Split Back Power Play- “Hammer” Block

Split Back Power Play- “Hammer” Block

A couple years ago I was filming (scouting) an opponent and I noticed that they were taking their wing back and having him crack down on the defensive tackle. After watching how well they executed this block  I absolutely fell in love with it.  Two weeks later I decided to implement this blocking tactic. It is our “Hammer” call. On any of our power plays if we call “Hammer”, our wing back will execute the crack block on the defensive tackle. See some video highlights.

Why and  when to use this tactic:

This block works very well against big defensive tackles, wide aligned defensive tackles, c-gap defenders and/or blitzing linebackers. What is awesome about this block is that the defensive tackle never even sees this block coming.  If you are facing a dominate defensive tackle you can just have the wing back crack him. On the “Hammer” call the offensive tackle will just release onto a linebacker. But, even though we want our OT to get onto a defender on the second level, he must always secure his inside gap first!

After a couple of times running the power play with the hammer block, the defensive tackle will be so worried about getting cracked he will slow his rush down. This block will really slow down those aggressive defensive tackles.  In youth football, if you want a successful offense, it starts at the offensive line. The best way to block in youth football is to work angles.  We will do a ton of hammer blocks, crack blocks, down blocks, and kick-out blocks.  We will always try to out flank the defense, which will create favorable blocking angles for our kids.

Here is an excellent article on why you should use a wing back in your offense.

Hammer vs 53 Defense

Hammer vs Wide Tackle 62 Defense

Power Play vs 62 Defense

Hammer vs 44 Defense

Power vs 44 defense

Executing the hammer block on the power play:

  • Wing back cannot lead with his head and spear the defender with his head.
  • Wing back must have his head is up head when making contact.
  • Wing back is off of the football-creating an easy blocking angle.
  • Wing back can cheat his split in to create a better angle for himself.
  • Inside leverage step.
  • Drive through the block- finish the block!
  • DO NOT clip the defender.
  • Wing back must be an aggressive player. Move an aggressive kid to that position if you want to execute this blocking tactic.

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