Saturday, October 27, 2012


Just browsing photos from the Houston game.  Offense on the field.  I'm looking for fun photos, photos you might enjoy.  After selecting a few to post, I wonder if there is a pattern.  And a pattern emerged. 

To spoil the suspense, I'll tell you up front that
Cookie got the pass away.  She did have a collision
with this tackler but didn't get knocked down.  This
is an example of what happens when the blockers
don't sustain the block.
Quarterbacks and running backs are smaller than defensive guards and tackles.  So football custom inserts offensive guards and tackles between the offensive backs and defensive line.  The job of the offensive line is to keep the defensive line from crushing the quarterback and running backs. 

Sometimes it works.


Tara Andrickson playing offense and doing a good job
of containing the Houston defender.
A couple previous posts featured Tara Andrickson as the Outlaws defensive player of the year.  I studied her play and suggested she might do well on offense.  When she saw the post she told me that in fact she did play a little offense.  Effectively, I might add.  She is featured in two of my blocking photos. 

The running back normally starts with a plan.  In the huddle the tell her where to run.  Hopefully the blockers will be successful clearing a path for her.  Things rarely go perfectly so the runner needs to identify where the path is.  And then blast through it fast!
In the foreground left, number 33, Tara Andrickson, is holding off
a larger defensive linewoman.  Deidra Hollad has the ball and
is checking the path Tara has opened for her.  Her job is to
blast through there in a second or two, quick enough to capitalize
 on Tara's block.  And she hopes Houston number 74 doesn't
notice what's happening. 

Number 14 is Deidra Holland, taking the hand off from
quarterback Cookie Rivas and hoping number 50 Malia
Capers-Cristobal will be able to sustain her block for
just a couple more seconds.
Normally you have large offensive linewomen blocking large defensive linewomen.  But everyone has to block.  If you're a back who isn't carrying the ball, you're expected to participate in the blocking.  Ideally, the line takes care of the bigger defenders and the backs either pick off a blitzing defensive back or linebacker, or run ahead of the running back clearing away any stray tacklers. 
This looks like a passing play.  Whether a pass or a run, backs are expected to block, to protect
the quarterback or ball carrier.  Cookie, the quarterback, looks pretty safe, doesn't she?
I don't know the outcome of this play.  I just liked the photo.

  Sometimes, though, you have a small back going against a large defensive                   linewoman.  In most cases that can be a problem.  However, if the smaller black is Charmeine Jackson I'm ready to bet the defender won't be making a tackle.  Even giving away a hundred pounds, Jackson is super strong and likely to win any one-on-one contest. 

Number 22 is Charmeine Jackson.  She works out a lot and
is extremely strong, extremely tough.  Even against a
large defender, my money is on Jackson.
 In a previous post I noticed how fast things happen in football.  The quarterback has about three seconds to do something with the ball.  Likewise the runners have about three seconds to get the ball and blast through the path opened by her blockers.  And Griff, the punter, has about three seconds to get her kick in the air.  That means the blockers need to contain the defense for three seconds. 
Griff punting.  Blockers successful in keeping the defender
at bay.  Barely.  But barely is okay.
Sounds easy, doesn't it.  Only three seconds.  But three seconds is a long time.  If you're trying to control a two hundred pound athlete who is quick and strong, three seconds is forever.  And what happens if the blocker maintains the block for two seconds?

This is Griff the punter again.  This time the blocking didn't hold long enough.  I think this
is a case where the snap from center wasn't true and Griff used up her three seconds
retrieving the ball.  If the blocking doesn't work, things can go hard on the punter.

If the blocking doesn't work, things can go hard on the runner.  Deidra Hollad getting caught
in the middle of two Houston defenders.  I selected this photo because it is a great
action shot.  These ladies play some serious football.

What happens when blockers can't sustain their blocks?  Runners and punters find themselves being handled roughly by unfriendlies. 

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