What Is A Rip Move In Football

A rip move in football is a pass-rushing technique that is used to get past the offensive lineman protecting the quarterback. The rip move relies on defensive players targeting one arm of the defender by swinging their arm up underneath it.

A rip move will allow you to punch up violently under the armpit of the offensive lineman making it nearly impossible for him to get between you and the quarterback.

How To Do A Rip Move

The first step of doing a rip maneuver is starting low. When you take your first step you are going to want to do it with speed and a low center of gravity. Moving quickly against the offensive lineman will allow you a better opportunity to use the rip. While the low center of gravity will ensure you have the leverage to rip the lineman.

After your first step, you want to take a quick second step as you attempt to go around the lineman. At this point, you will duck your inside shoulder and prepare for the rip. Ducking the inside shoulder will make it difficult on the offensive lineman to get a hold of your shoulders or chest plate.

Once you have taken the second step and are parallel to the offensive lineman you want to violently punch upwards through his armpit.

If executed successfully you should found that the tackle’s hands are now out of position. He should be closer to being beside you than in front of you. Once his hand is out of position you should be able to beat him around the outside as he should no longer be in your path to the quarterback.

Pros And Cons


Wins The Matchup Quickly

One great aspect of a rip move is that it can win your matchup against the offensive lineman quite quickly. You know those plays where the defensive end blows right by the tackle and the quarterback is sacked before the play even started. Those are the kind of sacks that are possible when an effective rip move is used.

Can Be Used By Interior Lineman As Well

Though rip moves are most commonly used by edge rushers on tackles. They can actually be used on the interior as well. Defensive tackles can use these moves against interior o-lineman. Though it may be more difficult for them to keep their center of gravity low.

Works For Players Of Many Skill Types

Another benefit of the rip move is that is does not rely on a hyper-specific skill set. A spin move is typically used by edge rushers that have perfected it. And speed rushes are usually only effective when the defensive lineman has great acceleration.

That is not the case with a rip move. As it is one of the most common pass rush moves around the league. This is because this move can be used effectively by many different styles of players.


Lack Of Holding Calls

Arguably the biggest issue with the rip move in football is the lack of holding calls. If you watch players like TJ Watt, or Cameron Wake you often see what looks like a blatant hold against them. The issue is when using a rip manoeuvre you forfeit some of your rights to get a holding call.

A rip move is going to put your body under the outside shoulder of the tackle. This looks exactly like a hold and if called wouldn’t be very fair to the offensive tackle.

For this reason, the only way to get a holding call when using the rip manoeuvre occurs when “the defender has his feet taken away from him”. This results in less holding calls against the offensive line when the rip technique is used.

What Positions Use The Rip Move

Now that you understand what the rip move is in football it’s time to break down which positions use this technique in a football game.

Defensive Ends

Defensive ends are the players that are most likely to use the rip move in a football game. These players line up on the edge of the defensive line and rush the quarterback on passing plays.

These players tend to be matched up against the offensive tackles which means they have lots of room on the outside of the formation to attempt pass rushing moves.

Often times this position will target the outside shoulder of an offensive tackle in order to ge around him.

Outside Linebackers

Depending on the formation played by the defense the outside linebackers are going to be playing a very similar role to the defensive ends. In a 3-4 defense the outside linebackers are going to be rushing the passer from the outside. Just like we highlighted with the defensive ends.

In a 4-3 defense these players are not going to rush the passer as often. But they will still do it from time to time.

It is when these players play in a 3-4 defense that they will spend more time using a rip move. Similar to the ends this position will often go head to head with the tackle on the outside.

Since the rip move is one of the most effective techniques in this situation it is often used by outside linebackers.

Defensive Tackles

Tackles on the defensive side of the ball are another position that may utilize the rip manoeuvre in football. Since these players are in the middle of the defensive line they will be rushing the passer each time they drop back for a pass.

Though since these players usually pass rush in a group of players the rip move is less effective. Players at this position are more likely to use a bull rush when rushing the passer.

With multiple defensive tackles and two guards and a center it can be a little too crowded to pull of skill moves like a rip.

Instead, these stronger players tend to stick to power moves like a bull rush. This involves pushing the opponent back in a straight line as opposed to trying to get around him with skill.

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