Pass-pro made simple

In my first season as a head football coach I made a number of mistakes, but having too many pass protections with 15-16 players on my roster left my QB open to big hits and my passing game in shambles.

During the bye week (everything positive seems to happen during the bye week) I re-wrote my pass protection. We changed from 3-step and 5-step protections to just one pocket protection. In that protection, we changed from half-slide to full slide and a “right” and “left” call to tell the OL which way to move. I added a wrinkle to our boot game to allow for a RB to swing out as an outlet. When I stood back I had the following:

50’s protection- boot with the RB in the flat as an outlet. We call it 50’s because 5 guys are in the blocking scheme unless there’s no Y tag or combo with the Y.

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60’s protection- boot with the RB kicking a DE that stays outside, or turns and seals a DE that squeezes inside. It’s 60’s because 6 guys are blocking in the scheme.


70’s protection- 3 or 5 step based on the route/combo. Your RB will block BOE (back on end) backside, 5 OL slide pro to the same side, and the TE or FB (depends on personnel #) will block the strong-side. We call it 70’s because there’s 7 guys in the protection scheme unless there’s a Y ‘tag.’

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At our level we can get away with only using slide protection because we see basic defensive fronts (and sometimes I can’t tell what the heck we’re seeing) and if people blitz: (a) they show and (b) they don’t stunt. There’s no need for multiple protection techniques. One wrinkle is that even in 70’s, although it’s full slide, our blind side OT will learn to jab inside, then open and shuffle back to wall off a DE, because our RB is told to block inside-out B to C. If we get a blitz inside the RB may have to pick him up.