14 tips to help you become a great pass rusher

14 tips to help you become a great pass rusher

Two weeks. No articles?!

Well I wanted to email something awesome. Really awesome. Like a pass rush mixtape. And it took some time. Hope you enjoy it:

1) If you're even you're leaving

If you’re even with the blocker after a great get off no need to work your hands just dip the shoulder and turn the corner.

2) Use the stab chop against patient blockers

Imagine there is a button on the middle of a blocker’s chest. If you push that button (with a stab) the blocker will throw their hands. The chop will prevent the blocker from holding you.

3) Drill get off as much as possible

Get off is the #1 thing that separates good D-Linemen from the great ones and if you can add a competitive element like in the drill below even better!

4) Use twists when rushing 5

When showing 5 on the line of scrimmage O-lines will man block and go 1 on 1 with each LOS rusher. This means that if you execute a twist, an O-line will have a tough time passing off rushers and will let one free.

5) Use the stutter bull to surprise your opponent with power

If your opponent can't determine what you're doing he won't be ready for the power

6) "Get skinny" to reduce your blocking surface area

Turning your shoulders and flipping your hips will make it much harder for a blocker to contact you. Below is a great drill to practice this...

7) Trick your opponent with the "coffee house"

If you're in a defense that drops defenders from the line often the "coffee house" is a great stunt to use to fake the drop and get a free rush. Here's a few tips to execute this technique the right way...

8) Develop subconscious reactions to a blocker's punch

If you beat the hands you beat the man and the faster you can react the faster you can beat your man. Here's a drill to help with that...

9) When spinning always make sure the guard is covered by the DT

Covering the guard will prevent him from helping the tackle and crucifying you on the spin. OUCH!

10) A blocker should never know what pass rush move you are using it UNTIL YOU USE IT!

Reggie White did this by using both the rip (his speed move) with the rip hump (his counter). Both look like a rip until the hump is thrown.

11) Understand the difference between a pass block and screen block

If the blocker kicks back and then leaves the pocket don’t rush upfield! Follow the center to the screen and disrupt the pass.

12) Use wide alignments to open the inside

A guard to the man side will usually set wider (if you align wide) because he wants to get his hands on you. This opens up space inside and makes it easier counter.

13) 1 arm is longer than 2

Inserting a stab into a blocker’s chest lengthens your reach and makes it hard for a blocker to hold you.

14) Counter vertical pads

If the blocker turns their pads and hips vertical they expose their inside. Take advantage of this with a counter move.


  • If you're in a generous mood please do like or retweet the thread on Twitter. It really does help.
  • And if you want to learn more about pass rush I'm currently writing a book on it. You can get updates, free chapters and discounts when it launches by signing up here.

-Craig over and out

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