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Youth Football Fundamentals: Shedding Blocks and Creating Turnovers

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Youth Football Pass Rush

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The pass defense is only as good as the pass rush. If the defensive front allows the quarterback to much time, the quarterback will pick the coverage apart. It's important that the rush puts pressure on the quarterback to force the quarterback to keep moving his feet or throw the ball early. A good pass rush will give your defense opportunities to bat the ball down, hit the quarterback as he is throwing or even sacking the quarterback.

Pass Rush Technique

The most important factor on successful pass rush is the take-off. From the moment of movement, the defender must close the distance between himself and the blocker as quickly as possible, so the blocker has little time to set up and prepare for the move.

The defender must know prior to the snap where he wants to aim and at what points he wants to take a blocker on. The defender should punch into the offensive lineman, forcing him to retreat from the line of scrimmage as quickly as possible. The defensive lineman should work to get their hands and arms fully extended to gain and maintain seperation from the blocker.

The defensive lineman should have a plan to execute when he reaches the target point. The plan should be based on the following factors:

  • His ability and best moves
  • What moves he has executed before.
  • The blockers strengths and weaknesses.
  • His physical advantages over the blocker, such as speed, strength and agility.

The defender should always have a counter move ready in case the blocker picks up the initial move. One of the key points is that the defensive lineman must be moving upfield at all times. The defensive lineman should never come to a stop, or make a lateral or stationary move. The second effort is the difference between success and failure with the pass rush.

Pass Rush Lanes
It is important that the defenders remain in their pass rush lanes when rushing the quarterback. If a defensive lineman gets out of his lane, it opens a "window" for the quarterback to look downfield and could lead to losing containment on the quarterback. With a base four-man rush, teach your outside ends to rush with contan responsibilities to the shoulder of the quarterback. The two inside tackles have inside rush responsibility aiming for the near number of the quarterback. As the quarterback moves out of the pocket, the defenders should keep the same target on the quarterback to help constrict the pocket and keep contain responsibility.

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