Coaching Beginning Offensive Linemen

Welcome to a new series on coaching specific positions when you have new players to the game of football. I feel as if these drills can be used from youth through high school, but especially in the earliest stages of learning the fundamentals. This article focuses on the Offensive Line, and specifically in a zone-blocking scheme.

Team Blocking Drills:

Blocking Circuit- Every day our entire team goes through the blocking circuit together. We do this so that no player can ever say he wasn’t taught the basic fundamentals of blocking and tackling. Here we work on our punch (from knees, to GHP, to position specific stance). We clap through the drills to break them down and be able to analyze leverage on the fly. We also work in a drive drill (push and lock-out) and the yo-yo drill (replace hands and drive). We will also do the chicken coup drill where a skinny tries to avoid contact and our OL and TE must move their feet and keep the guy in front and drive him out of the box (box is 3×3).

Once in our actual indie time:

1) Duck walks- we get our guys down in a 3-point stance and work on ducking our toes, pumping our arms, and staying low. It’s a good warm up drill to OL indie time.

2) Chutes for stance/steps- I have the guys go over lead, zone, and pull steps in the chutes. They take the appropriate stance and freeze for a “one-one thousand” count before duck walking through the chutes. This allows me to see their footwork, head positioning and stance, while coaching on the fly.

3) Combo- We then take them out of the chutes for a 2×1 combo drill. We work on fitting the DL up with the inside hand, and pumping that outside arm. Early on we just combo, later in the year we incorporate passing the man on and attacking the 2nd level with a 2×2 drill (1 DL, 1 LB).

4) Pull- Once we have our plays in that use pulling, we will set up cones and a shield and do a pull and punch drill. We have our guys pull down the line (cones) and punch a guy holding a shield at the end.

5) Install and review- We will walk through putting in new plays and walk through our old plays. Just a quick review before going to inside run.

During Pass Skel:

1) Sled Drive- We drive the sled taking our right and left lead steps.

2) Pass Pro- We either do 1/2 line or 1on1 pass protection drills.

3) Board Drills- If we have time we will go through the board drills.