Offensive Lineman & Blocking Techniques

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Offensive linemen block the quarterback and running backs from getting tackled by defensive linemen in football. There are many different blocks that offensive linemen must use every game. Each lineman will use the same type of blocks but will move in different directions that depend on the play being called.

Drive Block

  • Offensive linemen use the drive block to push defensive linemen back and away from the line of scrimmage. They push their shoulder directly into the defender's chest, right in the middle of their numbers. Their hands are placed on the defender's shoulders open handed. They then extend their arms and lock their elbows. Pumping the legs will help push the defender away from the area dictated by the play.

Trap Block

  • Trap blocks are used to catch an unblocked rushing defender off guard. The defender pivots himself on his feet and moves down the line of scrimmage. He will then hit an undefended rusher off guard. He hits him with his shoulder pad and pushes him back using the drive block technique. This technique is often used on powerful linebackers.

The Seal Block

  • The seal block is used to stop the defenders from hitting a particular side of the field to open up a running lane or passing lane. The blockers will use the drive block technique to push the defenders to the left or to the right, depending on the direction of the play. This is a whole line blocking technique, as it requires each lineman pushing in the same direction to be effective.

Read Block

  • The read block is similar to the drive block except the offensive lineman will attempt to "read" the direction the defender wants to go. The lineman places his body in the middle of the defender's torso and waits a moment. The defensive lineman will try to go around one side of the offensive lineman. The lineman will then push the defender in that direction, assisted by the movement of the defender.

Position Block

  • The position block is used when an offensive lineman needs to put himself between the defender and the play. For example, a position block might be used during a passing play, when it is important to stop any rushing lineman. He attempts to "hook" the defender by making contact with the shoulder pads and sliding the head to the outer edge of the defender. The edge he should slide to is the side towards which the defender is moving. The blocker then turns his backside towards the quarterback and pushes his arms out to stop the defender.

Cross Pull Block

  • A cross pull block is similar to a trap block except it aims for the same position as his but on the opposite side. For example, a right guard would move across the center position and block in the left guard position. A regular pull block is when the blocker moves further down his own side of the line of scrimmage to block another position. For example, a right guard may pull further to the right and hit the right tackle position.

Double Team Block

  • A double team block calls for two offensive linemen blocking one defender. They place their shoulder pads to one side of the defender's body and push him away using the same technique as in a drive block. This technique is used to block a powerful lineman or expose an area for a running back to go through.

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