Simple Rules for the Pin and Pull Play

Simple Rules for the Pin and Pull

The Pin and Pull is one of the plays that is sweeping the country as a run game staple. There are multiple advantages of running the Pin and Pull and using it as your main tool to get to the outside in the run game. What concerns coaches the most about running the Pin and Pull is creating rules for the Offensive Line. Luckily, we have combined some of the greatest offensive minds thoughts into one easy to understand set of rules to run the Pin and Pull.

Simple Rules for the Pin and Pull Play

One of the main advantages of the Pin and Pull is that is relies on leverage and angles to clear a path for the runner to the outside. Unlock the Outside Zone, where the line is trying to overtake their defender and get him hooked, the Pin and Pull puts linemen in a position where they already have leverage on the man they are blocking. This allows the offensive linemen to have success against defenders who might be more athletic than them.

We use a simple way to think about the blocking rules for the line. They are basing their choice on if there is a defender in their gap that is opposite of the play call. If there is a defender in their gap they are going to block down on this defender. If there is not a defender from their playside eye to the playside eye of the man inside of them they are going to pull. This creates a very simple way for the linemen to know if they are going to be pulling or not.

pin and pull blocking scheme

When all playside linemen are blocking down this leaves a defender unblocked in the playside C Gap. We will use an extra blocker to handle this defender. Normally this is some sort of H Back or Tight End who will block down on the C Gap Player. We use this play as a compliment to the Power. On Power we are asking our H Back or Tight End to block this defender out. This can be an issue if the defender is coming hard into the C Gap. When a defender is pinching hard in the C Gap it makes a kickout block almost impossible, but it makes the block for the Tight End or H Back on the Pin and Pull much easier.

Once the linemen know they are pulling they need to be coming down the line as flat as possible. We have a few very simple rules for the pulling linemen. The first rule is that we never pass up a free defender. We believe we must get the play started, and in order to do this we must first block any defensive linemen who are free on the line. This means that as the lineman is pulling if a defensive lineman gets penetration through the line the puller will block him and prevent him from making the play.

Related Content: Maximizing the Outside Zone Blocking Scheme 

The next rule we follow is that we want to Kick and Read. This means that the puller is looking to kick the first defender that shows up. If this defender wrong arms or is too tight to block out, we will tell the lineman to pin him down or log block him. The next lineman that is blocking is going to be reading the block in front of him. We tell him to read it like he is the runner. If the first puller kicks the defender than the puller will look to fit inside of the hole and block the first linebacker that shows in the hole. In the event that the first pulling blocker blocks the defender down, the puller wants to lead up to the outside.

The Pin and Pull is a potent offensive weapon. When you base your offense around the Power and Counter running schemes the addition of the Pin and Pull is a great way to compliment these plays and get your most dangerous runner to the outside.


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