ITP Glossary: Block Shedding

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From punt gunner to 0 technique, commentators and writers rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon€™s glossary takes you inside part of the game you may be missing.

Block Shedding

Block shedding describes the defensive player’€™s ability to escape an offensive player’€™s block once engaged. Against the run, a defender will often need to take on a blocker, move laterally with the flow of the play and work to gain control of the block in order to shed, or escape, toward the ball carrier. Although more commonly used to describe a defensive player against the run, pass rushers also shed blocks through rip and swim moves.

Former Iowa Hawkeyes defensive lineman Carl Davis (#71), who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2015 NFL Draft, demonstrates block shedding on a run stop near the goal line:shed-block-gif-2

Davis is able to quickly gain control of the block by establishing a strong base and inside hand placement on the offensive lineman. While engaged, he shuffles laterally toward the ball carrier and turns the outside shoulder of the blocker to create separation and a pursuit angle to the ball. Davis continues to steer the shoulders of the offensive lineman in the direction of the run before eventually shedding the block entirely and finishing the play with a tackle just short of the end zone.

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In the following play, the defensive lineman once again sheds a block and disrupts the rush attempt in the backfield. Off the snap, Davis quickly gains leverage over the offensive lineman through proper hand and helmet placement. The defensive lineman steers the blocker both backwards and laterally toward the direction of the run. Davis turns the inside shoulder of the offensive lineman to create separation and shrug off the block.

Brian Filipiak contributed to this entry.

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Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking down matchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.

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