63 Defense: Front Six Techniques and Calls

Report
63 Defense: Front Six Techniques
and Calls
Jack Gregory© 2011
All Rights Reserved
For more information see www.gregorydoublewing.com
Or email me at [email protected]
How the Stack Concept Works
• Remember the line of scrimmage is made up of eight gaps
and the stack concept basically acts like a GAP 8 defense in
that we are going to penetrate all eight of those gaps.
• The method we use to penetrate them will vary from play
to play based on the stack call on each side and because we
are using stacked backers the way in which we penetrate is
actually a wave or layered effect so the offensive line will
have a very hard time simply down blocking the entire front
and washing the defenders away from the play.
• Basically the center, guard, tackle, and end will never know
which three defenders they are going to face on the interior
and which gap they will hit.
Front 6
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OLB: more athletic players of your F6 players. The better football player &
athlete he is the more you can do with him. He should be a pretty good leader
(stacks), and he should have decent quickness and aggressiveness. The better
he is in zone and man coverage and the better he is at tackling the more you
can do with him.
DT: the more athletic of the two defensive linemen. Can be two types, small
aggressive penetrators that are hard to block or big boys that can fill a gap and
penetrate with power. In either case they must be able to compress the LOS.
DG: the least athletic F6 player but follow the guidelines for tackles.
Special note: if you have an elite defensive linemen don’t be afraid to move
him from DT to DG and even from stack to another to keep the offense
guessing.
Special Adjustment Player:
– NT (Nose Tackle): elite defensive player that can either penetrate aggressively and
quickly or fill a gap with power or BULL/2Gap and fill space on the LOS.
– MO (second MIKE): Same as the MIKE backer and often a ROVER type player
becomes part of BACK 5.
How the Stacks Work
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The outside backers will make a stack call which will tell the other two members of the stack where
to go and what to do.
Each defensive linemen has one rule while in the stack when the ball is snapped they must
penetrate into the backfield through their gap as fast as possible; penetrate past the heels and
compress the LOS, and locate the ball.
OLB has a bit more freedom due to their athletic ability. They penetrate past the LOS and attack
the near hip of the QB. This allows us to put immediate pressure on the ball from one gap while the
remaining defenders in the stack compress the LOS to the ball.
The outside backers are free to make any basic call and you should encourage them to change up
and vary the calls as much as possible. What you will find is as the outside backers and the
defensive linemen take owner ship of the stack that the outside backers will make calls that will get
them in the backfield as quickly as possible as they will hit the gap that is the most available to
them to get to the ball.
Because the stunting and blitzing is layered, meaning defenders are attacking the LOS at various
moments in time, it ensures that a runner cannot simply bypass the first level of our defense
because they have to pass the layered pressure coming through the interior gaps (A,B,C).
Defensive linemen stay square and close on the ball if the ball goes past them they must retrace to
their gap in the same path they travelled. This ensures that we reduce cut back lanes on the
interior.
If a offensive linemen vacates (pulls) the defensive linemen follows his rule he penetrates and
locates the ball. If the ball flows with the vacating linemen he squeezes down on the hip of the
offensive linemen as he goes to the ball square.
Basic Calls
SPLIT
BASE CALL
GAP
IN
(GOAL LINE/OPEN END) BASE CALL
OUT
Basic Calls
These four basic calls can be made by the OLB’s at any time. My rule to them is put yourself in the best
position to make a play on the ball. Find the weak leak in the line and hammer that call home while
keeping them on offense on their toes.
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IN – The OLB will call IN and it will tell both the DG and DT to slant to the inside gaps (A and B)
while the OLB stunts into the C gap.
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OUT – The OLB will call OUT and it will tell both the SG and DT to slant to the outside gaps (B and C)
while the OLB stunts into the A gap.
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SPLIT – The OLB will call SPLIT and it will tell DG slant into the inside gap (A) and the DT to take the
outside gap (C) while the OLB stunts into B gap.
NOTE: These three calls allow the OLB to hit all three gaps on his side of the ball.
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GAP – This is a short yardage and/or instant pressure call when we need to get all three defenders
into the backfield immediately. This is especially useful in short yardage and goal line situations.
The DG will slide into the A gap, the DT will slide into the B gap, and the OLB will slide into the C
gap. This is also an automatic when the OLB sees an open side (no tight end) on his side. This
allows him to put immediate pressure on the A, B, and C gaps and place pressure on the backfield.
Remember the OLB is attacking the near hip of the QB so it allows us the flood the backfield.
Stack = Pressure
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This is a pressure concept that allows us to attack with eight defenders putting
players in every gap and closing down the backfield from the D gap as our force
defender hunts the ball from the outside in.
When we call stack we want to attack; we want those six stack defenders getting
behind the LOS as quickly as possible, locating the ball, and killing the ball behind
the LOS or spilling the ball into the hunters.
We want our defensives ends hunting the ball from outside in and either stopping
the ball in the backfield or spilling it deep behind the LOS towards the boundary.
Stack Defensive Line Technique
• use a 3 – point stance that is aggressive. By aggressive
I mean that you need to use a toe – heel (or slightly
deeper) staggered stance with the dominant hand
down and around 18 to 24 inches from the up field
foot. The offhand needs to be in a power position as if
ready to sprint; cocked above and behind the near hip.
• Exploding off the ball is essential and the first step is
key; it needs to be an aggressive power step into the
gap. It is alright to teach the down hand on the slant
side as well and often is an advantage if you can teach
them to get into a stance using both hands.
• This is not the same as an offensive line stance.
Stack Penetration Technique
• The way they will penetrate into the gap is the defensive
linemen will put their eyes on the hands or feet of the blocker
in front of them. When their key moves their hands/feet they
will get off the ball by exploding into their gap (BGO – Ball Get
Off).
• The OLB will key the hand/feet of the nearest blocker to the
gap he is penetrating; he must not stare but keep his head
pointed straight.
• In either case the defensive linemen will all explode through
the near hip of their gap assignment. See the table below for
aiming points.
Stack Penetration Aiming Points
Outside Backer
IN
Aims off the defensive tackle’s
outside hip at the snap and attacks
the C gap.
Defensive Tackle
IN
Keys the hand of the blocker over
and penetrates to the near hip of the
blocker on inside of the B gap.
Defensive Guard
IN
Keys the hand of the blocker over
and penetrates to the near hip of the
blocker on the inside of the A gap.
OUT
Aims off the defensive guard’s inside
hip at the snap and attack the A gap.
OUT
Keys the hand of the blocker over
and penetrates to the near hip of the
blocker on the outside of the C gap.
OUT
Keys the hand of the blocker over
and penetrates to the near hip of the
blocker on the outside of the B gap.
Aims off the defensive tackle’s inside
hip at the snap and attacks the B
gap.
Keys the hand of the blocker over
and penetrates to the near hip of the
blocker on the outside of the C gap.
Keys the hand of the blocker over
and penetrates to the near hip of the
blocker on the inside of the A gap.
GAP
Aligns in the C gap in a three point
stance. Keys the hand of the blocker
on the inside of the C gap and
penetrates off the inside hip of the
blocker inside of the gap.
GAP
Aligns in the B gap. Keys the hand
of the blocker inside of the B gap and
penetrates off the inside hip of the
inside blocker.
GAP
Aligns in the A gap. Keys the hand of
the blocker inside of the A gap and
penetrates off the inside hip of the
inside blocker.
Engagement/Shed Technique
• All the stack players must get off the ball quickly on the first
movement they see (whether that is the ball or the hand/foot of
any of the near blockers). This is called BGO (BALL GET OFF).
• Secondly they must stay low and pierce the LOS. As they attack the
near hip (aiming point) they must use the near arm and rip under
and through the blocker if he attempts to block him. He must not
get tangled up with any blocker as his job is to penetrate behind the
heels of the blocker and then locate the ball and flow to it.
• Go-Rip-Flow should be their three step progression. The key is to
get into the gap and then penetrate behind the heels of the line and
then locate the ball in that exact order.
• The RIP technique can be a speed rip or rip & club (wrist, elbow,
shoulder). The key is it has to be violent and explosive and allow
the defender to create separation quickly. Part of our DEFENSIVE
SHED FIT at the beginning of practice.
Be Aware!
• Aggressiveness is good but being overly
aggressive is not good.
• Penetrate past the heels of the offensive line.
• Locate the ball.
• Move to the ball as square to the LOS as
possible.
• If the ball carrier goes vertical and moves past
you retrace your steps to your gap then
pursue.
Thoughts On Stack Personnel
• If you have extra talent or you feel you have a very
talented and/or gifted OLB or even defensive linemen
don’t hesitate to put them in the stack.
• Although I feel that having your superior talent in the
hourglass (BACK 5) is essential to stopping the big plays
you can improve the pressure you place on the offense
by placing natural talent in those positions and letting
them pin their ears back and get after the ball.
• Good talent in the stacks will also improve your force
on the edges from your ends as well and increase the
likelihood of a turnover in the pass triangle from the
increased pass rush pressure.
Age Level and Calls
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STACK is the base of this defense. It is the simplest and most aggressive call we can install in
this defense. It allows our players to be aggressive attackers to the ball.
RED is a variation of this that turn our OLB’s into reading defenders. It requires the OLB’s to
be trained in perimeter and alley concepts as well as pass coverage.
SPREAD puts additional technical pressure on our OLB as they now have to cover in
perimeter space. It is the same as RED but the OLB is now checking PASS to RUN.
QUARTERS puts even more technical pressure on our OLB as they now have to cover in
vertical space.
ZULU is a SPREAD variation of STACK that puts the OLB back in pressure but it requires the
OLB to be athletic and fast enough to close that ground on the ball quickly.
PRESS is a pure hard corner coverage technique that requires the OLB to cover a defender in
man and be able to stay with him vertically and laterally in open space.
Eight and younger I would stick with STACK and use BEAR call MPP linemen. RED call only if
the OLB’s are good football players (RED or RED BEAR).
Over the age of eight it is based on the ability of the team and the offenses you face. RED
and STACK are both viable calls you can install.
Over the age of ten all calls become viable based on need.
Front Six Advanced Calls
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These are advanced calls for the front six and they give us some nice variations that allow us
to give a few different looks and twist in attacking offensive lines.
BEAR is really a simplification of our interior line that allows us to look like GAM team as it
places the guards and tackles in the A and B gaps and bear crawl them through while the
OLB’s align in the C gaps and blitz but we can call RED BEAR and have the OLB’s read as well.
Nice call for younger age teams or inexperienced (MPP) players.
The BULL uses the LAUNCH IN LAP technique with all four defensive line men attacking the
guards and tackles while the OLB’s align in the C gap and blitz. It is basically a TWO GAP
technique that aggressively displaces the blocker into the backfield. We can also call RED
BULL to have the OLB’s read. This is a great call for offensive lines that are basically sitting on
their gaps trying to cover up their gaps expecting stunting and blitzing off our stacks. If
offensive lines are area blocking and not coming off aggressively this is a great call because it
gets the defensive linemen into the blockers and drives them off the line of scrimmage as
they read flow.
TWISTER (IN call with a line stunt) and TORNADO (OUT call with a line stunt) are nice
adjustments to teach if you have some athletic linemen that can move laterally quickly and
then get up field with some discontent in their heart. These could both be with the OLB
reading calling them RED TWISTER and RED TORNADO.
TIGER is a stunt between the two defensive guards while the defensive tackles attack the B
gaps and the OLB’s can either blitz the C gaps or READ (RED TIGER).
GAP CALLS
• This is a blend of the GAP (GAP IN) and the
basic calls so that you can move the OLB into
any of the three gaps.
• IN + GAP = GAP IN
• OUT + GAP = GAP OUT
• SPLIT + GAP = GAP SPLIT
• OLB has the same hunting landmark: near hip
of the QB.
GAP Calls
GAP SPLIT
GAP IN
I
GAP OUT
Bear Call
• The BEAR call allows you to use less than athletic linemen and fill space so
it is really an adjustment to adapt to slower linemen.
• The defensive line align in the gaps with the defensive guards aligning in
the A gaps and the defensive tackles in the B gaps while the OLB’s align in
the C gap and blitz into the backfield.
• The bear crawlers must explode into the gaps and crawl past the heels of
the blockers. As soon as they do they must get their heads up and locate
the ball immediately and get up and get to the ball.
Bear
Red Bear
Bull Call
• The defensive linemen get into a four point power rush stance and they
literally spring into the lap of the blocker and drive him back into the
backfield as they locate the ball.
• If executed correctly they are playing a two gap technique in a very
aggressive manner. It is essentially a flat out explosive bull rush.
• It is a great change up against offensive lines that are sitting on the line of
scrimmage trying to locate which guy to block. The BULL call also will
allow the OLB to come free in the C gap if the TE fans out to take the DE
and does not block the OLB or on the open side.
Bull
Red Bull
Bull Rush Technique
• Four Point Stance – aggressive lean.
• Explode into the chest plate of the blocker and
power punch into the arm pits and drive the
blocker back.
• Head up, locate ball, pound feet, drive blocker
back.
• Locate ball, pull/push away blocker, square up,
go to ball.
Twister Call
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Twister is an inside blitz to the A gap while the defensive guard drops their outside foot and
crosses over the inside foot as the body stays square to the line of scrimmage. The defensive
tackle will aim for the outside hip of the next blocker inside (guard) and attack through the
gap just as if he was slanting into the B gap. As soon as the defensive tackle penetrates the
defensive guard will cross the face of the defensive tackle’s blocker (tackle) and penetrate
past the blocker’s outside hip. The defensive guard must stay flat and literally scrape the
defensive tackle as he goes by so that he can get into the smallest space possible on the
outside hip of the offensive tackle.
The OLB must attack the inside hip of the offensive guards and go through it. If the OG fans
out to follow the defensive guard or blocks into the B gap to pick up the DT he leaves the A
gap open and OLB will be behind the LOS quickly especially if the center is focused on the
opposite stack.
Twister
Tornado
Tornado Call
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Tornado is the exact opposite to Twister. The OLB will blitz into the C gap aiming for the
outside hip of the offensive tackle. The defensive guard will aim for the inside hip of the
offensive tackle and slant into the B gap. The defensive tackle will drop his inside foot and
cross over step with his outside and scrape the defensive guard as he goes into the B gap. As
soon as the DG goes vertical and he crosses the defensive guard’s butt the defensive tackle
will go vertical and attack the inside hip of the offensive tackle and get into the C gap.
This is a great call against offensive guards that are chasing the defensive guard into the B gap
as well as a nice call for when the offensive tackle is stepping down inside to cover the B gap
as the stunt will lure him inside so the OLB can get into the C gap easily.
Twister
Tornado
Red Twister/Tornado Call
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The addition of RED the OLB’s don’t blitz into their designed gaps instead they fake the blitz
and read. This is a nice complimentary call to Twister and Tornado and very easy to install if
you already have the RED call installed.
It is great way of adding additional pressure on the inside and the DE is providing sufficient
pressure on the edge so the OLB can read and respond to a good backfield attack.
Red Twister
Red Tornado
Dog Call
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Dog call tells the DG to slant inside and the DT to drop back into zone coverage (LB zone
drop).
Bull Dog tells the DG to use a BULL technique and the DT to drop into zone coverage (LB zone
drop).
This is a call we use in conjunction with our STACK, SPREAD, QUARTERS, and ZULU calls.
Basic Training for the Front Six
• Stack Drills:
– Stance
– Alignment
– Recognition and Calls
– Technique
Stance Drill #1 (Stance)
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Why: To teach the basic stances and foundations of the defensive line and outside backers.
How: Coach will align them on a basic seven cones (tires) set up with the center cone being the center.
Teach the two point balanced linebacker stance and the proper depth (3 to 4 yards) . Teach the defensive
linemen how to get into a proper 3-point and 4-point stance. Then teach them how the OLB is in charge
of the stack and he makes the calls either vocally or physically (taps). Have them get into and out of their
stances and check them to makes sure they are correct. Make sure the OLB depth is correct as well.
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Stance Drill #2 (Alignment)
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Why: To teach the proper alignment on offensive fronts (five, six, seven, eight man fronts) and how to
quickly align on balanced and unbalanced (3:3, 2:4, 1:5, 0:6). Review and cover the shift call for the above
(shift, double shift, triple shift) that the mike backer can make to align the interior front. Cover the open
OT and how the outside backer automatically makes the GAP (unless RED).
How: Coach will align them on various fronts with a snapper cone. Align them on a basic seven man
front, six man front (GAP CALL is made on open side (no TE side), five man front (gap call made on both
sides). Then have them align on an eight man front (MIKE calls shift to strong side). Then have them align
on a nine man front (stay balanced). Next Step is review unbalanced sets out of a 7 man front (explain
3:3, 2:4 (shift), 1:5 (double shift), 0:6 (triple shift). Explain that an eight man front that is unbalanced
simply add 1 shift to the above.
NOTE: The MIKE makes a shift call it means to slide over by ONE MAN. Double shift means TWO MEN.
Triple shift means THREE MEN. QUAD SHIFT means FOUR MEN (I have never had to use this but you never
know when you have to adjust to a crazy formation.
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Stance Drill #3 (Recognition and Calls)
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Why: To teach our basic call and later on our advance call packages. Stress BGO (ball get off)
How: Coach will take two stack teams have them quickly align, get into a proper stance, and prepare for
ball/blocker movement. Once the coach quickly checks for both proper alignment and stance he will
move up to the LOS and use either a foot or a ball for movement. The backers will be given a basic call (IN,
then OUT, then SPLIT, then GAP) and on the movement queue they will fire off and execute that call. Once
the players pass the blockers heels they will come to a full stop and the coach will check to make sure each
defender is in the right gap. He should also check that they fire off on the very first movement and attack
the right aiming points. The coach should teach each call separately then combine calls one at a time; see
table below. Coaches need to stress that every player should get skinny and low into the gaps when they
penetrate.
Note: use various alignments to get the stacks used to aligning on different fronts.
Note: you can use the next set of stacks with shields so that they have to perform BGO/Go-Rip-Flow
Basic: IN/OUT/SPILT/GAP (use RED/explain)
Advanced: BEAR, BULL, TORNADO, TWISTER, TIGER
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Stance Drill #4 (Technique)
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Why: To teach the specific techniques for the defensive line and OLB while stacking. Stack Penetration
technique and Shed/Engagement technique.
How: Coach will take two stack teams have them quickly align, get into a proper stance, and prepare for
ball/blocker movement. One coach quickly checks for both proper alignment and stance he will move up
to the LOS and use either a foot or a ball for movement. The backers will make their calls quickly. Coach
will give a movement queue and as he does will then point to a bag that is standing (being held by a
player) and the defenders will locate that bag and get to it and touch or tackle the bag (touch it to get
every player moving to the ball), tackle to get them to locate, move, and make a tackle (gang tackle).
Remind them to keep their belt buckle pointed into the backfield and move laterally as they close on the
ball. The key is teaching BALL GET OFF (BGO) and PENETRATE PAST THE LINES HEELS AND LOCATE THE
BALL
Note: use various alignments to get the stacks used to aligning on different fronts.
Note: place the bags at various depths to the LOS to get the defenders used to locating the ball as soon as
they get past the heels of the blockers.
Note: Reinforce that their job is to locate and kill the ball in the backfield and deny it access to the A, B,
and C gaps. They must ignore blockers and find the ball. Their job is to penetrate and locate the ball.
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Get Off Drill
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Why: To teach our player to BGO (ball get off), penetrate behind the heels, locate the ball. Get to it
square.
How: Coach Holding a ball will simulate a snap and move ball. Defenders move on the movement of the
ball. They explode off the line and into their assigned gap. Defensive line must locate the ball and flow to
it square. OLB’s must penetrate and attack the near hip of the QB (coach). Coach will move a few steps
left, right, or towards the LOS. All defenders must flow to the coach and double tap him.
Notes: check stance, alignment, BGO technique, and LOCATE technique.
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Pass Rush
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Why: To teach our player to convert to a pass rush to get to the passer.
How: Coach Holding a ball will simulate a snap and move ball. Defenders move on the movement of the ball.
They explode off the line and into their assigned gap as if to pass rush. Defensive line must locate the ball and
flow to it square. OLB’s must penetrate and attack the near hip of the QB (coach). Coach will drop 3 or 5 step and
the stacks will convert to a pass rush and get to the passer. If the QB is prepared to throw and the defenders have
not gotten to the passer they get their hands up and jump the ball when it leaves his hand.
Notes: make sure the DL stay in their paths and stay square on the passer. Mix up the calls.
Notes: Make sure that every defender maintains proper leverage on the passer. Once they see pass and confirm
there is no dander of DRAW – no RB near the QB get vertical to the passer ASAP.
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Retrace Path
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Why: To teach our player to retrace their path when they penetrate to deep on a DRAW/DELAY/QB RUN
OFF BROKEN PLAY.
How: Coach Holding a ball will simulate a snap and move ball. Defenders move on the movement of the
ball. They explode off the line and into their assigned gap as if to pass rush. Defensive line must locate
the ball and flow to it square. OLB’s must penetrate and attack the near hip of the QB (coach). Coach will
move a few steps left, right, or towards the LOS. All defenders must flow to the coach and double tap him.
Notes: check stance, alignment, BGO technique, and LOCATE technique.
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Bull Rush Technique
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Why: To teach our defensive linemen how to bull drive a blocker and flow to the ball.
How: using a dummy, a blocker with a shield, an cone, and a ball carrier.
1): The DL will get in a four point stance and the blocker will be in a two point o-line stance holding a
shield. When the OLINE steps forward the DL will fire off and explode directly into the blocker driving his
palms into the arms pits. The purpose is to drive the blocker back as far as possible. The DL must launch
violently into the blocker and when contact is made he gets his feet on the ground with a wide base and
power drives the blocker back. The purpose of this drill is to master the explode portion and get the DL
used to launching his body into the blocker.
2): Same as above except we put a cone five yards back from the blocker. Now the DL will drive the
blocker back past the cone. The purpose of this portion is to get the DL to get his feet down and drive the
already off balance blocker back.
3): We add a ball carrier five yards back and on blocker first move the ball carrier walks to the left or right
and the DL must push-pull the blocker away and flow to the ball carrier and wrap him up.
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Explode
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Drive
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Push - Pull
Push/Pull Contest
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Why: to teach the DL how to execute a push/pull in a competitive arena
How: Two defenders will grasp each others arm pits and on GO both DL men will attempt to push/pull
their opponent on to the ground. First defender to put their opponent on the ground wins.
You can have several pairs going at a time as long as you have one coach managing each pair.
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Fill the Pull
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Why: To teach our player to properly react and move on a pull block that happens in front of them.
How: Coach Holding a ball will simulate a snap and move ball. Defenders move on the movement of the ball.
They explode off the line and into their assigned gap. The rule is if you slant behind a puller to penetrate pass the
heels, get square, expect a kick out on the opposite side, flow with the pull, find the ball. If the defender slants in
front of the pull he must hold his ground as he penetrates, locate the ball, and flow to it as he keeps square.
Notes: Stack OLB makes a call and they execute on first movement from coach or OLINE.
Notes: It is important they get off the ball (BGO) and immediately respond to the pull after they penetrate.
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Split the Double
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Why: to teach our defensive linemen how to split a double team and penetrate beyond their heels or
drop the double team at the LOS if they get contact. The OLB must realize that he is free man and must
get through his gap and locate the near hip of the QB.
How: Coach will signal a IN/OUT/SPLIT and on his snap count the TE/T will double team the DT and the
OG/CTR will double team the DG. They must BGO and attempt to get behind the heels of the oline,
square their shoulder, and locate the ball. If they get caught by the double team they must latch on to the
near arm pit (cloth under arm pit) or lock both blocker’s tricep in (arm lock) into your chest and drive one
knee down as they pull down on both arm pits/arms and drive the double team into the ground at the
LOS creating a barrier. They must do this as soon as they realize they will not penetrate past the heels.
The OLB must quickly get into his gap before the OLINE can come off their block and make a play and get
to the coach.
Notes: you can use advanced calls as well in this drill as you move on into the season.
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Questions/Comments?

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