DOWNFIELD BLOCKING

What is DOWNFIELD BLOCKING?

DOWNFIELD BLOCKING meaning blocking more than about four yards beyond the line of scrimmage; can be done by any position, but is most often associated with receivers; long runs are typically the result of effective downfield blocking; since many players are selfish, the amount of downfield blocking a team does reflects its head coach’s ability to spot the lack of it and his ability to motivate and discipline his players to do it consistently; one observer of Knute Rockne’s legendary Notre Dame teams said that excellent downfield blocking was what distinguished them; Princeton alum and later coach Charlie Caldwell said he and his teammates felt like they had had Saturday off after playing Notre Dame when their backfield was the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse because Notre Dame players were excellent at getting in your way such that you could not make the tackle, but that there was little or no contact in such “blocks;” generally, only downfield blocks are susceptible to such precise timing, the no-longer-used phrase “running interference” refers to such non-contact, but highly effective, tackle prevention positioning and timing

 

reference: John T. Reed: DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN FOOTBALL TERMS