How to exploit pass protection

How to use 3 rushers to exploit pass protections

When studying an opponent it's important to understand how they will be blocking you, but many people don't know what to look at...especially in 3rd and long situations. That's why I'll be detailing how to use film study to exploit an O-line's weakness when rushing 3 D-Linemen.

The typical 3 protections you will see against a 3 man rush are fan, full slide and kick protection.


In fan protection, the guards will "fan" out to the double the ends and will leave the nose 1 on 1 with the center.


In kick protection, the tackle to the side of the back will take on the DE 1 on 1 and the rest of the O-line will zone block to the opposite side.

Full slide protection

In full slide protection, the entire O-line will zone block away from the back and leave him 1 on 1 with the DE.

Now to exploit these protections you're going to want to find the 1 on 1 or the soft spot and for each of these protections...

Fan weaknesses

Because the guards are helping the tackles, the ends need to stay outside and rush the edges and the nose needs to win his 1 on 1. The key here is that the nose wins his 1 on 1 quickly and gets in front of the QB so he can't escape up the middle.

Kick weaknesses

For kick protection you want the DE to the back to counter inside and stay low, the opposite DE to rush the edge and stay high and the nose to overlap the countering DE. That way you can pressure the QB and contain him with only 3 people.

Full slide weaknesses

To defeat the full slide the end needs to win his 1 on 1 with the back. Plain and simple!

If you enjoyed this break down I'm sending out a full chapter on how to defeat pass protections with 3, 4 and 5 man rushes in my book The Pass Rush Bible. You can get this chapter for free by clicking here.

-Craig over and out


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