For this How to post I want to focus on the side of the defense. With this post I am going to explain how to break up a pass.
Position: Defensive Back
Your job as a Defensive back is to only stop the pass. That is what your mission is on the field. Once the ball is snapped you are all about sticking to your man and eliminating him from gaining any yardage. You priorities on the field are 3 different things. They are as follows;
1. Intercept the ball
2. Knock the ball down
3. Make the tackle once the ball is caught
With these steps checked off you become an effective defensive back. As an effective player you always want to be on the look out for balls that can be intercepted. Interceptions alter the feel of the entire game. It causes a shift in momentum and a game that may not have been going in your favor might suddenly be working on your side. Knocking the ball down is something that is not only a confidence booster but it will also eliminated any yardage for the other team. Finally the most important thing on your priority check list is to make the tackle. Football is based on scoring points and making tackles, THAT’S IT! So as a defensive back that is your job. Make the tackle and eliminate the run, or pass play that is happening.
Ok now let’s talk about breaking up the pass. The most important thing is to make sure you stick with the receiver. You never want to lose the receiver because you were searching for the ball in the air and lost the player you were covering. It is essential that your eyes stay between the receiver and the quarterback because they have practiced this play before and understand where each needs to be to make this play successful.
As the ball approaches you and the receiver you need to make sure that you are not in contact with the player before the ball because you will get flagged for pass interference. Once you receive that call you are looking at 10yards against your team, and in all reality causing the other team an automatic first down.
Next is when your hand placement is critical. The hand closest to the receiver needs to be secure incase you miss the ball. If your hand is secure you can ensure a tackle if the ball is caught. With the front hand you need to position it almost block the ball. Do not swing at the ball because you will most likely miss the ball.
These are the only steps needed for breaking up a pass. First getting your hands ready to block the ball, and then making the tackle on the receiver once the ball is caught. If you are able to cause disruption to the receiver you will find it easier to get them to fumble the ball. Creating any type of catch that is different from the usual will work in your favor.
Executing this play is easy. It just takes practice to perfect the motions that will help you avoid any penalties against you.