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W e began our football program in 1987

with a run-oriented wishbone offen-


sive attack. Over the past 14 years we
power drive block and a control drive block,
with the situation dictating the technique to
be used. When it is fourth and one we want
Angle Blocking in an
Option Offense
have gradually spread things out, moved to a low, tough, power drive block, with a sec-
a predominantly “I” attack, done away with ond and eight situation, we stress a con-
the tight end position, and worked hard to trolled drive block.
develop an effective passing game. Beginning from a well-balanced three
Though we have made numerous adjust- point stance, the drive block starts with an
ments in our formations and within our angle step at the hip of the defender. Our
passing game, we have maintained our young men are taught to establish an aim-
commitment to option football. (mid-line, ing point by drawing a line from their big toe
inside veer, and speed option). It is our to the hip of the defender. We always want
desire to have a balanced (50 percent run this first step to be short, forward, and pow-
— 50 percent pass) offensive attack. We erful. In the power drive the emphasis is on
believe that we can (and must) do both low powerful shoulder contact and in the
effectively in order to be successful and control drive block the emphasis is on hand
reach our goals. contact and control. With both techniques
Our total offensive philosophy (running we emphasize coming off the ball low, with
and passing) is predicated on creating a flat back and on the rise as contact is
blocking angles. We use multiple forma- made. The feet must keep moving and
tions and numerous types of motion in turning the buttocks to the hole is also
order to create these angles. We feel that emphasized — this is especially true with
these angles give us an advantage in exe- the control drive block. Everything we do
cuting our offensive attack. with our offensive line is predicated on
From the prospective of an offensive mastering these two blocking techniques.
line coach, implementing this philosophy is Angles are also crucial in our offensive
truly a process. We begin every spring and blocking scheme as we fold block to the
fall practice season stressing basic funda- backside, within our combination and chip
mentals and techniques. Even with our blocks, blocking the linebacker's and releas- Haywood Riner
seniors, we start all over, beginning with ing downfield to block on the backside.
how to get into a properly balanced stance. As we put together the pieces that make Offensive Line Coach
My year begins with making a list of all the up our offensive line blocking philosophy,
things that we want to accomplish during our young men know that they are filling Campbellsville University
that particular season and we work our way their “tool box.” This tool box will contain
down the list until our offensive lineman the fundamentals and techniques that they Campbellsville, Ky.
have mastered the necessary skills. The and their teammates need to carry out their
list includes: stances, alignments, tech- assignments. Mastering their tool box also
niques, fundamentals, and numerous develops confidence in our lineman, both
blocking combinations. as individuals and as a unit that must work
I believe that it is also very important to together. During a game I listen to our play-
work on the mental aspect of offensive line ers' input and suggestions, as together we
play. Offensive lineman accumulate no make necessary adjustments.
major statistics, receive few accolades, The approach that our offensive line-
and get precious little recognition, yet I man takes to the line of scrimmage reflects
want them to know that they are the most our commitment to using blocking angles.
important element of the game. The effec- Our lineman begin from a pre-stance posi-
tiveness of the offensive line sets the tion, before being set to fire off the line of
tempo of every game. We feel that positive scrimmage. This allows our young men to
motivation is critical to help an offensive read the defense and make the calls and
lineman understand their role and to devel- adjustments that they feel are necessary to
op confidence. carry out their assignments. (We do oper-
Early in the season we spend a great ate our shot-gun pass series from the pre-
deal of time mastering the techniques of stance position.)
our basic drive block (stance, start, angle, Our expectations of our offensive line-
chutes, dummies, sleds, and live work.) man are as follows:
Everything else that we do in our option • Know the play.
game and in our complimentary running • Know your assignment.
game begins from good drive blocking • Read the defense (man over, man
techniques. I also differentiate between a right, man left).

• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •


• Pull the correct “tool” out of the box. Diagram 1 Diagram 3
• Communicate with your teammates.
• Know the snap count.
• EXPLODE...DRIVE...FINISH.
Proper alignment is another element that
is vital to the proper execution of our
offense, especially with the option phase of
our game. Our guards always maintain a
two foot split in order for our fullback to have
a constant take-off point in our option. The
tackles adjust their splits from three to five from three to five feet to create a maximum
Diagram 4
feet in order to create the best possible seam. If the defensive end pinches, he is
blocking angles and running lanes. blocked by the tackle or if the linebacker
While we also seek to create good steps up he is blocked by the tackle.
blocking angles in our companion running Otherwise he is responsible to help the
plays and in our passing game, for the pur- guard block the inside down lineman. This
pose of this article I will focus on our inside inside down lineman is usually a three
veer option, which we run to both the technique and must be blocked in order for
strong and weak sides. As stated earlier, the play to be successful. When helping the
we run our option from numerous forma- guard with a double-team block, chip or
tions and in combinations with several reverse chip block the aiming point for the cles, clinics, and instructional films can all
types of motion in order to set up maximum hands becomes the outside number of the be helpful in making offensive adjustments
blocking angle advantage. defender (The guard and tackle must and in developing drills. I have tried to do
remain aware of blitz combinations in the A things the way other coaches do (and are
The Inside Veer Option and B gaps). successful,) yet I always seem to come
To the weak side we usually see a one On-Side Guard: Base block the inside back to what works best for us.
technique, off-set nose or a defender lined down defensive lineman (usually a two or Adjustments — yes, pick up a new play or
up in the A gap. Blocking assignments are three technique.) The aiming point for the drill-yes, but the bottom line is. .. you know
as follows: shoulder is the outside hip of the defensive your players and you know your system. I
On-Side Tackle: The first man lined up lineman if he is lined head up, or the inside firmly believe that the best drills are those
head up to outside on the line of scrim- hip if he is lined up anywhere outside of that you design yourself. Establish a phi-
mage is let go. The tackle works the split head up. The guard's block is usually exe- losophy of offensive line play, decide how
from 3-5 feet to create a maximum seam. If cuted in combination with the tackle, as you can best reach your goals, determine
the defensive end pinches, he is blocked together they are responsible for the inside the skills and techniques that you want to
by the tackle, otherwise the tackle rips down lineman and the middle linebacker. teach and creatively design your drills to
through the inside hip of the defensive end Center: Blocks back on the backside best teach your young men.
to block the linebacker from the head-up to down lineman. Remember, make your offensive line-
inside-usually the middle linebacker (he Backside Guard: Folds around the man believe that they are the most impor-
never chases a linebacker outside). center to block linebacker or first opposite tant part of the game!
On-Side Guard: He has the angle to color.
block down on the inside defensive lineman Backside Tackle: While still working his
(usually a one technique). splits, takes a sharp angle step to zone
Center: His first step is playside to block through and block downfield on the
the middle linebacker to the backside line- frontside. (He must be sure that the back- 2001 AFCA
backer. side defensive end does not pinch inside).
Backside Guard: Blocks base up on
two or three technique.
Diagram 2 Committees
Backside Tackle: While still working his
splits, takes a sharp angle to zone through Will Be Listed
and block downfield on the frontside (he
must be sure that the backside defensive
end does not pinch inside.) (See Diagram
in the AFCA
1).
To the strong side we usually see a
Directory
"two" or "three" technique. Blocking
assignments are as follows: AB Gap Blitz Combinations
On-Side Tackle: The first man lined up We are committed to taking advantage
head up to the outside on the line of scrim- of every possible blocking angle in execut-
mage is let go. The tackle works the split ing our option/pass offense. Books, arti-

• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •


American Football Coaches Association
Code of Ethics Summary
“The ultimate success of the principles and
standards of this Code depends on those for
whom it has been established — the football coaches.”
Ever since the AFCA adopted its first formal “PURPOSE: The Code of Ethics has been
Code of Ethics in 1952, the organization has developed to protect and promote the best inter-
had a keen awareness of its importance and ests of the game and the coaching profession.
has done all in its power to keep the public Its primary purpose is to clarify and distinguish
aware of the AFCA’s concern with morality and ethical and approved professional practices
integrity. from those considered detrimental.

A complete copy of the Code of Ethics is sent to “Its secondary purpose is to emphasize the pur-
every member.Vital tenets include: pose and value of football and to stress the
proper functions of coaches in relation to
“PREAMBLE: The distinguishing characteristic of schools, players and the public.”
a profession is its dedication to the service of
humanity. The AFCA Code of Ethics deals at length with
the following subject areas:
“Those who select football coaching must
understand that the justification for football lies Article One: Responsibilities to players
in its spiritual and physical values and that the
game belongs, essentially, to the players. Article Two: Responsibilities to the institution

“The welfare of the game depends on how the Article Three: Rules of the game
coaches live up to the spirit and letter of ethical
conduct and how the coaches remain ever Article Four: Officials
mindful of the high trust and confidence placed
in them by their players and the public. Article Five: Public Relations

“Coaches unwilling or unable to comply with the Article Six: Scouting


principles of the Code have no place in the profes-
sion... Article Seven: Recruiting

“The Code should be studied regularly by all Article Eight: Game day and other responsibilities
coaches and its principles should always be fol-
lowed. Violations of the Code should be report- Article Nine: Acceptance of all-star assignments
ed to the Ethics Committee.” and other all-star coaching honors

Be A Responsible Member Of
The Football Coaching Profession
Follow The AFCA Code Of Ethics

• Proceedings • 78th AFCA Convention • 2001 •