Wisconsin Badger Football Offensive Line Drills
These two videos of Wisconsin offensive line drills (well, actually just one) comes from the 2011-2012 spring practice season. Obviously the Wisconsin Badgers’ offensive line was very successful under the tutelage of Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad. Much of that is due to the little things, aka offensive line drills like these. This first video, which I found on Youtube, does a great job showing a very physical offensive line football drill on the one man sled.
Wisconsin Badger Offensive Line Drills: One Man Sled
Wisconsin Badger Offensive Line Drills Technique for One Man Sled
I hope you notice specifically the hip movement. In my opinion, this football drill on the one man sled works a number of things. Not only does this offensive line drill focus on the stance and start of the offensive linemen, but it also works on finishing. If you watch around 15 seconds into the video, #56 (sorry to pick on you) is being instructed by the coach. It’s hard to see, but you can tell he doesn’t work the finish portion of the drill, something I believe is very critical to incorporate into every football drill, not only offensive line drills. He doesn’t finish the throw, and you can see the coach making some motions, likely indicating that was the focal point of their conversation.
Basically the offensive linemen fires out of his stance, engages the sled for 2-3 steps, and on the final step disengages by rolling the hips and throwing the defender (aka the finish). Wisconsin does this finishing or throwing motion a lot, you will see it in their combination block offensive line drills (if you can get your hands on that tape). They do it with sand bags as well. This action not only helps the hips rotate, but it also helps on the combination block. When the blocker disengages for the linebacker, he can propel himself (giving much needed momentum), and also help the blocker remaining on the defensive linemen to get better head position. That head position is an often over looked aspect on combo blocks, and it’s very hard sometimes for offensive linemen, who are comboing, to “replace their face”/get a better position on the defensive linemen after their help leaves.
Another item we can take away from this is the tempo. I like the fact that the coach just says “go”. He coaches on the run too. His points are very quick, emphatic, and by doing this he takes an offensive line drill which could very easily become a lazy drill (aka … 1 man working with a huge line waiting) and makes it into a high energy, quick moving and explosive drill.
The only critique I may have of this offensive line drill is the fact that there seem to be false steps. Often times, when your only taking 1-3 steps in a drill, it’s hard for an offensive linemen to really get their feet underneath them. You’ll see some players, like #78 at around 54 seconds, struggle with the extra step. It is hard to adjust for this. I would just tell the kids to take the extra step if they need it, rather than have them struggle over the execution of the drill. But that’s me, and who am I to criticize the Wisconsin offensive line? Obviously Wisconsin has been the master of offensive line drills.
Wisconsin Badger Offensive Line Drills: Pass Protection
The video below contains pass protection offensive line drills. It actually could very easily be a position warm up for the group. There are actually two drills in here. These offensive line drills uses equipment that every team should be able to afford (basically, an agility latter).
The first drill in the video actually is clearly a warm up for the other offensive line drills in the video. The linemen are high, so essentially their working on their hand punch and separation, while giving up ground and maintaining a wide base. The players should be informed that they should play high for this drill. Again, it’s a warm up to get the legs and arms loose.
The second offensive line drill incorporates an agility latter. The offensive linemen kick slides down the latter, before taking a power step after two kicks. This gets the legs working, and maintains the good base. Notice how the linemen keep their hands high and tight, ready to strike, even when there is no threat. Even when practicing offensive line drills on air, the hands should be in proper position because the weight of the arms can affect balance, among other things. Also, it prevents bad habits from developing.
Next, you’ll see one offensive linemen working against two defensive linemen. This works the hips and hand eye coordination, while maintaining balance. The offensive linemen, in this drill, wants to get separation and make contact while not getting over extended. Again, notice how the linemen work down a white line, so they can check their base and make sure it’s wide.
Finally, you see a reaction based offensive line drill. The offensive lineman has one hand on one threat, while he maintains his eyes on another defender. As the linemen he is eyeing rotates away, he brings his eyes to the defender he has a hand on and makes contact good contact to prevent that defensive linemen from crossing his face.
Conclusions on the Wisconsin Offensive Line Football Drills
First, thanks to Wisconsin 24/7’s youtube channel for putting this up. These are both great videos. Overall, I hope you liked this analysis of this offensive line drill and I hope to add some more in the future. For other great football videos, check out ChiefPigskin.com.