If you are an offensive line coach I’m sure you have players that not only come in out of game shape, but also have poor running form and need work on their footwork and fundamentals.
I think that coaches ignore the basics and definitely get away from properly improving running form, player’s agility, and footwork as the season stretches on longer and longer. Even though we’re in the midst of a playoff run, my offensive line individual periods still focus on an agility drill that incorporates form running, as well as fundamental and footwork drills every practice.
I like to incorporate a series of drills that are a mixture of Dale Baskett’s speed camp running form and Kurt Hester’s Combine 2.0 drills along with typical offensive line cone drills that will work on footwork for our big guys. One thing coaches and linemen both like to do is use being a lineman or big guy as an excuse to be lazy and have bad running form. If a player has to wide pull on sweep or flat pull down the line 20-yards on a screen they have to use proper running form to find success.
Below- Offensive Line Agility Day 1
As an offensive line coach I like to start off every individual drill period with an agility drill of some kind. Some days we will do an offensive line agility I adapted from a Dale Baskett drill I found in American Football Monthly.
Drill 1 is designed to vertical set cone 1 to cone 2, then sprint to cone 3, scrape to cone 4, jog to cone 5 and sprint to cone 6. Other than our vertical set all of these movements should be done using Dale Baskett’s speed camp running form.
Drill 2 is to work on trap pull steps in both directions before working on down block steps in both directions. I feel that you can never have worked cone drills that focus on fundamental steps while practicing your form running and while maintaining football related conditioning as well.
Below- Offensive Line Agility Day 2
The second set of agility drills I love to use are from Kurt Hester’s (Louisiana Tech) Combine 2.0. I set the cones up 5 yards apart and 3 players can participate at a time.
Drill 1 is come to balance- the player sprints, stops at your hand movement and sprints through when you point. This gets your linemen used to read and react as well as turning on and off their hamstrings.
Drill 2 is back and sprint. Back and sprint starts in the middle rack of cones and the players will back pedal on the clap and when you point they’ll sprint through the cones.
Drill 3 is the flip and sprint. Players will back pedal on the clap and the flip over their hip and sprint when you point. You might be asking “Why have the OL back pedal” and I believe it’s a great way to work on balance, form running, and it’s a hip opener when you flip and sprint.
Drill 4 (above) is the zig-zag drill. Players have to go through one at a time. When you clap they sprint to the cone and watch your hands. You’ll signal them to stop and chop their feet (like on come to balance). When you point to the cone they sprint through that cone. Complete the drill going both ways.
Drill 5 (above) allows two players at a time to work on their flat step and then their down block bucket step. Coaches don’t have to adjust cones from the Combine 2.0 to working on trap and down steps.