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How Many Steps Back Is An Ol Supposed To Take Before He Engages?


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This is a serious question for someone with significant playing experience. I'm talking about a dropback pass here.

From my limited playing (RB and WR not OL) many years ago I seem to recall that lineman were supposed to take one step back with each foot, then plant and engage the rusher.

The reason I'm asking is because it seems our OL, especially in the middle, is dropping back continuously almost like a QB. By the time they hit the defender they are 2/3 of the way back to Ryan. Reynolds is the absolute worst.

I didn't see this same behavior from the Pats OL. They seemed to take on the rusher much quicker, and obviously when they did they held their ground better. This gave Brady a much better pocket to step into and throw.

Is there a differing philosophy on this with different coaches? Is it a matter of personal preference? What is the norm here? Seems to me the more you retreat, the longer you give the rusher to gain speed and momentum and the harder it will be to stop them.

Can we maybe have a legitimate discussion on this rather than just sarcastic comments about our staff and inept OL?

I understand the tackles have to retreat more to handle outside speed rushes. I'm really talking about the centers and guards here.

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As a LG, I stepped back with my right, planted my left, settled in low and established leverage and control by getting my hands under the enemy's pads. My short arms were a liability in getting to their pads, but being only 6' made it easier for me to get low and establish leverage. A spin or swim move got you jobbed in the ribs or kidneys, or your foot stepped on.

Designed rollouts, of course, were a different story.

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As a LG, I stepped back with my right, planted my left, settled in low and established leverage and control by getting my hands under the enemy's pads.

Thanks. That's at least one confirmation of what I recall from freaking little league. It absolutely is NOT what our center and guards are doing. They're just constantly backpedaling like a QB trying to set up a "panic screen"

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Thanks. That's at least one confirmation of what I recall from freaking little league. It absolutely is NOT what our center and guards are doing. They're just constantly backpedaling like a QB trying to set up a "panic screen"

Since all of them are doing it, its coaching. I have been questioning Pat Hill's coaching for months. Blalock was an EXCELLENT OG until the day Pat Hill was hired. Not one of our linemen has progressed or improved under Pat Hill.

And no, Baker doesn't count for Hill. He only tried to play decently to get a contract. Hill's coaching was a zero-factor.

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