ITP Glossary: Put On Skates

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From 1 technique to pooch kick, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.

Put On Skates

Put on skates is a descriptive term used by commentators and writers when offensive linemen are driven backward by a defender, making the overmatched OL look as if his feet were rolling backward uncontrollably. An offensive lineman can be put on skates by quick, violent contact that knocks him off balance. The combination of speed and power by a defender can work to overwhelm a blocker, who is then rocked backwards by an unexpectedly heavy blow. The phrase can also be used to describe a defensive lineman being driven off the line of scrimmage by an offensive lineman.

Oakland Raiders pass rusher Khalil Mack is lined up in a wide 9 alignment and his combination of speed and power will put Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Harris (#68) on skates:

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Mack drives ahead using his second stride to feign a speed-based rush to the outside. This action forces running back Ronnie Hillman ‒ who stays in to block on the six-man pass protection ‒ to step up toward the overhang defender. However, Mack pivots toward the inside on his third step, attacking Harris’s inside shoulder. In the process, Hillman loses his blocking angle on the defender.

Mack shoots his hands and helmet into Harris’s chest, catching the lineman on his heels with a wide base at contact. The left tackle has been put on skates, stumbling backward. Mack then easily absorbs the block by Hillman, seemingly using its momentum to pick up steam to record the sack. 

Here, Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Joe Schobert shows off his pure strength on a bull rush against Iowa Hawkeyes right tackle Ike Boettger (#75):

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Schobert drives himself into the chest of the tackle, shoving him backwards and the lineman is put on skates. As Boettger falls to the turf, Schobert is able to disengage and bring down the QB.

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Brian Filipiak and Mark Schofield wrote this entry. Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_FilipiakFollow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.

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