Guards and Tackles:
Good line play starts with the stance. We must have the same stance each and every time we get set of the LOS. Our feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. The wrist of the inside arm should be resting on the thigh with the elbow tucked into the hip. The hand of the outside arm should be resting lightly on ground. The chest should be as flat as possible in relation to the top of the thighs while still maintaining the center of gravity back in the hips and glutes. The Left Guard and Tackle will have a left handed stance. Right Guard and Tackle will have a right handed stance. Bend at the knees and ankles. The down hand should be out far enough to create balance. There should be very little weight on the down hand. All five fingers should be on the ground. Always be looking through the “screws of our helmet” for vision.
Centers: Same principles as above with the following additions:
The down hand extends with the laces upon the ball. There should be very little, if any weight on the ball. Snap the ball by pulling it up off the ground rather than looping it up and around. Turn the ball on quarter naturally and step simultaneously. The Shotgun snap is a soft “pass” to the Quarterback’s chest. We will rep this so many times it will be an afterthought.
Zone Blocking Footwork
- Keep a wide base at all times, especially on contact.
- Play the game on your insteps. This will allow for great power angles, a low center of gravity, and ability to maintain blocks.
- The Drop step is used to gain an advantage on the defender. It allows for improved blocking angles, as well as the time to read what the defender is doing.
- The Drop step helps insure that your butt is never in the hole. This allows for bigger holes!
- The Drop steps size changes depending upon size of offensive lineman, and position of defensive lineman.
- Contact is made on the second step. How fast can you get the second step down? The man with the second step down first wins!
- The drop step allows for a better base and gives you better leverage on your second step/punch.
- The drop step allows you to readjust to any defensive movement with your second step.
- The drop step allows our RB time to take his footwork, shortens the amount of time the offensive line must sustain a block, and puts us on the same plain as the RB to allow for easier cuts. (Square Peg into a Round Hole)
- IMPORTANT* your shoulders still surge forward with the bucket step. They do not rise up. (Low man wins)
- As an offensive lineman you must be extremely violent with your hands. This explosion allows for offensive lineman to win blocks.
- The hands should be aimed at the breast plate of the defender. The goal of the offensive lineman is to lock on to the breast plate.
- Re-Punch when you are starting to lose a block or if you are in a stalemate.
Hand fight progression:
6 point explosion- Players partner up one being on his knees while the other is in a six point stance. (On his toes, knees, and hands) On the whistle player in the six point cocks his hands then drives through player or sled fully extending his hips to the ground.
Purpose: This teaches player to get a great punch while working his hips into the block.
Re-punch Drill- Player A starts fitted in and drives player B back until whistle. At whistle player B punches and drives player A back. Repeat
Purpose: Getting both players to work hard for 10-15 seconds while teaching to re-punch, lower center of gravity, and widen base to get movement.
Clear the Hands Drill- Player A on offense starts fitted in while player B knocks A's hands off repeatedly.
Purpose: Get player to get the feel of re-punching after hands get knocked off. Inside hands always wins!
Hand Fight Drill- Two players on their knees work for inside hands on the whistle.
Purpose: Get used to "fighting" for inside hands. This drill also brings in a little aspect of competition.
Boards and bags progression:
Board drill- 1st step and hold, 2 steps and hold, waddle.
Purpose: Get the feel for how to move properly. Keeping an eye on wide base, low center of gravity, and having your head up.
2 step and punch- Player will take first two steps and punch the bag.
Purpose: Taking the first two steps of any block (IZ, OZ, ECT) and making sure to get contact on 2nd step while focusing on inside hands and footwork.
Punch and Drive- Player will take correct steps to contact and drive the bag down the board.
Purpose: Puts the correct footwork together while driving a defensive player off the line of scrimmage focusing on steps, hips, wide base, and aiming their jam.
Drive plus resistance- Player will take correct steps to contact and drive the bag down the board. The bag will add resistance on the whistle.
Purpose: Puts the correct footwork together while driving a defensive player off the line of scrimmage focusing on steps, hips, wide base, and aiming their jam. Then when resistance is added it makes the offensive player sink hips, re-punch and finish.
Rip- Drill teaches offensive player how to defeat a rip by pinning the hip and running the defensive player up field.
Swim- Drill teaches offensive player how to defeat a rip by punching under swim arm and running up field.
Spin- Drill teaches offensive player how to defeat a rip by either keeping head out and re-punching or "corkscrewing"
Bull- Drill teaches offensive player how to defeat a rip by stepping back, widening base, and re-punching.
Purpose: Teach players correct way to defeat a defensive player's move. If done correctly and enough times this should become second nature and will start happening automatically on the game field.
Mirror then counter- Offensive player will mirror defensive player until whistle. Then defensive player will pick a side and try to beat the offensive player up field using one of the four counters. Offensive player will then "counter" defensive players move.
Purpose: Teaches offensive players to mirror by moving his feet and then react to a defensive players move.
Disadvantage Drill- Player is out of position on a block and needs to rip, cut, or butt block to stay on block.
Purpose: Make players feel a little more comfortable in positions they are going to get into in a game. This also allows them to feel what it feels like to use these less practiced blocks.
Cut drill- (rip and roll)
Finish Drill- Offensive player works any block in the playbook for 3 seconds then on the whistle play goes live and offensive player tries to "finish" the block by any means necessary. This could mean actually finishing the defensive player to the ground or just running the player off.
Purpose: Starts to work on the good habit of getting the offensive player to finish every play to the whistle and trying to snap off every block.