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A chip screen is a quick hit screen, usually executed by a running back or tight end before diving into a route. this technique is usually used to target edge runners to stop their jump from center and/or redirect their path away from the quarterback. Because the screen is often unexpected by the defender, a quality chip can throw a pass rusher off balance, leaving the responsible offensive lineman in a good position to finish the screen.
The downside of using a skill position player to block checks is that it slows down his route timing and typically eliminates him as an early receiving option for the quarterback.
the denver broncos rarely provided help for their offensive tackles against the oakland raiders defensive end/outside linebacker khalil mack – a Questionable strategy that led to a five-sack game for the edge chaser. When they provided help in the form of a tight end in line on a chip block, quarterback Brock Osweiler saw a little more time in the pocket.
on 2 and 9 from the three-yard line late in the third quarter, the denver quarterback averts total disaster in his own end zone thanks to a chip block on mack at the line of scrimmage:
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tight end virgil green (#85) barely grazes mack on the chip and releases, but does enough to slow down and widen the pass-rusher’s path into the backfield. Although Mack is still able to hit right tackle Michael Schofield (#79) hard and constrict the pocket, Osweiler buys enough time to at least get the ball off and survive the down.
getting chipy with watt
while dedicating two blockers to houston texans defensive end j.j. watt is a common strategy, not a compromise that can be used in all situations. downs, distances and different defensive fronts dictate different tactics and schemes. One constant for the indianapolis colts, however, was using tight ends and running backs to help almost every opportunity, providing at least partial help to the offensive line:
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indianapolis fields a compressed formation using tight end dwayne allen in a tight slotted lineup just outside of watt. In the instant, instead of launching directly into his path, Allen steps into Watt’s path and knocks the defender to the ground before executing a stitch pattern down the field. Watt quickly gets to his feet only to face two offensive linemen.
when the opportunity arises due to a running back/tight end’s formation and/or availability, interrupting watt’s passing pressure lane with a chip block can slow him down and give the offensive lineman assigned to meet him a boost . the new england patriots use that approach in the clip below in an effort to limit watt’s “clean pitch” as a pass-rusher:
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Operating from a shotgun split formation, running back brandon bolden (#38) – from his offset position on the watt side – angles into the defender’s path from the center, redirecting him at right tackle with quick body control. knocked down his original pass rush milestone, Watt then immediately takes a much more powerful second punch from right guard Tre’ Jackson that plants him on the ground. On the opposite side, running back james white uses a chip screen on defensive end/outside linebacker jadeveon clowny, forcing the defender inside toward left tackle and the guard that combine to easily move the running back away from the quarterback’s passer.
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brian filipiak wrote this entry. follow brian on twitter @brian_filipiak.
all videos and images courtesy of nfl game pass.