An off-tackle run in football is a rushing play that sends the running back towards a hole created on the tackles outside shoulder. In this play, the running back is looking to hit the hole in between the tackle and the furthest outside blocker.
There are many different ways in which a team can perform an off-tackle run but the majority involve a tight end on the side of the formation you are running towards.
In most cases, the tackle is going to block the defensive lineman on the inside of him. While the tight end is going to block the defender on the outside of him towards the sideline.
This should create a hole in the defensive line between the tackle and the tight end.
Common Blocking Strategies In Off Tackle
As we stated earlier off tackle runs can be blocked in many different ways. The key to these runs plays is that they are being run off the tackles inside block.
Though to accompany that block someone needs to block the outside defender on the defensive line. There are several different ways football coaches game plan to do this.
One of the common ways in which teams block on off tackle run is with the help of a crack block. A crack block occurs when the wide receiver comes from the outside back towards the formation.
Oftentimes these blocks are not seen coming so it is important the block is done legally as a fifteen-yard illegal blindside block penalty could occur if done wrong.
On these plays, the receiver is often able to get a big block on a defensive player. While a running back or full back will come from the backfield and pickup the cornerback lined up against the wide receiver.
Tight End Full Back Backfield
On some occasions, off-tackle runs are going to be used in order to pick up a short amount of yardage. Think of a goal-line situation or a third and short.
In this case, teams will often bring out a heavy package in order to get the yardage. This will involve a fullback and a tight end in the backfield in some cases.
Once the ball is snapped the full back and tight end will both go towards the tackles position. Typically one player will block the outside defender to open up a hole while the other will travel through the hole first and act as a lead blocker.
This playstyle works well when there is a larger number of defenders near the line of scrimmage.
Strongside With The Tight End
One of the most common ways to run off tackle is to simply hit the hole in between the tackle and the tight end.
In these plays, the running back will almost always run towards the strong side as that is where the tight end lines up.
On these plays the tight end will be lined on the end of the formation, this will look as if he is an extra lineman.
The blocking strategy of this play is quite simple. The tackle will block the defensive lineman on his inside and the tight end will block his man to the outside.
The hole on this play should be right in between the tackles outside shoulder and the tight ends inside shoulder.