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Principles of an Attacking Defensive Line

Principles of an Attacking Defensive Line

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Published by: Headpriest on May 23, 2010
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Principles of an Attacking Defensive Line
Kirby CannonHead Coach, University of Missouri-RollaIndependent Football Alliance 2005 Coach of the Year
Defensive Line Philosophy
I. Toughness
. We need to play when we are bumped and bruised. Physically and mentally we must go all out onevery play, no matter how exhausted we are. Toughness does not just happen on game day. Toughness isdeveloped and improved every day. Compete every day of your life. The harder you work, the tougher you become. 
II. Responsibility
. We have a gap responsibility to fulfill on every call. We must fulfill that responsibility usinggreat technique on every snap. The defense will not succeed if that does not happen. Consistency is the truemeasure of performance. 
III. Pass Rush
. We must constantly put pressure on the quarterback. We want to be conscious of down anddistance at all times. This dictates our initial thoughts. If called for, have a pass rush move planned, always being able to react to the run. Study your opponent for tips every week. Sacks result from great effort and planning. Know your opponent tendencies. 
IV. Unity
. Take pride in the fact that you have the toughest job in football. You are in the middle of the actionon every play. You must penetrate the LOS and stop the run. You must put pressure on the Quarterback everytime he throws. You must defeat 1-2 blocks every snap you are on the field. It takes a special person to be agreat defensive lineman. You must take pride and respect in our fellow linemen. Play as a unit; supporting eachother, motivating each other, helping each other off the ground, and celebrating with each other after great plays.Realize that together as a unit, you can dictate outcomes. 
Stopping the Run
 To win, we must be committed to stopping the run. Run defense starts with the play of the Defensive Line. Wewill be aggressive, tough, and relentless in our task of stopping the run. We will develop an insistent work ethic.Every time we put our hand on the ground, we will play with 100% effort. We will play an attacking style of defensive line play and constantly attack the offense. 
I. Basic Front Information.
Line of scrimmage discipline:A. Be in a stance and ready to play when center touches the ball.B. Be onside.C. Be aware and communicate pre-snap reads.D. An offensive lineman, from tackle to tackle, may not lift his down hand once it is set, prior to the snap.E. Remember - we move on movement! 
II. Defensive Line Teaching Progression vs. Run
A. Knowledge:1. Stance2. Alignment3. Assignment B. Technique:4. Get off 5. First Step6. Hat/Hand Placement7. Separation8. Escape
 C. Effort and Pride:9. Pursuit10. Tackle 
Rushing the Passer
I. Objectives.
A. Force the QB to throw on time with only one read.B. Restrict the QB's vision. Make him throw through hands and bodies.C. Do not allow QB to scramble for yardage.D. Sack the QBE. Force FumbleF. Force him to throw bad balls. Create Interceptions. 
II. Rush Lanes.
A. There are four rush lanes. Two outside contain lanes and two inside gut pressure lanes. Rushers must stay intheir lanes and squeeze their lane as close to the next lane and the QB as physically possible. Never allow theQB to cross your face. Your rush lane is relative to your gap responsibility. Tackles needs to use there two waygo whenever possible. 
III. Attitude.
A. Be tenacious and relentless. Second and third efforts are what make great pass rushers.B. Believe you will get to the QB.C. All out effort on every play is a must.D. Be disciplined. Do not put your teammates in a bad situation because you were careless and undisciplined. 
IV. Necessary Skills.
A. Acceleration: Both off the ball and to the QB.B. Hand, eye, and foot coordination.C. Always gaining ground up-field. Feet always going forward.D. Pass rush is a sequence. Use moves to set up other moves. You don't have to win every battle. Just the War. 
V. Pass Rush Progression.
A. Attitude: Reckless and all out.B. Stance and Alignment: Heels up, tail up, forward lean, crowd the ball and loosen up alignment.C. Pre-determine your move: Confidence, cleverness, go with it.D. Locate your target: Zero in on it, aim, and get ready to pull the trigger.E. Get-Off: Read key and see ball out of the corner of your eye. Burst off the LOS.G. Accelerate: Close stance to QB, hips are pointed in the direction of the QB, feet are always moving to QB.Keep cleats in grass.G. 1/2 Man: Rush 1/2 of an O-lineman. Make O-lineman turn shoulders and move inside foot.H. Hands/Club: Use your hands/club. Grab Cloth. Grip like a vice. Be violent!I. Work a Move: Exaggerate it: Overemphasize flipping the hips.J. Get to QB: Don't be held, cut or on the ground. You have three seconds to get there. Be relentless.K. Collect your sack: Run QB down, hold on, and punish. 
Alignments and Techniques
I. Weak Shade on Center (WS).Alignment
: Split the crotch of the center with inside foot with inside hand down.
: Near shoulder of Center 
: A Gap. Never allow center a clean route to 2nd level while still keeping gap integrity.
Coaching Points
:1. Focus your punch on center.2. Always stay low.3. Work one man on double teams.
II. 1 Technique.Alignment
: Outside foot splitting crotch of the guard. Outside arm down.
: Near shoulder of guard.
: A Gap.
Coaching Points
:1. Outside foot back and outside hand down.2. Work on inside shoulder of guard if double teamed.

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