3-5-3

DEFENSIVE LINE TECHNIQUES AND DRILLS
THOMAS COUSINS

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1

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
• IS THERE A DIFFERENCE IN COACHING LINEMEN IN THE 3-5-3 VS. THE 4-3? • WE FEEL THE ANSWER IS YES AND NO.

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2

NO
• TACKLING, RUNNING AND BEING TOUGH SHOULD BE A PART OF ANY GOOD DEFENSE. • WE STILL READ BLOCKS, WE JUST DO IT ON THE RUN.

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3

YES
• SINCE OUR LINEMEN NEVER TAKE ON AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN HEAD UP WE NEED TO TEACH WHAT WE CALL “READING ON THE RUN.” • WE TEACH ATTACKING ½ A MAN WITH EITHER A RIP OR BY ATTACKING THE INSIDE CHEST PLATE • THE BIGGEST THING WE WORK ON IS FIGHTING PRESSURE WITH PRESSURE AND NOT GETTING WASHED UP FIELD.

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ESSENTIALS OF DEFENSIVE LINE PLAY

• 1. GET OFF- YOU MUST EXPLODE OFF THE BALL AND CROSS THE FACE OF THE MAN YOU ARE LINED UP FROM. • 2. PURSUIT- WE STRESS RUN, RUN, RUN. • 3. TACKLING- WORK SOME ASPECT OF TACKLING EVERYDAY.
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What do we want to accomplish?
1. We want to make our defensive lineman more productive in the areas of tackling, pressure and pursuit. We want to run drills that are specific to what we do. If a drill is not football specific- don’t do it. We want to put our defensive linemen in reallife, game type situations.
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2. 3. 4.

DEFENSIVE LINE FUNDAMENTALS IN THE 3-5-3
• 1. ALIGNMENT • 2. STANCE • 3. SLANT/ STEPS • 4. ENGAGEMENT/ BLOW DELIVERY • 5. READ/ PRESSURE • 6. PURSUIT • 7. TACKLE
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ALIGNMENT
• WE WILL WORK ALIGNMENT EVERYDAY. • WE WILL LINE UP THREE DIFFERENT WAYS WITH OUR TACKLES. • IN BASE THEY WILL HEAD UP • IN JET THEY WILL BE IN A WIDE 5 AND A WIDE 9 • IN GOALLINE THEY WILL BE IN 4 TECHNIQUES.
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ALIGNMENT BASE

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TACKLES AND NOSE WILL BE HEAD UP AND AS TIGHT TO THE BALL AS POSSIBLE

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ALIGNMENT JET

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TACKLES WILL BE JETTED 1 YARD OUTSIDE OF THE TACKLE AND TIGHT END. NOSE WILL BE HEAD UP AND AS TIGHT TO THE BALL AS POSSIBLE

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ALIGNMENT GOALLINE

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TACKLES WILL BE IN 4 TECHNIQUES. NOSE WILL BE HEAD UP AND AS TIGHT TO THE BALL AS POSSIBLE

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STANCE
• • • • OUR STANCE IS A THREE POINT STANCE WITH FEET AS CLOSE TO PARALLEL AS POSSIBLE. WEIGHT ON THE BALLS OF THE FEET, KNEES IN AND HEELS OFF THE GROUND HEAD- TURN YOUR HEAD AND LOOK DOWN THE LOS AT THE BALL. ARMS- FRONT ARM SHOULD BE WELL IN FRONT OF THE HEAD. FREE ARM IS COCKED BY THE FACEMASK READY TO STRIKE. BACK- BUTT MUST BE HIGHER THAN HEAD. WEIGHT- 60% OF WEIGHT IS ON FINGERTIPS. YOU ARE A “COILED SPRING” READY TO EXPLODE. FEET SHOULD BE NO WIDER THAN SHOULDER WIDTH. DL NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO STEP WITH EITHER FOOT- LEFT OR RIGHT. HEAD IS TURNED LOOKING AT THE FOOTBALL
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• • • • •

SLANT/STEPS
• • • • • • • • • GET OFF INITIAL MOVEMENT MUST BE SIDEWAYS AND UP AT A 45% ANGLE. LIKE A SPRINTER COMING OUT OF THE BLOCKS… CREATE FORCE. BACK FLAT NUMBERS OF YOUR JERSEY OVER YOUR KNEE. BULL YOUR NECK. AIM FOR THE HIP OF THE MAN YOU ARE SLANTING ACROSS. FOLLOW QUICKLY WITH THE 2ND AND 3RD STEPS STAY LOW AND MAINTAIN LIFT LEVERAGE.
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SLANT/STEPS DRILLS

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VERY SIMPLE DRILL DONE WITH FLAT DUMMIES ON THE GROUND COACH GIVES A LINE CALL (IN, OUT, SLANT STRONG, SLANT WEAK, PINCH) AND A STRENGTH CALL. COACH SNAPS THE BALL AND LOOKS FOR FOOTWORK, EXPLOSION, FLAT BACK, AND ARM RIP IN GET OFF BY THE DEFENSIVE LINEMEN.
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ENGAGEMENT/ BLOW DELIVERY
• • • DEFENSIVE LINEMEN MUST SHOOT OFF HAND ACROSS THE MAN HE IS SLANTING FROM. WE ARE AIMING FOR THE HIP OF THE MAN WE ARE SLANTING TO. WHEN WE MAKE CONTACT WITH THE OFFENSIVE LINEMAN WE EITHER FINISH OUR RIP OR IF WE GET STONED- BRING BOTH HANDS UP INTO ½ OF HIS CHESTPLATE, LIFT, CONTROL OUR GAP AND FIND THE BALL. WE NEVER WANT TO GET MORE THAN 1 YARD UP THE FIELD. IF WE EVER COME OFF UNBLOCKED WE TURN AND LOOK INSIDE.

• •

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BLOW DELIVERY

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THE MAIN DRILL WE USE TO TEACH BLOW DELIVERY IS A 3 POINT STEP AND RIP DRILL. DL ARE IN STANCE ACROSS FROM A PLAYER HOLDING A BAG ON BALL MOVEMENT THEY EXPLODE AND RIP THROUGH THE MAN ACROSS FROM THEM. COACH LOOKS FOR FOOTWORK, EXPLOSION, PROPER ARM RIP AND GETTING TO 1 YARD DEEP.

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Pressure drills
• Get some. • Part of our hoop drills we do everyday. • The defensive lineman will run two hoops in a figure eight. • Around the first hoop- he will rip with his inside arm, against other players punching at him. • Around the second hoop he will rip with his other arm against other players punching him. • He will finish the drill by strip tackling a dummy.
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READ/ PRESSURE
• WE WILL READ ON THE RUN- IF AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN PRESSURES US WE WILL PRESSURE BACK BY EITHER CROSSING HIS FACE OR GOING BACKDOOR. • WE CANNOT GET WASHED UP THE FIELD, BY FIGHTING PRESSURE WITH PRESSURE AND NOT GETTING MORE THAN 1 YARD UP THE FILED WE CAN ACCOMPLISH THIS. • IF WE SLANT AND OUR MAN TRIES TO CUT US OFF, WE WILL FLATTEN DOWN THE LOS AND PURSUE TO THE BALL.
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READ DRILLS- BACKDOOR
• Backdoor • Purpose- to recreate when a defensive lineman is following a trapping offensive lineman or has ripped into a gap and feels pressure from a down block.. • The offensive lineman will fit on the DL’s hip who will then in turn go backdoor to make a tackle.
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Backdoor
Ol will fit up on the hip of a defensive lineman. The DL will grab the hip of the offensive lineman and go backdoor- pursuing flat down the line of scrimmage.

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PURSUIT
• • WE MUST FIND THE BALL AND TAKE GOOD ANGLES TO INTERCEPT THE BALL CARRIER. WE EXPECT 11 HATS TO THE BALL ON EVERY PLAY. YOU WILL NOT GET GOOD PURSUIT UNLESS YOU STRESS RUNNING TO THE BALL ON EVERY PLAY IN PRACTICE. WE RUN EXTRA AFTER PRACTICE FOR “LOAFS”- NOT GETTING 11 PEOPLE TO THE BALL ON EVERY PLAY. WE HAVE NEVER DONE PURSUIT DRILLS ALONE, WE INCORPORATE THEM INTO INSIDE, SKELLY, TEAM ETC.

• •

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PURSUIT

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THE MAIN DRILL WE USE TO TEACH PURSUIT IS THE FLOW DRILL ON BALL MOVEMENT DL WILL PERFORM A RIP TO ASSIGNED GAP WHEN THEY GET TO 1 YARD THE COACH WILL POINT TO THE RIGHT, LEFT OF UP FIELD. THE DL WILL PLANT AND HUSTLE THAT WAY.

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22

Pursuit drills
• Rabbit • A hoop drill we do everyday • Two players will line up on a hoop. One player will get a three yard head start. • The two players will run a figure eight, if player two catches player one, the drill is over.

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Rabbit

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TACKLING
• WE PRIDE OURSELVES IN NOT MISSING TACKLES. • WE WORK SOME ASPECT OF TACKLING EVERYDAY IN PRACTICE. • WE NEVER GO HALF SPEED DURING DEFENSIVE PRACTICE. WE ARE ALWAYS LIVE, NO DUMMIES, NO PADS, NO SHORTS MONDAY- THURSDAY.
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Tackling
• We feel that there are 6 basic elements to every tackle. We work these 6 elements into every tackling drill we do. Feet- never gather, always run through the target. Eyes- always on numbers Head placement- always up and across the ball. Chest- lead with your chest not your head. High cloth- throw arms up and around Hip roll- act like you have a quarter in your cheeks and you don’t want it to fall out.
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2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Tackling drills
• Slip Drill • Purpose: to recreate a defensive lineman slipping off an offensive lineman and making a tackle. • OL and DL will fit up as if the were engaged with a block. The running back will then run tight to either hip of the offensive lineman. The defensive lineman will have to create separation and find the ball carrier.
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ANGLE TACKLING

T THIS IS THE MAIN TACKLING DRILL OUR DL DOES

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THE DL LINES UP ACROSS FROM ANOTHER LINEMAN AND ON COMMAND RIPS BY THE OL -THE RUNNING BACK WILL RUN EITHER RIGHT OR LEFT NEXT TO THE OL. IF THE RUNNING BACK COMES TO THE SAME SIDE THE DL SLANTED TO THE DL PERFORMS A PROPER ANGLE TACKLE. IF THE RUNNINGBACK RUNS TO THE OPPOSITE SIDE THE DL SLANTED TO. HE MUST PLANT, FLOW BACK TO THE RUNNING BACK AND MAKE THE TACKLE.
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TACKLING DRILLS
• Speed to burn • We will have two defensive ends in a jet- speed rush coming off each corner. • The defensive ends will have to speed rip by an offensive lineman and strip tackle a dummy. • Whoever gets there the fastest is the winner.

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29

Closing
• We feel that by putting our defensive linemen in real-life, game type situations we will increase production as a unit. • We have seen a steady increase in the productivity of our defensive linemen in the three years since we have introduced this concept.
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