What is a Football Forklift?
After the snap, pass rushers, often defensive linemen, need to get to the ball as quickly as possible. This includes getting past offensive linemen and other players blocking the way to the quarterback. Pass rushers can use the forklift technique to knock blockers out of position and reach the quarterback. The forklift technique has actually been used to refer to two separate practices, though both are used by defenses to deal with blockers.
The first technique is one that involves the use of quick hands. It can be used right off the line of scrimmage or as a reaction to how the blocker plays the situation. When the blocker puts his hands on the pass rusher's upper body, the pass rusher must bring his own hand to his own armpit as a way to find the blocker's hand. Once he does this, the pass rusher can grab the blocker's wrist and move blocker's hand out of the way. Shorter players might feel inclined to force their opponent's hand upward while taller ones might like to shove the hand downward, but any direction is an option. Oftentimes, this technique is used in conjunction with a bull rush, an attempt to power directly through the offensive lineman.
The second forklift move is one that involves wrapping up the offensive lineman, lifting him, and then pushing him into the backfield. This technique requires a great deal of strength as it requires the pass rusher to completely overpower his opponent. As such, this move is extremely difficult to pull off. A reference to this specific technique is rare and is often in regard to Jumpy Geathers, a defensive lineman who employed the strategy during his playing career during the 1980s and 1990s.