SCOOP BLOCKING: Part 1 - Why We Scoop
I get asked quite often about Scoop blocking. How do we teach it? What drills do we do? Why is it important? I believe that Scoop blocking is the most important block in our arsenal. While many coaches focus on playside blocking techniques, I feel like the backside blocking oftentimes is more critical to running the Flexbone offense successfully. On the frontside, we usually have a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2 blocking situation with the numbers in our favor. On the backside, however, we are usually faced with a 3-on-3 or 3-on-4 situation while also being out leveraged. In this blog series, I’m going to discuss some techniques, drills and ideas that I find are important to improving your SCOOP blocking.
There are 2 main reasons as to why we SCOOP as opposed to Seal & Wheel or utilizing some type of "Down" or "Back" scheme.
- To get an extra hat playside (Center or PSG) and cut off backside penetration.
- To get defenders "cut" and on the ground to try to slow them down and stop their upfield charge.
The main plays that we utilize Scoop blocking are Veer, Zone Dive and Toss. It is important that you work diligently on improving your scoop blocking. This is where 90% of our cuts come from, which helps to slow down those DL. We need to slow the DL from coming upfield and attacking us every play. I really stress to my OL that we need to get the DL on the ground as often as possible early in the game. If the DL are coming hard every play, then our job is going to be tougher and our B back is not going to have a very fun night. We want to get the DL on their heels worried more about protecting their knees, shins and ankles, than they are about trying to tackle the dive. If we can get them on their heels, then we will have an easier time running the ball. You’ve probably read some of the complaints about cut blocking from opposing coaches (Virginia Tech, Rutgers and Notre Dame) when playing against Navy and Georgia Tech. None of the techniques that we teach are illegal. We teach techniques which are consistent with rules of our governing body, be it NCAA or NFHS rules. We don’t teach hi-lo blocking and we work hard to cut block correctly. We take a lot of pride in it.
Every year it seems that I have an Offensive Lineman that doesn't want to Cut block a defender. Some have felt that it was a "dirty" technique or an attempt to injure. Others have felt offended because they thought I didn't have confidence in them to Man block the defender. In every case, I've had to teach the rationale as to why we Scoop block and utilize Cut blocks.
I've had to respond to this allegation of "dirty play" on more than one occasion from my own players and opposing coaches. My response to this is simple. We are going to play as hard as possible within the framework of the rules. When I've had OL tell me their uncomfortable cutting because they felt it was "dirty" or that I was asking them to hurt the opponent, my response to them has been this, "Do you think the defenders are going to take it easy on our QB or B-back? Those defenders are going to try to hit our Backs are hard as humanly possible." That has usually put the technique in perspective for them. We are not out to hurt anyone, but we are definitely going to legally get defenders on the ground.
Check out the game cutups of a few Scoop blocks below:
SCOOP BLOCKING: PART 2 - TECHNIQUE
In the next blog, we will go over the technique we use to Scoop block, as well as our teaching progression. Please check back or subscribe to the blog, on the right side of the page and bottom of the page. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell. Check out the ABOUT page or CONTACT page for my information.