If the back from Kentucky known as Boom doesn’t want have an NFL career that fizzles, he’ll need to step up his pass protection.
Pass protection begins with attitude. It’s true. An aggressive mindset is the root of good blocking from the running back position.
It’s only one game, but Stanley Williams lacked this quality against Florida. Although I’m only showing one play, it was notable with several of his assignments.
I tracked six opportunities for Williams to block a defender. The Kentucky runner successfully executed two based on my definition of a successful assignment.
Williams is far from alone in his struggles. Pass protection is rarely a requisite for collegiate stardom, but it will keep even a talented back like Williams on the bench in the NFL.
If you watched the Baltimore Ravens this year, you know that Terrence West and Kenneth Dixon both ran the ball well but neither could win the job outright as the feature back. One of those reasons was the lack of trust the offense had in either runner as a pass blocker.
It’s why Ole Harvard (Kyle Juszczyk) got extended play.
Williams’ root issue is a lack of aggression. He has to develop a confident first-strike mentality.
Without it, anything else that he must learn won’t matter and there’s a lot to develop before we even get to diagnostic elements of pass pro: getting depth into the line of scrimmage; closing the gap so he doesn’t over-extend his frame into an oncoming defender; and, delivering a sound punch with power coming from his hips and not his shoulders.
This play below demonstrates all the things that can go wrong when a player lacks an aggressive mentality—especially against much larger defenders that he’ll face routinely in the NFL.
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