Mailbag Question: Regarding Offensive Tackles

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Mailbag Question: Regarding Offensive Tackles
EROC,

A question regarding Offensive Tackle skill sets. I routinely read that a player needs more work on pass protection but where he is fine in run blocking. Can you explain the difference, assuming I am a brain-dead OSU fan, and the skills and techniques to excel at both?

And is the reason that many OTs coming out of HS aren't as proficient in pass blocking due to the fact their schools run more than they pass?

Thanks!
Steve
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Thanks for the question even though you are a brain-dead “nut” … lol.

Most high schools are predominately running teams, and that definitely effects pass protection. Another factor is more high school teams using zone blocking. This makes transition to college running schemes even easier. The problem goes deeper though. Pass blocking by nature is not as aggressive as run blocking. Backing up, giving ground, and the passiveness this tends to bring out also play into mix. Many jumbo athletes at high school level just have problem moving laterally, or backwards. They have not grown into their large bodies, and have not developed the coordination to maintain balance when moving sideways or backwards. When run blocking is easy to teach and get players to execute the proper power angles and good football position to be able to block even stronger defenders. Getting them to bend their knees, move their feet, and punch all while moving backwards takes more work.

If you are zone blocking the skills necessary are same for all Offensive line positions. This is one of the main selling points of zone blocking. Everyone takes same steps, has same rules, and uses same techniques. In pass blocking one of major differences is type of athlete/player they are blocking. Offensive Guards and Offensive Center, are generally blocking players in stances, on the Line of scrimmage, lined up either over them or at least close. Offensive Tackles have athletes in two points some time, lined up in outside shades or even staked. This means they must have quick feet to get to those speedy edge rushers. They also need excellent balance, as they move laterally and backwards, long arms are major plus, if Defensive Ends or Outside Linebackers can get tight into body of Offensive Tackles he is at their mercy.

Finally, the Offensive Tackle must be very strong, if he cannot while moving backwards keep that Defensive Ends from just dipping his inside arm and ripping through he will either give up sack, or get holding call all night. This is where hips and core become key. If Offensive Tackle cannot extend his arms, drop his hips, and then roll them through, he will never be very successful at pass protection.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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