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Tight End 101: Critical Keys For Developing Multi-Faceted, Effective Tight Ends

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© December, 2006


by Tom Bass
30-Year NFL & College Coach, President of Football Federation U.S.A., Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

PLAYING TIGHT END involves a combination of skills to play offensive lineman, wide receiver, and running back. No other position on the team requires such a mix of abilities.

On one play a TE may make the key block to spring the running back, and on the next play he may jump high in the air to make a catch.
This article focuses on the skills needed to be a top TE, including stance, blocking, and pass routes.

Blocking
The real challenge to playing TE is learning to be an effective blocker. A TE must understand that during a running play, he becomes an additional offensive lineman. On every wide running play to his side, the TE’s block is at the point of attack.

To be a good blocker, the TE must have good technique, understand how defenders will play against him, and possess the desire to successfully complete the block.

TEs can learn all blocks by using a blocking bag or sled, but they must remember that a real defender will always be in motion, not stationary.

There are a techniques and drills for each of the blocks a TE may use during the game on running plays are drive blocks, hook blocks, angle blocks, running drives, double-team and combination-blocks.

 Drive Block. The TE uses a drive block against a defensive lineman or a linebacker who is playing directly in front of him. The goal of the drive block is to move the defender back off the line of scrimmage.

A good drive block starts with getting out of the stance instantly on the snap. It’s essential to focus on the defender because he may stunt to one side or the other. When he makes contact, the TE drives forward with both arms and hands. To get maximum leverage an ...The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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