Running Back’s Play Action Pass Pro
By FirstDown PlayBook on Mar 14, 2018

A lot is made of the transition that a running back has to make when they attempt to make that big jump from college to the NFL in the pass protection category. When this issue is brought up it is normally in reference to the DropBack pass game. Today we want to take a second to point out that the running back’s play action pass pro responsibility can also be challenging.

Let’s face it the hardest thing a running back has to handle in the drop back game is pressure and where it’s coming from. Well, the last thing an offense wants to see from a defense when they dial up a play action pass is pressure.

The mere inkling of pressure pre-snap may be enough to cause the quarterback to check out of a play action pass or if the pressure reveals itself after the ball is snapped the play action fake may be aborted and the play turns into a drop back pass play with sight adjusts or hots to get the ball off.

Even without pressure the running back can have his plate full of execution that must be carried out when it comes to play action pass pro. Let’s talk the play in the video you are about to watch. On this play it is critical that the running back understand the defense because he has three separate responsibilities. He must:

1. Execute a convincing fake to put the defenders in a conflict of assignment.

2. Pick up any pass protection assignment vs pressure.

3. Get into the route quickly because he is part of the quarterback’s read.

Take a quick look at this short video to see what we mean.


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