X’s & O’s makes a rare preseason appearance to highlight a lost art in the NFL. We see on a weekly basis in the NFL textbook blocking technique. Proper stance, splits, hands to the chest, but what if you get spun around as an offensive lineman? Do you give up on your block? Most offensive linemen likely would, but not Tampa Bay Buccaneers left tackle Donald Penn. Penn demonstrated a lost art during the Patriots-Buccaneers preseason game Thursday night: butt-blocking. His skillful use of his posterior gave QB Josh Freeman a few extra seconds to avoid pressure and get the pass away.
Let’s analyze his technique. Pay attention young, up-and-coming offensive linemen.
Penn got spun around by Patriots DE Andre Carter, which allowed him to then employ this rare technique. There are a few keys to butt-blocking that young offensive linemen must keep in mind. You can see these properly demonstrated in the images below. You must keep yourself square to the pass rusher and bend at the knees to maintain strength and explosiveness. Next, you must bend at the hips so that your posterior is directly aimed at your opponent. Your hands must not touch the ground, but maintain contact with the defender as if you are facing him. Finally, and most importantly, you must shuffle your feet and maintain contact with the defender to buy your quarterback those precious few seconds to deliver the ball to his receiver.
Butt-blocking is a lost art, but it can give a skilled offensive lineman the edge. Perhaps, after Penn’s skillful demonstration last Thursday, we will see a resurgence in this lost art.