Friday, July 29, 2011


I must apologize for the delay...3 days without the internet makes it hard to complete any research. Then a short family vacation. Plus I felt the urge to be creative and make diagrams with MORE then "xs and Os".

So here is the first part...PROTECTION.

Adding a sprintout package to your offense is one way to change the launch point for the Quarterback. Protection is a little bit different then your standard BOB or SLIDE protection. There are two important factors in sprintout protection. You must be able to secure both edges with drastically different schemes. The frontside concern is to seal the edge so the QB can get outside. The backside concern is to stop any pressure from the backside rush. You don’t want a free rusher chasing down your QB like a cheetah chases down its prey.

The frontside protection can be related to your players an acronym…COW (Thanks to Coach Lew Johnston). COW stands for Capture Outside Wing. This can be accomplished in varieties of ways.
  •  Playside Tackle reaches the DE 
  • Runningback seals the edge from the backfield
  •  Align a Wing to block the edge
Using the playside tackle seems like the most logic choice. However some of us are not blessed with tackles that are agile enough to seal the edge. If you are that lucky then the tackle should be able to secure the edge with a simple HOOK block. I do mean hook as opposed to reach block. The objective is to make sure the defender’s outside pursuit is cut off. Inside penetration can be countered by “washing” the defender into the line. But with today Odd Front and Stack defenses, you can’t always say that the DE will be the man that the playside tackle will end up blocking. Add this simple term to all of you pass protection schemes “Slide to Air, Be Aware!” (See STACK picture below).

When using the tackle to seal the edge means the playside guard is securing the playside gap. He will use a reach block to secure the 3 technique. He needs to remember to protect the playside gap, if the defender slants inside then he will need to “wash” him down.
The center’s assignment remains the same regardless of the outside protection scheme. He steps playside, pivots then blocks any defender that comes to his gap. This is commonly known as turn back protection.

The backside guard’s blocking assignment is the same as the center. He will step, pivot then block any defender that comes to his gap. One key coaching point is for the lineman not to pivot so fast that a defender could blow right him. (FIGURE 2).
 The backside protection is drastically different. The backside tackle must prevent the edge rusher from an easy path to the QB. If there is a defender lined up head up or inside of him he must be aware of the possible edge rusher. The tackle should take a short inside step followed by stepping at a forty five angle toward the outside gap. If the rusher goes inside then give the backside guard a “helping hand” without fully committing…keeping in mind a linebacker may be coming on a blitz.
Note the different angles by each blocker...

 Your tackle can’t make that reach block? Then securing the edge can come from a wing or a running back from the backfield.  The playside tackle and guard’s blocking assignment changes to the step and pivot technique when using either protection. This makes it easier to teach to the entire unit as four of the five linemen are using the same blocking technique (Step and Pivot). Make sure the angle of the pivot is relation to the defender’s rush path.
The only concern is when the defense starts scraping the LB over the top (FIGURE 4 and 5). Then you will need to have the playside tackle and runningback or wing double the DE and the LB (FIGURE 6).
SCRAPING LB could be a problem...

Play side Tackle and WING/RB double the edge rushers.

RB/WING must keep and eye on the LB.

Kudos to Blogger for the improving/adding the edit box for pictures. It now makes changing the sizes and adding captions made the pictures a snap...no pun intended!

Coming soon. QB techniques and route combinations.