Break Up More Passes and Shutdown In 1on1s

17 January 2022

Follow these 8 tips to break up passes and force incompletions to become a shutdown defensive back.

Welcome back to DBU. If you have ever been right with a receiver in great position but he still manages to catch the ball, this one is for you. Never get mossed again, give up less passes, and put your team in the best position to WIN!

#1 Never give up.

If it’s in practice or a game. It is never too late to make a play until the receiver has scored and the ref puts his hands up to call a touchdown. Make it a habit to never stop running whether you’re beat on a route or chasing someone down. This also looks great on film for scouts and gets you in great shape to run all day long.

#2 Close the space.

Be as close to the receiver as possible to play the hands or knock the ball out. Drive until you’re with the receiver and then you can look back or break up the ball.

#3 Use your off hand.

This is the hand that’s further from the receiver. The close hand may get tangled up and take too long to bring forwards. Also, you need the close hand to secure the tackle if you miss the attempt to break up the pass. If you watch defensive back film, you will notice that majority of pass breakups come from the offhand reaching across to breakup the pass.

#4 Punch through the wrists.

Aim small and miss small. If you don’t have a target, you are more likely to miss everything. Have the target of the receivers’ wrists and you are disrupting the best part of his body to up the chances of him dropping the pass. If you can’t reach the wrists, then punch his arm or elbow to make it a hard catch but THE BEST place to punch is his wrists because you will be breaking up the basket. He can’t catch the ball if he already caught your hand.

#5 Aim for the far hand.

As a bonus and more advanced tip, if you can only get one hand, aim for the further one (most of the time). This means to aim for the hand of his that is furthest from the ball. The reasoning is that it’s way easier to catch the ball one handed out in front compared to an overhand one hand snag. You don’t see many of those.

#6 Do not swipe.

You will take too long if you have a long swipe or wind up and never get there in time. They are taught to pull the ball away from you. Punch before they can.

#7 Make him feel it.

Hit the receiver every chance you get. Make him not want to run routes or catch balls around you anymore. Make it a long day for him and keep hitting him hard, landing on him, taking football out of him every play.

#8 Be savagely aggressive.

You may miss the first punch, that is okay. Be a DAWG and keep ripping at the ball to come out. Don’t only focus on this let the receiver keep running for more yards but remember that when you get the ball loose, they usually fall as well.