What is a Chip Block in Football?

In the world of football, where every second counts, mastering the art of blocking is crucial for offensive players. One technique that stands out is the chip block.

So, what exactly is a chip block? It’s a strategic move where an offensive player briefly engages with a pass rusher before continuing on their route. It’s like a quick jab to disrupt the defense and buy time for the quarterback. But how is it executed? Let’s break it down step by step and explore its impact on the game.

What is a Chip Block in Football

In the fast-paced world of football, where split-second decisions can make or break a play, mastering various blocking techniques is essential for offensive players. One such technique that plays a significant role in pass protection is the chip block.

A chip block is a strategic maneuver where an offensive player briefly engages with a pass rusher before continuing on their intended route. The purpose of a chip block is to disrupt the defense and buy valuable time for the quarterback to make accurate throws.

By delivering a quick jab or shoulder bump to the pass rusher, the offensive player throws off their timing and momentarily hinders their ability to reach the quarterback.

Offensive players utilize chip blocks to assist in pass protection by providing an additional layer of defense against aggressive defenders.

When a pass rusher is about to engage with the offensive lineman responsible for blocking them, an adjacent offensive player, such as a running back or tight end, steps in for a chip block. This temporary block allows the primary blocker to gain leverage and maintain control, preventing the pass rusher from reaching the quarterback more effectively.

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Technique and Execution

Mastering the technique and execution of a chip block is crucial for offensive players looking to enhance their pass protection skills.

Let’s break down the step-by-step process of executing a chip block, discuss the key elements that contribute to a successful chip block, and provide some helpful tips for offensive players to improve their chip blocking abilities.

Step-by-Step Breakdown

  1. Identify the Target: Before executing a chip block, the offensive player must identify the pass rusher they are responsible for blocking. This ensures they engage with the correct defender at the right time.
  2. Timing is Key: Proper timing is essential for a successful chip block. The offensive player must engage with the pass rusher at the precise moment to disrupt their path and provide the primary blocker with an advantage.
  3. Quick Jab or Shoulder Bump: The offensive player delivers a quick jab or shoulder bump to the pass rusher as they approach. This disrupts the defender’s momentum and throws off their timing, buying the quarterback valuable time.

Key Elements of a Successful Chip Block

  1. Strength and Balance: A successful chip block requires a combination of strength and balance. The offensive player must maintain their stability while delivering the block to effectively impede the pass rusher’s progress.
  2. Awareness and Communication: Proper communication and awareness between the offensive player and the primary blocker are vital. Clear communication ensures both players are on the same page, allowing for effective coordination during the chip block.

Tips to Improve Chip Blocking Skills

  1. Develop Technique: Consistently practice the proper technique of chip blocking, focusing on timing, balance, and execution. Repetition and attention to detail will help improve proficiency in this skill.
  2. Study Opponents: Analyze the pass rushers you will be facing to understand their tendencies and techniques. This knowledge enables you to anticipate their moves and execute well-timed chip blocks.
  3. Work on Strength and Agility: Enhance your overall strength and agility through targeted exercises and conditioning drills. Improved physical abilities will contribute to more effective chip blocks.
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Chip Blocking Strategies

Chip-blocking strategies play a crucial role in the world of football, allowing offensive teams to disrupt defensive pass rushers and provide valuable support in pass protection.

Chip Blocking Strategies

  1. Running Back Chip: In this strategy, a running back, positioned behind the offensive line, delivers a quick chip block to a pass rusher before releasing into their intended route. This technique adds an extra layer of protection for the quarterback.
  2. Tight End Chip: When utilizing a tight end chip, the tight end lines up on the line of scrimmage and provides a chip block to a pass rusher before releasing into their route. This strategy is particularly effective in countering strong edge rushers.

Disruption of Defensive Pass Rushers

Chip blocks disrupt defensive pass rushers by throwing off their timing and forcing them to redirect their path. The sudden contact from the chip block slows down the pass rusher, giving the offensive lineman an advantage in maintaining control and protecting the quarterback.


Who typically performs chip blocks? 

Tight ends and running backs are often responsible for chip blocking in football. Their primary role is to assist the offensive line by briefly engaging with pass rushers and then releasing into their routes.

How does a chip block benefit the offense? 

A chip block benefits the offense by buying the quarterback extra time in the pocket. By disrupting the pass rusher’s initial path, the chip block allows the quarterback to set up and make accurate throws.

Is a chip block legal in football? 

Yes, chip blocks are legal in football as long as they are executed within the rules of the game. Offensive players can engage with pass rushers within a specific proximity and time frame before releasing into their routes.

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How does a chip block differ from a regular block? 

A chip block differs from a regular block in that it is a brief engagement with a pass rusher rather than a sustained block. 


A chip block in football is a technique used by offensive players to briefly engage and disrupt pass rushers before releasing them into their assigned routes.

It is a strategic move that buys the quarterback valuable time and helps protect them from pressure. Chip blocks can be a game-changer, opening up passing lanes and contributing to the success of the offense.

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