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By Justin Iske, Offensive Line Coach / Co-Offensive Coordinator, Southwest Oklahoma State University


Coach Iske details how he optimizes his offseason time with his players to best prepare his line for the season. Read the report here.

 



By Justin Iske
Offensive Line Coach / Co-Offensive Coordinator
Southwest Oklahoma State University
Twitter: @justiniske

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Introduction:

Working with your players during the off-season is critical to having success during the season. Regulations on time, equipment and number of players you are allowed to work with have forced coaches at all levels to be more creative when it comes to getting work done while staying within the rules and keeping your players healthy throughout the off-season.

One tool that is underused during the off-season is watching film. With programs like Hudl, it is easy to make teach tapes of individual plays or techniques to help your players continue to get better. It is also a good idea to film your off-season drills to review with your players.

Bird Dog Pass Sets

This is a great way to work all of your offensive linemen (and tight ends) at one time to maximize reps. If you have a grass area that you can form a grid with 5x5 squares that is great. If not, you can use yard lines and towels to get the same results. If you can’t do a grid and don’t have access to lines, simply use the towels as landmarks.

  • Line up all of your OL’s and TE’s on a grid (or you can use yard lines and towels) by position.
  • Call out a play and snap count.
  • Drill can be done for one step, two steps, or through a whistle.

Slide1

 

Wave Drill

Another drill that can be done with everyone at one time. This drill is a great warm-up drill and it allows the players to feel proper body position for both pass protection and run blocking. It can also be used as a conditioning drill to develop core strength and overall stamina.

  • Line up all of your OL’s and TE’s on a grid (or you can use yard lines and towels) by position.
  • Point in a direction and then call out snap count. Change direction every 2 to three steps or as desired.
  • Drill can be used as a warm-up and/or as a conditioning drill.
  • Side to side = pass pro demeanor.
  • Forward or backward = duck walk / run.

Slide1

Pass Pro Shuffle

This drill incorporates a kick or post set and change of direction. It can also be used as a conditioner. The key coaching points in this drill are carrying the hands correctly, proper weight distribution and keeping the feet as close to the ground as possible as you slide.

  • Divide OL’s into three groups (right-side, left-side and centers).
  • Align 1st player at the sideline of the field on a yard line. Have them kick or post (based on position) five yards and back as many times as desired.
  • Once all three groups have gone, start over with all going the opposite way first.
  • In the diagrams on the right, the left side would kick to the left first, then post back to the right. Right side OL’s would post to the left first, then kick back to the right. Center’s would kick in both directions.

Slide3

Pass Sets (Kick – Post)

Drill can be done with everyone going at once on air or can partner them up to give players a defender/landmark. Align defender head-up, inside, outside, on the body or off the body to force them to adjust their footwork accordingly. Use the drill as a progression by having the players take one step, then two. Can progress to timing up the punch and then redirecting and/or reacting to a pass rush move.

Kicks:

  • OL starts in two or three-point stance with outside foot in the corner of two perpendicular lines (or rolled up towels).
  • On command, he will take his first step over the line for width and depth.
  • Drill can be done for one step, two steps, or through a whistle.
  • Drill can be done on air or versus a defender.

Slide3

Post:

  • OL starts in two or three-point stance with inside foot in the corner of two perpendicular lines (or rolled up towels).
  • On command, he will take his first step over the line for width.
  • Drill can be done for one step, two steps, or through a whistle.
  • Drill can be done on air or versus a defender.

Slide5


Continue to the full-length version of this report…

Join X&O Labs’ Insiders, an exclusive membership-based website, and you’ll get instant access to the full-length version of this report—including access to everything X&O Labs has ever published. Plus, if you join today, you’ll also receive up to 4 FREE books mailed directly to your home or office. Here’s just a small sample of what you’ll find in the full-length version of this report:

  • The drill catalog of pass protection progressions Coach Iske uses on a daily basis during the pre-season including the A-B pass sets, punch-reset, down the line, kick-reset-direct, mirror-dodge, push-pull, centerline and ricochet drills.
  • The run blocking drill catalog Coach Iske uses on a daily basis during the pre-season including the thumb lift, stalemate, line drill, pod drill and bandit drill progressions.
  • Plus Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s entire catalog of run/pass drills.

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Conclusion:

Every governing organization (high school state associations, FBS, FCS, D-II, D-III, NAIA, NFL, etc.) has different rules in terms of what coaches can and cannot do in the off-season. Knowing what rules you must abide by and taking advantage of as much time with your players as possible during the critical off-season months will have a direct correlation to your success next season. Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Southwestern Oklahoma State University if you have any questions about this article.

 

Meet Coach Iske: Justin Iske joined Dan Cocannouer’s staff at SWOSU in 2015 as the Offensive Line Coach/Co-Offensive Coordinator. In his first season on staff, he helped lead the Bulldogs to eight wins and a bowl game appearance. In 2016, SWOSU allowed five sacks in 430 passing attempts (one every 86 attempts). 2017 will be his 22nd year as a college football coach. He and his wife, Kelley, have a 16-year old son, Hunter. 

 

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