Defensive Line Drills - Hands
This page expands on the five drills from our first defensive line drills page
. However, here we focus on developing the ability to use the hands as leverage, shed blockers and get to the ball whether defending the run or the pass.Defensive Line Drill #6
Objective - Develop hand explosion and footwork.
Action - Align the defensive linemen in a single-file facing the first dummy on the five-man sled. The first player gets in his stance and at the whistle, he explodes up into the first dummy. The defensive lineman should use good hand position and be leveraged on contact. Then he moves down the sled attacking the remaining four bags with his hands. Then the next defender starts the football defensive line drill.
Coaching Details - Your defenders should come out of their stances low, with power and explode their hands up into the dummy. Be sure they come off the "blocker" well and work on quick feet shuffling as they move down the sled.Defensive Line Drill #7
Objective - Teach correct hand technique when shedding blockers.
Action - Pair up defensive linemen (one on offense, the other is the defender) and have them line up on a line of scrimmage. On the coach's signal, the offensive player drives his helmet beyond the defensive player's right side in order to try and knock him off the line. The defender should shuffle to the right and shove his hands into the blocker's numbers in order to try and negate the block. Once he's locked up, the defender should then try to escape from the blocker.
Coaching Details - Watch for correct starting stances and run the defensive line drill from both directions. Emphasize quick foot movement to your defenders and correct hand placement in order to get good leverage. Defensive Line Drill #8
Attack Blocking Schemes
Objective - Teach defensive linemen fundamentals of beating various blocking schemes.
Action - Section defensive linemen into groups of three (two blockers and one defender). The coach will identify a blocking scheme, such as a pull, double team, reach block, etc., as well as whether to go off the ball or man movement. On the signal, the defender attacks the whatever block has been called, using the proper technique for that blocking scheme.
Coaching Details - Emphasize and teach proper fundamentals for defeating the various blocking schemes.Defensive Line Drill #9
Contain Responsibility Drill
Objective - Teach the fundamentals of keeping contain responsibility.
Action - Align two blockers: one on the line with the other positioned right behind him, both facing the defender who is lined up "head up" over the first blocker. For this example, we'll run the drill to the defender's right, so line up a running back behind the blockers and offset to the defender's left. On the coach's signal, the first blocker tries to hook the defender inside as the running back sweeps out the defender's right side. After the defender gets around the first block, the second blocker tries to chop block him as the RB tries to get outside. The defender gets through the second block, then moves in to tackle the running back behind the line.
Coaching Details - Emphasize to the defender the need to keep his outside leg and arm free. Run the defensive line drill to both sides. Be sure the defender attacks upfield, concentrates on one blocker at a time until he's free to attack the next block, then takes down the RB with an angle tackle.Defensive Line Drill #10
Objective - Teach better reaction skills to offensive lineman movement.
Action - Position 3 cones into a triangle, each about 7-10 yards apart. Put a running back at one cone, with a blocker facing the defensive lineman down between the other two cones. The coach stands behind the defender and signals to the running back and blocker whether to run to the right or left cone. On the signal, the RB runs to a cone while the defensive lineman fights off the block and prevents the ball carrier from reaching the cone.
Coaching Details - Emphasize and teach proper fundamentals for defeating the block.
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