One recurring themes throughout the game of football is limiting the amount of concepts. By limiting the amount of concepts players have to learn coaches can spend more time on the techniques and skills that are needed to execute them. Our approach to pass protection has followed these same rules. We only use one pass protection scheme for all drop back and play action passes. Here is how you protect your quarterback with the half slide pass protection.
Protect your Quarterback with the Half Slide Pass Protection
The beauty of the half slide protection is how simple the rules are. There is a slide side and a man side. The slide side includes the Center. Each man on the slide side is responsible for the gap to their outside. This means that the Center is responsible for the A Gap, the Guard is responsible for the B Gap and the Tackle is responsible for the C Gap. The effect is that the slide side is very sound and protected.
Opposite of the slide side is the man side. On the man side the Guard is responsible for the first down lineman past the Center and the Tackle is responsible for the next down lineman. The Running Back will fill in and take any blitzing threat or the third down lineman. The idea is to put the linemen on linemen as the offensive linemen tend to be big enough to handle the larger defensive linemen. This puts the Running Back on the linebacker who tends to be smaller and show later. As a result of him showing later the Running Back doesn’t need to hold his block as long as the linemen.
(See Also) Simple Pass Blocking Scheme
There are a couple of key coaching points that need to be emphasized for the half slide protection to be effective. The general rule is all linemen need to avoid setting to no body. This means that while the slide side guard is responsible for the B gap to his side if he does not have an immediate or imminent threat he should help the Center against any A gap player. The second part of this rule, which is critical on the slide side, is that the linemen must keep their eyes in their gap. One of the most dangerous things that can happen is for a linemen to help away from his gap and completely miss a looper or blitzer. This takes great eye discipline and must be coached daily.
The half line protection can be used for the short game or the drop back game. In order to give linebackers a run read we use an aggressive set where the linemen are firing out into the defenders. This gives disciplined linebackers a false read which will slow down their pass drop. When using it for the drop back game linemen will take a more traditional set and force the defender to come through them.
The key to any scheme isn’t the X’s and O’s, it’s the ability of the players to execute the scheme at a high level. By using a single pass protection scheme the linemen are given the chance to truly maximize their skills and become experts at their jobs.