More and more teams are using a lot more gap or full slide protections from football teams. I found a pretty good video over at eFootballFlix.com on Gap and Full Slide Protection by Pat Perles, formerly of North Dakota State. This blog post will give you a free clip of that video, brought to you by eFootballFlix, and it will give you 3 tips I grabbed that I thought would be helpful. But first, let’s discuss what full slide protection is.
Basics of Full Slide Protection
Full slide protection has the offensive line go all in one direction. The tight end, when on the line of scrimmage, may be involved in the same slide direction.
A movement player, like an H back or a runningback, slides to the opposite direction of the line.
So if the runningback goes left, the offensive line goes right.
Reasons to Run Full Slide Protection
I agree with Coach Perles on these points. It’s great when you don’t have terrific athlete. It limits thinking by your players. You can handle stunts, twists and blitzes fairly easily. It’s also easy for a QB or the center to adjust the protection if need be to handle a blitz that shows.
Full Slide Protection Video
Full Slide Protection Tips
Finally, of course, here are the tips for full slide protection.
1) Eyes in Your Gap
We want to have eyes in our gap no matter what in full slide protection. For instance, if I’m sliding left, my eyes stay left. If my guy stunts right, my eyes don’t leave my gap. I’m constantly watching for a twist, stunt, or linebacker.
2) Hold Your Point and Ambush Your Threat
If we have no one in our gap that we’re sliding to, and we have a shade on us, we will use a hand and punch to help our teammate that is sliding to us. So if I’m sliding left as the right guard, and I have someone outside shoulder of me (a 3 technique), and there is no one in my gap, I’ll punch with my right hand on the defensive tackle to help my right tackle. Stop the penetration.
The point is simple… don’t gap step to nothing. Hold your ground for your teammate.
The guy is in your gap if he is head-up with your adjacent teammate to the slide. So if you’re completely uncovered, and there’s nothing inside your hap (think offensive tackle versus a 7 technique defensive end 2i defensive tackle), gap step down and ambush the nose tackle with the guard. You have no threat, step down and close the gap. You don’t have anyone to hold the point on in this situation.
3) Use Vertical Splits and Flat Steps
Make sure the offensive line is off the line of scrimmage a bit on full slide protection. This will buy time to stop penetration for linemen who are post stepping inside.
It’s also important to post step flat. Don’t step up the field. Stay flat. Don’t turn your shoulders if you don’t have to. Lose ground grudgingly as well. Don’t just drop step to drop step. If you don’t have the give up the ground, don’t give it up.