Drag Hand/Backside Hand Technique

Sep 1, 2014 | Offense, Run Game, Run Game Mechanics, Offensive Line, Wide Zone Run Concepts, Position Groups

By Mike Kuchar

Lead Research Manager

X&O Labs



Drag Hand/Backside Hand Technique

fordhamOn the outside zone scheme, it’s important to teach backside hand and shoulder placement in order to seal off any penetration.  In order to do this, Hand teaches what he calls the drag hand technique.  “As the offensive lineman takes his stretch step to the outside V of the neck, his backside hand placement is the thing that will slow him down enough to catch the 5-technique defender if he slants inside.   “The aiming point of the drag hand technique is the backside peck of the defender.  That movement will stop the penetration of the defender inside.  The Tackle cannot come off the ball with no concern of the defender slanting inside.  He uses the drag hand to catch and hold the defender so he cannot penetrate.”

Alex Gibbs used a similar technique called the “back hand” technique, which is used if there is no help with the next adjacent lineman.  These scenarios could be a 3/5 technique play side or a 5/9 technique play side.  The covered defender against a wide shade must be able to use his backhand to punch or catch the defender if he spikes inside.  This is used particularly if there is no backside help on a combination block.  “He has to use that back hand as a hook to catch the defender if he goes inside,” said Gibbs.  “The Guard has to catch the defender just enough to funnel him down the line of scrimmage.  It doesn’t matter if the defender penetrates a little, because the read tells the runner to go outside.  The key is the backhand coming under the flipper of the defender.  If it goes over the flipper, the defender will knock the Guard’s arm up into the air.  The punch as to come into the defender tight and under the flipper.”