What does the Defensive Lineman do when he slants?

Question:

  • What do you have your D-Linemen do after they make contact with the adjacent offensive lineman? I’m very intrigued by this strategy and would like to learn more.

Answer:

Lets say its the Nose slanting into a Guard.

Here are the fundamental “If Then” scenarios we work all the time:

  • IF the Guard tries to jump through to LB, THEN Hit and Drive him if possible (If the Guard is going after Backer, then the Center is probably going after you, you KNOW you have the double team…GET DOUBLED so LB’s are free…we will always trade two for one). Cause a pile.  If you are getting washed, fall down and grab knees!
  • IF the Guard blocks down on you, THEN Crossface or Backdoor (whichever is better based on the angle) and get down the line of scrimmage because the ball is going B gap or out…DO NOT OVER-PENETRATE ON SLANT…FLAT FLAT FLAT and find the ball. No more than one yard deep.
  • If the Guard Pulls (In or Out) THEN get in his hip pocket, follow and find the ball (be ready for another lineman filling for the puller, Rip if he does).
  • If you are completely untouched, THEN ITS A TRAP, Slam back inside and Wrong-arm the first bad guy you see (applies more to Defensive Tackle).
  • If Reach, THEN crossface and play Flat (Zone, Sweep, Sprintout, ETC.) Basic theory here is if they want to go out, lets all jump a gap and make em go back in…where they didn’t initially want to go.
  • If the Guard Pass sets, rip, get in your lane and contain…through the gap…this is basic pass rush stuff here.

That will cover A LOT of what happens on the football field to a slanting lineman.  We do scenarios like this every day.  If we see something screwy on film (like inside folds or something) then we will rep it that week. 

Here is another thing…we do teach and work on all this…but really we let our lineman know if you crush the next man and really harass him, you did a good job.  Just have a good motor and pursue after you crush him.

We want them to have answers but we don’t want to over-complicate the issue…I mean if you DRAW a double team…great….if you slam into the Guard and knock him into the tackle…awesome…If you take out the Guard…that’s at least one for one.

Also don’t forget, slant is not your only weapon.  The key to this defense is messing with the other team’s linemen.  Rip them, cut them (bear), stunt AND slant.  Slant works a lot better when you use the other line calls to get the offense off balanced.

Do you have any other questions about Defensive Line play?  Leave them in the comments below!

 

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