The Sprint Out Passing game is not unique to football, but the pass blocking on the sprint out game in the Flexbone Offense is.
The most common problems that Offensive Line make are the following:
- No punch/set, just trying to down block or base block defender on/inside. This is a huge mistake because they will open up two gaps by not following the rules.
- PST tries to reach 5 tech or base a 4. I know, it’s a repeat of the one above, but the PST is guilty of this most of the time. PST needs to trust that PS A will block the C gap defender. PST must be aggressive in “setting the wall” as I call it. The PST needs to understand that they are not letting any BS defender move past them. It is their responsibility to “hold the line.”
- OL doesn’t scoot backwards fast enough when there is no threat in their BS gap. If a defender over them engages them at the snap and escapes to PS gap once they’ve set, the OL must immediately begin scooting backwards (I call it butt blocking) until they have a BS gap threat.
- OL not gaining enough ground on first step. This makes them passive IMHO and also allows too much pursuit down the LOS by BS defenders.
The biggest thing that I preach, besides the four buzzwords, is that this is their chance to really bang on those DL and LB’s and slow them down a bit. The blocks are normally killshots from the side, rather than slow, sumo type base blocks. If there’s a NG or DT that’s been giving you problems all night, this is the chance for someone to clean the guy’s clock. We get some killshots on the nose when we run this play.
The coaching progression that I use for this is to go through the four steps, working on footwork, position and eyes. I’ll have all of the OL spread out in lines and work it all at once. Then I’ll add and individual drill with a defender on them. The defender will work himself into the PS or BS gap and they’ll have to react. Then I’ll add two OL to the drill and two DL. We’ll send the DL to different gaps and have them react. Then I’ll work my way to having the DL hitting a gap and throwing a counter move back to the PS trying to escape over the top down the LOS. Finally, we’ll get into a full line situation and try to send some EZ stunts, blood stunts and exchanges to get them used to it.
It’s really hard to replicate what you’ll see in a game, because guys rush the passer and pursue the passer much differently than they do a running play. I think it’s very important that you continue to stress the four techniques throughout the season.