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Coach Jackson's O-Line Manual

Coach Jackson's O-Line Manual

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Published by Mark Jackson

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Published by: Mark Jackson on Apr 13, 2009
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05/11/2014

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Coach Jackson’s Offensive Lineman Manual
Adapted from the St. Norbert College Coaching Staff Offensive Manual
 No unit is more important to the overall success of your team than offensive linemen. It takes physical andmental toughness to play on the offensive line, and a tremendous amount of pride because most linemenknow they will never receive the public recognition so many of their teammates will.Our players and coaches hold the offensive linemen in the highest regard. We ask a lot of, and expect a lotfrom them. We know offensively we are only going to be as successful as they will allow us to be.The following is an overview of what we are looking for in a Yellowjacket lineman.
I. GENERAL.A. Philosophy
In order to excel as an Offensive Lineman, the football player must have great discipline, determination,athletic ability, and master basic fundamentals and blocking techniques.There are three basic questions that a lineman must ask himself prior to the snap of the ball:1. Who do I have? The lineman must understand who his basic assignment will be on a given play versus aspecific defense.2. How do I block him? This question pertains to the first steps, aiming points, ball location, and specifictechniques.3. What is the nature of the play? Understanding of the play concept is important here. The lineman mustknow if it is a run or a pass, is he at the point of attack or away from it, is it a finesse play or attack type of  play?Intelligent, aggressive line play is vital to the success of a great offensive football team. Each and everylineman should feel that the success of the team is dependent upon his ability to stop the man across him.The mental aspect of the game is what separates the great offensive lineman from the average one.Understanding assignments, techniques, and defensive strategy is critical to success. The ability to visualizeones role within the offensive scheme aids the lineman in his mental preparation. Always picture yourself  playing the game in an aggressive, dominant mode with perfect technique and relentless energy.Effective line play begins in the huddle. All players should break from and return to the huddle as quicklyas possible. Focus on the quarterback and begin concentrating on your assignment. Visualize the possibledefenses, adjustments, and line calls. Keep the snap count continually in mind. The snap count is thegreatest advantage a blocker has. If he is slow coming off the ball, or uncertain about anything, he canexpect to get beat.As coaches, we realize that not all players are blessed with great natural ability. But, we expect every player to dedicate himself to being the best he can be. Commitment to physical improvement, mental preparation,and an outstanding work ethic must ever be present.Great football teams may not win every game. However, they are always in position to win. The most basicrule to winning is to never beat yourself. Master the fundamentals, learn your assignments and let the other team break down, or make the mistakes. Remember, most games are lost rather than won.ACT LIKE A WINNER - Prepare, study, learn, work - always work to improve yourself.
 
B. Character Traits Of A Great Offensive Lineman.
The single most important character trait for an Offensive Lineman to develop is - DISCIPLINE! Thegreatest challenge in football is to play on the offensive line. DISCIPLINE allows the lineman to executehis assignments in a sharp, machine-line manner. What is discipline? It is being responsible andaccountable. It is doing what you are suppose to do, when and where you are suppose to do it. NOEXCUSES ACCEPTED! The following elements make for a great offensive lineman:1. Be Aggressive - Physically defeat your opponent at every opportunity.2. Be Patient - Understand that every play is crucial. However, the most important play is the next play. Thelast play is history, that cannot be changed.3. Eliminate Errors - Let the other guy beat himself.4. Sell-Out - Play every play like it is your last play. When it is all over, have no regrets.5. Improve - Every play, every day, every moment. The minute you stop working to improve is when youstart getting worse.6. Be Prepared - Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Besides life itself, football is the greatestgame of all - treat it that way!7. Be Unified - Unity comes from within. It comes from common goals, respect, dedication, and attitudes.The game is meant to be fun - enjoy it with your teammates!8. Be Disciplined - Know what you are suppose to do, and get it done - NO EXCUSES!
C. Know Your Opponent.
 No detail should be overlooked, regardless of how small it may seem on the surface. Each lineman should plan his own individual GAME PLAN for his opponent. The following questions should be askedconcerning the opponent:1. Is he a reader that reacts to the flow?2. Is he a blower that charges recklessly?3. Does he pre-determined his moves? (Inside, outside, in then out?)4. Does he charge low or high?5. Does he use his hands well?6. Does he use one arm and shoulder more than the other?7. Does his alignment give away stunts or games?8. Can he step first with either foot?9. Can he be cut?10. Is he protecting an injury?11. What are his strengths and weaknesses?
D. Practice Habits.
You are only as good as you practice. An old adage that is timeless in its value. The great offensive line prides itself on its Work Ethic -- the ability to work harder and improve faster than any other position on thefield. The following tips can help you contribute to a great practice.1. Be Focused: Concentrate on the business at hand. Everything we do is vital to winning football games.2. Be Coachable: Buy the Program. Believe that every coach is there to make you better. Leave your ego athome!3. Hustle: Time is our enemy. Our practice tempo depends on you. Set the good example.
 
4. Help Your Buddy Get Better: The most important man in any drill is the defensive player. Understandeach drill and execute your role properly. Going easy only loses games.5. Help the Young Players: Everyone needs help at the beginning. You did! Your goodwill can only earnyou respect and help build tradition. This is very important, we want to keep all Freshman and Sophomoresin the program, lineman are too hard to find to lose.6. Be Positive: Not everyone can start, but anyone can make a difference toward winning. Understand your role and do your best."Remember, you do not just win on game day. You win a little, or lose a little, each day by your effort.Make each day a winning effort."
II. BASIC FUNDAMENTALS.A. The Stance.
1. Feet are spread slightly wider than the shoulders. The weight is on the inside of the feet. This provides balance.2. Set the feet in the proper stagger position. Toe to instep. The toes are straight ahead or outward. The feetfeel flat footed with the heels slightly elevated.3. Sit down. The hands are on the side of the knees or thighs. There is a proper bend in the knees and waist.This is a two-point stance.4. The hand is placed on the ground directly from the shoulder area.5. The back is parallel (flat) to the ground. The tail is arched.6. The head is up but not straining. The player should be looking through is eyebrows to see the defense.7. Weight is evenly distributed to allow the player to move in all directions. The stance looks the same for all plays.8. The shifting of weight is permitted to allow for a quick start. This should not be detectable by thedefender.9. Goal Line Stance: Similar to the regular stance. Emphasis is on a stronger forward lean, allow for aquick, low, straight ahead charge.
B. Center Fundamentals.
1. The feet are as even as possible to enable stepping with either foot. The feet are slightly wider than aregular stance.2. If you use one hand to snap, rest the off hand on your knee. You may use a two-handed snap or a four- point snap.3. The ball is positioned straight out from the shoulder area. Extend the ball away from you to createseparation from the defense.4. The ball is held with the laces up and the needle valve in the palm of your hand or by the quarterback’s preference.

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