Defensive Line Tips: Rushing the Passer

Learn diverse and effective ways to hurry the quarterback and disrupt the play.

Sacking the quarterback is one of the best parts of the game. Unless, of course, you’re the quarterback. For defensive linemen, there are three key components in rushing the passer.

  1. First is getting in an elongated stance. You will put one foot 8″ to 12″ back from the front foot. Get your hand down further in front of your body than in your normal stance. This allows the you to break out of your stance with more explosiveness.
  1. The second key is attacking half of the blocker you are up against. Attack the outside half or inside half of the blocker — depending on the route you are taking — to get to the quarterback. Don’t go for the middle of the blocker. This gives them more of you to connect with and create leverage.
  1. Last, use your hands to swim, rip or bullrush during the pass.

SWIM MOVE

The swim move starts with the defensive lineman in an elongated stance. Explode into the blocker from your stance with your arms extended. Swat the blocker’s arms with your outside hand and then swim over the offensive lineman with your inside hand. This creates separation and a clear path to the quarterback.

RIP MOVE

The rip move also starts with the defensive lineman in their elongated stance. Explode into the blocker from your stance with your arms extended the same way as the swim move. Then swat the blocker’s arms with your outside hand and rip upward across the offensive lineman’s body with your inside hand.  Dip your shoulder to help beat the blocker.

BULL RUSH MOVE

The bull rush move starts much the same, again exploding off the snap from an elongated stance and extending both hands into the blocker. You want to overpower and drive the blocker backward, getting them off balance. Once the blocker has been pushed backward, use a rip or swim move to transition off the block and attack the quarterback.

Pass rushers are some of the most feared players in the game. Use these techniques to get the quarterback’s attention!