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Slide Protection – A Simple Way to Cover the Gaps If You Want to Pass

16 Aug
OL - zone blocking (Amanda Rykoff)

Slide Protection

What a lot of teams like to do when it comes to pass protection is either slide the whole line to the right or slide left.  Done properly it — that is, keep the pad level and  hat down instead of high like in most pass pocket schemes — can even look like run blocking to the linebackers.

This type of protection can help your line pick up outside blitzes to one side but also help pick up a middle blitz that many teams will employ.  But, more importantly for youth coaches who want to air out  the ball, slide technique is much easier to teach and learn that drop-back passing. Less time too.

Action_OL pass pro (kyle tsui)

Pass Pocket Scheme

So if a team brings six rushers what needs to happen?  Well, if you’re filling on the backside of the slide with a running back, then you need to protect inside gap first and the QB is responsible for the sixth rusher to get rid of the ball.  Ideally you want that sixth rusher to be an outside rusher as he will have further to come and the QB can see him and even throw the ball to the area that has been vacated.

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Discussion: 3-Point Stance

17 Jul

 

160716 - 3rd Combine13

There’s some disagreement about what constitutes a “proper” three-point stance. Some coaches want a little air under the heels of the player, while others prefer the player have his feet rooted into the ground to form a solid base, especially if that payer will be asked to move in different directions. Some want some weight out over the extended hand, while others will argue to have no weight on it at all.  What is certain is that a three-point stance for an offensive lineman is – and should be – different than it is for a defensive lineman, because what is expected of them is different, especially if that D-lineman is in a 1-gap scheme.

The 3-point for an offensive lineman is pretty much determined by the type of offense they’re operating in. If that O-lineman will be asked to drop (or kick-slide) into pass protection, or bucket step to execute a trap or wrap blocking assignment, or flat step to combo block a D-lineman to linebacker depth then you don’t want him aligned with weight out over his hand and his butt jacked up. Because as soon as he picks up that extended hand, gravity will force him to take a false first-step to prevent him from falling forward. That step will have little or no power behind it and rarely, if ever, will be directional. The defense wins.

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The Battles Along the Line of Scrimmage

13 Jul

 

OL battle (hectorir)

Football is conflict.  This conflict is no more evident — or violent — than in the battle along the line of scrimmage where strength and positioning — what coaches call “leverage” — often determines the winner.  Here there are no Davids here; there are only Goliaths.

That which separates the combatants is essentially a DMZ.  It is a swath of turf called the neutral zone.  No one, except the offensive center, can intrude upon this sacred ground and him only because he must handle the ball to snap it.  In terms of dimensions, it is as wide as the ball is long.  Each tip of the ball is a coordinate in a separate line of scrimmage that stretches from sideline to sideline: one for the defense, and one for the offense.

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The Center of Attention

4 Jul

In the 2008 NFL draft, eight left tackles were selected in the first round.   That’s some big money for some very big men. The right-handed quarterbacks whose blindside they would eventually protect would argue that it was money well spent.

blindside (crazyyh)

In the picture above, #76 (dark jersey) is the left offensive tackle who is protecting the quarterback’s blindside (#8) – the side he cannot see – from a defensive player’s “pass rush” from the outside or off the “edge”.

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