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Let your offensive line call the blocking!: call-blocking system based on the defensive front.

A call-blocking system based on the defensive front

Football coaches know that offensive linemen are a special breed of players who rarely touch the football, get their names in the paper, or attract attention from anyone except their coaches.

We also know that they are prodigious workers who have to master a lot of techniques and who often set the tone for the offense.

We believe that the more you involve them in the cognitive phase of the game, the more they will learn and the more they will contribute to the offense.

At Heritage High School, we have our offensive linemen call the blocking pattern for every play. The play itself and the snap count are called in the huddle by the QB. The linemen then break the huddle and sprint to the line of scrimmage.

Upon reaching the LOS, they do not immediately go into their three-point stances. They wait for the two offensive guards to check out the defensive front and signal it to them through a line call. The line call will indicate the best blocking pattern to use at the point of attack.

Note: The guard on the playside will determine the defensive front and relay it to the rest of the team via his line call. The guard on the offside will then make his call - which is strictly a dummy call.

We have just three line calls, as indicated in Diags. 1-3. (The defensive techniques, applicable on both sides of the line, are shown in [ILLUSTRATION FOR DIAG. 4 OMITTED].

"Okie" - when the offensive guard is uncovered or is being played with a 21 technique [ILLUSTRATION FOR DIAG. 1 OMITTED].

"40 Front" - when the guard is covered by a 2 or 3 technique and the tackle is uncovered [ILLUSTRATION FOR DIAG. 2 OMITTED]).

"Solid" - a 40 Front with G, T, and E covered [ILLUSTRATION FOR DIAG. 3 OMITTED].

The QB's first command, "Set!", puts the linemen into their line splits. If the defensive front holds still, the QB will put his line into their three-point stances and begin his cadence for the snap.

The team will then run the play called in the huddle. Note: Each play has been taught against all three defensive fronts (Okie, 40, and Solid). The linemen block the defensive front accordingly.

Now, to go back a step: If, after the playside guard makes his call, the defensive line begins stemming (moving), the offensive line will stay in their two-point stances, while the two guards re-make their calls. Only then will the line go into their three-point stances and run the play according to the revised line call.

Let us see how this actually works, using our Counter Sweep, or Counter Trey, as some coaches call it, as an example.

The best kind of counter to run against an Okie (five-man defensive front) is the Counter Sweep shown in Diag. 5, with the running back bouncing outside.

Against a 40 Front, it would be smarter to run the Counter Trap with the running back hitting inside off-tackle [ILLUSTRATION FOR DIAG. 6 OMITTED].

As you can see, it would be difficult to run the trap against an Okie front.

Note: The offensive linemen are taught how to block every play according to the defensive front being used against it. That's what this approach is all about.

Our Isolation Play in Diags. 7-8 offers another example of our blocking approach. Against an Okie or Solid Front, we would use the fan principle [ILLUSTRATION FOR DIAG. 7 OMITTED], but against a 40 Front we would use the trap scheme with our right guard [ILLUSTRATION FOR DIAG. 8 OMITTED].

In summary, our offensive linemen do not have to memorize rules for each play. They memorize schemes based on the defensive front. This works better than having to memorize rules in a certain order.

Our players have great confidence in every play because they believe they have been given the best blocking scheme possible for the play called in the huddle.

This approach allows the QB to run his plays against all kinds of defenses, because there are no audibles, less to remember, and everyone has had ample practice time for repetitions vs the various defensive fronts.

I have also found that this system is a huge confidence builder. We never have tentative linemen on the field - which is the worst thing that can happen to you on offense.

Linemen must set the pace for your football team!
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Title Annotation:football
Author:Matosich, Ted
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:Sep 1, 1998
Words:744
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