“Assembling Pass Protections” Excerpt from Ch.2 of Dan Gonzalez – The Blue Print

Assembling Pass Protections

First things first…

While it is widely acknowledged that pass protection is the driver for a successful passing attack, there are relatively few resources available for professional development in this area of study.  However, in this and the coming installments of the series, both scheme and game-specific protection considerations will be addressed.

Before delving into an overview of pass protection schemes, it is first important to shed light on certain myths that have been spread in regard to pass protection:

Extra Blocker equals Extra Time.  

It is believed by some that assigning an extra pass protector will afford the passer extra time in the pocket.  On the surface, this might seem like common sense; however, this is not necessarily the case, as we will explain here:

Changing the launch point is critical in protecting the passer.

This has been a long-standing thought in many football circles, but the truth is that protecting multiple launch points actually complicates the process.  The recent success of many college teams, such as Art Briles’ Baylor Bears, actually provide an excellent illustration of this premise.  In concentrating on protecting the core of the offense (from tackle to tackle), it becomes easier to attack downfield in the face of pressure and create explosive plays.

(Gonzalez includes a video here to illustrate this point)

While there is definitely a place for complimenting the Dropback Passing Game, covered in Part 4 of this manual, PLAY ACTION/ MOVEMENT has less to do nowadays with controlling the rush and more to do with allowing getting untouched route stems into the secondary.

Zone schemes eliminate 1 on 1s.

While initial reaction of the layperson would lead one to think that using a “zone” pass protection scheme will help minimize personnel mismatches compared to man schemes.   While zone schemes are helpful in sorting potential twists or stunts, “1 on 1” confrontations are unavoidable.

(Gonzalez includes a video here to illustrate this point)

…Gonzalez goes on to explain

4 protection schemes, situational awareness, handling personnel issues, technique, one-way protections, and augmenting protection with formations and motions.

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