ITP Glossary: Drive-CatchTM Phase / Technique

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From punt gunner to climbing the pocket, 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.

Drive-Catch™ Phase

The drive-catch™ phase is a term referring to the ideal initial movement of offensive tackles and guards (centers execute the “drive-pull” instead) to get out of their stance at the snap.

The drive-catch™ technique allows for maximum efficiency in each of the eight angles in which offensive linemen travel.

Eight angles of OL play:

8-arrow

The first step for any offensive lineman is to most efficiently and explosively get out of their stance. The drive-catch™ is the basis for that to happen.

As opposed to “stepping” toward a defender on a run block, or “hopping” out of the stance in pass protection, linemen are required to use deliberate, purposeful action in order to play with power and explosiveness from snap-to-finish.

Drive-catch™ is defined as putting force into the ground with the inside or “post” leg and “catching” with the outside or “set” leg. It is not stepping toward a defender as doing so often results in the lineman lunging toward the defender, thus losing power.

Drive-catch phase relative to pass protection.

First, let’s establish the three rules of protection:

  1. Get out of stance
  2. Create space
  3. Obtain and maintain half-man leverage

The drive-catch™ phase must be present in order to accomplish all three steps.

Context: Week 7 of the 2015 season, the Philadelphia Eagles are on the road in Carolina on Sunday Night Football. The game is tied 0-0 in the 1st quarter with 13:07 left on the clock. It’s 3rd & 6 and the Eagles are aligned in 11 personnel, facing the Panthers’ nickel defense.

Here is a prime example of drive-catch™ in pass protection from an elite offensive tackle, Eagles LT Jason Peters, who has DT Kawann Short aligned in a 3 technique to his right, LB Thomas Davis in the C gap over the TE in man coverage, and DE Mario Addison in a wide 9 technique to his left:

[jwplayer file=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Jason-Peters-Drive-Catch-2.mp4″ image=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/PetersStill1.png”]

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Once the initial “drive” with the “post” or inside leg is executed, each movement is another drive-catch™ until the set-point is reached or contact is made. Peters is not reaching with his outside (set) foot to reach his set point, but rather, catching.

All three steps of pass protection are accomplished, and the result is Peters dictating, not reacting, to the rusher’s movement. This is the essence of the drive-catch.

Context: Week 7 of the 2015 season, the Minnesota Vikings are at Detroit. Minnesota is up 22-17 in the 3rd quarter with 10:19 left on the clock. Detroit is in 21 personnel, facing Minnesota’s base 4-3 defense.

Detroit Lions RG Larry Warford, who has Vikings DT Tom Johnson aligned as a tilted 3 technique over his right shoulder, executes a base block utilizing the drive-catch™ phase:

[jwplayer file=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Larry-Warford-Drive-Catch-2.mp4″ image=”http://cdn.insidethepylon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/WarfordStill1.png”]

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Focusing on Warford’s left foot / leg reveals a high level of violence, with pressure being generated, which translates in the opposite direction into the right leg. This explosive, purposeful “drive” off of his left leg results in a violent “catch” with his right leg, allowing for him to initiate contact from a position of power. An offensive lineman’s strike is only as strong as his foundation, and the upper body is more dependent on the lower body than the reverse both elements of the technique are perfectly demonstrated here by Warford.

*The term “drive-catch” was coined from LeCharles Bentley and his team at https://lbolineperformance.com and is trademarked. I have been honored and privileged to learn from OLP during my time evaluating football.

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Brandon Thorn wrote this entry. Follow Brandon on Twitter @VeteranScout.

Video courtesy of NFL Game Pass.

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