Steps, Strain & Sustain. The Making of A Reach Block.

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 8, 2020

By Will Cinelli, The Scouting Academy

On most Thursdays FirstDown PlayBook brings you a special treat here on the Coaches Community website. We feature a breakdown of personnel and technique provided by our friends over at The Scouting Academy who are our go to experts in this field.

With more and more teams across the NFL utilizing outside zone as their bread and butter run play, it is imperative that offensive linemen and tight ends become high-level reach blockers. This week we will take a look at Green Bay tight end Marcedes Lewis executing the block perfectly and springing RB Aaron Jones for a nice gain.

A good reach block begins with a great first step. Check out Lewis’s angle and explosive first step that puts him in position to block the defender. As he continues, he makes contact as with great pad level and hand placement. He’s already in a position to control the defender’s outside shoulder with his playside hand. With that control, Lewis continues to work around the defender.

When the video pauses at the 14-second mark, the reach has been fully executed and Lewis is in complete control of this block. Now Detroit has no D-gap defender. Lewis continues to strain and sustain the reach block. This presents Jones with a clear read to go outside, and the Packers are able to get their back to the 3rd level of the defense, always a recipe for success. 

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