Pass Protection As Different As Who’s Doing It

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jun 11, 2019

As FirstDown PlayBook begins to turn our focus to pass protection over the next few weeks it brought back some memories from our NFL coaching days. Pass protection is such a very different thing when you look at the different levels of football.

Take youth football for instance. Probably the best pass protection philosophy at this level is don’t! Running the football is normally the best approach for the younger players. When you get to the high school level most of the pass protection schemes involve protecting a gap to one side or the other. It’s just simpler that way and the chances of an A gap rusher coming unblocked is less that way.

In college you begin to get to what coaches refer to as “Man” protection. The offensive line is responsible for identifying a position such as a Mike linebacker. This communicates to the entire offense about who is responsible for blocking who.

This will involve the running backs and receivers a well. Most importantly the quarterback has to understand who is blocking who because most of the time there are unblocked defenders that the quarterback must throw “Hot” off of if the come on the pass rush.

Finally at the NFL level pass protection becomes all about that dude or those two dudes who you had better have two protectors on if you don’t wan’t your very expensive quarterback lying on the ground injured. This can involve a double team, keeping your tight end in or possibly a protection back “chipping” a pass rusher on the way out to a route. This can make your protection schemes tricky because good defensive coordinators move those special pass rushers around a lot.

So as you can see, pass protection is as unique as the age group who is doing it. Over the next several weeks we will look at this a little more while we spend some time focusing on the FirstDown PlayBook Varsity Pass Protection area. Let’s start with this video.

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