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Offensive Linemen Splits


Clyde
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Looking for some insight into the world of "splits" when it comes to the offensive line.

 

I noticed Conner employs very wide splits for their OL as compared to most teams.

 

Give me the logic behind determining how wide splits might be and when you go wide vs when you stay tight. When is the right time ? When is the wrong time?

 

Note: Before any Conner fans get mad I ain't hatin'. I'm simply looking for education as I haven't spent many brain cells thinking about OL throughout my years on this planet.

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Here are some general rules on when to employ which splits:

 

Normally you like to employ wide splits when attacking straight ahead with quick hitting plays. Wide splits also help when your linemen are much smaller than the opposition. If the defense jumps into the gaps, the offense has better blocking angles to negate the size differential.

 

Narrow splits work best when you are planning to run sweep plays (TB does not have to run as far East/West to reach the corner and turn it up field). It also minimizes penetration from the inside when you employ pocket passing.

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Splits are linked to scheme and technique. In the past large splits were used in option style football (large meaning 3 foot) t help create runninng lanes and thin the defensive line. It can create good natural downhill running lanes but your OL doesn't get much help from each other. Texas Tech made famous the large splits in the passing game. In their case they used splits around 6 ft or more. they also made it clear if you didn't have good OL your QB was going to get killed. Once again it was about spread the DL thin. It created passing lanes and made it easier to declare who the OL had to block and allowed them to get out on screens.

 

Tight splits are used more by power run type teams and trying to get the edge. Single Wing and Double Wing offenses use foot to foot splits to they can get more double teams. It is a fight in a phone booth way of thinking. It helps negate speed to a degree and allows OL to help each other out more. Defenders are not use to so they tend to get into each other's way and it makes blitzing and stunting almost point less. It does shorten the corner now for the defense also which makes edge rushers a littl emore dangerous. Offensive players cna get in each other's way also.

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There are lots of different philosophies when it comes to line splits. Splits normally range from foot-to-foot to 4 feet in size.

 

- Normally the closer together the splits the more the philosophy is of a (I have that) gap type protection, working schemes, etc.

 

- The wider splits the more natural of a space you are creating for plays to develop at points while creating schematic blocking angles. Defensive alignment for the front 7 is typically dictated by what the front 5 are doing. Wider splits were revolutionized by the old Bud Wilkinson OU teams that ran the Split-T. It allowed for these natural gaps for the option play.

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