Proper Pass Blocking Technique for Offensive Linemen | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Proper Pass Blocking Technique for Offensive Linemen

July 16, 2013 | Brad Thompson

Must See Football Videos

As the passing game becomes more complex, quarterbacks become more important to the game. Consequently, the people who protect the quarterback have also become vital to success.

Not surprisingly, three of the top four picks in the 2013 NFL Draft were offensive tackles. In games, tackles are left on an island, tasked with preventing a better athlete from getting past the line and into open space. They can accomplish this only with superior technique.

Bottom line, if you can protect the quarterback, you will find a place on the field.

The main responsibility of an offensive tackle is to set the edge of the pocket. They often face the most athletic pass rusher on the opposing team, but they have the advantage of being further away from the quarterback.  A running back who pass blocks deep in the backfield near the quarterback has to be concerned with a bull rush taking him back into the quarterback's lap. A tackle does not need to worry about that as much.


Whether you play from a two- or three-point stance, your weight should be balanced. Leaning back on your heels may make you quicker at the snap, but it also tips off the defense that a pass is coming. At the snap, push off your inside foot and step back with your outside foot. The further outside your opponent is aligned, the further you need to kick your outside foot back.

Your weight should always be primarily over your inside foot to protect against an inside rush. You cannot allow the defender to beat you inside, because that's the fastest route to the passer.


Keep your hands up, no lower than your sternum, with your thumbs pointed up. If the rusher tries to cross your face and take an inside route, transition to a run block. Your inside foot and hand should be heavy, and you should try to drive the rusher backward. If you try to force him inside rather than back, he will penetrate the pocket and may cause your quarterback to scramble.


Your shoulders should be parallel to the line of scrimmage. Turn them only as a last resort. As your opponent rushes, continue to kick your outside leg back and slide backward, keeping yourself between the rusher and the passer. When your opponent gets close, make a short, explosive punch into his breastplate while keeping your thumbs up, and grasp his breastplate tightly. Remember, it's not holding if your hands are inside the pass rusher's shoulders.

Back and Knees

Keep your back straight and knees bent. A proper knee bend will keep you strong against a bull rush, and a straight back will prevent you from leaning too far forward and being easily beaten by a pass rush move. Make contact with your head only as a last resort if you are being driven into the backfield.

Offensive linemen usually have an athletic disadvantage, but proper technique allows them to succeed regardless of their opponent's speed and strength.

If you're an offensive lineman who wants to get better this summer, check out these articles:


- Brad Thompson graduated with degrees in English and Exercise and Sports Science. He played football for four years at the collegiate level, and has coached...
- Brad Thompson graduated with degrees in English and Exercise and Sports Science. He played football for four years at the collegiate level, and has coached...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

The preseason is all about getting prepared, and making sure that you are ready to have a successful season as a player. It is a crucial time in the...

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

Three Benefits of Being a Young, Multi-Sport Athlete

Matt Kemp on His Way Back to MVP Form

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

How David Ortiz Maintains Peak Performance

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Top 3 Hockey Training Mistakes

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

4 Common Mistakes Made When Coaching Young Athletes

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

Does Grunting Improve Your Sports Performance?

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

How to Recover After Getting Hit by a Pitch

Tony Wroten's Lethal Crossover Leaves Defender in the Dust

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status