Gridiron Glossary: Slide Protection

Slide Protection is a pass protection scheme where the offensive lineman each block a gap to the same side.

Slide Protection 1

Screen Grab Credit: ESPN

Slide protection is a little like zone blocking for a pass.  Each lineman blocks the same direction, left/right or strong/weak, whatever the call.  They step that way and block whomever is rushing that way.  It simplifies the blocking for the line.  Slide protection can be the entire line or just half of it.  In both schemes it is very important that the lineman maintain good spacing and do not get too far apart.

Slide 2

Screen Grab Credit: ESPN

From an individual technique perspective, at the same time the lineman is stepping toward the gap he is to block, he will “punch” with his backside hand at any defender over him or shading his backside shoulder.  This will help slow down the rush a little to allow the backside defensive lineman to get there.  On the second diagram above, you can see the center using this technique.

Gridiron Glossary is a resource for football terms that are often used by commentators, coaches and players but rarely defined.  If there is a term you have questions about or a definition you don’t agree with, let me know at

About Billy Koehler

Billy Koehler is the founder of and a contributing writer at He has been covering college football since 2006. You can follow him on twitter @billykoehler.
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