Pass Protection For All Levels Of Football
Pass protection is where offensive line coaches separate themselves. We are not trying to take anything away from the offensive line coach who can coach the heck out of the power. Let’s face it though, almost every line coach can do that. Pass protection is a different animal, particularly at the NFL level.
Pass protection is the consummate chess game between the defensive coordinator and the offensive line coach. It can be such a very different thing when you look at the different levels of football. That’s why it is important for you to understand where you fit in with how you protect.
Take youth football for instance. Probably the best pass protection philosophy at this level is… don’t! Running the football is normally the best approach for the younger players. When you get to the high school level most of the pass protection schemes involve protecting a gap to one side or the other. It’s just simpler that way and the chances of an A gap rusher coming unblocked is unlikely.
In college you begin to get to what coaches refer to as “Man” protection. The offensive line is responsible for identifying a position such as a Mike linebacker. This communicates to the entire offense about who is responsible for blocking who. This identification process allows the offense to have clear concise pass protection assignments
This type of protection will involve the running backs and receivers a well. These players and the quarterback have to understand who is blocking who. Most of the time there are unblocked defenders that the quarterback must throw “Hot” off of if the come on the pass rush.
Finally at the NFL level pass protection becomes all about that dude or those two dudes who you had better have two protectors on if you don’t wan’t your very expensive quarterback lying on the ground injured. This can involve a double team, keeping your tight end in or possibly a back “chipping” a pass rusher on the way out to a route. This can make your protection schemes tricky because good defensive coordinators move those special pass rushers around a lot.
So as you can see, pass protection is as unique as the age group who is doing it. FirstDown PlayBook understands this. As we often say, “We are not trying to coach your football team. We are just trying to make it easier for you to coach it.” That’s why our protection section is as diverse as the coaches we work with. This short video looks into some of our pass protection detail that we provide for offensive line coaches.