Offensive Line… 2 or 3 Point Stance?

2-point or 3-point?

2 and 3pt stance

In the spring of 2004, after hosting the 3rd annual Alercio OLine Clinic with over 700 players and coaches in attendance, I was contacted by K.C. Keeler, who at the time was the head football coach at the University of Delaware.  Coach Keeler and his offensive line coach, Kyle Flood, invited me down to Delaware to discuss what had made my clinics so popular.

The Blue Hens had just won the 2003 I-AA National Championship and both Coach Keeler and Coach Flood were well known in the northeast as offensive innovators.  I knew a trip to Newark would be a great opportunity for me to learn.  Having watched their national championship game on ESPN in December, I was struck by something almost unheard of 15 years ago.  They played the entire game with their offensive linemen in 2-point stances.

After sharing the details of my clinic with them, they made themselves and their video available to me.  I watched over and over as they successfully ran Power in short yardage and goal line situations with their linemen in 2-point stances.  I was sold.

The 2-point stance has allowed our players to look to the sideline for plays in our no-huddle system.  It makes it easier for them to recognize fronts and communicate blocking schemes.  Pass sets, jump sets, pulls, combos and double teams are all easier to execute from a 2-point stance.

If you are an option team who is 90% downhill run blocking in the sagittal plane, I would suggest you keep your linemen in 3-point stances.  If not, I would strongly suggest you consider getting your big guys’ hands off the ground!

Coach Rich Alercio is available to assist with one on one, small group, or large audience presentations. For more than 20 years, Coach Alercio has led, taught, coached and mentored student athletes and coaches across the high school, college, and professional levels of football.

Rich’s National level presentations for clinics like Nike and Glazier, have earned him acclaim and praise for his offensive innovations as a strategist and play caller, and his one on one “techniques in the trenches” offensive line coaching has improved the tactics, techniques and procedures of more than 10,000 Offensive Linemen over nearly 20 years.

Contact Coach Rich Alercio at

Rich Alercio’s OLine Clinic Recap

More than 200 offensive lineman representing over 40 high schools in 2 states along with dozens of their coaches made the annual pilgrimage to the 16th Alercio OLine Clinic on Sunday, March 26.

We spent 4 hours at the Hun School of Princeton learning and drilling 2 & 3-pt stances, 5 Run Steps, 2 Pass Steps, Run & Pass Punches, Targets and Strike Points, Drive Blocks, Down Blocks, Jump Sets, 4 Pulling Techniques, Combination Blocks, Double Teams, Pass Sets, 3 Run Blocking Schemes (Man, Zone & Gap) and Slide Protection.

Players and coaches both enjoyed the day, the team building, camaraderie and a chance to learn new techniques and improve skills.

If you’d like more info on the clinic, techniques, or how you could have Coach Rich Alercio teach his “Techniques for the Trenches” clinic at your school, please email Coach Alercio

Check out some of the participants below:


1-Manalapan, Cedar Grove, Becton
2- Toms River North, Steinert, Immaculata
3-Manchester, KIPP NYC, Hudson Catholic, Princeton
4-Holy Cross, Delran, Central Regional, Ewing
5-Absegami, Bridgewater, Westfiled, South Hunterdon
9-Montclair, Hamilton West, Manasquan, Old Bridge, Ocean City, Pope John Paul II
8-Paulsboro, Montgomery, Belleville, Columbia, Nottingham
7-Shabazz, Rahway, Manville, Somerville
6-Parsippany, Washington Twp, Bloomfield

Building an Offensive Line: Offseason Mental Conditioning

Coach Rich Alercio believes in coaching the offensive line as the head coach.


Coaching the OLine is something Coach Alercio has done as an assistant, as a coordinator, and head coach. He attributes offensive success to the five interior players. Coach Alercio also believes that the group must work nearly year-round to develop the communication and chemistry that they need for game day excellence.

To do this, Alercio has developed an offseason, offensive line mental conditioning program. For Alercio, this breaks down into three areas: footwork, fit, and communication.

Alercio began utilizing this system because he found that there was little continuity when the player has five months off before they perform their skills again.

“There’s no carryover,” Alercio said.  “The player will think, ‘I remember we did something like this,’ but it doesn’t have the effect of doing it with regularity.”

The setup of these sessions is relatively simple, and the linemen can do it in a relatively small space using chairs as the defense.

Alercio gives the center the responsibility of setting these sessions up and moving the rest of the unit through.

The center will be responsible for changing the fronts and always makes the first call. The other linemen work on their communication and on cadence. They will step to their assignments.

This does not have to be a full speed drill. The emphasis is on the communication and mental work of assignment, correct steps, and fit to where the block belongs.

Alercio offered these tips for a successful mental conditioning session:

Give the center something to work off of. This could be a script or simply a list of fronts and defenses to work against a single concept.  After performing a set number of reps each way, the center will have the unit move the chairs. For example, they should work against four down front, then a three down front. The shade and 3 technique can be varied on each side, or linebacker alignments can be varied as well. Communication is the key. The older players should ensure that the younger players are being coached. Teaching a concept helps solidify understanding for both players.

Alercio feels that this is a good bridge from the beginning of the offseason to the spring.  Following the spring, the coaches are allowed to do more work with the players, and this carries into the summer.

The work then begins to become more physical, but a solid foundation of mental understanding has been established.

Read the original Offseason Mental Conditioning Post at USAFootball: Click Here!

Don’t Miss The 16th Alercio OLine Clinic March 26th 2017.
Download your brochure:
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Teaching & Drilling the Screen & Draw Game

This Martin Luther King Day, January 16, I will be speaking at Championship Football Clinics 18th Annual Offensive Line Clinic along with John Peterson, University of Pittsburgh, Justin Frye, Boston College, Allen Mogridge, Florida International, AJ Blazek, Rutgers University & Rich Hargitt, Eastside HS, S.C.

The clinic begins at 8am and is located at the Knights of Columbus, 79 Pascack Rd Washington Twp NJ. 2 miles from Bergen Catholic, High School

My topic is Teaching and Drilling the Screen and Draw Game.  Our Draws are 3 different plays but only 1 Scheme.  We run a QB Lead Draw, a QB Draw in Empty with a Pulling Tackle and a RB Lead Draw.  All three Draws are blocked the same with only one exception…the person assigned to block the Sam (1st playside LB).   The Tackles block #2 on the LOS (DE), Guards block #1 on LOS (DT or NG) and the Center blocks Mike (Middle or Backside LB).  Center will combo with either Guard if their #1 is in his path to Mike.  On our QB Lead Draw, the running back isolates the Sam.  We have our H-Back block the Sam on our RB Draw.  We pull the backside Tackle to block the Sam on our QB draw in Empty and align the TE next to him to cut of his #2.


Draw is a running play so all of the offensive linemen can run block the scheme; but to create larger holes and encourage defensive linemen to displace themselves, we want our linemen to Jump Set any defensive linemen in an outside alignment (examples: Tackle vs a 5 tech or Guard vs a 3 tech).  On our Jump Set, we teach the offensive lineman to take a Base Run Step with his inside foot; and show a pass set with his upper body.  The “High Hat” of the pass set gives the DL a false read of pass and gets him in to a pass rush and away from the point of attack.  The Base Run Step with the inside foot defends the play in case of the DL being on an inside rush or slant.

We drill three scenarios in our Jump Sets.  When the DL gets upfield in a pass rush, we Club & Ride.  Our visual target is the near Pec.  We hold the set position until the rusher gets hip-to-hip then we turn towards him to club & ride him upfield.  The strike points are outside hand to near shoulder and inside hand to spine.  We are looking to club the middle of the back just below the shoulder pads.  On the ride, we want to be underneath the rusher so that he cannot retrace his steps when he recognizes Draw.    The next scenario is a DL who does not rush, but rather sits and reads.  After our Jump Set and the recognition that he is not rushing, we get in to an Angle Drive Block with a visual target of the near Pec and Strike points of near shoulder with the inside hand and sternum with the outside hand.  The last scenario we drill is the DL on an inside rush or slant move.  We must recognize the threat to our inside immediately and get in to a Vertical Drive Block to stop any inside penetration with a visual target of the sternum and strike points on both pecs.

Our Slip Screens are 3-man, 2-count screens to the RB or TE and are run off of plays in our offense with NOW throws.  This allows us to run all of our screens as Screen Pass Options (SPOs).  Just like an RPO, we will identify a defender and read him as to whether we throw the Now throw of the pass play or turn to throw the screen.  This also sells the screen when we do throw it because the receivers are running routes and the QB has his eyes on a route opposite the screen.


On our Stick Slip, we read the Sam to throw the Stick route to the TE or Slip Screen to the RB.  On our Boot Screen, will read the Sam to throw our TE Pin Flat or RB Slip.  On our Sprint Y Slip, we throw a slide route to our Slot Receiver or a Slip to the TE.

On all of our Screens we block the protection of the play for a 2-count so there is no new teaching.  After the 2-count, three linemen will depart to the edge of the box on the screen side.  The first one looks Out, the second looks Up and the third looks In.  On our Stick Slip and Sprint Y Slip, the two Guards and Center pull out on the Screen.  Since we pull a Guard in our Boot protection, on our Boot Slip, we pull the Screen side Tackle, Center and Playside Guard out on the Screen.  The other two linemen stay in their protection.

The technique we teach and drill on Screens for the offensive linemen is to Run (Out, Up, or In), Buzz (feet before contact) then block.  On the block the visual target is the sternum and the strike points are the pecs.  We buzz our feet to get the offensive lineman under control before making contact.