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Table of Contents Page Basic Fundamentals of Coaching Football................................................................3 Offensive Fundamentals Offensive Line Fundamentals....................................................................................4 Offensive Line Drills.................................................................................................4 Running Back Fundamentals.....................................................................................8 Running Back Drills..................................................................................................8 Receiver Fundamentals..............................................................................................10 Receiver Drills...........................................................................................................12 Quarterback Fundamentals........................................................................................14 Quarterback Drills......................................................................................................15 Defensive Fundaments Defensive Line Fundamentals....................................................................................17 Defensive Line Drills.................................................................................................18 Linebacker Fundamentals..........................................................................................20 Linebacker Drills.......................................................................................................25 Defensive Back Fundamentals...................................................................................27 Defensive Back Drills................................................................................................30 Tackling Drills...........................................................................................................33
Basic Fundamentals of Coaching Football Understand the Game - It's imperative that your team understands the basic rules and tactics of the game of football. And that has to start at the top - YOU. Any indecision or lack of knowledge you show will put doubt in your player’s mind. Character - If you want your players to carry themselves with a high moral code, you need to show them the way. You must show them what a true role model is. How do you do this? Start by being consistent. When you say you're going to do something, be sure you follow through with it. Be sure your team always sees you under control no matter the situation. Show your team that any situation can be handled by staying in control of your emotions. That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice any of your fire or intensity. It just means handling all the things that come up in practice and games without flying off the handle. If the coach can't show character, how can the players be expected to? Character is also shown when you can admit you're wrong when you make mistakes. Your team will develop much more respect for you if you apologize when you make mistakes rather than trying to set yourself above the standards you expect of them. It's OK when this happens. You're human and we all make mistakes. Just don't try to cover them up or hide from them. You'll be amazed what that'll mean to your players. Communication – stay in contact with parents and players. Be sure the players know what is expected and parents know what is going on in your program. Keep parents informed of practice and game times. The more parents know through your communications with them the less individual questions will arise. Make it Fun - Being able to enjoy the process is vital to a team's success. If practice is all drudgery and no fun, you'll lose your players quickly. Strive to strike a balance between serious learning and a laugh or two. Allow for a little humor when mistakes are made. When players want to laugh and get loose once in awhile, take it as a sign that they're having fun, not that they're being disrespectful. Keep practices fun and keep all players involved in the process. Be Positive - Nothing will kill your players more than a negative attitude. A positive attitude will keep you above the competition. Yes, bad things will happen. Your players will make mistakes at the absolute worst times. You'll make bad calls or decisions. Above all else, keep things in a positive light and move on. The only things you can control are you attitude and your actions. Everything else is outside of your control, so don't get negative when those things upset you. Make sure your experience coaching football is an over-all positive one for both you and your players.
Proper steps are crucial to gaining the advantage on the defender. o To start the drill. line your men up in straight lines. Offensive Fundamentals Offensive Line Fundamentals o Stance – 3 Point Base – Feet shoulder width apart. Keep your feet moving up field on contact o Pass Blocking On the snap get out of your stance quickly. o Run Blocking Block with your eyes. Outside Run Plays – Steps need to be angled to aiming point on the defender. All players can do this at one time. quick steps with toes pointing up field. Step with foot nearest your assigned man – use quick aggressive steps Put your eyes in the chest (or appropriate location for the play called) of your defender. Then go through each Position. Once contact is made. . standing upright. lock in. hands. Keep your eyes focused on the defender to see his next move. Review each of the above positions with all players. Make sure your eyes are looking straight ahead. Inside Run Plays . Feet – Heal to toe Stagger – toes pointed up field. Offensive Line Drills o Stance Drill Position Drill– the objective of this drill will ensure the lineman are getting in the proper stance using a progression of movements. • Position 1 – Feet shoulder width apart with a heal toe stagger. Contact the defender by punching him with your hands. Move your feet side to side to keep yourself in front of the defender. • Position 3 – Put your hand on the ground with light weight.Short. Get your shoulders up and hands ready in front of your chest. with your eyes and hands. Back – Keep your back flat Back Head – Eyes up looking at defender Little weight on your hand o Steps – steps will vary depending on the play called. Shoot your hands into the defender – punch him. • Position 2 – Bend down and put your elbows on your knees. and feet. Control the defender with your hands.
• Make sure the lineman keep their pad level low. . On the snap count the lineman will fire off taking short aggressive steps. Once you have checked them all you can have them reset and then take two steps. On the snap count the linemen will step over the back edge of the bag with their right foot placing it on the right side of the bag and continue running while straddling the bag with short aggressive steps. Be sure to check that they have the correct position. This will give you the opportunity to check to make sure the first step is in the right place. (This simulates blocking a defensive lineman on the linemen’s right shoulder.) o Variations to Steps and Base – have the lineman take just one step and then reset. • Align three or four defenders in the standing defensive position with three or four offensive linemen in front of them. • Have the lineman line up on the ends of each bag according to the position they play. Also keeping their feet on each side of the bag.Call Position 1. (This simulates blocking a defensive lineman on the linemen’s left shoulder. Then do the same for position 3. Once they are all in a good stance say “Relax” they all stand up and do it again. driving them off the football. knees bent and feet wide). all players should have feet should width apart with a heal to toe stagger. Next call “Position 2” all lineman should do the next position.) • 3rd time through – The linemen will put their left foot on the back right corner of the bag. At the snap. Steps and Base – the objective of this drill is to ensure that all lineman are taking the proper steps and keeping a base.) • 2nd time through – The linemen will put their right foot on the back left corner of the bag. • Set out 5 agility bags about 1 yard apart parallel to each other. On the snap count the linemen will step over the back edge of the bag with their left foot placing it on the left side of the bag and continue running while straddling the bag with short aggressive steps. • 1st time through – The linemen will straddle the bag and get in a proper stance. Then reset and fire off on the snap count. have the linemen explode pressing their hands and moving their feet through the defender. You can also add in firing off on the snap count and then doing the drill again. (If you have chutes you can do these drills under chutes also. Have the lineman fit into the defensive player (eyes in the chest. hands locked into the chest just above the eyes. Fit Drill – The objective is to teach the straight ahead base block.
Make sure all groups on the field are using proper technique. • Align three or four defenders in the standing defensive position with three or four offensive linemen in front of them. right or up the middle. have the players explode into the sled with thumbs up and hips rolled.Develop the ability to roll the hips with power. At the snap. Have the lineman fit into the defensive player (eyes in the chest.Roll the Hips • Offensive linemen line up on the 5 man sled for this football drill. Next have the lineman take one step with right foot and do the same drill. Make sure players' backs are flat. .Be sure your offensive lineman keep their heads up and knees on the ground for proper hip roll. The lineman must stay locked on the defender until the coach signals the end of the drill. At the whistle. Next. hands locked into the chest just above the eyes. have the linemen explode pressing their hands and moving their feet through the defender. the coach signals the defender to move left or right. Have your blockers create a running lane to the left.Teach lineman to hold their blocks once contact is made. forcing the lineman to hold his block during the movement. sink their hips and roll forward with the correct hand placement. • Coaching Points – can have several groups lined up ready to go. Oklahoma Drill – competition drill for the whole team. Line up two blockers and one running back against two defensive linemen and a linebacker. • Coaching Points . The coach stands behind the defense signaling which way to run the play. butts are down and their heads are up "seeing" the defender's jersey number.Watch for good fit and follow-through during this offensive line drill. • Offensive linemen line up on the 5 man sled for this football drill. Get the first group of lineman positioned in a 3 point stance up close to the sled. • Coaching Points .Be sure your offensive lineman keep their heads up. Maintain Fit .• Coaching Points . knees bent and feet wide). The lineman should hit their stomachs and then get back up quickly. have the players explode into the sled with thumbs up and hips rolled. Make sure the lineman is continually trying to drive the defender down field and is not just hanging on. Hip Roll Drill (from 3 point stance) . • Coaching Points . driving them off the football. At the whistle. Get the first group of lineman positioned on all fours right up close to the sled.Emphasize the proper fit position and to keep the lineman’s feet moving with the defender. • This is an excellent drill for your offensive linemen. Six-Point Sled Drill . Then the left foot.
stopping his momentum. have the defender rush the QB. • Align two or three defenders in-between cones (can use anything) that are placed about 3 yards apart. and keep their body in front of the defender. Mirror Drill – The objective is to teach the offensive line to move their feet to stay in front of a defender. Have offensive lineman line up across from the defender. (Settle set is dropping back about a yard and setting up in front of the defender. There is no contact. . • Coaching Points – watch that the lineman is getting upright quick and keeping their knees bent. Also that their hands are at their chest. On the snap the defenders will run side to side between the cones. • Coaching Points – watch that the lineman are shuffling their feet and not crossing them over. • Have your lineman line up in 4 lines. The offensive line will snap up out of their stance and “mirror” the defender. • Next. You settle back to put your body in front of the defender and see any moves he might make. on the whistle. The lineman must make sure that they punch the defender. On the snap of the ball they must quickly get out of their stance and take a settle set. Also make sure that the lineman are keeping their hands in the proper position.• o Picture of Oklahoma Drill o Pass Blocking Drills Set Drill – The objective is to teach the lineman to get out of their stance quick and get proper position.
shoulders down. flat back and eyes up looking at defender. your running backs will have to concentrate even more on protection of the football as they squeeze both into the body.the objective is to teach proper hand-off fundamentals. With the 2-ball variation. o Ball Tuck 4 point of pressure – • Fingers on tip of the ball • Forearm on the side of the ball • Bicep on the back of the ball • Chest on the side of the ball Keep the ball high and tight to your body. Place the other hand across the belt with your palm up. Place your hand on the ground below your eyes. Have the running backs take handoff and then sprint into the path between the players. knees up. The point of the ball should split your 1st and 2nd finger.Be sure your running backs keep a low center of gravity. Each group should be lined up single file behind the first blocking bag. The players should try and strip the back as he moves by. close your hands together and take the football. o Two-Line Bag Drill . . position them into two rows of three bags each. have the ball carriers hold a ball in each arm during this running back football drill. When you feel the ball touch your chest. Coaching Points . Running Back Drills o Strip Drill – the objective is to teach backs to protect the ball as well as stay upright on contact. Position two lines of players (about 5-6 men in each line) with a small path in between. o Receiving a hand off DO NOT LOOK AT THE QB! Keep your eyes focused on the location you are running the play. Using six blocking bags. Create two groups each consisting of a few running backs and one quarterback. As a variation. The elbow closest to the quarter back goes up and your thumb should be pointing to the ground. 3 point – Heal to toe Stagger – toes pointed up field. Running Back Fundamentals o Stance 2 point – Feet shoulder width apart. slight bend in the knees and hands should rest on your thigh pads. placing little weight on your hand. Rest your other forearm on your thigh pad. Be sure the bags are one yard apart and that the two lines are about five yards apart.
Teach proper technique for regaining balance: bring the head up. one defense). After the backs break through the third bag in their line. the offensive player blocks the defender using the fit position form. they should switch the ball to the other arm. Give each back a ball and have them position themselves at the 25 yard line. the running backs move into the defenders and perform the "fit" blocking position. . be sure they lift their knees and hold onto the football securely. the running backs should place their palm to the ground as if stumbling. the chest out and drive the knees forward for power. instruct them to start running. hands inside. Fit position: Head up. Each group lines up on a line of scrimmage so there is a long line of "pairs" facing one another. Coaching Points . This happens every 5 yards until they reach the goal line. As they get up and regain balance. Coaching Points . the coach will signal a direction for the backs to cut to. Coaching Points . One line of players are the running backs while the other line will be defenders.Emphasize the proper fit position and to keep the running back's feet moving with the defender. Every 5 yards.Make sure each running back switches the ball to the opposite arm after each stumble. Begin this running back football drill on the coach's signal. The cut at the end of the running back football drill should be sharp and quick. At the whistle.Teach backs to hold their blocks once contact is made. and feet providing a wide base. Coaching Points . On the coach's signal. At the coach's signal.Make sure each back sets up in a correct stance and then uses proper technique when receiving the hand-off. Have the running backs change lines after each rep. At the whistle. Running backs form two groups.Emphasize the correct fit position with each movement during this running back drill. o Maintain Contact . then repeat the running back drill back to the 25. forcing the running back to hold his block during the movement. o Stumble Drill – Teach ball carriers how to keep their balance while falling as well as keeping the ball secured. As they run through the bags. Form two single file lines facing one another (one offense. The coach signals the defender to move left or right. o Fit Drill – Teach the fundamentals of basic blocking. flat back. o Mirror Drill – Teach proper pass blocking to running backs. The back must stay locked on the defender until the coach signals the end of the running back drill. each QB will handoff to the first running back in his line as the backs cradle the football properly and run through the three blocking dummies. butt down.
They should be approximately two yards apart. Put a running back and defender on the line facing one another. Coaching Points . the defender shuffles back & forth between the cones while the RB breaks down and "mirrors" his movements (running back keeps chugging his legs). At that point the defender tries to burst past the RB while the RB steps up. Slide. Be sure the RB doesn't cross his feet during the initial shuffling "mirror" drill. The coach should signal again after about 5 seconds. On coach's whistle. slide. step. Position 2 cones on the line of scrimmage about five yards apart. etc.The running back needs to keep his knees bent during entire running back drill for a proper low position. pass blocks him and maintains contact. .
Hands – You should form a diamond with your hands. and tuck it. As you come back across use the rip move if the defender has gotten his hands on you. We want to watch the point of the ball and grab the fat of the ball. • One step fake – take a hard step to the opposite side you want to release and then step back hard to the correct side. bending at his waist. Receiver Fundamentals o Stance Outside foot back (this helps us keep our shoulders square to the line of scrimmage) “Z” in the knees – You want a slight bend in the knees so that on take off you can immediately start moving forward. o Ball Tuck 4 point of pressure – • Fingers on tip of the ball • Forearm on the side of the ball • Bicep on the back of the ball • Chest on the side of the ball Keep the ball high and tight to your body.) Hands should be out front. If he false steps you need to change his stance so that he eliminates that false step. Immediately bring the football to your body. knees over toes. to avoid the defender knocking it out. (Chest over knees. elbows bent. o Starts/Release NO FALSE STEPS! When the receiver starts his routes all steps should be gaining ground. ready to run. It is the same move defensive lineman use. Your 1st fingers and thumbs should touch to form a “Pocket” for the football. nearest the defender. o Catching Eyes – The receiver should follow the ball with their eyes all the way to the tuck. The point of the ball should split your 1st and 2nd finger.take a hard step to either the inside or outside of the defender (depending on route) and throw your arm. • Rip Release. Be sure to keep your eyes on the football all the way through the catch to the tuck. The receiver should have a slight forward lean. You have to continue to move down field during the move. This means we want the point to fit into the diamond we formed with our hands and then we grab the fat (middle) of the football. upward to shed the defender off of you. When running an outside route release outside. Release – there are a couple of different releases that can be utilized to get off of the line quickly. When running an inside route be sure to release inside. .
On that signal. Coaching Points . This will help you stay upright and not lean on the defender. and plant the foot away from the direction you are going. Have the quarterback or coach throw to the first receiver in line. The QB passes to the first receiver in line and yells "Ball!".Be sure to throw a variety of passes (low.Teach receivers to get the head around and locate the ball quickly. then tuck the ball away. The quarterback stands about 12-15 yards behind the line of receivers. o Routes – routes will vary depending on the offensive scheme. When the defender stops and sees that it is a run play you have to stop get a base and continue to work toward your defender under control. Sprint off the football just like you are running a GO route. etc) so receivers can practice catching different types of balls. high. When you get close enough punch the defender with your hands and lock in. When making a cut do not get on your heals. After the catch.o Blocking – a very important part of being a good receiver is being able to block. o Release Drill . align your receivers in a single-file line.Be sure your wide receivers get themselves turned all the way around and are facing the ball during this wide receiver drill. You have to always run as hard as possible. then as you get into the cut you lower your shoulders. the receiver runs to the end of the line and the next receiver runs their route. Explode off the line of scrimmage. As you are locked into the defender move your knees to his knees. so the defensive back always believes the ball is coming to you. Be sure that your shoulders are over your toes. Receiver Drills o Tuck-It-In Drill . Also make sure the receiver watches the football all the way to the tuck. Explode out of the cut and get to the assigned spot. But the fundamentals are always the same. the receiver turns himself around completely. Coaching Points . Emphasize the need to get their hands up and in good position to make the catch. For this wide receiver drill. locates the football and makes the catch. catch the ball with the thumbs in. Make sure you position yourself to keep your butt to the football. Keep your weight forward and on the balls of your feet. Position the wide receivers in a single file at one of the yard lines with their backs to the quarterback.Teach receivers to release off the line properly. Keep your feet moving the whole time and stay locked into the defender. The receiver should look the pass in. o "Get the Head Around" Drill .Teach to catch with the hands and then tuck the football in to secure it. .
Don't turn the hips. Coaching Points . Once they get this part of the route down. Position 2 cones about five yards apart. Align each receiver across from a defender. Be sure they have their hands in proper position to make the catch cleanly. look for proper blocking form hands inside. On coach's whistle. Their feet shouldn't cross.Teach receivers to block defensive backs. pass blocks him and maintains contact. feet moving. Helps develop hand/eye coordination. Also make sure that no one is taking false steps. Put a receiver and defender on the line facing one another. After the catch. They should be approximately two yards apart. Coaching Points . keeping their shoulders over their toes and planting their outside foot. the defender shuffles back & forth between the cones while the receiver breaks down and "mirrors" his movements. butt down. Emphasize the need to get close to the DB during the initial drive up field. Go through different route releases. Coaching Points . receiver finishes the last 3-4 steps.During this wide receiver drill. wide base.Teach receivers to block defensive backs. The coach should signal again after about 5 seconds. . o Cut Drill . the receiver should tuck the ball and head up field.Teach your wide receivers to keep good body balance so they can stay positioned in front of the defender. the DB is looking at the coach while back peddling. o Stalk Block . place a cone where the cut should be made and position your receiver about 3-4 steps from the cone.Pay close attention to each receiver's release technique. o Mirror Drill . he stops and makes a move forward.Teach wide receivers to make their route cuts decisively and finish each route. Coaching Points – Make sure the receiver is sinking their hips. Have one line of receivers and one defender out front. to get the DB backpedaling. teach your players to watch the defensive back's feet. Teach receivers to snap their heads around quickly to better locate the ball. The receiver starts to quickly run in place with hands pumping (as if running the route). At the QB's signal. Also. you can run the entire route out of your offensive sets. The receiver needs to slow down and keep his feet moving and make contact for the block. makes the cut at the cone and catches the football. The receiver sprints off the line with the look of a deep route. Teach receivers how to react properly to the defender's positioning and technique. On the coach’s signal. At that point the defender tries to burst past the receiver while the receiver steps up. head up. After deciding which route to run.
relaxed and extended. Constant repetition is required to develop the proper timing with your running back. The first quarterback fundamental here is to practice the exchange over and over and over. o Drop Back – Steps – Make your first step out with the passing side foot. o Hand Off – It’s the job of the quarterback to be sure the handoff is successful. ready to pass. Be sure to push deep after each step to get deep into the pocket. it should be released with a quick and high delivery. Hand placement – The throwing hand is the top hand. Make sure the fingers are spread. • The hand should be as high on the top half of the football as possible. The football should be delivered so that the laces are in the throwing hand. Continue this until you reach your set-up area. Ball Position – Make sure you hold the ball securely in front of your chest. Cup the bottom hand against the top hand at an angle greater than 90° to avoid jamming the fingers. don’t let go until you feel the back take firm hold of it. Quarterback Fundamentals o Taking the snap – The center-quarterback exchange must become automatic. When you reach the set-up area then bring the ball up for the correct throwing motion. Receiving the ball – Ride the center as you receive the snap. it will be difficult to throw a consistent spiral. Arms – Your arms should be bent slightly to give room for extension at the snap. then bring the ball in cleanly to the chest with both hands as you begin to drop back. Practice your spacing so you don’t run into the back or fail to reach him. . o Throwing Grip: Each player will potentially have a different grip that works best for him. Once you’ve put the football under the running backs inside elbow. • The thumb and middle finger should form a perfect half-circle around the ball. • The fingers should be as spread out as possible from index to pinky. If either of these two fingers (the thumb or middle finger) get higher or lower than the other. Place the hand high in the center’s crotch so the center can feel its position. Throwing Motion / Delivery • With the ball in a high position at the ear. then crossover with the opposite leg. • Fingers should be placed along the laces. Avoid bending much at the waist by flexing your knees a bit.
Rotate the hips and shoulders to bring the elbow and arm through. Bring football back to starting point and repeat at least 15 times. The shoulders should be leaning forward at the apex of the throw so the QB throws the ball downhill. Drop Drill – Ball handling drill. Basketball Drill – Ball handling drill. dropping or dipping in a long. With each motion. • Same as the Drop Drill except that as the ball is dropped. Drop and Rotate Drill – Ball handling drill. the quarterback rotates his hand around the ball before re-gripping it. (Coaching point: a stake could be driven straight through the head. You can also do both hands at same time by using two footballs. Do at least 15 reps with each hand. • With palm facing down.• • • • • The initial movement should never be down. and plants on his heel. flick the ball into a full front spin and re-grip the ball with palm facing down again. . • Extend arm from the body and hold ball with palm facing down. the chin should be over the knee which should be over the ball of the foot. With the back of the hand. The follow through should then naturally take the hand to the opposite hip to finish the throw properly o QB Drills Grip Drill – Ball handling drill. slow wind up motion. Perform at least 15 reps with each hand. then try with two hands at the same time. On a deep throw. The elbow should be as high as or higher than the ear. be sure they re-grip the football. Spin Drill – Ball handling drill. repeat drill with the other hand. hold the ball at one end. After at least 15 reps. give the ball a full back spin so it lands on the back of the hand. the shoulders will tend to be upward and a lot of high passes will result. Repeat drill with opposite hand. The elbow should rise up and the ball should naturally turn out with the palm facing the sideline. The ball should be released off of the index and middle fingers as the hand turns down and the thumb rotates. With a flick of the fingers. the quarterback grips the ball and moves the ball up and down. Drop the ball and then re-grip instantly.) If the QB over strides. the stride should be slightly longer to get the shoulders slightly upward and the ball up in the air. The front foot should be planted on the ball not the heel and when the ball is released. knee and foot. • With palm facing down.
performs a three step drop. The first QB gets the proper grip. • Quarterback starts in the pre-snap stance and on coach's whistle. • Coaching Points . • Coaching Points . then do the same thing with a five step drop-back. If you have a net (soccer net works well) have the QB throw into the net (or to a partner) when they reach their set up.) • Very important . Drop-Back Drill . lifts the football like he would when taking the snap and passes the ball to his partner. Knee Drill .. he should be set and ready for a pass with the ball up ready to throw. move the players five yards further apart and continue football drill from there. Circle Drill .. make sure the proper depth is reached. • Begin the football quarterback drill with the QB's on both knees. Also. Be sure the ball is brought up near the ear. Do at least 3 sets that last 25-30 seconds each. After ten reps back and forth. • Coaching Points .Check for proper grip with opposite hand securing the ball. .Be sure there are no false steps in the drop. On the coach's signal. have two QB's run in a circle as they pass the ball back and forth.Develop "throwing on the run" skills • Standing about 10-15 yards apart. boom. Boom. • Can also do the drill with only the throwing knee down.Make sure your QB performs this drill with adequate quickness and that at set-up. Align them about five yards apart. Do the three step 5-10 times. move the ball from hand to hand behind the back and between the legs. On the third step. most of his body weight is positioned on the back foot.Develop the three and five and step drop-backs. boom.• Just like a basketball point guard. the follow-through is straight at the receiver with palm down. throw. The ball should be a chest level during the drop-back. (3 yards for 3 step and at least 5 yards for 5 step.Be sure they get their shoulders square to the target before throwing and utilize correct hip rotation. Perform this football drill as fast as you can.To develop the proper wrist snap and release of the ball. they will then reverse and repeat the drill in the opposite direction. Be sure follow-through is correct and pay attention to accuracy.
he can use these tools to free himself up to make a play.As the defensive lineman is coming out of his stance and making that first step his hands must come up hard and strike the blocker with both hands at the designated striking points (Gap technique or head up).A spin move is set up by rushing the outside shoulder of the blocker and then when he commits to the rush. Rip – The D Lineman will use his hands to pull the blocker to his side and then step around. As the defensive lineman explodes out of his stance to execute his first step it is critical that he keep his head up. While stepping around the defender will drop his shoulder and swing his arm upward to clear off the blockers hands. Once the defensive lineman has controlled his gap and deciphered where the play is headed.The Get Off is similar to a sprinter exploding out of the blocks at a track meet and consists of a solid. o Get Off . the eyes must be below the hands. and Club. Defensive Fundamentals Defensive Line Fundamentals o Stance – 3 Point Base – Feet at shoulder width. Fingertips should be on the ground.The D Lineman has both hands striking the blocker in the chest plate.The shuck is a basic grab and throw technique. Head Up . The offhand is to be placed alongside the off-leg in a cocked position. Then use the rip move to get past the blocker. Feet – Toes pointed up field with a toe to instep stagger. Shuck . Club – On the snap of the ball the D Lineman will swing his arm into the shoulder of the blocker. Shuck. Weight should be distributed so that the hand can be picked up with a slight lean. Coaching Point: In order to maintain a low pad level. If a player has difficulty with lateral movement have him adjust his stance so that it is slightly less that shoulder width. his hips down and maintain a low pad level. spinning hard to the inside. For advanced D Lineman they may use the Swim and Spin. Spin . o Striking – Gap – The D Lineman has one hand striking the blocker at the center of the chest plate and the other hand (the gap hand) striking the blocker on the gap side shoulder pad. Back – Keep a flat back. not a fist. Arm and Hand – The down hand should be placed on the ground under the eye. balanced stance and excellent footwork. o Hands . knocking him off balance. . the head must be up and the hips down. looking at the ground. The D Lineman uses his hands to pull or push the defender out of his way. not resting on the knee. Head – The head must be up in order to see across the line and not down. o Disengagement – These skills include the Rip.
Repeat drill with the next pair and so on. Emphasize the need to react off the man.Make sure your defensive linemen have good fundamentals in their stances and when they take that initial step off the line. Can also add one or two steps into the drill. Coaching Points . The defender then rolls sideways out of the way so the next defensive lineman can get into position. Break any offsides habits during this football defensive line drill. o Hip Roll Drill (from 3 point stance) . o Explosion Drill .Teach your defensive line an explosive first step at the snap of the ball without going offsides. . sink their hips and roll forward with the correct hand placement. The defensive player must react on the movement. Swim – Similar to the rip move but when stepping around the blocker the D Lineman brings his arm over the blocker and down across to clean him off. one defense) and have the first pair line up on a line of scrimmage.Make sure your defensive linemen have good fundamentals in their stances and when they take that initial step off the line. Coaching Points . Line up the defensive linemen in a single-file in front of the sled with the first player in his stance about a yard away. have the defenders explode out of their stances 4-5 yards up the field. then have the next group get set for their turn.Teach explosion out of the stance. o Six-Point Sled Drill .Be sure your defensive lineman keep their heads up and knees on the ground for proper hip roll. trying to get the linemen to jump. o Initial Step Drill (Man) . Align 2-3 defensive linemen on the line in their stances. The coach holds the football in front of the lineman and barks out the offensive cadence. Defensive linemen line up single-file in front of a one-man sled. Coaching Details . At the whistle.Develop the ability to roll the hips with power.Roll the Hips Defensive linemen line up single-file in front of a one-man sled (can also use a 5 man sled) for this football lineman drill. Divide defensive linemen into pairs (one will be offense. Get the first lineman positioned on all fours right up close to the sled.Be sure your defensive lineman keep their heads up. The coach barks the signal and the offensive player explodes out into the defender when ready. At the snap. Coaching Points .Teach defensive linemen to react off the offensive line's movement. At the whistle. Get the first lineman positioned in a 3 point stance up close to the sled. On the coach's signal. not the cadence and proper hand use. Defensive Line Drills o Initial Step Drill (Ball) . have the player explode into the sled with thumbs up and hips rolled. the defender must explode into the sled pad and drive the sled up with short. have the player explode into the sled with thumbs up and hips rolled.
choppy steps. The coach then signals which way for the lineman to sprint lateral in either direction.Check stances and take-off technique. Watch hand placement fundamentals. the player drops the sled and rips through the sled and sprints past the sled. . Emphasize the need for proper hip roll as the defensive linemen lift the sled on contact. Coaching Points . On the coach's next signal.
Every defense is set up or designed to control each gap. Knees – Bend you knees to be in an athletic breakdown stance.The first element of a Linebacker read is a read step. It also shows the best way to label gaps. o Run Reads .An effective linebacker must learn how to quickly decipher what the offense is trying to do. o Gapology . • Weak side C Gap – Weak side Defensive End Weak side B Gap – WILL Linebacker Weak side A Gap – Weak side Defensive Tackle Strong side A Gap – MIKE Linebacker Strong side B Gap – Strong side Defensive Tackle Strong side C Gap – Strong side SAM Strong side D Gap – Strong side Defensive End o Reads . Strong Side: The strong side of an offensive formation is the side where the Tight End is aligned. Line Backer Fundamentals o Stance Feet – Shoulder width apart. A through D starting from the center out. Linebackers have the gaps that the defensive lineman are not in. A read step is an aggressive step toward the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball that gets players moving and prevents them from being flat footed. In the graphic below the Tight End is aligned on the right side of the formation. Eyes – Eyes will look through the D Line into the backfield. The specific assignment of gaps simply comes down to a base defense that a team will choose to line up in. o Weak Side vs. o Here is an example of a 4-3 defense assignments. Hands – Elbows with a slight bend and hands in front ready for contact. As the read step is .
or up the middle. If they develop the habit of just saying the words “Cutback. strong side. The flow of the offensive will be to one of these three areas * If a SAM or a WILL see a play moving away from them to the opposite side they must develop a discipline to look for a reverse action play such as a bootleg or reverse. The linebackers must find this window. The linebacker must then press (push him like a bench press) the blocker to keep him at arms length in order to maintain leverage and maneuverability. they must immediately be focused on the running backs and the quarterback. As he is attacking 1/2 of the blocker he must at the same time strike and grab the blocker with his hands to gain control of the blocker. o Finding the Window – As the linebackers have made their initial read and have eliminated the pass block and deciphered a run play. What linebackers must understand is that the offense is pouring all of their energy into creating a window for their running back to pass through. In effect what the linebacker is doing is eliminating the pass block first. the linebacker must attack the outside shoulder of the blocker. stay parallel to the line of scrimmage and attack . In order to force the play inside. The ability to watch the ball and find the window takes practice. the linebackers are gaining their vision and making their initial read on the offensive linemen. but by quickly eliminating the pass block he can then instantly focus on his next read. The linebacker must always keep the blocker at arms length. When a WILL or SAM is being blocked by an offensive lineman or a lead blocker and he cannot escape the block in time to make the tackle. Good footwork and an understanding of the half-man concept will help a linebacker with force play. and attack it to make the stop. One thing that will help them learn to read a play a little quicker is the knowledge that there are only three ways the ball will flow: weak side. Force Play – Force play is simply forcing the ball inside when the offense is attempting to run the ball outside of the tackles. o An effective linebacker crew must learn how to work as a unit by funneling the play to a teammate when necessary (Force Play) and covering a teammate’s backside by cutting off running lanes (Angle of Attack). The aiming point for the inside hand is the center of the chest plate and the aiming point for the outside hand is the outside shoulder of the blocker. As soon as the linebacker’s foot hits the ground on his read step he will know if the play is a pass or a run. while keeping track of the ball. Bootleg and Reverse” as they see the action move away from them it will help them always be aware of this type of play. It may seem difficult to accomplish a read this quickly but what the linebacker is looking for is a pass block.being taken. he must then work to force the play to the inside where the strength of the defense is. It takes an offensive lineman the same amount of time to step back into a pass blocking position as it does for the linebacker to take his read step. This may seem contradictory because the main focus of a linebacker is to stop the run. The half-man concept is simply attacking or controlling 1/2 of the blocker.
the MIKE Angles. .As mentioned above a linebacker crew must develop the ability to work together to be effective. Angle of Attack . Angle. If the ball gets by the MIKE the WILL is there to shut the door and cut off any avenue of escape. There are three basic first level attack angles that linebackers utilize. Attack . The SAM is either trying to blow up the play in the window or force the play over to his MIKE. he must attack him before he gets to the hole and deliver a neutralizing blow. press him. The WILL must run parallel to the line of scrimmage and come behind the MIKE to cover the backside of his MIKE.the outside half of the half-man. and cutback. and force the running back to take a side. In order to neutralize the lead blocker the linebacker must strike the blocker with both hands directly on the chest plate. grab him by the jersey. o o The following two pictures show the flow for plays going into the middle and week side. The linebacker must strike the blocker squarely and not take a side and create a hole. *Lead blockers (Between the Tackles) – When a linebacker sees a lead blocker coming to an inside window between the tackles. Example 1 – If the window appears within the SAM gap range the SAM then Attacks. and the WILL Cutback.
The linebackers are looking for a pass block from the offensive lineman within their gap range as they are making their read step. The backside backer is checking for a reverse action play first (bootleg. . o Pass Reads – The pass read is no different that the run read as previously described.When pursuing a sweep or a run around an end.o o Angle of Attack (Sweeps) . The Mike needs to find the window and run to it and make the play if the RB cuts back inside of the OLB. When a pass block is recognized the linebackers must quickly drop into their pass coverage zone or cover the receiver that they are responsible for. linebackers must learn how to work as a unit and take proper angles in order to shut down an outside running lane. cutback or reverse) and then beginning to pursue flat to a downfield angle after he ensures that no cutback against the grain will take place. The play side backer becomes force and tries to keep his outside arm free and force the running back inside or make the play if he goes to the outside so his angle needs to take him to the ball carrier’s or lead blockers outside shoulder.
push and do whatever he has to do . Pad Level . Good linebackers on the other hand know this. Example of Linebacker Pass Coverage Areas o Re-routing – As long as the ball is not in the air defenders are allowed to knock receivers off course and disrupt their patterns. shove. o Defeating Run Blocks . he can then either rip through the blocker or legally grab.allows a linebacker to quickly get around a blocker and avoid engagement. throw.Once a linebacker is engaged and has out-positioned the blocker and has him under control. Providing that the defender doesn’t grab the receiver and the ball is not in the air this technique is within the rules.While maintaining a low pad level. Zone Coverage – Each linebacker is responsible for a specific area of the field in zone coverage. If engagement is inevitable linebackers rely on the following techniques and fundamentals to defeat blocks. linebackers must grab the blocker’s jersey at chest level.Good blockers will try to keep their pad level lower than the player they are blocking in order to develop a leverage advantage.While at arms length a linebacker must then maneuver to attack the outside shoulder (half-man) of the blocker while keeping his own outside shoulder free. Rip Move . and must counter this by keeping their own pad level low and neutralize the leverage of the blocker. Keep Blocker at Arm’s Length (Press) . keep the blocker at arms length by using their arms to press them.Linebackers must always try to avoid being engaged by a blocker. Disengage . When linebackers see receivers running routes within their zone they must make every effort to re-route them to prevent them from running their patterns effectively. Attack Outside Shoulder . quickly step through while bringing the inside shoulder down and then punching upward . and not let the blocker get up into them. The keys to an effective rip are to stay low.
Keep your linebackers low in proper hitting position with shoulders square. Club . On the coach's 1st signal.Teach good feet agility and to keep the shoulders square. On a pass rush it is important to spin only when the defender gets as deep as the QB-never deeper. On the 2nd signal. The coach stands between the bags while the linebackers are positioned in a single-file line at the point of the "V". spinning hard to the inside.Develop foot agility and the ability to read the flow of the ball. the coach points either right or left and the player hits the 2-3 dummies in that direction. On the coach's first signal. Place a cone about 5 yards away on either side of the dummies.The club is used to keep the blockers hands off of the defender. Coaching Points . Coaching Points . Shuck . Align 2-3 dummies about a yard apart and at a 45°.The shuck is a basic grab and throw technique where a defensive lineman uses the blocker’s weight against him. On the 2nd signal. The defender executes the club by bringing a forearm down across the arms of the blocker. the first player in line sets up in a good hitting position. the first player gets in good hitting position. the linebacker leads with his right foot as he shuffles over the dummies. Then align 2-3 more dummies the same way so you create a "V" shape. the player turns and runs past the 2nd cone. Align five dummies on a line. At the last bag. the linebacker should get back into hitting position again to finish the football linebacker drill. After the last dummy. Spin . blow up the play. . or make the tackle. Be sure they shuffle their feet without crossing over. Linebacker Drills o Agility Drill . head up and is in a proper hitting position. Line up your linebackers in single-file at one of the cones.A spin move is set up by rushing the outside shoulder of the blocker and then when he commits to the rush. o "Read" Drill . Can also have them follow your hands and tell them to go back and forth before finishing out the opposite side.Make sure each linebacker has the shoulders square. After each player goes through the bags. These techniques are the same techniques that defensive linemen use to combat pass blocks. Be sure they shuffle their feet without crossing over. The defender executes this technique by pulling the blocker violently towards him and then to the ground and then using a rip or swim to get around him. o Defeating Pass Blocks – When linebackers blitz the quarterback they must rely on another set of tools to defeat pass blocks.to get off of the blocker and either force the ball to a teammate. have them repeat the football linebacker drill in the other direction. head up.
One line will be the Lead Backer and other will be the linebacker. Line up the linebackers in two lines facing each other. Use 4 cones to make a 2 yard square with the linebacker inside the square. A linebacker lines up on one side and a running back faces him on the other side. Coaching Points . o Attack the Lead Backer – Teach linebackers to attach the lead backer with proper technique. the linemen try to block the linebacker out of the box. then come forward into one of the gaps. Have the lead backer try and block the linebacker.Make sure the linebacker is in good low position with the head up and delivers a good strong blow to each lineman during this football linebacker drill. then fill the hole and make the tackle when the back makes his move. .Teach linebackers to stay their ground and to deliver a blow after only one step. Can also have a lead blocker on this drill with a second linebacker.Teach linebackers to flow to the football and then fill the hole for the tackle. Coaching Points – Make sure the linebacker is using his hand and pressing the lead backer out of the way. o Step in the Hole Drill . On the signal. Align about 6 dummies in a line about a yard or yard and a half from one another.o Stay In the Box Drill .Be sure the linebacker stays low and makes a quick move into the hole with power to make the tackle. Have the back run down the line. Coaching Points. Position 2-3 lineman about 3 yards outside the square. The linebacker should step up and press the lead backer out of the way. Make sure they use correct techniques to defeat the block and make the tackle. Keep the linemen coming quickly one after the other. The linebacker must mirror the back down the line.
• Footwork – An important detail in playing Defensive back is to develop disciplined footwork that includes a weaving technique that allows a cornerback to maintain leverage and knowing how to effectively break out of a backpedal to achieve a dominant position on either a crossing route or a vertical route. Eyes – Eyes reading the receiver. he has inside leverage and is taking away the inside routes and forcing the routes to go outside. Hands – Elbows with a slight bend and hands in front ready for contact. As the cornerbacks are watching the ball and the snap occurs the cornerbacks initiate their read steps with two quick shuffle steps away from the line of scrimmage. As the read steps are being taken. the first read that a corner must make is on the offensive lineman that is closest to him. the cornerback must then immediately begin his backpedal and get his eyes back to the receiver. Defensive Back Fundamentals o Cornerbacks – typically have one of the more difficult assignments in football covering fast. (*Leverage is positional advantage that either allows a cornerback to control a receiver or limit his routes) o Example of Leverage – When a corner is aligned 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and 1 yard to the inside of the receiver. Read Steps and Play Recognition –The process of reading an offense starts with a defensive backs read steps. In order to maintain his leverage he must maintain his inside position. o Pass Defense Alignment – With any basic defensive alignment corners will line up over the receiver to their side of the field. This can change slightly depending on coverage. The cornerback is looking for the offensive lineman to step back into a pass blocking position. Knees – Bend you knees to be in an athletic breakdown stance. If on the other hand he wanted to force the routes . clever receivers in the passing game as well as being disciplined in their run stopping roles. (*the cornerback must focus on the belt buckle of the receiver in order to prevent being taken in by a fake). outside foot slightly further back then inside foot. Pass Recognition – As soon as a pass block is deciphered from the nearest offensive lineman. o Stance Feet – Little less then shoulder width apart. 5 to 7 yards from the line of scrimmage and 1 yard to the inside of the receiver.
he must immediately plant one foot and drive with the other toward the receiver. As one arm is raking. continue with the route. or has steps on a cornerback. forcing the routes to the inside. The defender keeps his ball-side shoulder in front of. the cornerbacks can then fulfill their run defense assignments. the cornerback must rap up the receiver with his other arm delivering a blow to the receiver. and not look for the ball until he has achieved the dominant position. • Breaking out of a Backpedal – When a vertical route is recognized. a pass block. if the cornerback cannot make the interception. the cornerback must focus on catching up to the receiver first. If a receiver gets by. and on top of the topside shoulder of the receiver. . By being in this position.inside he would align to the outside. they are looking for the same thing every time. Run Recognition – When cornerbacks are taking their initial read steps and looking at the nearest offensive lineman.The dominant position is a technique that pass defenders use to out-position receivers in order to knock the ball down. and gain the dominant position. o On a crossing route. a defender gains the dominant position by focusing on the topside shoulder of the receiver. • Rake and Rap up – Upon arrival of the ball on a pass play. and then leaning the receiver to the outside. As the drive step is being taken the cornerback must then focus on gaining the dominant position to either knock the ball away or intercept the pass. • Dominant Position . make contact by bringing the outside arm across the body of the receiver. a cornerback must rotate his hips 180 degrees with no intermediate steps. o On a vertical route. When the pass block is eliminated. (* If a receiver continues on a route and does not engage the cornerback with a block. a defender gains the dominant position by keeping his outside shoulder just in front of the inside shoulder of the receiver. the cornerback maintains a window to the ball and is in position to break on the ball or rake the arms of the receiver as the ball arrives. he must then bring his inside arm down and rake across the receiver’s arms to knock the ball away. o When a cornerback recognizes that a receiver is breaking off his vertical route and stepping into a crossing route. disrupt the timing of a receiver or even intercept the ball. the receiver must maintain his discipline and stay with the receiver in the event of play action).
The cornerback attacks the outside half of the defender using his hands to control the blocker. he would then immediately focus on the TE. and then using good footwork. 10-12 yards from the line of scrimmage on the outside shade of the Tight End. o Run Recognition – When Safeties are taking their initial read step and looking at the nearest offensive lineman. The Free Safety aligns on the weak side. defeating blocks and tackling. safeties are expected to be aggressive and hard hitting run stoppers. o Pass Responsibilities (Man Coverage) – In the basic 4-3 defensive alignment the Strong Safety’s primary pass defense responsibility would be the Tight End. Unlike linebackers. o *The half-man concept is simply attacking or controlling 1/2 of the blocker. As a general rule of thumb for a basic defensive alignment. their primary concern is to not let a receiver get behind them. their first question is “Can he run the alley?” The alley is the stretch of field from the tackle to the sideline. achieve dominant position and be positioned to make a play on the ball. footwork. Their job is to turn the play inside where the strength of the defense is. he would maintain leverage. the Strong Safety aligns on the strong side. The Strong Safety’s secondary responsibility would be a running back working his way out of the backfield to the strong side. a pass block When the pass block is eliminated. they are looking for the same thing every time. Alignment – The safety alignment will depend on the overall coverage scheme of the defense. 10-12 yards from the line of scrimmage on the outside shade of his Defensive End. o Safeties – Safeties have different overall pass defense responsibilities than cornerbacks. As with linebackers. the safeties can then fulfill their run defense assignments Run Responsibilities – When coaches are looking for a likely candidate to play safety. Pass Responsibilities (Zone Coverage) – When Safeties are in a zone coverage scheme. and they utilize the same run defense fundamentals of stance. The key to keeping the play inside is to control the outside shoulder (*Half-Man) of the blocker while keeping his own outside arm free in case the runner tries to get to the outside. but they share the same pass defense fundamentals described above that include read steps. leverage and dominant position. The primary responsibility for a Safety is to run the alley and hit like a dog. . The Free Safety on the other side is more concerned with the run but his primary pass responsibility would be a running back working his way out of the backfield to the weak side.• Run Responsibilities – The main responsibility of a cornerback on run plays is to never allow a play to get outside of them. read steps. As the SS deciphers a pass play from his read step.
o Pictures of more defensive back drills . On the coach's signal. Continue with the next one in line until each defensive back has a sufficient number of reps. Then the coach points in the other direction. single-file lines at the sideline. Emphasize correct stance. o Backpedal & React to Ball Drill . The backs must break from their backpedal in the direction the coach points. you can have your DB's react to where you look and then throw the football to one of them. o Hip Drill . Don't allow the players to drift when turning and running.During this defensive back drill.Same as defensive back Backpedal Drill. the coach points either to the right or left. Coaching Points . shoulders over the thighs with their weight distributed evenly over the balls of the feet.Teach players to backpedal. Coaching Points . be sure your DB's stay low when changing directions and drive the near elbow to open up the hips. then react to where the ball is thrown. Be sure the players' eyes are locked on yours as they backpedal in a straight line (use the yard lines to keep them straight). Align your defensive backs into two. the players open up and run in that direction at an angle. Concentrate on getting your players to make a fast break in the correct direction.safeties are difficult to block and are usually unblocked which allows them to run downhill and make big hits. start and backpedaling fundamentals. the defensive backs break and move to the back of the line. as the DB's get to the hashmark. the DB's pivot.Teach DB's the proper fundamentals of the backpedal. Align your defensive backs into two. Coaching Points . Start this defensive back drill the same as Backpedal Drill. Defeating Blocks (See linebacker section for defeating blocks) Defensive Back Drills o Backpedal Drill . This time. the first player in each line backpedals out to the hashmarks. Coach stands between the two lines and on his signal. the first DB in each line begins backpedaling. On the next signal. single-file lines at the sideline. When the coach points. bent at the waist.Keep your DB's low. open their hips in the new direction and run. As a variation.Develop flexibility in the hips.
When evaluating a tackle. just before contact. . The Tackle . The chest should remain over the knees while the knees remain over the toes. to prevent dives and misses and to break the ball carrier’s balance and contact with the ground.While maintaining the breakdown position and focus. Wrap – Shoot the hands and raise the eyes while fingers grab anything to keep a hold of the ball carrier. mobility and power. As the hands come forward. Tackling 101 o Breakdown Position . Finish . Focus – Aiming Point .The approach is closing the distance between you and the ball carrier as quickly as possible while maintaining both good football position and focus mentioned above. grabbing cloth or anything they can to keep hold of the ball carrier. contact is made with the tackler’s shoulder pad to the ball carrier. The eyes should be looking at the ball carrier. Drive – Don’t stop your feet but drive through the opponent. The player should dip his body to lower his hips into the power position with knees bent and weight of the body forward on the front of the feet like performing a three-quarter squat lift.Strike the ball carrier at the aiming point while shooting the hands. The feet should be shoulder width apart with the toes pointed straight ahead. Wrap .The arms and hands should shoot through and up. The feet continue to drive through the tackle while the ball carrier is brought to the ground. It is important to keep your shoulders square to the aiming point and the feet moving as well as knowing where your help is. The head is up and focused on the ball carrier. Approach . check for the hands shooting through. • • • • • These key words can be used for each part of this tackling progression: Dip – Dip the hips into the power position and keep your head up while focusing on the target. Strike .When teaching how to perform a tackle.The eyes of the tackler must be focused on the ball carrier. The eyes are focused forward and on the target with the hands relaxed hanging outside the knees. Lift the ball carrier slightly to keep you on your feet and your feet moving. They should wrap around the ball carrier and the hands should be above the elbows. you must begin by teaching good football position which is a position of leverage. bring the hands forward and up in a quick and powerful motion causing the hips to come forward with force.
Hit and Lift – good drill to be used at the beginning of the year. Also make sure the tackler comes to balance and keeps his eyes on the ball carrier when making the tackle. The aiming point is the far hip. On the coaches command the ball carrier attempts to run past the defender. Have a ball carrier and tackler 4 yards apart. Emphasize the importance of using the sideline to your advantage when performing this drill. o Angle tackling drills – drill to insure proper aiming point and angle. Change up by having ball carrier spin on contact. as he starts moving toward the cone the defender mirror steps then attacks the ball carrier. Tackling Drills o 1.) Coaching Points .com/ http://www. o Open Field Tackling Have a ball carrier and defender 10 yards apart. Variations – can also do the drill along the sideline.check and evaluate each part of the progression to make sure proper form is used for each step. Coaching Points – Be sure the defenders close distance to ball carrier and not waits on him. Have the rest of the group fill in behind those two. Line up defenders into two lines across from each other 4 yards apart. Place a cone at a 45 degree angle from the ball carrier about 10 yards away.com/ .coachyourkids. Coach gives a command to the tackler following the progression (dip=players dip: strike=players strike etc. Place two cones about 10 yards apart between the two players.football-plays-and-drills. Coaching Points – Make sure the defender is getting his head across the ball carriers body to the aiming point and following each part of the progression. The ball carrier aims for cone. Internet Reference: http://www.
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