Double-Team Block Will Be A Key Factor In Eagles-Redskins GameBREAKING NEWS, Defensive Line, Eagles, News Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
You’re going to see both the Eagles and the Redskins running the same rushing plays when they have the ball on Sunday. On one play it will be the inside zone scheme, then on the next play it will be the outside zone scheme. On the inside play the line and the running back will be aimed inside, like a dive play, then on the outside play the line and the running back will have an outside aiming point like a sweep.
The zone blocking scheme has the offensive linemen blocking a certain area and they don’t worry about which defensive player they’re blocking, as long as he’s the guy in the area they’re responsible for. The offensive linemen just fire off and pick up whomever is in their path.
Many times this zone-blocking scheme requires the offensive linemen to employ a double-team block on the defensive linemen. The defensive linemen on both teams will dreaming of facing double-team blocks in their sleep. The execution of the double-team block by the offensive linemen and the neutralization of it by the defensive linemen will decide this game.
I decided to break down the double team block for you because you’re going to see plenty of them on Monday night.
Throughout the Eagles training camp, they have been spending plenty of time in the double-team drill, which is very, tough for the defensive linemen as they face two offensive linemen. Everyday the Eagles defensive line works on not giving ground on double-team blocks because it’s the key block in the zone blocking scheme. Many times a defensive lineman can find himself pushed off the ball into the linebackers, if he doesn’t stay low and fight the double-team block correctly.
He must stay low and not get blown back. The defensive linemen must try to get their hands on the offensive linemen ASAP. He can try to split the double-team, but it won’t be easy.
Day after day, defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro would stand there screaming at the top of his lungs, demanding that the defensive lineman holds his ground as he faces nearly 700 pounds of offensive linemen. The Eagles offensive line coaches Jeff Stoutland and Tra Thomas aren’t quite as loud, but they demand movement from the two offensive linemen, who have a huge weight advantage. They want the big guys to push that one defensive lineman back into the face of the linebacker. If they get that defensive lineman moving backwards, they’ll be able to get to the second-level and block the linebacker, which will create a big gain for the running back.
The double team drill goes on for 15 to 20 minutes every time the Eagles put on the pads. Sometimes the defensive linemen try to fight off the double-teams by a creating pile at the line of scrimmage. They go to the ground on purpose, but they make sure they pull the offensive linemen down on themselves, so they can’t get off this block to the linebacker. This technique keeps the backer free to make the play and it forces the running back to run elsewhere.
Splitting the double team is a rare ability, which requires the defensive lineman to twist his body in between the offensive linemen, while maintaining leverage.
I want each one of you to pick a few first down plays during the game to and watch the offensive line and defensive lines battle each other. Focus on the double-team blocks and see which team is winning the battle. Which offensive line is getting movement at the line of scrimmage and picking up linebacker? Whichever team that is, will probably win the game.
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