By Geoffrey Weed
Learn how to play nose guard by following these tips.
The noseguard position in football is one of the most grueling spots on the defense. Not only are noseguards positioned directly in the middle of the defensive line, but they are often subject to double-team blocking, chop blocks, and other hard-to-handle abuse. Learning how to play the noseguard position you’ll need a particular kind of grittiness and toughness.
Doing the Dirty Work
1. Line up in a 3-point stance directly across from the opposing team’s center, also known as a zero technique. The center is the player who snaps the football to the quarterback.
2. Watch the football and wait for it to be snapped. As soon as the ball moves, you’re free to cross the line of scrimmage.
3. Cross the line of scrimmage and try to get past the center and into the other team’s backfield. You can do this by bull rushing the center, using a swim or spin move or slapping their arms away. Use leverage to get underneath the center and push upward to get him off balance. The offensive line is usually crowded with big bodies so use proper technique along with power to get the advantage.
4. Locate the football. As you cross the line of scrimmage you should be looking to see where the football is and actively determining the quickest way to get to the ball.
5. Attack the football. If the quarterback still has the football, try to sack him. If the ball has been handed off, attempt to tackle the ball carrier.
6. Take an angle of pursuit. If the football has already passed you by, determine a proper angle of pursuit and pursue the ball carrier, never giving up your pursuit until the whistle blows.
Tips & Warnings when learning how to play noseguard
Learn all of your teams “stunts.” These are essentially tricks that defensive linemen, like the noseguard, use to confuse the offensive linemen and make it easier for the defensive players to get penetration of the line of scrimmage.
Make sure that you never over-pursue the football, leaving your area of the defensive line unprotected.
Be on the lookout for double team blocking, which happens to noseguards frequently. If you’re double teamed, get as low to the ground as you can and just try to plug your hole up and keep the football from being carried through your area of space.
Always keep your head up and wear proper equipment to help avoid serious spinal injury when learning how to play noseguard.
Be weary of trick plays and screens.
If you can follow these tips you’ll be on your way to becoming a dominating force.