Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Comboing the three tech with the tackle or shade with the guard. Part I: the basics

When we run the triple to a three technique our base way of blocking is to combo off the three with the guard and the tackle. If we run it to a shade we will combo the guard and center. (Fig 1 and fig 2)



There are a couple of points to make here as I explain each block in detail.


  1. We do not make line calls. On the contrary we tell the guard he has the three by himself and the center he has the shade. We want the to attempt to block the player themselves. When you get into line calls, you are basically creating a crutch in the base blockers mind. You are telling him he is going to get help! 
  2. The base blocker is exactly that. He must square up on the defender and get a good base. Although he will get help, he has the defender wherever he goes. So he must get a base.
  3. The player who will bump is running a train track through the gap. He is not blocking a man but moving an area. If you tell him by men on defense he will always block the three or shade even if not needed.
  4. The most important aspect of the block is vertical movement. It is ok to not block the linebacker if you get a push into his lap. (A lil tougher in today's word with a 3-4 lber so deep.
  5. It is the base blockers initial responsibility to stop penetration and the combo blockers responsibility to get vertical movement or allow the base blocker to take over the block.
  6. Both players should keep their shoulders square to the line of scrimmage throughout the block. A big mistake is for the combo player to turn (point his toe at 45 degrees) at the defensive player. Once you turn your body, it will appear as if the defensive player is always in the gap. If you remain square and look through the gap, the defensive player will only appear if he has worked play side. This gives the combo blocker a better chance to adjust his technique to the defensive movement. (we take a lateral step first to stay square.) It also allows him a chance to come off to the backer.
  7. Blockers must understand that the ball is right off their tail. They must secure the first level (defensive linemen) If they never get to the linebacker we still have 4 yards at least. If the back learns to soft shoulder the scrape backer we have more. (When I first learned the triple at Army they didn't even combo. They Doubled the three and did a great job of teaching the fullback to cut. They were very successful doing this)
  8. Linemen, especially the combo blocker must be taught who they are blocking for. In this case it's the fullback. Therefore the combo blocker can stay on longer vs. a running linebacker.
  9. The combo blocker should not come off until he reaches the linebacker level of the linebacker fills hard. Once at the linebacker level he will base the linebacker taking him anywhere he wants to go as the fullback is right behind him and can cut off his block. (only if he stays square is this possible.
  10. The combo blocker should know where the backside linebacker / safety is. If the play side linebacker runs out - he can come off at a wide angle to capture these, keeping numbers on his side.
PART II Will deal with the specific technique including footwork and hand placement
PART III Will deal with coaching the block to get maximum reps fast
PART IV Will deal with common mistakes in the combo block

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