Many coaches don’t spend enough time working on the Cut Off Block. Generally used on running plays, the Cut-off block allows a defensive player to come free, or untouched, across the line of scrimmage. After that happens, an offensive lineman deliberately gets in the way of this on-rushing defender. This block is sometimes called an angle block because the offensive lineman hits the defensive player from the side, or from an angle.

Breaking Down The Offensive Line Cut Off Block

The Cut Off Block is used to block a defensive player located on the blocker’s inside shoulder, in the inside gap, or in front of the offensive lineman to the inside. The blocker takes a short directional step to the inside and in front of where the defensive player is lined up.

The key points to the Cut Off Block are:

  • Anticipate the defensive player’s forward movement.
  • Explode off the outside foot and make contact with the outside shoulder pad into the side of the defensive player.
  • Keep the shoulders in front of the defensive player, cutting off penetration.
  • Drive the defensive player down the line.

If the blocker fails to get the frame of their shoulder in front of the defensive player’s body, adjust the angle of the first step so that it is in front of the defensive player’s alignment. This adjustment puts blockers in the proper position to stop the defensive player’s movement across the line of scrimmage.

The “Cut Off” Block Drill

  1. A defensive player will hold a tall dummy, and align himself inside the offensive player, with a running back about 2 yards behind you and offset as couple of steps (diagonally).
  2. As the defensive player shuffles to the side to line up with the running back, the offensive player must fight to keep his head and shoulders in front of the defensive player so he can’t make the play and sweep to the running back.
  3. You don’t have to knock the defensive player back, but you do have to maintain inside position once you get it.
  4. The aiming point is the far knee or thigh pad.

A successful offensive lineman will understand where the ball is going and come off the ball, getting his head inside for some position. You’re not in a position to get a lot of movement back off the ball, so you want to fight to maintain your inside position, and that should be enough for the running back to gain some yards.


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