Railroad Blocking is the most basic form of zone blocking that I teach to all of my teams. The first week of practice, each and every year, I start by introducing this blocking scheme.
If we are teaching Railroad blocking to the right we have the entire line, on the snap of the ball, take a drop step with their right foot, and move as a unit to the right. We teach each player to imagine they are on a separate set of railroad tracks and they need to keep moving ahead, blocking anything that gets in their way. We do not care where the defensive line matches up or if there are any blitzing linebackers. If we all move together and stay on our tracks we should be in good shape.
You can have them block either right or left, but the key is that the entire line moves in the same direction and at the same speed just like Wall Blocking. You want to avoid any linemen from getting out too far in front, or falling too far behind as this will form a gap, or a “hole in the wall”. I explain to the kids “we need to make sure there are no holes in our wall”. If there are holes in our wall, we will leak, meaning defenders will get through. Our goal is to keep a tight moving wall in one direction.
Some of the main advantages of railroad blocking include:
- Easy to teach
- Works against any front
- Makes blitzing ineffective
- Is bi-directional (left and right)
- Effective with all age groups
- Effective with all different skill levels
- Creates great lanes for the running game
Railroad Blocking, just like Wall blocking will always be an important blocking scheme taught to every team I coach. It is usually the first running blocking scheme added since I know how effective it will be regardless of the offense I am running this year.