Mailbag | Slide vs. Turnback Protection

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Mailbag. Many of you have asked for some more technical posts and we recently received a question asking about the difference between slide protection and turnback protection for offensive linemen.

Slide Protection – is a zone scheme in which to the playside, offensive linemen are responsible for a gap. Let’s say we’re sliding to the right, the Center takes the right a gap, the guard the right b gap and the tackle the right c gap. Then your te or fb, tb etc takes anyone who shows outside the c gap. That way it makes it simple for your o linemen to take anyone who shows in their respective gap.

Turnback Protection – is just that. It’s mostly associated with naked’s, bootlegs, sprintouts etc. It resembles a counter in the blocking scheme. Your center, guard, tackle etc appear to be blocking down, but they’re taking their inside gap as opposed to taking their outside gap in a slide.. If it’s a play to the right, the center blocks backside a gap, guard goes down to frontside a gap, and tackle will take frontside b gap.

So simplified really slide means we’re blocking our outside gap, and turnback means I’m blocking my inside gap.

Thanks for the question!