What’s up Big Dawgs?! Every great defensive lineman or defensive end has more than one pass rush move in his arsenal that he uses in the trenches.  We are going to breakdown one of those basic pass rush moves, the Club Rip.  The Club Rip is a power move. The reason why it is labeled a power move is because power moves require a defensive lineman to place his hands on the chest plate or the shoulder plate of an offensive linemen (I use the term “plate”, but you it is also known as the “pad”). Anytime you put your hands on an offensive lineman’s chest or shoulder plate (or pad) it means it’s a power move.

There are 2 different versions of the Club Rip: The Finesse Club Rip and the Power Club Rip. When you finesse, you are doing a pass rush move and you are not putting your hands on the chest or shoulder plate of the OL.  You attack the hands or elbow to wrist.  You use a finesse move to attack in the elbow to wrist range.  You use a power move to attack the chest and shoulder plates of an OL.  With a Power Club Rip, you club or attack specifically the shoulder plate of the OL and you rip with your inside arm.

Most of the time, a Club Rip is a power move with 2 strikes.  The first strike is the outside hand where you throw a hook almost like a boxer.  Engaging your core, you throw a hook with your outside arm, with elbows out, thumbs up, with open hands, and you attack the shoulder plate of the OL. On the second strike, you rip with your inside arm as if you are throwing an uppercut and “punching the clouds”.  That’s the basic mechanics of a Club Rip.  You set your feet (if you are going to go right, you put your right foot up), you throw your hands (which in this case is the Power Club Rip, you are attacking the outside shoulder plate), and you flip your hips (you try to get to the height of the hip of the OL, which is his blind spot).

The reason why you would do a Club Rip really depends on the defensive lineman or defensive end.  If the DL or DE is a power rusher, then he would benefit from a power move like the Power Club Rip.  The Power Club Rip does a good job of getting a DL to the height of the hip. In most cases, you don’t club an offensive lineman down.  I’ve rarely seen it happen to where a guy is so strong that he clubs an OL off his feet or knocks him inside.  What a club actually does is it freezes or puts in “cement” an offensive lineman’s feet.  He braces for a club, which means he sits still.  When he sits still, in that moment of contact, that DL flips his hips and gets to the edge.  So, it’s really a move where the OL sets his feet and embraces for impact, while the DL keeps his feet moving and gets to the edge.

The Finesse Club Rip is different monster.  Sometimes an OL (who is pretty good) will punch the chest plate of a defensive lineman as he’s clubbing. The club is the long way to the shoulder plate.  The shoulder plate is the attack point, but an OL will punch straight and beat a DL to the point of attack.  When that happens, you have 2 options.  You can Chop Club or you can Finesse Club Rip.  The Finesse Club Rip means that my point of attack is now the elbow to wrist.  That way, I don’t have to reach to an offensive lineman’s shoulder plate.  I can just attack his forearm or his hands.  This way is a lot quicker. It’s not powerful, but it knocks his hands off enough to get you to the edge. The Finesse Club Rip has the same mechanics, elbows out, palms up, and thumbs up.  

Most guys like to attack the elbow or trap the elbow, prohibiting the OL from being able to circle punch and recover.  When you are finesse clubbing, you really want to get the elbow, if you can’t get the elbow, anywhere on the forearm or wrist.  Remember, same mechanics.  Still flipping the hips, still replacing the outside foot, but you are attacking his wrist to elbow, flipping the hips, and getting off the edge.  That is quicker.  This move would be for someone that is not a powerful guy, but really good with his hands.  A guy that doesn’t have the arm length of that OL or OT and feels like he may get out reached.

The Power Club Rip can be a really powerful move.  It’s best against offensive linemen that lean in their punch.  If an OL leans in their punch, then they are giving the DL their shoulder plate and this gives the DL the opportunity to take advantage of this.  If the OL is leaning, the DL will club his shoulder.  To execute this move right, you CLUB, GRAB CLOTH, and WORK OFF.  So, when you club that shoulder and grab that shoulder plate flap, you pull yourself through, pulling the OL down, ripping, running, and getting to the Quarterback.

The Finesse Club Rip is best done against an OL that is pretty good with his technique. An OL that doesn’t lean in his punch, keeps his back straight, or keeps a nice arch in his back, and his shoulder plate is too far away.

When you Power Club or Finesse Club an OL, you have to make sure that you are located “half a man” or outside the hip of the OL.  Club Rips do not work if you are right down the center of an OL.  Some DL will come to me and say, “Coach, the Club Rip doesn’t work”.  Then, I ask them, “ Big Dawg, where is your inside foot”?  If your inside foot is lined up with his inside foot, then it is not going to work.  You are in a position to Bull Rush.  You are not going to Club Rip.  You have to make sure that the inside foot is placed no further than the OL’s crouch. It has to be placed either to his outside foot or no deeper than his crouch.  Just because of your location an OL will either try to cut you off or he’ll open up the gate, which is what you want.

The Club Rip is not for speedsters.  It is not for a guy that is very fast.  The Club Rip is a weapon of choice for a power rusher.  If you are a speed guy, the Club Rip will cause you to completely lose your leverage and you will stand up to do the move.  Why? Because you are trying to attack the shoulder.  The shoulder is at a high point and in order to hit the shoulder, you have to raise up.  Remember, THE CLUB RIP IS NOT FOR SPEED GUYS.  If you are a power guy or a guy that likes to stutter or flip his hips, then this pass rush move is perfect.

When doing the Club Rip, you have to make sure that a few of things are right.

#1: You have to make sure that you are in the right stance - If you are not in the proper stance, your feet are not going to be set to do a Club Rip.

#2: You have to make sure that you are located in the right place - Make sure you are “half a man”.

#3: You have to have a strong core - You have to have to use your core, flip your hips, and throw your hands.  When you throw your hands and let them go, your feet and hips follow. But, you have to have a powerful core to get you to the height of the hip.

#4: You have to make sure that there are always 2 strikes - Some guys club and don’t rip.  When you club you’re flipping your hips. When you rip, you are clearing your hips.  You have to FLIP and CLEAR.  The inside hand that rips, clears you through and allows you to rip and run.  You have to be ready to run after you do the Club Rip.  The Club Rip should not halt your steps toward the QB.  It should be a move that you do to keep going and to keep accelerating through the move.

#5: Don’t slow down to do the move - When you raise your shoulders, your butt drops, you’re putting on brakes, and you’re not accelerating through the move.  Once you do the move with great leverage, you CLUB, FLIP, RIP, and RUN.  Your shoulders should still be at a point where you are still driving, eating up turf, and getting to the QB.  Many guys like to slow down in the move and try to re-accelerate.  By that time, the QB has stepped up, even if the move was executed properly.  You have to be able to do the move and keep running to get to the QB.

That sums up one of my favorite pass rush moves, the Club Rip, Big Dawgs.  Grab your cleats, meet me in the trenches, and #LetsGoToWork!

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