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westfieldBy Mike Kuchar, Lead Research Manager, X&O Labs

While tackling may be one of the more time consuming in-season defensive fundamentals (and for good reason), how to properly get off blocks to make those tackles continue to be an underdeveloped skill. We found this partly because some coaches don't know how to coach it, while others can’t find the time to work it in. Since different defensive positions see various types of blocks, we segmented our research into which blocks the defensive line, linebackers and secondary most commonly see and more importantly how to defend against them. We researched our database to find the 15 most practical block destruction drills, from the NFL to high school level, that can be applied in 3 to 5 minute practice blocks this season.



By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
X&O Labs
Twitter: @MikekKuchar

 

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Introduction

westfieldIt would be impractical to teach how to get off blocks without first teaching the proper hand placement in order to do so. Many of the following drills emphasize the actual placement of hands as well as how to defend against types of blocks.

Defensive Line Block Destruction

We categorized the defensive line component of block destruction by presenting both run and pass. The focus of these drills is to teach defensive linemen how to defend against one-on-one run blocks (base, down and reach blocks) as well as pass blocks.

Drill 2: Gun and Knife Drill, Thurmond Moore, former NFL Defensive Line Coach

Reinforcement: Teaches the proper hand placement to defend offensive lineman’s high hands and low hands in a pass rush situation.

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To see video of the Gun and Knife Drill, click on the video below:

Drill 3: Hand Ladder Drill, Thurmond Moore, former NFL Defensive Line Coach

Reinforcement: Similar to a footwork agility drill, this drill teaches defensive linemen how to develop their hand placement.

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To see video of the Hand Ladder Drill, click on the video below:

Linebacker Block Destruction

Second level defenders need to learn how to protect themselves against blocks in space, so many of the following drills are centered around the proper hand placement and escape techniques to do so. It’s important to note that these are drills to teach one-on-one block situations, where a defender is not asked to play with certain leverage point (inside or outside).

Drill 8: Stymie Technique, University of Oklahoma

Reinforcement: Teaches linebackers the proper butt and shed technique against offensive linemen both at the line of scrimmage and in space.

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To see video of the Stymie Drill, click on the video below:

Cut Block Destruction Drills

While this section may not be pertinent at the high school level in some states, we still wanted to present the various ways in which some coaches are teaching their players to defend against cut and chop blocks, both on the line of scrimmage and in space.

Drill 14: Cut Block Drill Progression, Virginia Tech University

Reinforcement: Teaches defensive players how to defend against cut blocks both at the line of scrimmage and in space.

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To see video Virginia Tech’s cut block drill progression, click on the video below:

Drill 15: Cut Block Drill, University of Oklahoma

Reinforcement: Teaches defensive players how to defend against cut blocks both at the line of scrimmage and in space.

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To see video on Oklahoma University’s cut block drill progression, click on the video below:

What You’re Missing…

Join X&O Labs’ Insiders, an exclusive membership-based website and get instant access to the full-length version of this research report. Plus, you’ll receive up to 4 free books just for joining today. Here’s a quick look at what you’re missing…

  • 5-Dot Drill former NFL defensive line coach Thurmond Moore uses to teach defensive linemen how to efficiently position their punch against run and pass blocks.
  • How Texas prep powerhouse Westfield High School teaches its defensive linemen how to react against four separate one-on-one blocks in its shade 4-3 defense.
  • The Shed block destruction progression used at Virginia Tech, which consists of the Press and Patch Drill, 3-on-1 Drill and the Gilman Drill.
  • The Sled block destruction progression used at the University of Michigan to teach interior and perimeter linebackers how to defend against the various types of blocks they see at the point of attack.
  • BONUS: Watch video of these drills.

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Conclusion

This research was excerpted from XandOLabs.com past clinic and research reports, which can be accessed in full by clicking on the following links:

Interview with Thurmond Moore

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Back Drill Video

University of Oklahoma Linebacker Drills

University of Michigan Linebacker Drills

Virginia Tech University Defensive Team Drills

University of Southern California Linebacker Drills

 

University of Florida Linebacker Drills
http://www.xandolabs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1918:lb-drills-university-of-florida&catid=125&Itemid=186

 

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