Weave and Keep Your Leverage

4/13/21 - Eric Colonna

Football is a game of chess. It is constant competition between the offence and defense filled with strategic and manipulative moves to gain an edge over the opponent.

One of these moves is a receiver’s stem. Instead of taking a straight release and running their route, they will stem you, the defensive back. A stem is any movement inside or outside to gain your leverage and help them get open.

Now imagine if it didn’t matter where the receiver stemmed you, you always stayed in the proper position and had him covered.

As a defensive back in football, you need to weave and shuffle to protect your leverage. When done successfully, you will eliminate half of the receivers’ possible routes and force the hardest throws directly into your help.

Here are the tips about how to weave, that you need to know.

• Start in a low stance, keep your arms moving, stay on the balls of your feet, and stay low throughout your weave. Getting too high will make it harder to change directions and cause you to take more steps, which takes more time, and lets the receiver get open!

• Keep your feet forwards. When it is time to open up, you have to get a nice toe-in with that front foot before flipping your hips. If your feet get last and point out, it will just take longer to flip your hips or to break.

• Push off your front foot to move the opposite direction. This is the easiest way to transition from your pedal to your weave.

• When you weave, be sure to keep your shoulders square and do not open your hips. If you have this bad habit, receivers will begin to stem you one way to open your hips, and then directly break to the other side, and you will be much slower coming out of your breaks.

• Never cross over your feet or you are at risk of being tangled up and getting your ankles broken. Trust me, this one is huge for not getting on anyone’s highlight tape.

• Know the play call. Are you playing catch man or staying off? If you want to make contact with the man, then take a short angle or even just go laterally and shuffle to let the receiver eat up your vertical cushion. If you want to keep your space, then make sure you’re moving diagonally backwards to maintain your vertical and lateral space.

The next lesson is about different types of weaves. The angle pedal and shuffle weave. But we’ll get to that in a later blog post.