. Linebackers


Purpose:
Teach lineman how to drive block on linebackers

Technique:
Line up 1 offensive lineman in 3 point stance and a linebacker opposite him 3-5 yards away and shaded 1/2 man to a side. On Cadence lineman will attack the play side armpit of the linebacker with his helmet and hands and keeping shoulders parallel to line of scrimmage drive the linebacker backwards. Use two groups at a time and get as many reps as possible.

Slam Drill
Purpose:
Teach lineman how to double team a down lineman while blocking a linebacker also.

Technique:
This is similar to Slip and Scoop but we dont want defensive linemans shoulders turned. Guard:
Take reach step work for 1st 2 steps except point toes vertical instead of at 45 degree angle. Punch defensive lineman on closest number and get movement on him while having your eyes on the linebacker, If linebacker blitzes, pick him up. If linebacker flows over top stay on defensive lineman and drive him backwards.

Tackle:
Take drop step but aim head and punch for near side number of down lineman while keeping eyes on linebacker. If linebacker blitzes then tackle gets down lineman, if not stay on down lineman and get movement until you see linebacker flow over top of lineman.

Counter Pull
Purpose:
Teach lineman footwork of pulling and to explode on contact of defender

Technique:
Line up 1 bag holder holding the bean bag, simulating a front side defensive lineman. Have guards line up about 5 yards away from bag. On cadence, Guard takes pull step, throwing play side elbow horizontally and keeping back flat. The lineman then runs keeping a good base and flat back towards up field position of bean bag. On contact with bean bag, lineman throws arms through and launches body on top of bean bag.

Variation:
Line two lineman up about 5 yards from two man sled and on cadence have lineman take pull steps and drive sled. Focus on hips through on contact.

Scoop-Slip Drill
Purpose:
Teach lineman footwork and technique of slip and scoop blocks

Technique:
Line up two offensive lineman and two bag holders opposite, one on the LOS between the two lineman and one behind him as a linebacker. Play side lineman:
Step with reach step (6 inch) to play side. Second step is again at 45 degree angle and punch the bag holder with backside arm through play side number. Third step works to vertical (perpendicular with the line of scrimmage) and lock out punch arm, turning the shoulder of the defensive lineman but keeping shoulders square to LOS. Fourth step again is vertical and lineman should be knocked off the block by 2nd offensive lineman and progress to the linebacker. Play side lineman should at all time keep eyes on linebacker and be ready to adjust to him. Step with Drop step (6 inch) to play side. Second step is again at 45 degree angle aiming head and hands for play side armpit of defensive lineman. Third step is again at 45 degree angle look to knock play side offensive lineman off and take control of defender from the play side. Fourth step continues 45 degrees, head should be on play side. Fifth step is either vertical (if play side is sealed) or stays on 45 degree angle if play side is not sealed.

Backside lineman:

Progression:
Start at half speed and focus on footwork and hand placement and technique. Progress from 1.) linebacker sitting, to 2.) both defenders moving, to 3.) Linebacker run through (backer call). Progress with 3 situations to 3/4 speed tempo and finally full speed. We will start with bag holders, but progress to no bags and do this drill at full speed against defensive personal.

Bird Dog
Purpose:
This drill is used to get each player used to stepping with the correct foot. Since each offensive lineman is going to have to step either left or right on any particular play we practice the first step.

Technique:
Each lineman will get into a stance toes even and shoulder width apart. Hands in fist and elbows resting on knees. On the coaches cadence of down each player will place his down hand on the ground slightly in front of the same foot. There should be little to no pressure on this hand at all. Note all the players on the left of the center will have their left hand down all the players on the right will have their right hand down. Now each player will step on the word GO to the right/left pre determined by the coach and fire that same hand up to the numbers, there is no defense in front of them so they will have to imagine a defender. ONLY ONE STEP AT A TIME. The line will not be able to take two steps until the entire group has achieved the first step correctly. Now the second step is made but not to pass the length of the first step and never at any time should the shoulders ever turn. Later in the drill place short peaces of rope with tape on the shoulder pads of the offensive lineman and have them do the drill taking three steps at a time. A good reward is if the lineman can do it 5 times in a row they will be excused from that days conditioning.

Inside Reach
Purpose:
Teach lineman technique of reach blocks

Technique:
Now by doing the same thing in the bird dog have two lines. Have each offensive lineman step with their inside foot and shoot their inside hand up and into what they would imagine would be the numbers. Both lineman should be at the same spot with their hands only inches apart. Once each lineman can do this now place a blocking dummy and have tandem push the blocking dummy down field 5 yards. NEVER SHOULD THE FREE HAND MAKE CONTACT WITH THE DUMMY. Once this is done by all lineman add another defender and place a hand shield as they are pushing the blocking dummy down the field have the hand shield step to one side on the other.

***Key***
Once the 2nd defender gets nose bar to nose bar, straight in front of the one offensive lineman he will release and attack the linebacker. He must communicate that he is leaving by giving a GONE call, once the other offensive lineman hears GONE he must communicate back by saying LEAVE. Communication is the importance of this offense line blocking scheme. There is no room for Minnie Mousses. This drill should be practiced over and over and over. Do the same drill with pass blocking and have the defenders with shields run any were they want once them have been struck they must back up and take another approach. Start with 1 defender then as the drill keeps going rush 2, 3, 4, up to 7 defenders at anyone time. The offensive line will be able to keep many more than that out in this drill since the defense cant maintain contact but they dont know that and will get a sense of accomplishment by blocking more people than they have to block.

O-Line Agility Drills


LINE DRILL
Have lineman all line up on one line facing the same sideline and standing on one side of the line. On coaches command linemen will jump with both feet together on either side of the line for 30 seconds. Repeat after a short rest and then do same drill but facing end Reach and jumping forward and backwards

REACTION DRILL (BEAR CRAWL)


Have lineman line up in groups of 5 and face coach on all fours. On cadence linemen will chop feet in place. Coach then points a direction and linemen shuffle from all fours that direction. Coach switches direction and then signals them to crawl through 5 yards

REACTION DRILL (PASS PRO)


Have lineman line up in groups of 5 and face coach in 3 point stance. On cadence linemen will pop up in pass protection stance and chop feet. Coach then points a direction and linemen shuffle that direction. Coach switches direction and then signals them to sprint through 5 yards

BAG DRILLS (OVER STEPS)


From two point stance facing bags linemen steps over first bag, then steps with other foot before progressing to the next bag.

O-Line Agility Drills


BAG DRILLS (SHUFFLE DRILL)
From 3 point stance, lineman shuffles parallel to first bag then shuffles forward and then parallel to second bag and so on.

BAG DRILL (SPRINT/BACKPEDAL)


From 3 point stance lineman sprints down one bag then back pedals back down the other bag and so on. Lineman should pump their arms and keep base.

BAG DRILLS (OVER SIDE STEPS)


From pass protection position lineman shuffles over first bag shuffles both feet in between bag and then progresses over the next bag. Do both sides and make sure linemen do not cross over feet.

T-TEST (PRO AGILITY)


Pair up lineman and have them face each other but facing the sidelines on the five yard line. On cadence lineman sprints to the ten yard line and touches hand then sprints to the goal line and touches hand and then finally finishes through the five yard line. Repeat 2-4 times

The pass protector's objective is to keep his body between the rusher and the passing point for a maximum period of time while giving up the minimum amount of yardage. The quarterback must have a minimum of 45 seconds to get the ball off.

PASS PROTECTION

Drop-Back Pass Protection


Notes:
Basics of pass protection are the same for all OL positions, but each position has slight differences based on where the QB will setup Best pass protectors remain calm and think

Start from good stance Keep the head back which will help keep balance Shoulders back and back arched Knees bent, about 30 degrees from horizontal Feet just wider than shoulder width
Use short choppy steps

Arms fully extended, keeping the defender as far away as possible


If the defender gets to the OL body then the advantage goes to the defender Thumbs turned up
This forces the arms to be straight and the shoulders to stay back

Weight balanced on foot between the heel and the toe, not too far forward nor too far back Can punch the defender but cannot overextend and get off balance
Hands are 12 from the body, and the punch is about 6 through the chest of the defender

Drop-Back Pass Protection


The Doane College football program has an historically successful tradition. Over the past 20 years Doane College has competed in the national playoffs during the 1980s and 1990s (last appearance in 1999), and has proven the test of time with consistency by accumulating a .603 winning percentage. We run the West Coast Offense at Doane College. Our offensive philosophy is a balanced attack that utilizes the short passing game, zone-based run blocking schemes, and a multiple screen package. Our 560 combination route series was responsible for 64% of our pass attempts in 2003. The development of the passing game last year was based upon the ability of our offensive line to protect our three-step drop timing combination routes. Our goal in pass protection is to help our offensive linemen develop their motor skills, specifically the reflexes and balance. We believe we become more efficient in our protection through our sound three-step scheme. This enables us to drill consistently on technique. This article will first detail the coaching points we use to teach our three-step pass protection fundamentals. I will then discuss and illustrate specific drills and techniques we use on a daily basis in our drill and individual periods in practice. Stance: Our linemen use a two-point stance for our three-step pass protection. We do not cut our opponents. We teach our linemen to fit / jam / and control the defender. The reason we use this technique is because at our level of competition, the defenders we face are athletic enough to recoil after getting cut to the ground and still affect the pass attempt. The first biomechanical phase of pass protection is the stance. A proper stance allows the offensive lineman the ability to move and react with agility, strength, and quick reaction time. There is no allowance for a poor stance.

American Football Monthly

Setting Up for Pass Blocking


The first technique offensive linemen need to learn is how to quickly get out of the stance and set up as smoothly as possible. In this drill we will not use any men on defense. Our only concern is to get the offensive player out of his three-point stance and into a body position to pass protect. In the beginning, it is important for the coach to have only one player set up at a time. As the offensive linemen become more and more skilled in setting up, the coach can have the entire line set at one time. In addition to telling the offensive lineman the snap count prior to each play, the coach also should tell the blocker where the defender is lined up, in a one, two, or three position. The offensive lineman should line up in a balanced stance. The more weight he has on his down hand and the farther out in front of the shoulder pads the hand is, the harder it will be for him to set up. There should be just enough weight on the down hand that the offensive blocker can push off the ground with the fingers of the down hand, thus allowing him to get into a two-point stance for pass protection. There should not be a big stagger in the feet; a heel-toe or heel-instep relationship between the two feet is the best. Starting with the imaginary defensive player in a one position, the offensive player must push up and back with the down hand on the snap count. As his shoulders come up, he should take a slight step toward the center with his inside foot. This power step to the inside is necessary so he can be in position to stop the defensive player's inside charge. The set-up technique is the same for a defender in the two position, except that now the first step of the offensive blocker - the power step - is taken with the outside rather than the inside foot.

NFHS

Setting Up for Pass Blocking


At the same time he takes his power step, the blocker must lower his hips by flexing his knees (not by bending at the waist). He must keep his back straight and his head up, with his eyes focused straight ahead. The elbows of both arms should be in close to his body and bent so that the hands are four to five inches in front of his jersey. Both hands should be close together, thumbs almost touching, fingers up, palms facing toward the defense and even with the center of the offensive lineman's chest. In the initial set-up with the defensive man aligned in a one or two location, it is very important that the offensive blocker always stay square to the line of scrimmage and not turn his body to the right or left. When first teaching pass protection to the center, the coach must tell the center if he will set to his right or left with a defender in the one location. The footwork for an offensive lineman in pass protection must change if he sees that the defender has lined up in a three location. With the defender in this wide alignment, the blocker must kick his outside foot back with a 45degree angle step and slide his inside foot to the outside so that his body remains in a squared, balanced position in the path of the pass rusher toward the quarterback.

NFHS

Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part I


Once the offensive line has mastered the technique for setting up on pass protection, it is time to introduce a defensive pass rusher to the drill. As with the run blocking drills, use offensive linemen to play on both offense and defense. Initially the men on defense should try only to run by the offensive blocker to the target area, which can be a dummy, a towel, or a chalk mark seven yards directly behind the offensive center. As the offensive linemen feel more comfortable in their footwork, the pass rushers can be given the flexibility of rushing to one side and then coming back to the other side of the offensive blocker. The coach only will have one blocker and one defensive man work on each snap. In the beginning, when trying to build the blockers' confidence and footwork, the coach should instruct the defenders to rush only to the outside from a one location. On the snap, the blocker must power-step with his inside foot and assume a pass-protection position, keeping his shoulders parallel with the line of scrimmage. As the defensive man starts his pass rush, the blocker must gather himself, lower his hips, straighten his back, position his hands and arms, raise his head, focus on the numbers of the defensive man, and prepare to strike the defensive player. The force for stopping the momentum of the defender must start at the ground, come up through the big muscle groups of the blocker's legs and be transferred out through the palms of the offensive lineman's hands. It is important that the offensive blocker not bend at the waist and lunge forward toward the defensive pass rusher. In this extended position he quickly will lose his balance and find that he will be unable to stay between the pass rusher and the target area.

NFHS

Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part I


The offensive lineman should deliver as hard a blow as possible with his hands. Once the palms have made contact with the defensive man, the blocker must press out with his arms and maintain separation from the pass rusher. When the defensive man's momentum has been stopped, the blocker must reset his hands and arms and shuffle his feet so that he keeps his body between the pass rusher and the target area. By shuffling his feet, taking short, quick steps and keeping his feet close to the ground, the blocker can maintain a good, wide base. He cannot take long steps or cross his feet while he is pass-protecting. He always must stay in relative position, maintaining his stance between the pass rusher and the target area and not going out to meet the defensive man, should the defender rush wide to the outside of the target area. When the blocker sees that the defensive man once again starts his charge toward the target, he should gather himself and prepare to strike again, stopping the defensive man's momentum and causing him to restart his drive to the target area. The blocker should continue this action until the whistle blows or the coach calls a stop to the drill. Without a quarterback in the drill, the coach can allow the men to make contact three or four times before stopping the drill and going to the next two players. Remember, in this drill, there should be a quick setup on the snap, a good hard blow by the blocker, balanced body position, quick shuffling foot movement, and a well maintained relative position by the offensive blocker on the defensive man

NFHS

Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part II


After the offensive linemen have demonstrated the ability to pass protect against an outside rusher who is starting in a one location, the coach should align the defensive man on the shoulder of the offensive blocker in a two position. At the start, the defensive man should rush in the same manner as in the previous drill. The big difference in blocking technique for the offensive lineman is that, with the defender rushing from this position, the blocker may be able to make contact only with his outside hand as he delivers the blow. All offensive linemen will have a tendency to attack the defender and turn to the outside to face the pass rusher. The coach must emphasize to the blocker that he must continue to shuffle back off the line, stay in relative position, and make certain that the defender must come through him to reach the target area.

NFHS

Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part 3


Next, the defensive man should take an inside charge from a one location. Because the defensive man is charging toward the inside, it is best to have the other players back and away from the drill area. This alignment will decrease the possibility of injury. When the defensive player rushes to the inside, the blocker must stop his momentum to the target at all cost. He must strike the pass rusher at the line of scrimmage. Because the pass rusher is now moving directly at the target area and not wide to the outside, it is important for the blocker to maintain constant contact and not try to disengage from the defensive man as he did when the defender rushed wide, away from the target area. The blocker must now drive the, pass rusher down the line of scrimmage and keep him from penetrating the target area.

NFHS

Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part IV


The following covers the technique needed to block a pass rusher who attacks the target area from a wide, or three, location. Remember that in this type of defensive location the blocker sets up by kicking back with his outside foot at a 45-degree angle. This should be reviewed prior to starting the drill. As with the other drills, there are two men work at a time. The key to pass protecting against a wide rush is that the offensive man must, on the snap of the ball, turn slightly toward the defensive pass rusher. As the blocker moves off the line of scrimmage, he must drop in a straight line, staying perpendicular to his original alignment and fighting the tendency to move to the outside, away from the ball and into the defender. Another tendency is to give ground too quickly. When the blocker retreats off the line of scrimmage, he gives the defensive man an opportunity to rush straight to the target area by coming to the inside. The blocker must constantly maintain a position directly between the pass rusher and the target area.

As he moves off the line of scrimmage, the lineman must slide his feet, never crossing over, and shuffle back in quick, short steps. It is important that the feet stay low to the ground so the blocker is always in position to gather himself and strike the pass rusher as he attacks the target area.

NFHS

Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part IV


When the defender moves toward the target area, the blocker must gather himself and prepare to strike with his outside arm. If the defender continues to rush upfield, the blocker should maintain contact, riding him up the field and past the target area. The blocker also must be prepared for the defender to rush over him or to the inside. If the defender attacks straight into the blocker, the pass protector should gather himself and strike out, stopping the defensive man's momentum. He must then extend his arms and, if possible, disengage from the defensive player's body.

It is important for the blocker to realize that the defender generates more force and momentum rushing from the three position than he does from a one or a two location. Because of this, the blocker must be sure he is in good hitting position, physically striking out at the defender. He must not get caught merely absorbing the rush of the defensive player.

NFHS

Pass Protection Common Errors


Error Error Correction

Blocker grabs or reaches instead of punching

The lineman mush learn that he cant stop the defender by grabbing him. He must develop a firm punch that he can use repeatedly to stop the defender. He must be sure that the hands dont stay in contact with the defender longer than for the brief moment of contact; he then retracts the hands and prepares to punch again.
The lineman must stay square to the LOS, being sure to set up inside the defender, not too far from the outside. To avoid losing his balance, the lineman must keep his head back, keep his feet apart in a wide base and continuously take short lateral steps The lineman is too passive. His weight is too far back, he is too conscious for the set and does not place enough emphasis on the punch The lineman must not overextend or overemphasize the punch. He must be patient, keeping the body weight back and the head up throughout the block The offensive lineman knows the snap count and must use it to his advantage. He must have confidence in his pass set and beat the defender to the spot where they will meet.

Blocker gets beat to the inside

Blocker gets pushed to one side or the other

Blocker gets run over or pushed backwards

Blocker lunges

Blocker gets beat off the ball

The pass rusher is not going to give up his chest and make it easy to block him. He is going to use a number of techniques to get the sack. This section describes some offensive techniques to offset the defensive moves.

DEFEATING PASS RUSH TECHNIQUES

Defeating Rush Types


Bull Rush
The rusher tries to run over the OL Work to retain inside position with the hands Widen base, drop hips to lower center of gravity Weight on toes so OL can move forward Keep the head high! The defender wants the OL to lower the head and fight him power on power
If the head goes down/forward then the OL is off-balance and can be pulled forward and out of the way

Use hands inside to lift the base of the shoulder pads, directing his energy/momentum up

Slap or Club
The rusher slaps/clubs the shoulder sideways, getting the OL off-balance To do this the defender will have to drop his arm to gain force When the defender winds up, punch him in the chest or armpit on the side that is winding up
His chest area will be unprotected during the wind up

DL counter may be a double-slap


Good balance will prevent this. We are satisfied with a slap fight as long as the QB is safe, well stand and fight like this all day

Defeating Rush Types


Swim Move
The rusher uses his arm to go over the OL. The defender slaps the shoulder with his outside arm and then brings his inside arm over the top of the OL
The problem with this move is that it exposes his chest area when the arm is up

The OL takes the his arm on the side of the swim move and stabs it into the side/armpit of the defender
Put hand on his hip and drive him to the sideline as he will be offbalance

Keep the head back and maintain balance and this will be an easy move to defeat

Rip Move
The rusher uses his arm to rip up from underneath the arms of the OL. The defender slaps the shoulder with his outside arm and brings his arm underneath/between his body and the OL
The DL will continue to rip with his arm until he is under the arm of the OL

The OL must keep the head back and maintain balance, use arms to keep the defender away from the body If the defender gets into the body and starts this move then pin the arm underneath
Clamp down with arm that he is trying to get under, pinning his arm Swing hips around and use other arm on his hip to drive him to the sideline

Defeating Rush Types


Hand Slap
The defender slaps the hands/arms of the OL down, hoping to get the OL off-balance
Defender is counting on the OL to be moving forward and offbalance so he can pull the OL forward and out of the way

Keep the head back and maintain balance and this will be an easy move to defeat If the OL can read it then pull hands back out of the way Then reset and extend arms

Spin Move
Used when the defender thinks the OL is overplaying or offbalance to one side. The defender will get the OL going in one direction and then spin back the other way when the OL is going the other direction To be effective the DL must be close to the OL As long as the OL can keep the DL away (arms extended, butt low, etc.) then this should not be a problem Key is to not let the situation develop where the defender is in position to execute this move

Drills and techniques specific to the offensive line. Some good, some not so good. But a decent place to start from.

PASS PROTECTION DRILLS

Stance and Starts


This drill is used as a pre-practice warm-up. Work on Stance every day. The coach stands five yards in front of five offensive linemen. Linemen will demonstrate the proper stance. The coach will give a verbal command (usually the cadence) and the lineman will snap into their Pop-Set, and then Sit position.

American Football Monthly

Shuffle Drill
This drill is used to develop the proper footwork and balance in the shuffle. There will be two stations set up. The first station is the Center/Guard station. This station works on closed contact drills and lateral movement. Set three cones 5 yards apart down a straight line. The coach stands on the LOS. He gives an auditory command for the interior lineman to Pop-Set out of his stance and Slide in the Sit position. The second station is for Offensive Tackles. Set a cone five yards behind the LOS at a 45-degree angle. The coach stands at the LOS. When he gives an auditory command the OT will Pop-Set and Slide to the cone at the 45-degree angle. The proper posture should be coached with short slide steps for balance. The outside foot is dropped back in a toe to heel relationship with the inside foot. Weight should be distributed on the insteps. Short punch steps toward the cone will improve balance and the reaction time for resetting on the defender.

American Football Monthly

Reset Drill
Designed to work on reaction on the defender's counter move. Use the shuffle drill station. Have a pass rusher imitate moves and counter moves in front of the offensive lineman. The offensive lineman will mirror the defender. The next phase is to have the OL engage the defender and hand fight the counter move, all the while mirroring the actions of the defender.

American Football Monthly

Two Man Twist Drill


This drill is designed to work on the ability of passing off the defenders in a zone protection scheme. The goal is for the offensive linemen to keep their shoulders square while using their vision and verbal commands to communicate the direction of the twist. The technique we teach is Attack the Flash in all loop stunts. This technique teaches the eyes of the offensive lineman to follow the loop defender and protect that vacated gap as well as wait for the second slanting defender.

American Football Monthly

DL & LB Twist Drill


The same concept as the twist drill except this drill is designed to control the first and second level defender stunt. Same zone gap rules apply. Attack the Flash technique is still used. The vision elevates to the second level.

American Football Monthly

Three Man Twist Drill


Drill used to pick up three men down defender twist drill. Slant two adjacent defenders and loop the third around the other two. Offensive Lineman need to keep their shoulders square and keep their vision wide for the loop defender.

American Football Monthly

Scheme-560 Protection
Linking the techniques are illustrated by using our three step protection as an example. 560 Protection is a weak side slide by the offensive line. All techniques discussed are used in this simple three-step protection. This is a six-man protection. The slide starts at the uncovered lineman on the weak side. The running back will step up and check for any blitz from strong side A gap to strong side C gap. The FB will be responsible for #3 defender strong.

American Football Monthly

Blind Push
Purpose
To teach offensive lineman the upright demeanor used in pass protection and for that lineman to have the ability to maintain his balance and power while in that position.

Description
The O-lineman stands in the center of a small circle (about 2-3 yard radius) in his upright pass pro demeanor, with his eyes closed. Two other lineman, acting as defenders, holding shields and slowly jog around the offensive player. On the coachs command or point, one defender will rush the offensive player, from wherever he is at that second. The defender will attempt to knock the olineman off balance using the shield. This drill should continue for 5-10 contacts or the o-lineman shows a good understanding of the body position.

Coach

DL

OL
Coaching points
The most important thing about this drill is the safety of the player involved. It must be made very clear that this is not bull in the ring or any drill like it. Even though there will be contact and possibly players on the ground, this drill is not intended to beat people up. The coach should stand in front of the offensive player, making sure his eyes are closed the whole time. Another important thing to remember is that this drill may move slightly. The offensive player will be forced to move his feet in order to maintain balance, and the drill should move along with him.

DL

Equipment
3 players 2 shields

3 Man Kick and Punch


Purpose
To teach O-lineman (especially Tackles) how to kick for depth and width, while maintaining their upright demeanor and deliver a punch, all at the same time.

Description

The offensive lineman will begin in a 3 point stance, facing the line of scrimmage. There will be 3 defenders, holding shields, shoulder to shoulder, with their backs to the line of scrimmage. On the coachs command, the defenders will begin walking quickly or jogging (depending on the ability of the o-lineman). The o-lineman must get out of his stance, get upright and kick to the first defender, deliver a punch on his landmark and continue kicking to the second defender, where he will kick and deliver a punch and so on to the third defender.

OL

DL

DL

DL

Coaching points
The offensive player must move his feet quickly and efficiently or he will not be able to reach all 3 defenders, who are continuously walking. The defenders all move on the same sound and do not stop until they are punched. The o-lineman should not reach across his body to deliver a punch; he must reach his landmark by moving his feet before he can punch the defender.

Coach

Equipment
4 players 3 shields

Baseball Swing and Punch


Purpose
To teach the offensive lineman how to get out of his stance quickly, efficiently and ready to pass protect. This drill emphasizes 3 main points in pass pro, the first is getting out of your stance and upright as fast as possible, the second is to get his hands up and the third is to deliver a punch.

Description
The O-lineman will be in a 3 point stance facing the line of scrimmage. The defender will stand perpendicular to the LOS, one step over the line (forcing the OL to take a small kick). The defender will be holding a shield upside down and sideways, like a baseball bat. On the coaches command, the defender will swing the bag at the o-linemans head, attempting to contact the facemask. The o-lineman must get upright and punch the bag away from his face.

Coach DL OL

Coaching points
The o-lineman must move his feet in this drill, its not stationary. If your players lean on their punch a lot, have the defender throw a fake swing every once in a while to check if the offensive player is leaning. A more advanced form of this drill is to have the offensive player remove their helmet. This really makes them focus on getting upright, getting their hands up and not leaning into the punch.

Equipment
Shield(s)

Shuffle Touch
Purpose:
Develop knee bending and hip flexibility

Technique:
From two point stance, lineman will shuffle down line touching the ground with hands during each shuffle. Make sure lineman touch the ground with their hands each time and bend with their legs not their back. Lineman should keep a vertical back. This is a slow drill not intended for speed or quickness.

No Hand Slide
Purpose:
Teach lineman to shuffle feet while keeping back straight and knees bent. Teach lineman not to lean on defender.

Technique:
Put offensive lineman in two point stance with arms behind back holding wrists. Put defensive lineman opposite about 1 yard away. Defensive lineman walks at angle towards shoulder. Lineman staggers stance while keeping shoulders square to LOS and eyes on D Linemans chest, offensive lineman should be in the middle of the defensive linemans chest. D Lineman then redirects to other shoulder and Offensive lineman adjusts stagger and shuffles keeping shoulders square. This drill is just faster than walking speed.

Medicine Ball Roll


Purpose:
Teach lineman to shuffle in bent knee position.

Technique:
Have 1 lineman line up on a line five yards away from coach. Coach will have a medicine ball and roll the medicine ball diagonally so lineman have to shuffle and retrieve ball. Lineman then rolls the ball back and coach again rolls the ball so lineman must shuffle to it. Make sure lineman have good knee bend and do not let them cross over their feet. This drill should be at about 1/2 to 3/4 speed

Dodge Ball Bounce


Purpose:
Teach lineman to shuffle in bent knee position and react to ball.

Technique:
Have 1 lineman line up on a line five yards away from coach. Coach will have a medicine ball and bounces the medicine ball diagonally so lineman have to shuffle and catch the ball. Lineman then throws the ball back and coach again bounces the ball so lineman must shuffle to it. Make sure lineman have good knee bend and do not let them cross over their feet. This drill should be at about 3/4 to full speed

Shuffle Set vs. Air


Purpose:
Teach pass protection set, and arm pump shuffle.

Technique:
From a 3 point stance, lineman throws play side hand back into hip pocket as lineman takes a step and throws shoulders back. Lineman then throws backside hand into hip pocket as he steps with backside foot. Continue for about five yards giving a little bit of ground and pumping arms with each step and shuffle.

Medicine Ball Punch


Purpose:
Develop Quickness out of stance and into pass protection

Technique:
Put medicine bail between the legs of offensive lineman just in front of them. Have lineman in two point ready position. On cadence lineman picks up ball, fires shoulders back and throws the ball forward as quick as possible.

Blindfold Push Pull


Purpose:
Teach lineman balance in pass protection without depending on vision

Technique:
Tie a blindfold around offensive lineman. Have offensive lineman lock up with defensive lineman, defensive lineman will shuffle right, left, bull rush and push pull. Offensive lineman must stay with and shuffle. Use in summer time with no pads

Bag Punch Sets


Purpose:
Teach pass protection sets.

Technique:
Offensive lineman should be in a 3 point stance. Line two bag holders one on each shoulder of lineman. On cadence, lineman sets to right bag, getting to center of bag in low knee bent position. Lineman then resets in stance and repeats setting to left bag. Focus on quickness of sets and body position. Progress to no bags and have lineman grab armpits on sets.

Twist Stunt Exchange


Purpose:
Teach lineman to exchange assignments on twist stunts

Technique:
Align two offensive lineman next to each other in three point stance. Opposite them line two defensive lineman in 3 point stance. On Cadence, have 1 of the defensive lineman slant between the O lineman and the other defensive lineman loop around. Have defensive lineman repeat with same player as the slanter and the same player as the looper each time. Repeat 3 times for each pair of offensive lineman. Offensive lineman must shuffle to hip to hip and exchange responsibilities each time. Coach lineman to stay square to the LOS and stay on the same level and yell out switch. Looper lineman is responsible for calling switch and bumping lineman off. Start at half speed and progress to finally full speed.

One-on-One Pass Rush


Purpose:
Teach lineman full speed man pass protection

Technique:
Line up 2 cones 5 yards apart and 5 yards away from the LOS. 1 offensive lineman and 1 defensive lineman line up on LOS. On cadence, offensive lineman must keep D lineman at LOS and push him outside of the two cones. Focus on teaching lineman to keep body square to LOS and shuffle with defensive lineman.

Five-on-Four Pass Rush


Purpose:
Teach full speed pass protection against defensive lineman.

Technique:
Line up offensive line and 1 defensive lineman across from each in their technique. On Cadence every lineman is full speed until contact. Prior to snap, one defensive lineman is chosen to be live (full speed). The live defensive lineman tries to pass rush while the offensive lineman pass protects.

Half-line Technique:
Same as above except half of the line is full speed. Usually we will work on twist games during this drill.

Pass Protection Redirect


Purpose:
Teach lineman to widen defensive lineman and redirect on counter moves

Technique:
Offensive lineman will be engaged with bag holder with bag holder slightly to one side at the start. Bag holder will rush one way and then on coaches signal redirect. Lineman must shuffle trying to cut off bag holder with hip and keep low pad level and straight back. Start off slow and pick up tempo to 3/4 speed.

Mirror
Purpose:
Teach lineman timing of punch in Pass protection

Technique:
Set two cones about 5 yards apart on a line. Offensive lineman will set from this line. Put a defensive lineman 3 yards away in 2 point stance. Have defensive lineman move forward at 3/4 speed, Offensive lineman shuffles and punches defender while still chopping feet. Defensive lineman then backs out 3 yards and comes forward again. Lineman should get 3-4 punches before switching.

Thus spake the master Coach:

It is time for you to leave.

PARKING LOT

Summary of Blocking Techniques


Block Summary

Drive

The running game starts with the basic drive block where the lineman is in a one-on-one situation with a defender on the line directly across from him.
Scramble block is a variation of the drive block where the OL drives low at the hip or thigh of the defender. A drive block with hands on the ground The OL will take out the legs of the DL and create a pile of bodies at the LOS

Scramble

Cut

Double Team

The OL will take out the legs of the DL and create a pile of bodies at the LOS
A mass of blockers charging down the field like a herd of elephants

Wedge

Down

Used when an OL that is supposed to pull is covered and the OL in that direction is not covered. The blocker has to block a defender that is either in the gap or lined up on the blocker next to him toward where the play is going

Reach

Cutoff

Usually described as a back-side block, meaning it is on the back side of the play. This block is used to cut off a defender from getting to the play. Taking a player from over here and having him move to a block over there Blocking adjustments in which the linemen who would normally block the man over them exchange assignments

Pull and Trap

Combination

Triple Option Blocking Table


Position Alignment Assignment Arc: DB Bob: ILB Hammer: EMLOS Load: ILB Seal: ILB 1st man inside Inside gap, Linebacker 1st man inside PST on LOS #1 #0 and play-side A-gap Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #2 BS: Stalk S Blocking Technique

Y (PSTE)

3' from OT

Arc: Open field/stalk Bob: Drive block on LB Hammer: Drive block on EMLOS Load: Drive block on LB Seal: Drive block on LB
Double-team with PSG Drive - LB Double-team with PST Drive - DL

PST PSG C BSG BST Y (BSTE)

3' from G 2.5' from C Over ball 2.5' from C 3' from G 3' from OT

Drive DL. LB
Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff

Y (WR)
Z (Slot)

OL Blocking Inventory: Drive block on DL Drive block on LB Double-team Cutoff Coaching Points:

Midline Option Blocking Table


Position Y (PSTE) PST PSG C BSG BST Y (BSTE) Alignment 3' from OT 3' from G 2.5' from C Over ball 2.5' from C 3' from G 3' from OT 13-15 yds from EMLOS 13-15 yds from EMLOS Split between EMLOS and X Assignment Outside defender Outside defender A-gap defender #0 and back-side A-gap Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #2 BS: Stalk S Blocking Technique

Drive - DL
Drive - DL Drive DL, LB Drive DL, LB Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff

X Y (WR) Z (Slot)

OL Blocking Inventory: Drive block on DL Drive block on LB Cutoff Coaching Points: In this play we will look for a 2- or 3-tech defender. That player will be unblocked as that is the dive read key.

Lead Blocking Table


Position Y (PSTE) PST PSG C BSG BST Y (BSTE) Alignment 3' from OT 3' from G 2.5' from C Over ball 2.5' from C 3' from G 3' from OT Assignment #3 #2 #1 #0 and back-side Gap Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #2 BS: Stalk S Blocking Technique

Drive - DL
Drive - DL Drive - DL Drive DL, LB Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff

X Y (WR) Z (Slot)

OL Blocking Inventory: Drive block on DL Cutoff Coaching Points: The play is targeted at the B-gap but it will be adjusted to the A-gap or C-gap depending on the alignment of the DT. Changes to the POA does not affect the blocking rules.

Wedge Blocking Table


Position Y (PSTE) PST PSG C BSG BST Y (BSTE) Alignment 3' from OT 3' from G 2.5' from C Over ball 2.5' from C 3' from G 3' from OT Assignment Wont be called to TE side 1st man inside Inside gap, Linebacker 1st man inside PST on LOS #1 #0 and Playside Gap Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #1 BS: Stalk S PS: Stalk #2 BS: Stalk S Double-team with PSG Drive - LB Double-team with PST Drive - DL Drive DL. LB Cutoff Cutoff Cutoff Blocking Technique

X Y (WR)

Z (Slot)

OL Blocking Inventory: Drive block on DL Drive block on LB Double-team Cutoff Coaching Points: The OL blocking for the Wedge is the same as for the Triple Option.