Backside Cut off Technique

A friend asked me to describe a backside cut off technique for an OL away from the play.  This is a skill set used in a variety of plays ina variety of offenses.  As more and more teams use the gun/pistol you see less teams working cut blocks (I know from experience refs are all over the place with allowing, or flagging you for cutting while in gun).  The old “just cut on the backside” is not always a viable option, so an OL needs another tool in the tool box.

I present to you, the backside cut off.  Imagine stretch or power to the left… something where we all KNOW the ball is going left, and your backside RT just needs to stop/occupy a backside 3 technique (so you can have RG work zone or so he can pull).  The RT needs to put himself between the defender (who has already out leveraged him, and the football (ball will be to the left off tackle or wider probably).

If the 3 technique isn’t that good he can just work a standard reach block technique… angle step, aim at his arm pit, get head across, run your feet… blah blah blah, he is sealed.

But if the 3 technique is too good (whether he is penetrating or reading and flowing) to cut off with a basic reach, we will use this cut off technique.

We call this a “Rip through” or a “box out”.

  1. RT will “bucket” or “drop” step with his inside foot in order to get depth off of the LOS, and open his hips up to run.
  2. he will bring the right foot aiming outside the defender WHILE ripping up through him with the far (right) arm.  This motion happens together.
  3. He will attempt to run around the defender, keeping pressure on him with the back of his right hand/arm/shoulder and back.
  4. once he feels the defender on his backside he will widen his base and just like a basketball player in the paint, he will “box him out”.

The OL can give up ground off the LOS to make the block, he can even get pushed down form behind onto his face, i don’t care… but if he is able to get his body in between the defender and the ball, he has effectively CUT HIM OFF from the play.

Step by Step of myself working the backside cut off/box out.

Full speed

Here is a clip of an NFL LT working the backside box out technique.  I give credit to @coachmattjones for this clip, he does a great job breaking down OL play on his twitter account.


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