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Author Topic: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question  (Read 530 times)

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Offline Milehighmagoo

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Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« on: December 23, 2018, 08:06:24 PM »
I've followed a few offenses over the years. Background as OL coach. Last year full time HC/OC. We had a great year. 7-3.
Watching  Army vs Houston game, you can see the somewhat common staggered offensive line with Army. Staggered as in center is out front, the rest of the line helmets lined up to centers hip. Some coaches describe this line relationship as light (off the line and helmets aligned to centers hip/butt) and heavy (everyone in a straight line with the center).

My question is, why? What advantages and disadvantages between the 2? Is there a typical formation or passing/rushing situation these alignments are more common than others? Why do you do one or the other?

Thanks guys.

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 10:41:34 PM »
The further up on the LOS the OL is the faster they engage the Defense.  OK if you are Big on Big, Hit the Hole, Down hill Offense.  By Contrast, recessing the OL off the LOS as much as possible allows easier movement, Pass Blocking, Pulling, Trapping, Combinations.  So, your expectations from the OL will effect how far up or back they should align. 


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Offline Milehighmagoo

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 11:47:38 PM »
I would also assume if your line is slow you want to be light to give your boys more time.

Offline blockandtackle

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2018, 02:24:55 AM »
I would also assume if your line is slow you want to be light to give your boys more time.

There's a little more to it than that.

Backing them off the line makes it easier for the OL to come across flat and cut off defenders on scoops because they get about a yard before the DL makes it into the backfield.  It also gives them room to work veer and loop releases to the second level before the DL can get hands on them.  I like the angle the depth gives on down blocks and pulls, too.  IME, players of all types are much less likely to just whiff on a block when they are backed up as far as they can go.

I grew up playing for a coach who taught us to crowd the ball with our toes lined up on the C's heel.  We were a SBV offense.  Now that I've coached the OL backed way off the ball, I'm not sure why on earth you wouldn't want to back them up.  To me, there just isn't any advantage to crowding the ball with your OL and you're a lot more likely to whiff on the block if the defender tries to shoot a gap.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2018, 12:20:46 AM by blockandtackle »

Offline ZACH

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2018, 12:50:41 AM »
A recessed line allows the oline to increase space between them and def line, makes better angles to attack 1st level, helps with pulling and pass blocking.

Those who crowd the line are looking more for immediate blocks  which helps some schemes
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Offline Bob Goodman

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2018, 11:34:21 AM »
And remember, no rule says your OL have to all be at the same depth, any more than that they have to take the same splits.  It's just that the maximum allowed depth for their head is determined by the snapper's hips, not the hips of the nearest teammate on the line.  Yet the backs need daylight only between them and the rearmost point of the nearest OL.  So if a wing official flags you because he can't see your blocking back because of the positioning of another OL, that's the official's mistake.

(Actually if it were up to me, I'd change that rule to make it easier on the wing officials by requiring the backs to be behind the whole line.)

Offline Seabass

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 04:37:26 PM »
There's a little more to it than that.

Backing them off the line makes it easier for the OL to come across flat and cut off defenders on scoops because they get about a yard before the DL makes it into the backfield.  It also gives them room to work veer and loop releases to the second level before the DL can get hands on them.  I like the angle the depth gives on down blocks and pulls, too.  IME, players of all types are much less likely to just whiff on a block when they are backed up as far as they can go.

I grew up playing for a coach who taught us to crowd the ball with our toes lined up on the C's heel.  We were a SBV offense.  Now that I've coached the OL backed way off the ball, I'm not sure why on earth you wouldn't want to back them up.  To me, there just isn't any advantage to crowding the ball with your OL and you're a lot more likely to whiff on the block if the defender tries to shoot a gap.

In addition to the above...In pass PRO more depth allows time for defensive line games to play out in front of you and before contact.

The closer you are to an object that you have to react to the more likely you are to be beat by that object. The best way to create separation from another player is to get as close as possible first because they have less time to react.


Offline spidermac

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 04:12:18 PM »
I like the recessed as far a legal alignment...better angles, more time for them to see what the defense is trying to do...we got warned all season long...your tackle is in the backfield coach...I would shout out to the tackle telling him to move up a little...he would shuffle his feet, not moving up at all, and that would seem to satisfy the official...something we worked out in practice...gives them room to pass pro, pull, good angles on down blocks...for me...everything is better with my oline deep...
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Offline wannaxaxa

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Re: Heavy and Light Offensive Line Alignment question
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 02:43:15 AM »
The further up on the LOS the OL is the faster they engage the Defense.  OK if you are Big on Big, Hit the Hole, Down hill Offense.  By Contrast, recessing the OL off the LOS as much as possible allows easier movement, Pass Blocking, Pulling, Trapping, Combinations.  So, your expectations from the OL will effect how far up or back they should align. 

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