Football Practice Drills: Top 3 O-Line Drills


I believe every football coach needs a resource from year to year that documents their top football practice drills. Not only is it a good way to document what you do, the critical coaching points, and the purpose of the drill, but it also great to have in your back pocket if you ever change coaching jobs.

To help get you started, here is a list of my 3 favorite o-line football practice drills. In addition to this post, I also have another post on everyday football blocking drills. Hopefully they will help get the juices flowing so that way you can start building your own football practice drills notebook.

Football Practice Drills: Stance and Starts

Football Practice Drill Purpose: Quickly working on the technique necessary for main blocks

Football Practice Drill Length: 10 minutes

In these offensive line drills, I quickly work on the footwork, handwork, and proper body position and explosion for most of our baseblocks. Within the first few practices, this drill can be finished in about ten minutes.

We start by just stepping with a specific foot, called by the coach, in one direction, then we do it with the next foot. We then rotate. Next,we just explode off the football, going about five yards, emphasizing 6 inch steps, a wide base, and hand punch on the second step. We do this with both feet.

We will then down block both directions, against air, reach block, and pull.

From here we have a defender turn around, facing away from the blocker, who is in a two point stance. We work on our fit here, and our linemen emphasize wide base, elbows in, and then finishing through the coaches whistle (or on a second whistle). By finish, I mean accelerating the feet, shortening steps and benching the defender off of us. We again do this with both feet. The reason we do this with the defender away from us is it forces him to give us resistance, or else the blocker will push him over.

We will now emphasize driving the guy off the football, so we will put it all together and explode from the 3 point stance. The defender will face the blocker (unless we’re having a problem with the defenders escaping blocks, in which case I’ll have the defender face away and actually move in different directions, forcing out blockers to follow and stay on the block.)

We may also work some pass pro in, and if we passed more I’d probably work it everyday. Whether it was a quick mirror dodge drill, or and handwork drill, we’d do it real quick.

Football Practice Drills:Combo and Pull

Football Practice Drill Purpose: Execute a trap/wrap pull and a combo to a backside backer

Football Practice Drill Length: 10 minutes

This drill may be perhaps one of the toughest to make sure you get the defenders reactions correctly. I try to work this drill several times a year.

The drill has 3 offensive linemen and 3 defenders. I usually have the pair of offensive linemen on the outside and the puller two yards away. The defenders depend on what play we’re emphasizing, but usually the combo has the defender on the outside shoulder of the middle offensive linemen. If we’re kicking out, I will put one linebacker (for the puller) outside the outside-most blocker. Like I mentioned earlier, the linebacker we’re comboing to will be in a number of locations, depending on our point of emphasis.

Coaching points for this football practice drill include emphasizing the combo block waits for the linebacker to get to them before coming off and to make sure the puller maintains his presence on the defender. Coaching the defensive reactions on this play is critical as well. If the team you face spills, work against that. If the linebacker plays over the top, work on that. If he comes underneath, work on that.

Football Practice Drills: Mirror Dodge

Football Practice Drill Purpose: Using no hands, just focus on footwork of pass pro

Football Practice Drill Length: 7-8 minutes

I usually setup four cones for this football practice drill. I typically make them all about 5 yards from each other, making a square. There is a defender and an offensive linemen. The defender starts outside the box, right behind the imaginary line made by the cones. The offensive line is inside the box, in a perfect pass pro stance. I often tell them that they need to sit in their chair. I don’t use hands with this drill, as I believe pass pro is mostly footwork. The defender will work side to side, and the offensive linemen will mirror him, maintaining his leverage. The offensive linemen must give up ground grudginingly. This is my favorite pass pro football practice drill.

Conclusions on Pass Pro Football Practice Drills

I hope you enjoyed this. Like I said before, I believe organizing your favorite drills is critical going into every offseason. Having a list in your back-pocket will help you in having something when you get a few extra seconds for a football practice drill during individual. A list of your favorite football practice drills will also help you when networking, whether its in an interview, doing a clinic talk, etc…