Friday, October 16, 2009

Get Back to Fundamentals: Escape!

Getting OFF of blocks is not exactly intuitive, especially at lower levels.
The get-off, separation, and escape have to be conditioned into defenders as the rhythm in which they operate....if they are STILL ENGAGED with blockers after the 5th step, you have problems. Those offensive linemen / blockers don't have the ball!
There shouldn't be any thinking involved in this equation at all though. The WAY they are supposed to be playing the position should require very little mental processing, because it should be the same every snap;
  • Align
  • Stance
  • Get-off
  • Punch / separation
  • Leverage
  • Escape
Anything more than that, and its a waste and inefficient (Olinemen don't carry the ball). The Oline's job is to tie up, get in the way, block the defenders.....why are we wanting the Dline to block the Oline, who are blocking the Dline?
Escape requires no more thinking than a hand strike block in Karate.....that's all this is....muscle-memory response

Also, we should be conditioning them to accomplish each movement in coordinated footsteps. This isn't unmetered "free time", it is a choreographed dance they need to be working with. They should be making contact on the first step, seperating/leveraging on the 2nd step, etc....just teaching get-offs on air has really no game time application. Getting them from the coiled hips (stance), to contact, to extension (seperation) is what is going to determine the line's success on game day

Just be sure the DL is gaining separation from the Oline at the snap. Getting off and into Olinemen is not what you want. Once they have uncoiled their hips (after get off) they are already beat (there is no way to work an escape if the hips are not coiled). If they do this, then it just becomes a wresting match of fatties (common at lower levels). Dline should keep their hips away from the oline at all times, and only close that distance when they are working an escape (and then push their hips tight past the Olineman's hips).

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