The following coaching tips will help fine tune your offense and remember, everything starts in the trenches.
Throw to Score & Run to Win
To win football games, you must be able to run and pass the football with a balance attack and that starts with the offensive line. If you’re offensive line are not winning their one-on-one battles, how do you expect your quarterback and running back to execute their duties with the defense in their face at the snap?
Throughout the years of coaching and attending multiple coaches clinics, I’ve jotted down some key coaching points that will help coaches connect with their players and give them tools for getting better in practice.
Remember, the game of football must be fun for you and the players, and the way to make football fun, everybody needs to develop and learn something new each day.
If we don’t get better as a coach, how do you expect our players to get better?
Here’s my two golden rules of coaching football:
- Make sure wherever you coach, you have fun, and the environment is positive!
- If nobody is learning or developing, you’re doing it wrong.
I learned many years ago, knowledge is meant to be shared, the information you see below, make sure to steal it, use it, and then share it!
The game of football is better when we all work together and not against each other.
|1||Offensive Line Motto||So goes the offensive Line, So goes the Offense!|
|2||Box Count||Know who you’re blocking and don’t assume an uncovered lineman is taken care by another player. Communicate and point! Identify the MIKE|
|3||Know the Snap Count||Pay attention, if you forget the snap count, check with a “what’s for dinner” call.|
|4||Proper Stance and Get offs||Good base, Toes slightly in and heels slightly out. Short Stagger. Hands and Elbows on knees. Keep your neck in semi bowed position.|
|Power Steps||Produce power steps. Raise head on second step. Low Shoulder Pads win the battles 9 out of 10 times.|
|5||Second Step Wins||First step ties, second step wins! Learn this from Bob Ladouceur of De La Salle High School who went 399-25-3 as a coach in California High School league.|
|6||How to Punch in the Trenches||Punch, Up, Not Out!|
|Great 1st Strike as Oline||Good extension in the punch, elbows down. Strike a great 1st blow. Get a good wide base when driving. Keep the feet alive and get the last shove as an offensive lineman vs. your defensive lineman, it’s all about attitude!|
|7||Inside Outside Zone Rules||Wider splits helps the inside Run and tighter splits helps the outside Run!|
|8||Combination Blocking Definition||Two combination linemen will be responsible for a down first level defender working towards blocking a second level defender.|
|Do NOT go chase a second level defender, let him come to you. Don’t be going off chasing butterflies!|
|9||Practice Reps||The only way to get better at zone blocking is to rep it to death in practice.|
|10||1st Possession Rule||Make a first down and get the psychological edge at the beginning of a game! 1st down gives your team confidence!|
|11||What is blocking?||The difference between a great blocker and a fair one is the fractional time between contact and the follow through.|
|Finish your drive blocks 5 yards down field.|
|12||Part of the Play||Become part of the tackle! Stick to your defender, latch onto them and be part of the play as an offensive lineman.|
|13||Short Choppy Steps (Shuffle)||Whenever you are rush blocking or pass blocking, use short choppy steps. When you over stride, you lose leverage.|
|14||Oline Tips||1) No false steps, always step with your play side foot first.|
|2) Proper point of head placement. Must understand where the play is going!|
|15||Base Block||Before you can teach zone blocking, you must master BASE BLOCKING!|
|16||1/2 Man Advantage||Always work from an inside out position on a defender using the 1/2 man advantage in drop back protection.|
|17||Near Ear Rule||Find the near ear when blocking. If you can’t see the inside ear when pass blocking, you are giving away leverage. Stay in a hand shake relationship of your defender.|
|18||Be Part of the Defender||Always stick to the defender, using all your basic fundamentals and techniques. Never find yourself on the ground.|
|19||Circle the Wagon||Drop Step Crossover and rip through a defender. Cut off the outer most jersey number of a defender.|
|20||Chin over Toes is a No-No||Do not put too much weight forward when run blocking. Nose over toes, but never chin over toes!|
|21||Drop Step Crossover||Drop step with your play side foot according to the alignment. The wider the alignment, the deeper the drop step. The crossover step is the second step.|
|22||First Level Defender||Defenders in front of you on the LOS. Remember to strike defender with a low to high blow, punch up, not out and heels in and toes out.|
|23||Front Door/Back Door||Describes shades of defender. If defender is on the front side of a combination block he is considered a front door player. Defender is on the backside of the play is considered a back door player.|
|24||Kick Step with a Kick Slide||The kick step is determined by the width of the defender. When you kick step, always replace with a kick slide by the trail foot. Keep your chin centered|
|over the inside knee. If the chin drifts to the outside knees, you are leaving the door open for an inside move by the defender to cross your face.|
|25||Look up through the Window||Bring your two thumbs together to form an X in pass pro. This drops the elbows and forms a window for the blocker to look through. Don’t look out the window look up through the window, this will help sink the hips.|
|26||Quick Draw||Term used to describe the quick hand placement of the hands to the chest of the defender. It’s the player who can get his hands on the other faster that wins.|
|27||Linebackers Jetting Through||Linebackers who run through the LOS unblocked. Blockers must keep their heads up and focused on where the LB’s are at second level. MDM Rule.|
|28||Don’t Shoulder Pass Block||Never allow the shoulders to follow the punch. Punch and Reset. Don’t get caught leaning!|
|29||Keep Hips and Shoulder Square||When in pass protection, never turn your shoulders towards the sidelines. Keep your hips square to your defender.|
|30||Show your Numbers||Term used in pass protection. To get shoulders back, show your numbers to your defender, this also keeps you from following your punch. Low numbers means your leaning too much forward.|
|31||Use your eyes||The best tools that an offensive lineman has is his eyes. What you see tells the brain what to do. If your head is down, nothing goes into your brain. Keep your eyes up and strike what you see.|