Football America Tip Of The Week #1

Taking on a Block

By: Team Express

Originally Posted: 6/21/2019

The key to any great defense is the ability to win at the line of scrimmage. If a defense can handle everything an offensive line throws at them, they can create pressure on the quarterback and running back all day long and continually put their offense in great field position to do damage.

That is why it is so important to be able to take on a block from an offensive lineman. An effective block can disarm a lineman and leave a defense free to attack the ball carrier without interference.

Here are the keys to executing a block on an offensive lineman:

  1. Set your feet. Make sure your feet are properly set and are shoulder width apart.
  2. Get in a solid squat position. Standing upright won’t help you generate much power. Bend your knees and keep your back flat to engage your glute muscles for a quick acceleration.
  3. Stay on your toes. Don’t stay back on your heels, but rather push your weight to your toes. This ensures that you are ready to run forward at a moment’s notice.
  4. Stay low. When going in for the block, make sure your facemask is even or lower with your opponent’s facemask. This will give you better leverage against your opponent. Go in too high and your opponent will be the one pushing you around.
  5. Bring your hands and bring your hips together. You will want to take on the block from your opponent by placing your hands just below the breast plate, but make sure you bring your hips forward as well to generate even more power. Engaging with just the hands and not the hips will make for a weak and ineffective block.

Doing all of these things consistently will turn you into a lethal defender. For more info, watch the video above as former Pro Bowl Linebacker Patrick Willis walks through each step to taking on a block.