College Football Spread To Run Team Without Good Offensive Linemen Is "Gap, On, Down (GOD)" Blocking Better Than "Severe Angle Blocking (SAB)" for Youth Football?

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Is "Gap, On, Down (GOD)" Blocking Better Than "Severe Angle Blocking (SAB)" for Youth Football?

This topic gets a lot of attention on football training forums and sites related to football drills. There is much debate about which blocking system is preferable for young football players. I have an opinion.

Both systems have basic “principles” or “rules” to be followed to ensure the effectiveness of the system. So either system can be used. The issue becomes one of execution – practice time with the techniques required, training priorities, what the kids on your team can do. Let’s discuss these points.

Practice time and technique required

Dev – distance, on, down

This system focuses more on “who does what in a particular place”, not details on “technique”. This is a big difference when considering practice time. In the GOD system an offensive lineman is literally asking himself, “What is the placement of the defensive lineman or linebacker so I know where/who to block?”. So you may be asking what is Gap, On, Down? I will explain.

Inside gap defender

We first ask our offensive lineman to see if there is a defender lined up in the “inside gap” in his position on the offensive line, within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage. If he does, he must block him after the snap – emphasizing and decelerating the first two steps, of course. If he doesn’t have a defender lined up in the “inside gap”, he simply goes to the SECOND blocking rule.

On the defender

If no defender is aligned in the “inside gap”, it goes to his second rule – is the defender aligned “on/over” me within 1 yard of the line of scrimmage? If he is, the offensive linemen must block him after the snap. If he doesn’t have an “on/over” aligned defender, he simply goes to the third blocking rule.

Down the line inside defender

If no defender is aligned on/over him, he goes to his third rule – I must find the defender down the line – either on/over my offensive neighbor or in the distance inside my offensive neighbor. I help my neighbor block him! It’s always a double team block!

Which as a rule we never have

Our offensive linemen are not looking to block a defender aligned outside their body. In other words, we don’t ask our offensive linemen to block to “reach.” This is a very difficult block to execute. Our backs in the backfield handle these more “athletic” blocks. At most, the pulling guard may be asked to execute a “reach” or “kick-out” block, but never any other offensive lineman. Because we know our pulling guard is capable of executing this block.

Also, our offensive linemen do not go to the “second level” to block linebackers – except for our pulling guards. Linebackers are more athletic and it is difficult for linemen to try to “move” linebackers who are usually 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage.

Blitzing linebackers and “down” double team blocks

I should clarify that defensive teams blitz – oh, shocking! So how do you handle this with a GOD blocking scheme where the linebacker can “penetrate” your offensive line on the blitz? Here’s what we teach. If an offensive lineman only executes a “one-on-one” GAP or on block, they will never come out of that block to “get” the blitzing linebacker; This would free up their defensive lineman – not good! So they’re the only situation where we get a blitzing linebacker on a “down-double team” block. Which linebacker “gets”? Always double-team the inside lineman and only if the linebacker flies to the inside of the double-team block; If he fumbles to the outside – trying to fight our offensive line wall – we’ll have one of our backs, by play design, blocking him in the lane/funnel! Obviously, you will need to work on this recognition with your offensive linemen who execute double team blocks so that they know that only the “inside blocker” is released when the blitzing linebacker tries to blitz to the inside gap. Again, it’s all about practice, practice, practice!

Summary of God

Now you may be thinking, “How do I know who to block on my offensive line?” In actual defensive front situations. Well, like anything else in football you have to practice things over and over again. In particular, the best tactic is to have your offensive line in the most common and likely defensive lineups they will see in the game – including a potential linebacker blitz. Set this in practice for them; Talk about the front, ask them who they will block for each lead, have them walk to each person they block, then run at half speed, then at full speed. Do this for every defensive lead they see. Make sure they really get it! Of course you’ll also be testing proper blocking fundamentals – cadence/explosion of the snap, quick feet, pulling guard properly and staying low. God’s rules are really simple and only takes 1 week to establish certain “play tags/line calls” – no matter what offensive system you choose to run.

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