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Varied Screens Through Simple Offensive Line Rules

Mar 15, 2020 | Offense, Screen Game, Screen Drills

By Matthew T. LemMon
Head Football Coach
Tamalpais High School (CA)
Twitter: @tamhighfootball

 

 

The idea behind all our screen concepts is that the Offensive Line will run their screen tracks the same way on each screen type, except our middle screen.  The idea behind this is to limit the amount of teaching to our offensive line and limit the input they must process before running their tracks.  The concept tries to create a funnel with lead blockers to attack a potentially weak piece of the defense to give the receiver a clean lane to the endzone.

Diagram 1

 

The simplest way to break down the process of our screen is by each position on the Offensive Line and how they process who they are to block and at what angle is most effective.  We will go through each position and then include how we teach and coach our middle screen concept.  We teach three tracks for the Offensive Lines, they are Sidewalk, Alley and Kill.  These three tracks will be explained throughout the article. 

Diagram 1B

 

Play side Offensive Tackles:

We teach our offensive tackles are coached to take two and a half kick steps (this can alter depending on the speed of the Offensive Tackles on your team, quicker guys may need to take three or more kick steps, while slower guys may need only to take one kick step – timing is everything) and throw their hands violently in an attempt to convince the defense they are indeed pass blocking. 

After these kick steps, they should look to attack what we call the “alley” – this is the area between the farthest defender and the hash.  Before the snap of the ball, the Offensive Tackle should identify the first defender in this area between the depths of 5 and 15 yards, so that we may know exactly who our aiming point is and how they might move to the play.  Usually, this individual is either the Overhang defender or the Safety to the side of the screen. 

Diagram 2

 

If we are dealing with a defender that is in-between the depths of 5 yards and 8 yards, our goal is to attack the upfield shoulder.  So, if we are running a screen to the right and the overhang is located at 7 yards depth, then we would attack his right shoulder looking almost to kick him out and ride him to the sideline. 

If we are dealing with a defender at a depth greater than 8 yards, our goal is to simply attack the middle of the defender, usually a safety, and force him to choose a direction and wall him off in that direction.  If he bananas greatly in one direction, simply basketball shuffle to help create the funnel.  

 

Play Side Offensive Guard:

The offensive guards will take one and a half kick steps and pump his arms as if he is pass blocking.  He needs to sell the pass block as most of the Linebackers in our league are reading the guards for their keys. 

After their kick steps, they should look to what we call the sidewalk, which is the farthest defender away from the offensive line and closest to the sideline.  Offensive Guards should identify three things before the snap: how many defensive players are within 5 yards of width to the outside receiver, how deep these defenders are, and if there is one or less defender, who is the next most immediate threat to the play.  We have to recognize how they might move on the play when the movement begins to happen.  This defender will likely be the safety to that side, the overhang defender, or the corner depending on what formation we are using.

Diagram 3

 

If we are dealing with a defender that is in-between the depths of 5 yards and 8 yards, our goal is to attack the upfield shoulder. So, if we are running a screen to the right and the overhang is located at 7 yards depth, then we would attack his right shoulder looking almost to kick him out and ride him to the sideline. 

If we are dealing with a defender at a depth greater than 8 yards, our goal is to simply attack the middle of the defender, usually a safety, and force him to choose a direction and wall him off in that direction.  If he bananas greatly in one direction, simply basketball shuffle to help create the funnel.  

 

Center:

The offensive center will take one and a half kick steps and pump his arms as if he is pass blocking.  He needs to sell the pass block.

Diagram 4

 

After these kick steps, they should look to attack what we call the “alley” – this is the area between the farthest defender and the hash.  Before the snap of the ball, the Offensive Center should identify the first defender in this area between the depths of 5 and 15 yards, so that we may know exactly who our aiming point is and how they might move to the play.  Usually, this individual is either the Overhang defender or the Safety to the side of the screen. 

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