Drilling Post-Blocker Techniques for Combination Blocks

Develop your offen­sive menu by focus­ing on dou­ble team pro­gres­sion with the help of X&O Labs Film Room.

Drilling Post-Blocker Techniques for Combination Blocks

Develop your offen­sive menu by focus­ing on dou­ble team pro­gres­sion with the help of X&O Labs Film Room.

Tight zone and gap run schemes are cru­cial parts of any offen­sive menu. It’s a chal­lenge to find an offen­sive sys­tem (oth­er than flexbone triple option out­fits, of course) that doesn’t rely on these two schemes to move the chains.

So, what do both of these schemes have in com­mon? Both rely on one key fac­tor in order to make them effi­cient: inte­ri­or move­ment of down defend­ers at the point of attack. And how do these defend­ers get moved? By vio­lent dou­ble teams at the point of attack and on the backside. 

We’re focus­ing on the dou­ble team pro­gres­sion for the post play­er on dou­ble team blocks in tight zone and gap runs. In case you don’t know, the post play­er is the line­man who is cov­ered by a down defend­er to the play side or back­side of the fol­low­ing run schemes:

  • Inside Zone
  • Power
  • Counter G/T
  • Counter H (H pulls instead of Tackle)

Examples of a post play­er could be the following: 

  • Guard on 3-tech­nique defender
  • Center on Shade tech­nique defender
  • Tackle on 4i-tech­nique defender

Jab & Crotch Technique

Diagram 1

At Tusculum College (Tenn.), offen­sive line coach Ben Luther teach­es his back­side guard to use the jab & crotch tech­nique when there is a 3-tech­nique and the Will LB is in a minus posi­tion, or direct­ly behind the defen­sive linemen.

The first step is with the play side foot for­ward while keep­ing a big bent knee and load­ing up with a sin­gle arm flip­per (or under). The sec­ond step is a ver­ti­cal step, get­ting the foot in the ground as quick as pos­si­ble and through the mid­line of the defend­er while keep­ing the back­side shoul­der firm and square.” Coach Luther

After the ini­tial two steps, the line­men will tran­si­tion into a high leg (stag­gered feet), keep­ing a strong leg near­est to the down line­man. The play side arm will be unin­volved and pump­ing with two eyes on the declared line­backer. Both the guard and tack­le must be hip to hip with shoul­ders square, with four eyes on the linebacker.

Check out film of this drill in Hudl.

Brace & Power Technique

Diagram 2

The back­side guard will use the brace & pow­er tech­nique with a B-Quick” call or against a plussed” line­backer who’s fur­ther away from the dou­ble team.

The guard will brace for wide and depth, depen­dent on the linebacker’s loca­tion, with his play side foot while load­ing up with a sin­gle arm flip­per (or under). The off knee will piv­ot in and the hips will open up at his angle of depar­ture, the sec­ond step becomes the pow­er high leg, with the back­side shoul­der firm and square.” Coach Luther

The play side arm will be unin­volved and pump­ing with two eyes on the linebacker.

Study film of this drill in Hudl.

Inside Settle & Stab Technique

Diagram 3
Diagram 4

In the University of Wyoming’s sacred A gap” pow­er con­cept, offen­sive line coach Scott Fuchs will use a lat­er­al dou­ble team with the play side guard and tack­le against a 3-tech­nique defend­er. In order to block the play side 3-tech­nique, the play side guard’s respon­si­bil­i­ty on the lat­er­al dou­ble team is to use an inside set­tle & stab foot­work tech­nique, which is essen­tial­ly a tim­ing step or read step before deliv­er­ing con­tact just to iden­ti­fy any move­ment from that 3-tech­nique defender.

We nev­er work out to the 3-techique, even if he’s loose. The guard has the play side A gap. Inside set­tle is a tim­ing step or read step. After that, I’m hop­ing things devel­op quick­ly. Is he spik­ing, loop­ing or is the line­backer plug­ging? My sec­ond step needs to be in the ground a half of sec­ond after that.” Coach Fuchs

If there is noth­ing in the play side A gap, the guard expects the tackle’s foot­work to knock the 3-tech­nique over to the guard. 

I don’t want to drift away from him (3-tech­nique). We tell the guard that the loos­er the 3-tech­nique, the more work the tack­le has to do (Diagram 3). If he goes inside or becomes 2- tech­nique, it’s less work than the tack­le has to do (Diagram 4).” Coach Fuchs

Against three down fronts, the tack­le may often be by him­self on a 4i-tech­nique. A loose 3-tech­nique may look like a ver­ti­cal dou­ble team. A 2i may look like a lat­er­al dou­ble team. If a 3-tech­nique played out towards the tack­le, it may look like a ver­ti­cal dou­ble team, but they’re still using lat­er­al foot­work. Whatever front is pre­sent­ed, it’s imper­a­tive that the guard can­not work out­side off on a B gap defend­er because it will con­vo­lute the entry point for the back.

See the film of this drill in Hudl.

Single Under Technique

Diagram 5
Diagram 6

Southeastern Louisiana University placed in the top ten for rush­ing yards per game at the FCS lev­el this past sea­son and the Lions hung its hat on the inside zone scheme. And for offen­sive line coach Travis Mikel-Allen, the post block on the dou­ble team is all about the hands. He’ll com­bine a sin­gle under tech­nique with what he calls lat­er­al, ver­ti­cal” foot­work for this player.

If we had a 3-tech­nique play side, we would try to stay lat­er­al, ver­ti­cal to stay on the inside V aim­ing point, so we can match what the back was doing for the first two to three steps. We used to go lat­er­al, V of the neck to get the (defend­er) turnout, but we real­ized it was too much. We want­ed to keep it sim­ple. We need­ed to stay as lat­er­al and ver­ti­cal as much as possible.” Coach Mikel-Allen

Coach Mikel-Allen drills the play side post play­er both on the boards and in the actu­al com­bi­na­tion with a team­mate. On the board drill, he’ll have a defen­sive line­man adja­cent to the board and will step over it on the snap. The offen­sive line­man will work his lat­er­al, ver­ti­cal foot­work and sin­gle under the down defend­er while keep­ing his eyes on his track (Diagram 6).

Take a look at the film of this drill in Hudl.

While all of these blocks are labeled com­bi­na­tion blocks for a rea­son — two line­men work in tan­dem to account for a first lev­el and sec­ond lev­el defend­er — most coach­es will preach the impor­tance of get­ting the down defend­er moved first. These are sev­er­al tech­niques to teach the post play­er to do exact­ly that. 

All of the film ref­er­enced in this arti­cle can be eas­i­ly accessed and down­loaded in the X&O Labs Film Room, a search­able data­base with over 1600 con­cepts and drills in a view­able Hudl for­mat. For more infor­ma­tion on the film room, vis­it https://​film​room​.xan​dolabs​.com/.