What else is there when it comes to playing the defensive line, right? Utilize these football line drills for defense to get you and your team to elite "D" status.
Coaches - You want to make sure your football lineman drills get your defensive line good in the following areas: great initial step, explosion into the offensive linemen, hands & leverage, and pass rush skills.
By the way, after you go through the five football defensive line drills on this page, you'll find the next five on our second defensive line drills page. The second page focuses on using the hands for leverage.
Football Defensive Line Drills
Initial Step Drill (Ball)
Objective - Teach your defensive line an explosive first step at the snap of the ball without going offsides.
Action - Align 2-3 defensive linemen on the line in their stances. The football is tied to a rope. The coach has the rope and barks out the offensive cadence, trying to get the linemen to jump. At the snap, have the defenders explode out of their stances 4-5 yards up the field, then have the next group get set for their turn.
Coaching Details - Make sure your defensive linemen have good fundamentals in their stances and when they take that initial step off the line. Break any offsides habits during this football defensive line drill.
Initial Step Drill (Man)
Objective - Teach defensive linemen to react off the offensive line's movement.
Action - Divide defensive linemen into pairs (one will be offense, one defense) and have the first pair line up on a line of scrimmage. The coach coach barks the signal and the offensive player explodes out into the defender when ready. The defensive player must react on the movement. Repeat drill with the next pair and so on.
Coaching Details - Make sure your defensive linemen have good fundamentals in their stances and when they take that initial step off the line. Emphasize the need to react off the man, not the cadence.
Six-Point Sled Drill
Objective - Roll the Hips
Action - Defensive linemen line up single-file in front of a one-man sled for this football lineman drill. Get the first lineman positioned on all fours right up close to the sled. At the whistle, have the player explode into the sled with hands up and hips rolled. The defender then rolls sideways out of the way so the next defensive lineman can get into position.
Coaching Details - Be sure your defensive lineman keep their heads up and knees on the ground for proper hip roll.
Hip Roll Drill (from knee)
Objective - Develop the ability to roll the hips with power.
Coaching Details - Be sure your defensive lineman keep their heads up, sink their hips and roll forward with the correct hand placement.
Objective - Teach explosion out of the stance.
Action - Position a cone 10 yards to the left of a one-man sled with another cone 10 yards to the right. 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. On the coach's signal, the defender must explode into the sled pad and drive the sled up with short, choppy steps. On the coach's next signal, the player drops the sled and sprints out to the right or left cone, depending on which one the coach points to.
Coaching Details - Allow your players to practice this drill out of the two, three and four point stances. Check stances take-off technique. Emphasize the need for proper hip roll as the defensive linemen lift the sled on contact. Watch hand placement fundamentals.
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football linemen drills for defense