One mental shift I had to make from my “old school mindset” is that RBs HAVE to be able to “pass block” to make it in the NFL. Its true…but the mental shift I had to make is what “pass blocking” can look like. My view was a pass rusher at full speed tee’ing off on a RB who was standing in and around the pocket taking one for the team. Zeke Elliott in his prime could do a traditional pass block as good as any back could be expected.
But what is the GOAL? The goal is to eliminate the pass rushing threat. Many times the blitzer who is a threat is only blitzing because the RB stayed in to pass block. That is an ugly truth. If the RB went out for a pass, the blitzer would have been in coverage and the ugly collision would have been eliminated with the same result.
In the biggest play of the game, Gibbs showed his value as a “pass blocker.” All he did was run out for a pass. But the defense perceived it as enough of a threat that they had Khalil Mack put his hands on him and influence his route. Gibbs could NEVER win a traditional pass block rep with a charging Khalil Mack. But by putting him out on the route it had the same result as a successful pass block. On the biggest play of the game, Taylor Decker didn’t even have to engage with Khalil Mack on most of the rep. That’s how powerful Gibbs threat as a pass catcher was. The play was already developed and Goff was already in his throwing motion by the time Mack even got to Decker.