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.
The fold block is a scheme used on outside zone runs by adjacent offensive linemen (and sometimes tight ends) on the playside of the blocking scheme to take advantage of a defender aligned to the inside of the tight or tackle, but also shaded on the outside shoulder of the tackle or guard (depending on if there is a tight end).
The outermost lineman/tight end (we’ll call them Blocker A) blocks downs on the end (if there is no threat on the LOS outside this defender) and allows the inside blocker (Blocker B) to take a drop-step and wrap around the backside of Blocker A up to the playside LB or first wrong-colored jersey.
While the rest of the offensive line runs their normal outside zone tracks, it’s up to the playside tight end and tackle, or tackle and guard, to decide if a fold block will have a higher win percentage against the defensive end, as opposed to the normal steps that the playside duotackle/guard would take to cross the outside shade’s face in order to seal the end on the line of scrimmage.
In the play below, the tight end (#83) motions from the right to the left of the formation. The ball is snapped as soon as he gets to the outside shoulder of Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. The tight end blocks down and allows LT #77 Isaiah Wynn to pull around and lead up on the cornerback. This block is much more efficient than the normal outside zone tracks in this scenario as the tight end has a much better angle to block down on Okoronkwo as opposed to Wynn attempting to cross his face and seal him off while the tight end works to the second level.
Below is a sketch of a generic fold block, utilizing the tackle blocking down on the 3-tech while the playside guard works up and around to the strongside linebacker and the tight ends blocks out on the defensive end.