Pass Protection With Your Receivers

By FirstDown PlayBook on Feb 1, 2024
Wasting Time

Pass protections are the most complicated thing an offensive line coach does. The best line coaches at the highest level know how to keep the quarterback clean and uninjured. However; what is often misunderstood is that all eleven players are involved with pass protection at the highest levels of football. This includes the wide receivers.

Let’s take a look at this pass protection puzzle today to find solutions that allow your quarterback a chance to get the ball off. First, let’s look at the play and protection that is called.

The protection rules for this man protection scheme says that the offensive line is responsible for the four down lineman vs a four man front to the Will LB and the running back is responsible for the Mike LB to the Sam LB.

More From FirstDown PlayBook: Spread Wing T Belly RPO

When the defense plays a three man front, like you see here, the offensive line is responsible for the three down linemen to the Jack and Will LB’s and the back is ,once again, responsible for the Mike to the Sam (Nickel Sam in this case).

Our pass protection question for you today is this. You are about to get Will/Free Safety pressure off of the weak side. If only one of them comes you are fine with pass protection. The Center and left Guard should sort that out.

Another FirstDown PlayBook Defensive Pressure: Knife 3 Fire Zone

However, if they both come the Free Safety is unblocked. Without bothering the offensive line coach’s rules, how can you solve this? Keep in mind that if only the WLB OR the Free Safety comes you want this same pass concept. That means you need your X receiver on a Bench route to the boundary. Take a look at this pass protection play drawing and then scroll down to see how we would protect it…

Pass protection can involve all eleven of your players including your wide receivers.

Leave Your Pass Protection Alone On This One!

There is no need to change the play or the pass protection. You have a great man beater concept dialed up with the F and the Z traveling right into your quarterback’s vision. You also have the X one on one if you like the matchup.

If you do get both the Will and the Free Safety then you need an answer immediately. For this reason you should coach your X receiver to use a “Dart” release. In other words the X is looking for the Hot throw first on the inside stem release. (See Below)

If your quarterback gets the ball on the dart hot throw, your X wide receiver is on the move and just needs to beat the corner on the snap. If X receiver does not get the ball then he immediately straightens the stem and gets back into his bench route.

Why take this pass protection approach as opposed to just letting the QB and wide receivers look for hot indicators? Using the inside stem assures you that the worst case scenario (your QB getting hit) is prevented first. If executed properly, this still leaves you with a good football play vs picked up pressure.

Pass protection can involve all eleven of your players including your wide receivers.
Chad Johnson Mission Viejo