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Pulling: Leading the Way on Outside Runs

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    Sports Tips

# Pulling: Leading the Way on Outside Runs

When it comes to adding a dynamic edge to your run game, few techniques are as effective as pulling your right guard. This maneuver can open up the field, create better angles for your runners, and throw off the timing of defensive players. Here, we break down everything you need to know about pulling: from footwork and timing to targeting defensive players in open space.

## The Role of the Right Guard

Before diving into the technique, it’s crucial to understand the importance of the right guard in an offensive line. A right guard needs to be agile, strong, and quick-witted. Their job entails not only protecting the quarterback but also ensuring that running lanes are established. When it comes to pulling, the right guard becomes a pivotal player in convincing defensive linemen and linebackers to bite on the movement, thereby opening up running lanes for the ball carrier.

### Table of Key Responsibilities

| Responsibility       | Description                                            |
| -------------------- | ------------------------------------------------------ |
| **Protection**       | Shield the QB from defensive pressure.                 |
| **Run Blocking**     | Open up lanes for the running back.                    |
| **Communication**    | Call out defensive alignments and adjustments.         |
| **Pulling**          | Move laterally and lead the runner through the hole.   |

## Footwork Fundamentals

Footwork is the cornerstone of effective pulling. Without proper footwork, you risk losing balance, missing blocks, and allowing defenders to disrupt the play.

### Footwork Tips:

1. **First Step:** Your first step should be toward your play-side foot, opening your hips to the direction of the run. Think of it like stepping over an imaginary line to start your lateral movement.
2. **Crossover Step:** Quickly follow with a crossover step. This helps in generating momentum and putting you in a strong lateral position.
3. **Downfield Acceleration:** Once you clear the center, accelerate downfield while keeping your eyes up to identify the defender you're targeting.

### Visual Guide to Footwork

First Step:          Crossover Step:        Downfield Acceleration:
O         x                      O          x                  O    x
|         |                      |          |                  |    |
Motion:                        |

Timing is Everything

Timing your pull is critical. Pull too early, and you expose the intention of the play; pull too late, and you risk not reaching your target position in time.

Timing Tips:

  • Snap Reaction: your motion should begin the instant the ball is snapped.
  • Patience in Motion: Avoid the temptation to rush. The key is to stay controlled and composed while accelerating.
  • Alignment Check: Make sure you’re lined up properly with the center and assured in your aiming point down field.

Targeting Defensive Players

When you're in space, it’s not just about who to block, but how to block them effectively:

Targeting Tips:

  • Awareness: Keep your head on a swivel, especially in open space, to identify your target.
  • First Contact: Aim for the defender's inside shoulder. This disrupts their path and helps pave a lane for the runner.
  • Finish Through: Drive your feet on contact to sustain the block, giving extra time for the running back to hit the hole.

Blocking Scenarios Table

Linebacker BlitzMeet him in the hole, engage his inside shoulder.
Defensive BackUse quick, agile blocks—focus more on steering them.
DownfieldAlways keep your body between the defender and the runner—shield and drive.


Mastering the pull as a right guard can significantly enhance your Teams outside run game. Combining agility, strategy, and aggressive execution, this technique has the potential to break open big plays and keep defenses on their heels. Focus on your footwork, perfect your timing, and always stay aware of your surroundings – and you'll be leading the way to victory in no time.

Stay tuned for more tips and tricks, and may your playbook always be fresh and your play execution flawless!

Coaching Wisdom: "The game is won in the trenches. Master the basics, and your opponents will always find you a step ahead, pulling to glory." – Coach Jim Marshall