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Offensive Line. Offensive lineman have to work together. Switching the right guard to the left tackle from week to week is not a positive thing for the team. By keeping the offensive line together and practicing together this helps insure that the unit functions as one.

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Offensive Line

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Offensive Line

Offensive lineman have to work together. Switching the right guard to the left tackle from week to week is not a positive thing for the team. By keeping the offensive line together and practicing together this helps insure that the unit functions as one.

As the offensive line goes,

so does the team go

Skills & Drills – Offensive Linemen

  • Stance and Get-Offs

  • Run Blocking

    • Drive

    • Down

    • Double-Team

    • Cutoff

    • Scramble

    • Reach

    • Cut

    • Wedge

    • Pull & Trap

    • Combinations

  • Pass Protection

  • SAQ

Line Blocking Basics

  • The offensive linemen have to be able to execute the following blocks:

    • Spring Practice

      • Drive Block - One on one vs. a defender, either down lineman or LB

      • Double-Team - Both a post blocker and drive blocker

      • Reach Block - Sometimes called a “scoop” block, especially if its on the backside;

      • Wedge - It is not a pretty block. It is sheer brute force

      • Aggressive Pass Blocking

    • Summer/Fall

      • Combination Blocks - Combos and Folds between 2 adjacent linemen on down defender and LB to the inside

      • Pulling to trap or lead block

      • Sprint-out Pass Blocking - Step/hinge technique


  • Once an offensive lineman has graduated to a HOGS (hand on ground stud) he will receive a shirt stating that he is part of the HOGS.

  • All offensive lineman will also be given a sideline hat stating that they are part of the “PLOW BOYS”. This is the only group on the whole team that has an individual name.

  • So many kids do not want to be an offensive lineman. Not on this team. It should be a position sought out for. We should have tryouts for offensive lineman.

OL Characteristics

Stance and alignment are the first steps in the process of a lineman completing his assignment.

A bad stance puts him at a huge disadvantage. Football is hard enough without self-imposed limitations.

Stance and Alignment


  • Objective: Develop the position that will enable the linemen to be most effective in starting their blocking assignment

  • Key Points: The most important components of stance and start for the offense are:

    • Choosing the most appropriate stance

    • Achieving balance

    • Feeling comfortable in the stance

    • Keeping the head and eyes up

Stance – Technique

  • Feet just wider than shoulders. Inside of feet are even with outside of shoulders.

    • Toes always point directly forward. Body will go where the toes point.

    • We prefer the feet/toes to be even

      • The individual may stagger his dominant/stronger foot back but no further than the toes even with the arch of the other foot.

  • Squat low and prepare to drop hands

    • Drop the rear and get low enough to place the elbows on the knees. Drop the shoulders as well. Back should be very nearly level.

    • This position is viable for starting the play if desired.

  • Lean forward and place hand(s) on the ground

    • Thumb and 1st 3 fingers should be on the ground

    • Pinky finger can be down if desired

    • Heels should be no more than 1” off the ground

      • Higher and the player has too much weight on his hands

      • Less and it might be a tell for pass blocking

    • Do not adjust the feet once the hands touch

      • There is a tendency to start inching the feet back and the player ends up in a sprinter stance

  • Shoulders are square to the LOS and level – not 1 shoulder higher than the other

  • Back should be flat, even arched a bit

  • (for 3-pt: Off-arm should be in front of the knee, not resting on the knee, not cocked back on the side)

  • Head and eyes are up, looking for the defender

Stance – Common Errors

The specific locations in which the offensive linemen will start the play.


Hole Numbering











  • The holes are used to tell the players where the ball is going and to provide us with a consistent way of referring to the play.

  • All holes are based on the outside hip of the player. In this scheme we will number the holes odd to the left and even to the right.

  • 0, 1 are over the hips of the Center.

  • 9 is the far left, 8 is the far right. These are used identify the sweeps and very wide plays

Line Splits

  • The line split is the distance between the outside foot of a lineman and the inside foot of the next linemen to his outside. The split is used to spread the defense out and make their alignments very clear.

  • For our run offense, our linemen will follow these rules:

    • Since we run option, we need the splits to spread the defense so we have room.

    • We cannot close the splits down, no “herding”













Line Split Adjustments

  • We want the hand-off key (HOK) to be as far away from the FB as possible (DeMeo, I need to look this up)

    • If the HOK is head up on the OL then move 1’ to the outside

    • If the HOK is inside the OL then move the 1’ to the inside

  • If the PST has a 4i technique then

    • “If he’s in the i the gap must die”

    • The defense will do this to force a quick read

    • Move down to 1’ (foot-to-foot) with the PSG. That makes the 4i a 3-tech which is then double-teamed

  • Inside the +10-yard line

    • Close splits to 2’ across the line

  • Inside the 3-yard line

    • Close splits to 1’ across the line

    • Move the depth up as close as possible

      • The advantage we gain from being back off the ball is lost in the goal-line situation

Line Depth

  • Linemen Depth

    • We want the OL to align as deep/off the ball as possible. We want the top of the helmet even with the belt of the center.

    • This will help with the pulling and zone/scoop blocking

    • It gives the OL time to read and react to stunts and slants and other DL games

    • The closer to the LOS our OL are the better players they must be

  • Guards align with their down hand on the toes of the outside foot of the center

  • Tackles align with the toes of their inside foot splitting the arch of the outside foot of the guard

Two Laws of Blocking:

Low man wins

Inside hands win

Run Blocking

Play Calls and Run Blocking

  • Each of the play descriptions in the playbook has the assignment and name of the blocking technique for each position

    • The names used in the descriptions are the same names used in this skills document

  • By reviewing the play descriptions, and the put-in schedule, it is possible to determine the importance of each technique as well as the sequence that the blocking techniques need to be taught

  • The following sections go through each blocking technique and describe the block objective, key points, notes, specific techniques, and error resolution

Summary of Blocking Techniques

Blocking Inventory

  • Based on the assignments and techniques for the (current) plays, it is logical to look as the following blocks as being necessary skills for the OL to have:

    • Drive Block

      • On DL

      • On LB

    • Cutoff

    • Double-Team

  • With the current playlist, expending time/resources on teaching other blocking techniques does not contribute to the OL developing the proper skill set.

The running game starts with the basic drive block where the lineman is in a one-on-one situation with a defender on the line directly across from him.

Drive Block

Drive Block (DW Forum)

  • I watched Murphy's talk on DVD, I believe it was at the second DW forum on how his offensive linemen take two short steps, I mean six inches long, and get into their block.

  • Then, I recently read the book on De La Salle football, and read a brief article written by Coach Ladoceaur on how his line gets off the ball in those first two, short steps.

  • But neither the video nor the article explained exactly why taking two SHORT steps is so important. Maybe I'm just a dim bulb, but it made sense to me that if you take two longer steps and did it faster than the other guy, that would be an advantage . . . but, of course, that is almost impossible because the two players are so close to each other.

  • So, I lined up my kids and watched them very, very closely. And now it all makes sense. Just as Murphy said, you have to teach those kids to take two quick short steps and plant them on the ground, seven cleats on the turf. The key is that they must be SHORT steps, because your linemen are going to catch those defensive linemen with their second, longer step before they get that foot planted. That is the key to it all. Maybe this is obvious to most of you, but to me it was huge to understand this. Even if your guys are slower than the defense, momentum is destroyed when that offensive lineman catches that defender with his foot in the air taking his second step. Will the defender get that foot down? Sure. But it is too late. The OL has already started going forward on his third step. The defender has been stopped and is now trying to recover, but the battle is lost.

Drive Block (DW Forum) II

  • And let me tell you the results. Two kids, whom I've coached for three years now and have always been minimum play kids, are now kicking the living crap out of my bigger, faster, stronger linemen. Those two kids have the absolute best form of anyone else. They get those two short steps down bang, bang, and then start driving. We did the Sumo drill the other night, and these two guys finished first and second, and I would have said prior to that drill that the odds of that happening were about a gizzillion to one. All the other linemen took notice, and now most of them are concentrating, and I mean really concentrating, on taking those two steps. Two of them came over the other night and asked me to help them work on their steps, they were so impressed with the results shown by those two others who are doing it right.

  • Just to add a little bit coach ... that first step is a directional step ... it gets us headed WHERE we want to go ... then that second step is the power step ... we are getting it down as quickly as we possibly can because contact will come during this step no matter what you do ... you can get your step down and have power or you can get caught in midstep and have no power ...

  • That is the reason we use LEG and spend so much time repping our LEG progression ... to stay low on our directional step and to explode with maximum force on our power step

Drive Block (1-1)

  • Objective:

    • This is a one-on-one block and is the foundation for all calls and formations

      • Job is to drive the defender off the LOS and keep him occupied so the back can pick a hole to run through

  • Key Points:

    • The most important components of the drive block are:

      • Creating a base of power

      • Proper footwork

      • Contacting the defender at the landmark

      • Follow-trough

  • Notes:

    • First step ties, second step wins

    • Remember: Influence the defender by making him react to his gap control. Shaded defenders are normally gap defenders

    • If you get a head-up defender helmet placement is the play side ear

Drive Block – Technique

  • Start in good stance

  • First Step (“Tie” step)

    • On snap drive down hand back (may want to “load” both arms) while taking a 6” step with dominant/back foot.

    • Eyes lock on the landmark – the top of the numbers on the chest of the defender. Head must stay low.

      • If ball is coming over the OL then the head should go to the middle of the numbers

      • If ball is going to the gap on each side then the head should go to the numbers on that side

    • Back stays flat, parallel to the ground

  • Step 2 is the power step (the “win” step)

    • Step to where the defender had his hand on the ground

    • Bring both hands up and into the chest of the defender, lifting him up

      • Hands should be as close together as possible

      • Keep the thumbs up, pointing toward the sky

      • Keep the elbows down

    • Arch the back which will drop the hips. This will provide leverage

  • Continue to drive with short (6” or less) choppy steps

    • Keep feet 6” wider than the shoulders

    • Step on the toes of the defender

Drive Block – Linebacker

  • Similar to base drive block – Get off low, take steps to get to the LB

  • Just before contact dip down low again to gain leverage

  • Put forehead on the number to the hole side

  • Hit leading with top of shoulder pad, getting under his shoulder pads, and get hands on inside of his chest

  • The LB will usually try to take on this block with a shoulder, trying to get under the blocker, and then use shoulder and forearm as a “flipper” to shed the block

    • Getting hands on inside will allow the OL to control him and stay on the block longer

Drive Block – Common Errors

Used when an OL that is supposed to pull is covered and the OL in that direction is not covered.

Down Block

Down Block

  • Objective:

    • Block the defender away from the hole, usually to the inside gap.

  • Key Points:

    • First step is down the line forcing the defender to react to his gap

      • 30-to-45 degree angle step toward the defender

        • Depending on the speed of the DL, this may need to be a 12” step laterally toward the sideline to stop penetration

      • Stay low - keep stomach on the thigh

      • Aim head for defender’s far hip or shoulder

        • Get the head between the defender and the LOS

      • Deliver blow to the near side of the defender, driving the shoulder into the defender’s ribcage

        • Keep outside hand up and aimed for the defender’s hip

    • Second step

      • Helmet placement is to the near ear, don’t allow the helmet to drift across the nose of the defender.

      • If the defender tries to go upfield then drive him to the sideline

      • If the defender tries to go to the sideline then swing the hips and shoulder to face the sideline and create a big surface for the defender to get around

    • Punch placement is the near number. By making the defender react to his gap responsibility, this will help the push and finish the defender.

    • Control the defender with the punch, this is the advantage the rule change of blocking with extended arms and hands gives you

  • Notes:

The double-team block involves two offensive linemen blocking one down defender and moving him out of the area.

Double Team

Double-Team Block

  • Objective:

    • Use 2 of our OL to move a defender from his position. Basically this is two OL drive blocking a DL out of the way

  • Key Points:

    • The most important components of the double-team block are:

      • Identifying the defender

      • Proper footwork

      • Creating movement

      • Preventing the split

      • Finishing the block

  • Notes:

    • The double-team will attempt to drive the defender back off the ball and into the path of the backside LB, who should be scraping to the play

    • The double-team, also a one-shoulder block, where our two men work to stay stuck together at the hips

    • The double-team block has an inside and an outside blocker.

    • This block will normally occur in the B/Bravo/G-T gap, or in the C/Cat/T-TE gap

      • Ex: Double team on DT in 3-tech on Triple

Double-Team Technique

Double-Team – Variations

  • Post and Pivot

    • Same as the base double-team, but the outside OL drives into the DL hip (scramble block)

      • Drive the DL laterally down the LOS

      • Aim for the hips, not the knees which is chop block and is illegal

  • Scramble

    • Both OL drive low at the defender, hip or thigh level, with their heads pinning the defender between them

      • Seal with their shoulders and hips

    • Usually the quickest way to get movement on the DL

3 Possible Defensive Responses

  • Split the block

    • The DL will probably try to turn his shoulders, making himself “thin” and try to drive between the blockers

    • This is prevented by working very hard on the seal between the two OL

      • Hips and shoulders together

  • Attack one of the blockers

    • Usually the DL will try to spin out of the double-team

    • This is prevented by the OL maintaining outside pressure with their helmets and outside arms

  • Drop and create a pile

    • The defender may just “drop and grab grass” to prevent being moved out of the area

      • Blockers must stay on their feet, avoid falling down, and continue to try and push the DL backward out of the hole.

Double-Team Block – Common Errors

Usually described as a back-side block, meaning it is on the back side of the play. This block is used to “cut off” a defender from getting to the play.

Cutoff Block

Cutoff (Reach/Scoop)

  • Objective:

    • The OL is to cutoff the defender from pursuing the play.

      • Usually on a sweep or the backside

      • A variation can also be used to get the PSG under a 3-technique DL and get to the LB (Midline)

      • OL is going to reduce his shoulder to get under the DL/DE tech and attack the linebacker

      • We teach this technique as pickin’ grass

  • Key Points:

    • Dip and Rip, Going to the right

      • 6 inch step with right foot, flat along the LOS,

      • Throw (forcefully) right elbow back

      • Take left elbow to inside of right knee

      • Left foot steps directly in front of the first step, twist the shoulders to "Get Small“

        • Left hand should be in position to “pick grass”

      • Rip with the left hand through to the 2nd level (never up)

      • He picks grass with his outside arm and gets his eyes to the LB

  • Note:


Scramble block is a variation of the drive block where the OL drives low at the hip or thigh of the defender. A drive block with hands on the ground

Scramble Block

Scramble Block

  • Objective:

    • Used by quick-hitting teams (plays) to control a defender by staying in his legs

  • Key Points:

    • OL uses his shoulder and upper and lower arms to create a triangular blocking surface

      • This is the “older” style of blocking

    • OL drives off as in the regular drive block, but the landmark is the hip or thigh of the defender

    • Use the off hand on the ground to add more stability to the blocking position.

    • Head is to the playside of the defender

      • Pinch with the ear

      • Look to the sky

    • Arch back and lift the defender off the ground

      • Decreases his stability/balance

      • Increases OL balance by adding weight

  • Notes:

The blocker has to block a defender that is either in the gap or lined up on the blocker next to him toward where the play is going

Reach Block

Reach Block

  • Objective:

    • Block a defender in the playside gap and prevent him from being part of the play.

  • Key Points:

    • This is almost a pull-block

    • Drop step toward the playside gap, throw back the playside elbow, turn and run

      • Aim for the outside number of the defender

      • Wider the defender, the more lateral the step must be

    • By the third step the OL must have contact, turning into the defender and getting his hands on the defender

    • Then try to square up with the defender and stop/hinder his progress

  • Notes:

    • Not usually called near the point of attack

      • OL has some distance/time to work with

    • Usually with the OT/TE trying to reach the DE on a sweep or outside play

    • Get hands on the defender and deter him from running freely to the play

Reach Block – Common Errors

The OL will take out the legs of the DL and create a pile of bodies at the LOS

Cut Block

Chop Block

  • Objective:

    • Used by quick-hitting teams (plays) to control a defender by taking out the his legs and putting him on the ground

  • Key Points:

    • Offensive linemen fire out low at the thighs in order to take out the legs (chop) of the defensive linemen

  • Notes:

    • This has to be a 1-1 block because if it is used with another OL it may be judged to be an illegal chop block and is a penalty

A mass of blockers charging down the field like a herd of elephants

Wedge Block

Wedge Block

  • Objective: Form a wall of blockers that are shoulder-to-shoulder protecting the running back

  • Notes:

    • This is not an elegant block. It is not a pretty block. It is sheer brute force.

    • See the “Installing the Wedge” for additional insights on the Wedge

  • Technique:

    • The C is the apex of the wedge

      • Other linemen get into formation on the apex

      • C does not drive block, he stands up the N and the other OL drive him forward

    • Inside shoulder is in the armpit of the OL to their inside.

    • Outside arm is free to ward off defenders

    • Inside arm/elbow is in small of the back of the player to the inside

      • Cannot grasp the jersey or otherwise link with another player

    • All players charge down the field in formation

      • The back will be tucked into the wedge formation

      • The OL are low and charge ahead like a wall of elephants








Taking a player from over here and having him move to a block over there

Pull and Trap

Pull or Trap Block

  • Objective:

    • Move an OL from one position to another location to block a defender

  • Key Points:

    • Pull blocker takes drop step and takes track to inside hip of defender

      • Throw the pull-side elbow back, hard, to get the body to turn in the direction of the pull

        • The elbow will end up behind the pull-side hip

      • Opposite arm is thrown toward pull-side to help the body turn

      • Drop the pull-side foot back 6”-12” and point the toes in the direction of the pull

      • Lay the chest and stomach on the thigh to keep low

    • Run down the LOS, staying low, until the blow is delivered

    • On contact allow base to explode

      • Pull to the left, hit with left shoulder

      • Pull to the right, hit with the right shoulder

  • Notes:

    • Takes advantage of penetrating defenders

Pull or Trap – Log Block

  • The log block is used when the defender does not have outside contain or is slanting to the inside against the pull

  • In that situation the OL will not be able to block the defender to the outside and will have to block the defender to the inside

  • If the puller reads that the trap is not possible then the following changes are required:

    • Change the aiming point to the point of the shoulder of the defender

    • Make contact with the inside/upfield shoulder

    • When contact made then swing hips around to the outside and pin the defender to the inside

    • Inside hand goes just below his shoulder

    • Upfield hand then comes around to control him to the outside

Pull/Trap Block – Common Errors

Types of Pulling

  • G

    • Alerts play side G/T that he is pulling

    • Will kickout or log EMLOS

    • Puller does not cross the rear of the Center

  • Power

    • Call tells G/T that he is targeting the 2nd level, not trapping

    • May be from backside or play side

  • Trap

    • Alerts backside G/T that he will be pulling to play side

    • Will kickout or log EMLOS

    • Will cross the rear of the Center

Pulling – G & Trap

G – Play side on EMLOS/ Target








Trap – Backside pulls to play side








Pulling – Power

Pull from backside and look for 2nd level

Pull around the DE and look inside (LB)








Pull around the DE and look outside (DB)











Combination blocks are blocking adjustments in which the linemen who would normally block the man over them exchange assignments

Combination Blocks

Combo Block

  • Used to work first and second level defenders

  • Gets better angle on the down defender

  • Blocker on down defender takes track to near ear and hip

  • Fold blocker takes drop step and works off hip of down block

  • Two offensive lineman track a defensive lineman and a linebacker

  • We have four eyes on the backer

  • We secure the down guy first

  • Players will step hippo (hip to hip)

  • Linemen must not get split

  • Drive d-lineman into backer, come off at backer level, don’t chase

  • Cross Block – Both defenders are on the LOS

  • Fold Block – One defender is on the LOS, one is off as a linebacker

Combo/Fold Blocking Calls

Gap Naming – Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

Alpha Combo (A Gap)

Bravo Combo (B Gap)

Charlie Combo (C Gap)

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie refer to the gap between the players that will combo.

Fold: Alpha India – Center & Guard

Alpha – Center & Guard

Lima – Left

India – Inside blocker goes first

Charlie – Center goes first




Alpha – Center & Guard

Romeo – Right

India – Inside blocker goes first

Charlie – Center goes first




Fold: Alpha Oscar – Center & Guard

Alpha – Center & Guard

Lima – Left

Oscar – Outside blocker goes first

Golf – Guard goes first




Alpha – Center & Guard

Romeo - Right

Oscar – Outside blocker goes first

Golf – Guard goes first




Fold: Bravo – Guard & Tackle

Bravo – Guard and Tackle

India – Inside blocker goes first

Golf – Guard goes first







Bravo – Guard and Tackle

Oscar – Outside blocker goes first

Tango – Tackle goes first





Fold: Charlie – Tackle & TE

Charlie –Tackle and End

India – Inside blocker goes first

Tango – Tackle goes first






Charlie –Tackle and End

Oscar – Outside blocker goes first

Echo – End goes first








Drills and techniques specific to the offensive line. Some good, some not so good. But a decent place to start from.

Run Blocking Drills

Blocking Squares


OL 1

OL 2

OL 3

  • Purpose:

    • To teach blocking techniques

  • Equipment:

    • 4 cones,

    • 3 blocking dummies

    • Field marking

  • Execution:

    • Create a 6-ft. square on the field and mark the spot where the diagonals meet

    • Put a defender/dummy inside the perimeter of the square and an offensive linemen on the outside the square

    • On snap have the OL block the DL out of the square. Start in position 1 and move to 2, and then 3

  • Coaching points

    • Start with dummies and gradually add resistance

    • Pair up players by size for full resistance

    • Players maintain contact and drive until the DL is out of the square


  • Purpose:

    • To determine who is better blocker

    • To teach blocking techniques

  • Equipment:

    • 12 cones,

  • Execution:

    • Create 3 2x3 yard blocking zones

    • Put two OL in each blocking zone

    • On the cadence each tries to force his partner out of the blocking zone with drive block

    • Blocking must be legal

    • Winners move 1 zone to the right (East), losers to the left (West)

    • Winners and losers rotate back in

  • Coaching points

    • Players maintain contact and drive until the opponent is out of the blocking zone

    • Winners (better OL) will end on the East side, lesser blockers will end in the West.

Pulling and Trapping

OL 1

OL 2

OL 3

OL 1

OL 2

OL 3

  • Purpose:

    • To teach trapping techniques

  • Equipment:

    • 4 blocking dummies

  • Execution:

    • Line up the 4 dummies on the LOS

    • Use 3 OL in various combinations of blocking and trapping

  • Coaching Points:

    • The pulling OL blocks with the outside shoulder, keeping his head toward the LOS

    • Vary the angle and drive techniques to help the puller recognize a free defender

    • Switch the pulling drill from right to left after each OL has gone through the drill

    • OL maintain contact until the whistle blows

Pulling and Trapping - Technique

  • Technique: Trap Pull Step

  • 1 STEP: From 3 Point stance Lineman picks up foot and turns it 90 degrees and steps while pivoting other foot also. Lineman needs to throw elbow on first step while keeping back flat.

  • 2nd STEP: Step with other foot keeping good base and pump arms when running and keep a flat black.

Pull and Lead





  • Purpose:

    • To teach OL Perimeter pulling techniques

  • Equipment:

    • 4 blocking dummies, cone

  • Execution:

    • Line up the 4 dummies on the LOS

    • Use 3 OL in various combinations of blocking and trapping

  • Coaching Points:

    • OL should pull with depth to avoid congestion at the LOS

    • Keep head up field

    • Switch drill from side to side

    • Maintain contact until whistle blows

Wax On Wax Off - Hand Combatives

  • Face both the blocker off together with the pass blocker in a pass protection stance

    • Hands should be attached in a snatched position

  • Defender will try and remove the hands of the blocker by clubbing down or from underneath

  • The blocker will replace his hands by rotating his arms accordingly (wax on, wax off)

  • Once blockers are comfortable then add the kick slide while maintaining proper base

  • This is one of the most important drills for the blockers to master because it teaches the proper leverage and punch

    • This is also an excellent drill for the DL/DE’s to work on breaking the grip of the OL

Goal Post Combo Scrape and Pick-Up

  • Combo scrape and pick-up is great for punch and fit with a player simulating a LB scraping off the backside of the goal post

  • Depending on which side the LB scrapes will dictate which lineman will pick up the flowing LB

  • Both OL start from their stance. Upon firing out and fitting up with the bag they will not come off the combo with each other until the scraping LB gets to the same level as the blockers

  • LB sits at a depth of 3-5 yards and then begins his scrape once both OL have fit up on the bag

  • Coaching Point: This is a great drill for practicing zone footwork, both inside or outside zone

Base Check - Push and Pull

  • Have the OL get into a good pass protection stance

  • Have their partner push from different sides, trying to make the OL lose his wide base set

    • Partner can either push or pull

  • Make the blocker maintain his base by sliding to recover, never crossing the feet, never losing shoulder width base

  • Blocker should start out with arms behind him and then work base with arms fully extended

Backside Cutoff/Cut

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman how to cut off an inside technique and use the cut block as a change up.

  • Technique:

    • Line up one of the bean bags and have 1 lineman hold it. Offensive lineman should line up 1 man away from bag.

    • On cadence lineman takes drop step footwork and runs on 45 degree angle, pointing head to inside of bean bag. When lineman approaches bag, he rips backside arm through front side of lineman and leans body on bag as he adjusts body to parallel to line of scrimmage.

    • As an alternate, lineman will lean body into bag and roll into the bag simulating a cut block

Sled – Drive Block

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to get off the ball as one unit, hip explosion on contact and develop leg strength and conditioning

  • Technique:

    • Line up 5 lineman across the Sled. On cadence lineman take steps and explode hands into sled and drive hips through, locking out elbows.

    • All lineman must hit the bag at the same time and must lock out elbows and not rest head on bags.

    • After linemen have driven the sled about 10 yards. start the next group.

Sled – Rapid Get-Off

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to get off ball as one unit, hip explosion on get off, and conditioning lineman

  • Technique:

    • Line up 5 lineman on sled. On cadence all lineman take steps and explode with hands and hips into sled. As soon as lineman lock out arms, begin cadence again and have lineman repeat 4-5 times for each group of lineman.

    • Make sure lineman all hit sled at the same time each time and stress the importance of this.

    • As they get tired they will tend to go on their own timing but we must train them to all go as one group.

Sled – Hip Extension

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman hip explosion

  • Technique:

    • Line up lineman on the sled on both knees with hands at hip pockets. On cadence lineman explode hands through bag with elbows tight to body.

    • Lineman also throw hips through on contact and end up with their hips on the ground and elbows locked out. Lineman should all hit the sled at the same time.

1-Step 2-Step Drill

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman footwork of reach, drop and trap pull steps

  • Technique:

    • Reach Step

      • 1 STEP: From 3 point stance lineman picks up foot and steps 6 inches right or left and points foot at 45 degree angle.

      • Drive both hands back tight to hip pockets, drive other knee to the ground and keep flat back.

      • 2nd STEP: Step with opposite foot 6 inches on 45 Degree angle keeping a good wide base and throw arms tightly through sides of body with thumbs pointed up.

    • Drop Step

      • 1 STEP: From 3 point stance lineman picks up foot and steps backwards 6 inches right or left and points foot at 45 degree angle.

      • Drive both hands back tight to hip pockets, drive other knee to the ground and keep flat back.

      • 2nd STEP: Step with opposite foot 6 inches on 45 Degree angle keeping a good wide base and throw arms tightly through sides of body with thumbs pointed up.

Front Side Reach

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman technique of reach blocks

  • Technique:

    • Have 1 lineman hold bean bag, Offensive lineman will line up 1/2 man to one side of bag and 1/2 yard away from bag.

    • On cadence lineman takes reach step footwork (45 degree angle on first two steps) aiming head for play side shoulder of bag holder and striking hands on bag on second step.

    • On third and fourth step lineman then works feet to straight up field while keeping shoulders and butt parallel to line of scrimmage and finally on 5th step lineman will slam the bag one side or the other and land on it

Chutes – Chop Feet

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to take small choppy steps and keep base on run blocking

  • Technique:

    • From 3 point stance line up lineman just outside chute. On cadence lineman take short quick choppy steps

    • Lineman try to take as many steps as possible before getting through the chute while pumping their arms and keeping their back flat

Chutes – Drive Block

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to come off the ball with flat back and low pad level

  • Technique:

    • Put 2-3 flat bags on the ground under the chutes. These teach lineman to keep base during drive block.

    • Have 3 lineman line up on one side of the chute with another person opposite each lineman holding a bag.

    • On cadence, lineman come off the ball with low pad level and explode into the bags keeping a good base and locking out elbows on contact.

    • Progress to using no bags.

One-on-One Drive Block vs. Linebackers

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman how to drive block on linebackers

  • Technique:

    • Line up 1 offensive lineman in 3 point stance and a linebacker opposite him 3-5 yards away and shaded 1/2 man to a side.

    • On Cadence lineman will attack the play side armpit of the linebacker with his helmet and hands and keeping shoulders parallel to line of scrimmage drive the linebacker backwards.

    • Use two groups at a time and get as many reps as possible.

Slam Drill

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman how to double team a down lineman while blocking a linebacker also.

  • Technique:

    • This is similar to Slip and Scoop but we don’t want defensive lineman’s shoulders turned.

    • Guard:

      • Take reach step work for 1st 2 steps except point toes vertical instead of at 45 degree angle.

      • Punch defensive lineman on closest number and get movement on him while having your eyes on the linebacker, If linebacker blitzes, pick him up. If linebacker flows over top stay on defensive lineman and drive him backwards.

    • Tackle:

      • Take drop step but aim head and punch for near side number of down lineman while keeping eyes on linebacker.

      • If linebacker blitzes then tackle gets down lineman, if not stay on down lineman and get movement until you see linebacker flow over top of lineman.

Counter Pull

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman footwork of pulling and to explode on contact of defender

  • Technique:

    • Line up 1 bag holder holding the bean bag, simulating a front side defensive lineman. Have guards line up about 5 yards away from bag. On cadence, Guard takes pull step, throwing play side elbow horizontally and keeping back flat.

    • The lineman then runs keeping a good base and flat back towards up field position of bean bag.

    • On contact with bean bag, lineman throws arms through and launches body on top of bean bag.

  • Variation:

    • Line two lineman up about 5 yards from two man sled and on cadence have lineman take pull steps and drive sled. Focus on hips through on contact.

Scoop-Slip Drill

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman footwork and technique of slip and scoop blocks

  • Technique:

    • Line up two offensive lineman and two bag holders opposite, one on the LOS between the two lineman and one behind him as a linebacker.

    • Play side lineman:

      • Step with reach step (6 inch) to play side.

      • Second step is again at 45 degree angle and punch the bag holder with backside arm through play side number.

      • Third step works to vertical (perpendicular with the line of scrimmage) and lock out punch arm, turning the shoulder of the defensive lineman but keeping shoulders square to LOS.

      • Fourth step again is vertical and lineman should be knocked off the block by 2nd offensive lineman and progress to the linebacker.

      • Play side lineman should at all time keep eyes on linebacker and be ready to adjust to him.

    • Backside lineman:

      • Step with Drop step (6 inch) to play side.

      • Second step is again at 45 degree angle aiming head and hands for play side armpit of defensive lineman.

      • Third step is again at 45 degree angle look to knock play side offensive lineman off and take control of defender from the play side.

      • Fourth step continues 45 degrees, head should be on play side.

      • Fifth step is either vertical (if play side is sealed) or stays on 45 degree angle if play side is not sealed.

  • Progression:

    • Start at half speed and focus on footwork and hand placement and technique. Progress from 1.) linebacker sitting, to 2.) both defenders moving, to 3.) Linebacker run through (backer call). Progress with 3 situations to 3/4 speed tempo and finally full speed. We will start with bag holders, but progress to no bags and do this drill at full speed against defensive personal.

Bird Dog

  • Purpose:

    • This drill is used to get each player used to stepping with the correct foot. Since each offensive lineman is going to have to step either left or right on any particular play we practice the first step.

  • Technique:

    • Each lineman will get into a stance toes even and shoulder width apart. Hands in fist and elbows resting on knees.

    • On the coaches cadence of down each player will place his down hand on the ground slightly in front of the same foot.

    • There should be little to no pressure on this hand at all.

    • Note all the players on the left of the center will have their left hand down all the players on the right will have their right hand down.

    • Now each player will step on the word GO to the right/left pre determined by the coach and fire that same hand up to the numbers, there is no defense in front of them so they will have to imagine a defender. ONLY ONE STEP AT A TIME.

    • The line will not be able to take two steps until the entire group has achieved the first step correctly.

    • Now the second step is made but not to pass the length of the first step and never at any time should the shoulders ever turn.

    • Later in the drill place short peaces of rope with tape on the shoulder pads of the offensive lineman and have them do the drill taking three steps at a time.

    • A good reward is if the lineman can do it 5 times in a row they will be excused from that days conditioning.

Inside Reach

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman technique of reach blocks

  • Technique:

    • Now by doing the same thing in the bird dog have two lines. Have each offensive lineman step with their inside foot and shoot their inside hand up and into what they would imagine would be the numbers. Both lineman should be at the same spot with their hands only inches apart.

    • Once each lineman can do this now place a blocking dummy and have tandem push the blocking dummy down field 5 yards. NEVER SHOULD THE FREE HAND MAKE CONTACT WITH THE DUMMY.

    • Once this is done by all lineman add another defender and place a hand shield as they are pushing the blocking dummy down the field have the hand shield step to one side on the other.

  • ***Key***

    • Once the 2nd defender gets nose bar to nose bar, straight in front of the one offensive lineman he will release and attack the linebacker. He must communicate that he is leaving by giving a GONE call, once the other offensive lineman hears GONE he must communicate back by saying LEAVE. Communication is the importance of this offense line blocking scheme. There is no room for Minnie Mousses.

    • This drill should be practiced over and over and over. Do the same drill with pass blocking and have the defenders with shields run any were they want once them have been struck they must back up and take another approach. Start with 1 defender then as the drill keeps going rush 2, 3, 4, up to 7 defenders at anyone time. The offensive line will be able to keep many more than that out in this drill since the defense cant maintain contact but they don’t know that and will get a sense of accomplishment by blocking more people than they have to block.

O-Line Agility Drills


    • Have lineman all line up on one line facing the same sideline and standing on one side of the line.

    • On coaches command linemen will jump with both feet together on either side of the line for 30 seconds.

    • Repeat after a short rest and then do same drill but facing end Reach and jumping forward and backwards


    • Have lineman line up in groups of 5 and face coach on all fours.

    • On cadence linemen will chop feet in place. Coach then points a direction and linemen shuffle from all fours that direction.

    • Coach switches direction and then signals them to crawl through 5 yards


    • Have lineman line up in groups of 5 and face coach in 3 point stance.

    • On cadence linemen will pop up in pass protection stance and chop feet.

    • Coach then points a direction and linemen shuffle that direction.

    • Coach switches direction and then signals them to sprint through 5 yards


    • From two point stance facing bags linemen steps over first bag, then steps with other foot before progressing to the next bag.

O-Line Agility Drills


    • From 3 point stance, lineman shuffles parallel to first bag then shuffles forward and then parallel to second bag and so on.


    • From 3 point stance lineman sprints down one bag then back pedals back down the other bag and so on.

    • Lineman should pump their arms and keep base.


    • From pass protection position lineman shuffles over first bag shuffles both feet in between bag and then progresses over the next bag.

    • Do both sides and make sure linemen do not cross over feet.


    • Pair up lineman and have them face each other but facing the sidelines on the five yard line.

    • On cadence lineman sprints to the ten yard line and touches hand then sprints to the goal line and touches hand and then finally finishes through the five yard line.

    • Repeat 2-4 times

The pass protector's objective is to keep his body between the rusher and the passing point for a maximum period of time while giving up the minimum amount of yardage. The quarterback must have a minimum of 4-5 seconds to get the ball off.

Pass Protection

Drop-Back Pass Protection

  • Notes:

    • Basics of pass protection are the same for all OL positions, but each position has slight differences based on where the QB will setup

    • Best pass protectors remain calm and think

  • Start from good stance

  • Keep the head back which will help keep balance

  • Shoulders back and back arched

  • Knees bent, about 30 degrees from horizontal

  • Feet just wider than shoulder width

    • Use short choppy steps

  • Arms fully extended, keeping the defender as far away as possible

    • If the defender gets to the OL body then the advantage goes to the defender

    • Thumbs turned up

      • This forces the arms to be straight and the shoulders to stay back

  • Weight balanced on foot between the heel and the toe, not too far forward nor too far back

  • Can punch the defender but cannot overextend and get off balance

    • Hands are 12” from the body, and the punch is about 6” through the chest of the defender

Drop-Back Pass Protection

The Doane College football program has an historically successful tradition. Over the past 20 years Doane College has competed in the national playoffs during the 1980’s and 1990’s (last appearance in 1999), and has proven the test of time with consistency by accumulating a .603 winning percentage. We run the “West Coast Offense” at Doane College. Our offensive philosophy is a balanced attack that utilizes the short passing game, zone-based run blocking schemes, and a multiple screen package. Our 560 combination route series was responsible for 64% of our pass attempts in 2003. The development of the passing game last year was based upon the ability of our offensive line to protect our three-step drop timing combination routes. Our goal in pass protection is to help our offensive linemen develop their motor skills, specifically the reflexes and balance. We believe we become more efficient in our protection through our sound three-step scheme. This enables us to drill consistently on technique. This article will first detail the coaching points we use to teach our three-step pass protection fundamentals. I will then discuss and illustrate specific drills and techniques we use on a daily basis in our drill and individual periods in practice. Stance: Our linemen use a two-point stance for our three-step pass protection. We do not cut our opponents. We teach our linemen to fit / jam / and control the defender. The reason we use this technique is because at our level of competition, the defenders we face are athletic enough to recoil after getting cut to the ground and still affect the pass attempt.The first biomechanical phase of pass protection is the stance. A proper stance allows the offensive lineman the ability to move and react with agility, strength, and quick reaction time. There is no allowance for a poor stance.

American Football Monthly

Setting Up for Pass Blocking

  • The first technique offensive linemen need to learn is how to quickly get out of the stance and set up as smoothly as possible. In this drill we will not use any men on defense. Our only concern is to get the offensive player out of his three-point stance and into a body position to pass protect. In the beginning, it is important for the coach to have only one player set up at a time. As the offensive linemen become more and more skilled in setting up, the coach can have the entire line set at one time.

  • In addition to telling the offensive lineman the snap count prior to each play, the coach also should tell the blocker where the defender is lined up, in a one, two, or three position.

  • The offensive lineman should line up in a balanced stance. The more weight he has on his down hand and the farther out in front of the shoulder pads the hand is, the harder it will be for him to set up. There should be just enough weight on the down hand that the offensive blocker can push off the ground with the fingers of the down hand, thus allowing him to get into a two-point stance for pass protection. There should not be a big stagger in the feet; a heel-toe or heel-instep relationship between the two feet is the best.

  • Starting with the imaginary defensive player in a one position, the offensive player must push up and back with the down hand on the snap count. As his shoulders come up, he should take a slight step toward the center with his inside foot. This power step to the inside is necessary so he can be in position to stop the defensive player's inside charge.

  • The set-up technique is the same for a defender in the two position, except that now the first step of the offensive blocker - the power step - is taken with the outside rather than the inside foot.


Setting Up for Pass Blocking

  • At the same time he takes his power step, the blocker must lower his hips by flexing his knees (not by bending at the waist). He must keep his back straight and his head up, with his eyes focused straight ahead. The elbows of both arms should be in close to his body and bent so that the hands are four to five inches in front of his jersey. Both hands should be close together, thumbs almost touching, fingers up, palms facing toward the defense and even with the center of the offensive lineman's chest.

  • In the initial set-up with the defensive man aligned in a one or two location, it is very important that the offensive blocker always stay square to the line of scrimmage and not turn his body to the right or left.

  • When first teaching pass protection to the center, the coach must tell the center if he will set to his right or left with a defender in the one location.

  • The footwork for an offensive lineman in pass protection must change if he sees that the defender has lined up in a three location. With the defender in this wide alignment, the blocker must kick his outside foot back with a 45-degree angle step and slide his inside foot to the outside so that his body remains in a squared, balanced position in the path of the pass rusher toward the quarterback.


Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part I

  • Once the offensive line has mastered the technique for setting up on pass protection, it is time to introduce a defensive pass rusher to the drill. As with the run blocking drills, use offensive linemen to play on both offense and defense. Initially the men on defense should try only to run by the offensive blocker to the target area, which can be a dummy, a towel, or a chalk mark seven yards directly behind the offensive center. As the offensive linemen feel more comfortable in their footwork, the pass rushers can be given the flexibility of rushing to one side and then coming back to the other side of the offensive blocker.

  • The coach only will have one blocker and one defensive man work on each snap. In the beginning, when trying to build the blockers' confidence and footwork, the coach should instruct the defenders to rush only to the outside from a one location.

  • On the snap, the blocker must power-step with his inside foot and assume a pass-protection position, keeping his shoulders parallel with the line of scrimmage. As the defensive man starts his pass rush, the blocker must gather himself, lower his hips, straighten his back, position his hands and arms, raise his head, focus on the numbers of the defensive man, and prepare to strike the defensive player.

  • The force for stopping the momentum of the defender must start at the ground, come up through the big muscle groups of the blocker's legs and be transferred out through the palms of the offensive lineman's hands.

  • It is important that the offensive blocker not bend at the waist and lunge forward toward the defensive pass rusher. In this extended position he quickly will lose his balance and find that he will be unable to stay between the pass rusher and the target area.


Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part I

  • The offensive lineman should deliver as hard a blow as possible with his hands. Once the palms have made contact with the defensive man, the blocker must press out with his arms and maintain separation from the pass rusher.

  • When the defensive man's momentum has been stopped, the blocker must reset his hands and arms and shuffle his feet so that he keeps his body between the pass rusher and the target area. By shuffling his feet, taking short, quick steps and keeping his feet close to the ground, the blocker can maintain a good, wide base. He cannot take long steps or cross his feet while he is pass-protecting. He always must stay in relative position, maintaining his stance between the pass rusher and the target area and not going out to meet the defensive man, should the defender rush wide to the outside of the target area.

  • When the blocker sees that the defensive man once again starts his charge toward the target, he should gather himself and prepare to strike again, stopping the defensive man's momentum and causing him to restart his drive to the target area.

  • The blocker should continue this action until the whistle blows or the coach calls a stop to the drill. Without a quarterback in the drill, the coach can allow the men to make contact three or four times before stopping the drill and going to the next two players.

  • Remember, in this drill, there should be a quick setup on the snap, a good hard blow by the blocker, balanced body position, quick shuffling foot movement, and a well maintained relative position by the offensive blocker on the defensive man


Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part II

  • After the offensive linemen have demonstrated the ability to pass protect against an outside rusher who is starting in a one location, the coach should align the defensive man on the shoulder of the offensive blocker in a two position. At the start, the defensive man should rush in the same manner as in the previous drill. The big difference in blocking technique for the offensive lineman is that, with the defender rushing from this position, the blocker may be able to make contact only with his outside hand as he delivers the blow.

  • All offensive linemen will have a tendency to attack the defender and turn to the outside to face the pass rusher. The coach must emphasize to the blocker that he must continue to shuffle back off the line, stay in relative position, and make certain that the defender must come through him to reach the target area.


Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part 3

  • Next, the defensive man should take an inside charge from a one location. Because the defensive man is charging toward the inside, it is best to have the other players back and away from the drill area. This alignment will decrease the possibility of injury. When the defensive player rushes to the inside, the blocker must stop his momentum to the target at all cost. He must strike the pass rusher at the line of scrimmage. Because the pass rusher is now moving directly at the target area and not wide to the outside, it is important for the blocker to maintain constant contact and not try to disengage from the defensive man as he did when the defender rushed wide, away from the target area.

  • The blocker must now drive the, pass rusher down the line of scrimmage and keep him from penetrating the target area.


Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part IV

  • The following covers the technique needed to block a pass rusher who attacks the target area from a wide, or three, location. Remember that in this type of defensive location the blocker sets up by kicking back with his outside foot at a 45-degree angle. This should be reviewed prior to starting the drill.

  • As with the other drills, there are two men work at a time. The key to pass protecting against a wide rush is that the offensive man must, on the snap of the ball, turn slightly toward the defensive pass rusher.

  • As the blocker moves off the line of scrimmage, he must drop in a straight line, staying perpendicular to his original alignment and fighting the tendency to move to the outside, away from the ball and into the defender.

  • Another tendency is to give ground too quickly. When the blocker retreats off the line of scrimmage, he gives the defensive man an opportunity to rush straight to the target area by coming to the inside. The blocker must constantly maintain a position directly between the pass rusher and the target area.

  • As he moves off the line of scrimmage, the lineman must slide his feet, never crossing over, and shuffle back in quick, short steps. It is important that the feet stay low to the ground so the blocker is always in position to gather himself and strike the pass rusher as he attacks the target area.


Pass Protection Drills: Pass Blocking, Part IV

  • When the defender moves toward the target area, the blocker must gather himself and prepare to strike with his outside arm. If the defender continues to rush upfield, the blocker should maintain contact, riding him up the field and past the target area.

  • The blocker also must be prepared for the defender to rush over him or to the inside. If the defender attacks straight into the blocker, the pass protector should gather himself and strike out, stopping the defensive man's momentum. He must then extend his arms and, if possible, disengage from the defensive player's body.

  • It is important for the blocker to realize that the defender generates more force and momentum rushing from the three position than he does from a one or a two location. Because of this, the blocker must be sure he is in good hitting position, physically striking out at the defender. He must not get caught merely absorbing the rush of the defensive player.


Pass Protection – Common Errors

The pass rusher is not going to give up his chest and make it easy to block him. He is going to use a number of techniques to get the sack. This section describes some offensive techniques to offset the defensive moves.

Defeating Pass Rush Techniques

Defeating Rush Types

  • Bull Rush

    • The rusher tries to run over the OL

    • Work to retain inside position with the hands

    • Widen base, drop hips to lower center of gravity

    • Weight on toes so OL can move forward

    • Keep the head high! The defender wants the OL to lower the head and fight him power on power

      • If the head goes down/forward then the OL is off-balance and can be pulled forward and out of the way

    • Use hands inside to lift the base of the shoulder pads, directing his energy/momentum up

  • Slap or Club

    • The rusher slaps/clubs the shoulder sideways, getting the OL off-balance

    • To do this the defender will have to drop his arm to gain force

    • When the defender winds up, punch him in the chest or armpit on the side that is winding up

      • His chest area will be unprotected during the wind up

    • DL counter may be a double-slap

      • Good balance will prevent this. We are satisfied with a slap fight as long as the QB is safe, we’ll stand and fight like this all day

Defeating Rush Types

  • Swim Move

    • The rusher uses his arm to go over the OL. The defender slaps the shoulder with his outside arm and then brings his inside arm over the top of the OL

      • The problem with this move is that it exposes his chest area when the arm is up

    • The OL takes the his arm on the side of the swim move and stabs it into the side/armpit of the defender

      • Put hand on his hip and drive him to the sideline as he will be off-balance

    • Keep the head back and maintain balance and this will be an easy move to defeat

  • Rip Move

    • The rusher uses his arm to rip up from underneath the arms of the OL. The defender slaps the shoulder with his outside arm and brings his arm underneath/between his body and the OL

      • The DL will continue to rip with his arm until he is under the arm of the OL

    • The OL must keep the head back and maintain balance, use arms to keep the defender away from the body

    • If the defender gets into the body and starts this move then pin the arm underneath

      • Clamp down with arm that he is trying to get under, pinning his arm

      • Swing hips around and use other arm on his hip to drive him to the sideline

Defeating Rush Types

  • Hand Slap

    • The defender slaps the hands/arms of the OL down, hoping to get the OL off-balance

      • Defender is counting on the OL to be moving forward and off-balance so he can pull the OL forward and out of the way

    • Keep the head back and maintain balance and this will be an easy move to defeat

    • If the OL can read it then pull hands back out of the way

    • Then reset and extend arms

  • Spin Move

    • Used when the defender thinks the OL is overplaying or off-balance to one side. The defender will get the OL going in one direction and then spin back the other way when the OL is going the other direction

    • To be effective the DL must be close to the OL

    • As long as the OL can keep the DL away (arms extended, butt low, etc.) then this should not be a problem

    • Key is to not let the situation develop where the defender is in position to execute this move

Drills and techniques specific to the offensive line. Some good, some not so good. But a decent place to start from.

Pass Protection Drills

Stance and Starts

  • This drill is used as a pre-practice warm-up. Work on Stance every day. The coach stands five yards in front of five offensive linemen. Linemen will demonstrate the proper stance. The coach will give a verbal command (usually the cadence) and the lineman will snap into their Pop-Set, and then Sit position.

American Football Monthly

Shuffle Drill

  • This drill is used to develop the proper footwork and balance in the shuffle. There will be two stations set up. The first station is the Center/Guard station. This station works on closed contact drills and lateral movement.

  • Set three cones 5 yards apart down a straight line. The coach stands on the LOS. He gives an auditory command for the interior lineman to Pop-Set out of his stance and Slide in the Sit position.

  • The second station is for Offensive Tackles. Set a cone five yards behind the LOS at a 45-degree angle. The coach stands at the LOS. When he gives an auditory command the OT will Pop-Set and Slide to the cone at the 45-degree angle. The proper posture should be coached with short slide steps for balance. The outside foot is dropped back in a toe to heel relationship with the inside foot. Weight should be distributed on the insteps. Short “punch” steps toward the cone will improve balance and the reaction time for resetting on the defender.

American Football Monthly

Reset Drill

  • Designed to work on reaction on the defender's counter move.

  • Use the shuffle drill station. Have a pass rusher imitate moves and counter moves in front of the offensive lineman. The offensive lineman will mirror the defender.

  • The next phase is to have the OL engage the defender and hand fight the counter move, all the while mirroring the actions of the defender.

American Football Monthly

Two Man Twist Drill

  • This drill is designed to work on the ability of “passing off” the defenders in a zone protection scheme.

  • The goal is for the offensive linemen to keep their shoulders square while using their vision and verbal commands to communicate the direction of the twist.

  • The technique we teach is “Attack the Flash” in all loop stunts. This technique teaches the eyes of the offensive lineman to follow the “loop” defender and protect that vacated gap as well as wait for the second slanting defender.

American Football Monthly

DL & LB Twist Drill

  • The same concept as the twist drill except this drill is designed to control the first and second level defender stunt.

  • Same zone gap rules apply. “Attack the Flash” technique is still used. The vision elevates to the second level.

American Football Monthly

Three Man Twist Drill

  • Drill used to pick up three men down defender twist drill. Slant two adjacent defenders and loop the third around the other two. Offensive Lineman need to keep their shoulders square and keep their vision wide for the loop defender.

American Football Monthly

Scheme-560 Protection

  • Linking the techniques are illustrated by using our three step protection as an example. 560 Protection is a weak side slide by the offensive line.

  • All techniques discussed are used in this simple three-step protection. This is a six-man protection.

  • The slide starts at the uncovered lineman on the weak side. The running back will step up and check for any blitz from strong side A gap to strong side C gap. The FB will be responsible for #3 defender strong.

American Football Monthly

Blind Push

  • Purpose

    • To teach offensive lineman the upright demeanor used in pass protection and for that lineman to have the ability to maintain his balance and power while in that position.

  • Description

    • The O-lineman stands in the center of a small circle (about 2-3 yard radius) in his upright pass pro demeanor, with his eyes closed.

    • Two other lineman, acting as defenders, holding shields and slowly jog around the offensive player.

    • On the coach’s command or point, one defender will rush the offensive player, from wherever he is at that second.

    • The defender will attempt to knock the o-lineman off balance using the shield.

    • This drill should continue for 5-10 contacts or the o-lineman shows a good understanding of the body position.

  • Coaching points

    • The most important thing about this drill is the safety of the player involved.

    • It must be made very clear that this is not “bull in the ring” or any drill like it.

    • Even though there will be contact and possibly players on the ground, this drill is not intended to beat people up.

    • The coach should stand in front of the offensive player, making sure his eyes are closed the whole time.

    • Another important thing to remember is that this drill may move slightly.

    • The offensive player will be forced to move his feet in order to maintain balance, and the drill should move along with him.

  • Equipment

    • 3 players

    • 2 shields





3 Man Kick and Punch





  • Purpose

    • To teach O-lineman (especially Tackles) how to kick for depth and width, while maintaining their upright demeanor and deliver a punch, all at the same time.

  • Description

    • The offensive lineman will begin in a 3 point stance, facing the line of scrimmage.

    • There will be 3 defenders, holding shields, shoulder to shoulder, with their backs to the line of scrimmage.

    • On the coach’s command, the defenders will begin walking quickly or jogging (depending on the ability of the o-lineman).

    • The o-lineman must get out of his stance, get upright and kick to the first defender, deliver a punch on his landmark and continue kicking to the second defender, where he will kick and deliver a punch and so on to the third defender.

  • Coaching points

    • The offensive player must move his feet quickly and efficiently or he will not be able to reach all 3 defenders, who are continuously walking.

    • The defenders all move on the same sound and do not stop until they are punched.

    • The o-lineman should not reach across his body to deliver a punch; he must reach his landmark by moving his feet before he can punch the defender.

  • Equipment

    • 4 players

    • 3 shields


Baseball Swing and Punch




  • Purpose

    • To teach the offensive lineman how to get out of his stance quickly, efficiently and ready to pass protect.

    • This drill emphasizes 3 main points in pass pro,

    • the first is getting out of your stance and upright as fast as possible,

    • the second is to get his hands up and

    • the third is to deliver a punch.

  • Description

    • The O-lineman will be in a 3 point stance facing the line of scrimmage.

    • The defender will stand perpendicular to the LOS, one step over the line (forcing the OL to take a small kick).

    • The defender will be holding a shield upside down and sideways, like a baseball bat.

    • On the coaches command, the defender will swing the bag at the o-lineman’s head, attempting to contact the facemask.

    • The o-lineman must get upright and punch the bag away from his face.

  • Coaching points

    • The o-lineman must move his feet in this drill, its not stationary.

    • If your players lean on their punch a lot, have the defender throw a fake swing every once in a while to check if the offensive player is leaning.

    • A more advanced form of this drill is to have the offensive player remove their helmet.

    • This really makes them focus on getting upright, getting their hands up and not leaning into the punch.

  • Equipment

    • Shield(s)

Shuffle Touch

  • Purpose:

    • Develop knee bending and hip flexibility

  • Technique:

    • From two point stance, lineman will shuffle down line touching the ground with hands during each shuffle.

    • Make sure lineman touch the ground with their hands each time and bend with their legs not their back.

    • Lineman should keep a vertical back.

    • This is a slow drill not intended for speed or quickness.

No Hand Slide

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to shuffle feet while keeping back straight and knees bent. Teach lineman not to lean on defender.

  • Technique:

    • Put offensive lineman in two point stance with arms behind back holding wrists.

    • Put defensive lineman opposite about 1 yard away. Defensive lineman walks at angle towards shoulder.

    • Lineman staggers stance while keeping shoulders square to LOS and eyes on D Lineman’s chest, offensive lineman should be in the middle of the defensive lineman’s chest.

    • D Lineman then redirects to other shoulder and Offensive lineman adjusts stagger and shuffles keeping shoulders square.

    • This drill is just faster than walking speed.

Medicine Ball Roll

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to shuffle in bent knee position.

  • Technique:

    • Have 1 lineman line up on a line five yards away from coach.

    • Coach will have a medicine ball and roll the medicine ball diagonally so lineman have to shuffle and retrieve ball.

    • Lineman then rolls the ball back and coach again rolls the ball so lineman must shuffle to it.

    • Make sure lineman have good knee bend and do not let them cross over their feet.

    • This drill should be at about 1/2 to 3/4 speed

Dodge Ball Bounce

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to shuffle in bent knee position and react to ball.

  • Technique:

    • Have 1 lineman line up on a line five yards away from coach.

    • Coach will have a medicine ball and bounces the medicine ball diagonally so lineman have to shuffle and catch the ball.

    • Lineman then throws the ball back and coach again bounces the ball so lineman must shuffle to it.

    • Make sure lineman have good knee bend and do not let them cross over their feet.

    • This drill should be at about 3/4 to full speed

Shuffle Set vs. Air

  • Purpose:

    • Teach pass protection set, and arm pump shuffle.

  • Technique:

    • From a 3 point stance, lineman throws play side hand back into hip pocket as lineman takes a step and throws shoulders back.

    • Lineman then throws backside hand into hip pocket as he steps with backside foot.

    • Continue for about five yards giving a little bit of ground and pumping arms with each step and shuffle.

Medicine Ball Punch

  • Purpose:

    • Develop Quickness out of stance and into pass protection

  • Technique:

    • Put medicine bail between the legs of offensive lineman just in front of them.

    • Have lineman in two point ready position.

    • On cadence lineman picks up ball, fires shoulders back and throws the ball forward as quick as possible.

Blindfold Push Pull

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman balance in pass protection without depending on vision

  • Technique:

    • Tie a blindfold around offensive lineman.

    • Have offensive lineman lock up with defensive lineman, defensive lineman will shuffle right, left, bull rush and push pull.

    • Offensive lineman must stay with and shuffle. Use in summer time with no pads

Bag Punch Sets

  • Purpose:

    • Teach pass protection sets.

  • Technique:

    • Offensive lineman should be in a 3 point stance.

    • Line two bag holders one on each shoulder of lineman.

    • On cadence, lineman sets to right bag, getting to center of bag in low knee bent position.

    • Lineman then resets in stance and repeats setting to left bag.

    • Focus on quickness of sets and body position.

    • Progress to no bags and have lineman grab armpits on sets.

Twist Stunt Exchange

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to exchange assignments on twist stunts

  • Technique:

    • Align two offensive lineman next to each other in three point stance.

    • Opposite them line two defensive lineman in 3 point stance.

    • On Cadence, have 1 of the defensive lineman slant between the O lineman and the other defensive lineman loop around.

    • Have defensive lineman repeat with same player as the slanter and the same player as the looper each time.

    • Repeat 3 times for each pair of offensive lineman.

    • Offensive lineman must shuffle to hip to hip and exchange responsibilities each time.

    • Coach lineman to stay square to the LOS and stay on the same level and yell out switch.

    • Looper lineman is responsible for calling switch and bumping lineman off.

    • Start at half speed and progress to finally full speed.

One-on-One Pass Rush

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman full speed man pass protection

  • Technique:

    • Line up 2 cones 5 yards apart and 5 yards away from the LOS.

    • 1 offensive lineman and 1 defensive lineman line up on LOS.

    • On cadence, offensive lineman must keep D lineman at LOS and push him outside of the two cones.

    • Focus on teaching lineman to keep body square to LOS and shuffle with defensive lineman.

Five-on-Four Pass Rush

  • Purpose:

    • Teach full speed pass protection against defensive lineman.

  • Technique:

    • Line up offensive line and 1 defensive lineman across from each in their technique.

    • On Cadence every lineman is full speed until contact.

    • Prior to snap, one defensive lineman is chosen to be live (full speed).

    • The live defensive lineman tries to pass rush while the offensive lineman pass protects.

  • Half-line Technique:

    • Same as above except half of the line is full speed. Usually we will work on twist games during this drill.

Pass Protection Redirect

  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman to widen defensive lineman and redirect on counter moves

  • Technique:

    • Offensive lineman will be engaged with bag holder with bag holder slightly to one side at the start.

    • Bag holder will rush one way and then on coaches signal redirect.

    • Lineman must shuffle trying to cut off bag holder with hip and keep low pad level and straight back.

    • Start off slow and pick up tempo to 3/4 speed.


  • Purpose:

    • Teach lineman timing of punch in Pass protection

  • Technique:

    • Set two cones about 5 yards apart on a line.

    • Offensive lineman will set from this line.

    • Put a defensive lineman 3 yards away in 2 point stance.

    • Have defensive lineman move forward at 3/4 speed, Offensive lineman shuffles and punches defender while still chopping feet.

    • Defensive lineman then backs out 3 yards and comes forward again.

    • Lineman should get 3-4 punches before switching.

Thus spake the master Coach:

It is time for you to leave.

Parking Lot

Summary of Blocking Techniques

Triple Option – Blocking Table

Midline Option – Blocking Table

Lead – Blocking Table

Wedge – Blocking Table

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