The running techniques described below are excellent zone-blocking tips that could help you elevate your running offense. These techniques include some double-team blocks as well as blocks that are very effective in a Power-O offense. Coach Dave Christensen from Arizona State University provides more in-depth explanations in these videos.
"Tag" Fold Block Run Technique
This technique, known as the “TAG” block is a tag block between the Tackle and Guard fold block on the Defensive Tackle around for the Play-side Linebacker.
Executing the block is simple. The Tackle executes a down block on the Defensive Tackle. Simultaneously, the Guard executes a pull block around the Offensive Tackle to the Linebacker.
The Offensive Guard has two options when conducting this pull block. It is important to teach the Offensive Guard when to use each one. If the Offensive Guard intends to get tight behind the Offensive Tackle and get vertical up the field, then the guard should conduct a “skip pull.” If the Offensive Guard intends to get wide after he passes the Offensive Tackle, he should execute an “open pull.” The “open pull” is reserved for sweeps and plays where the ball carrier is looking to get to the sideline and wider up the field, while the “skip pull” is reserved for power plays where the objective is for the ball carrier to get up the field immediately.
"Hinge" Man Run Technique
An offensive player performs a "Hinge Block" when they are attempting to seal off a vacated spot on the Offensive Line from a pulling player. This move is most often associated with Offensive Tackles who step down toward the pulling Offensive Guard. The counter or power run play are two circumstances in which this block is executed the most. This block is the most important because any penetration from the backside can completely disrupt the play.
The Center on this play will execute a down block and the Tackle has everything from the Center down to his initial stance. He must ensure he takes a wide enough step to the inside.
"Cut-Off" Zone Run Technique - Link to Video
The Cut Off blocking technique is a backside block by either the guard or tackle. It is mostly used to cut-off the defender, which would be inside the offensive lineman, off from the play. Thus, the name, "Cut-Off Block"!! The offensive lineman wants to take a hard angle so that he is head up or just inside the defensive player. This angle ensures that the offensive lineman can square up and place himself between the ball carrier and the defensive player.
"Ace" Double Team Run Technique
This technique, known as the “ACE” block, is a gap block between the Center and the play side Guard on the Defensive Nose Tackle to the Backside Linebacker.
Executing the block is simple. Two players are identified as the (1) Post Player and (2) Lead Player. The Post Player’s responsibility is to set the Defensive Lineman on the line of scrimmage and wait for the Lead Player to assist on the block.
The Post Player will step with his lead foot to the inside of the Defensive Tackle and square up on the block to maintain leverage. This movement will allow the Lead Player to gallop to the defensive tackle and then proceed to block the backside linebacker. The MAIN KEY for this to work is that the two blockers must be joined at the hip at the start of the block. Any separation is a crease for the defensive lineman to expose and the block blows up.
"Back-Block" Man Run Technique
An offensive player performs a "Back Block" when they are blocking the defensive player aligned over a vacating puller. This move is often associated with Offensive Centers or Tackles who step down toward the pulling Offensive Guards. The offensive lineman executing the back block must identify if the defensive player is a “penetrator” or a “reader”.
The Offensive Linemen’s technique and approach will differ depending on the actions of the Defensive Lineman. If he is a “penetrator,” a player looking to get through the vacated spot on the Line of Scrimmage (LOS), the Offensive Lineman must work to get his head across the inside shoulder of the defensive player and drive him down the LOS. If he is a “reader,” he is taught to retrace his steps and work down the LOS, so the Offensive Lineman must work his hands to the inside of the defender to prevent him from crossing the face of the Offensive Lineman to get to the play.