By Freddie Aughtry-Lindsay
Defensive Run Game Coordinator / Linebackers Coach / Pro Liaison
Campbell University (NC)
Here at Campbell University, our linebacker unit uses a number of block destruction techniques as tools to give us the best chance of being productive and effective at our position. At the linebacker position, you must be able to meet and defeat blocks with great technique and effort. The job of defensive players is to get to the ball carrier as quickly as possible while also being physical at the point of attack. The four block destruction techniques that are taught and discussed daily on our team / within the linebacker core are as follows:
- Spill & Leverage
Throughout this clinic report, these four block destruction techniques will be discussed in detail.
That said, no matter what technique is being used the most important components of block destruction are to always have active eyes, feet and hands. When using any of the techniques listed above, we want to always attack half a man when approaching a blocker. Ultimately, this allows us the best opportunity to get off a block and pursue the ball carrier. Attacking half a man also allows us to keep our off hand free, which increases our ability to make a play. We never want to be head up on the blocker because this blocks our vision and gives the blocker the ability to engage. Lastly, it is imperative that we know where our support is at all times within the defense so we can fit on the correct side of the blocker.
Techniques #1 & #2: Spill / Leverage Technique
The first techniques taught at Campbell University are the “spill” and “leverage” techniques. These techniques are used when taking on a blocker and we want to send the ball either towards the sideline (spill), or towards the middle of the field (leverage). The first thing we want to do is see the blocker and approach him with bent knees, attacking only half a man. The defender’s feet must be shoulder width apart with our foot nearest to the blocker slightly in front of the other. We do this because we want to attack the blocker with the same arm and same leg (ex: right arm/right leg). This gives us the most power to effectively destruct the blocker. The player must now shrink his elbow into his rib cage and ball his hand to make a fist. In doing this, we are using our fist, forearm, core, and shoulder to create a “shield” to alleviate impact from the shoulder. This ultimately protects our shoulders from injury.