Like other aspects of the game, offensive line drills have evolved through the years.
Whereas the Oklahoma drill was once ubiquitous in football but now discouraged at many schools, offensive line thought leaders such as Scott Peters, Jim McNally and LeCharles Bentley have helped evolve our understanding of how to effectively train players on the line.
During offseason research and the clinic season, take a progressive stance on how to train your offensive linemen. Here are three ways to make sure the drills you’re teaching are effective:
1. Evaluate this past season’s film: Take the time to look at the tape again and examine the data for each lineman. Watch for flexibility and strength issues that might cause a player to break from proper technique. From film study, it becomes clearer which players need to improve their strength in certain areas, something that can be addressed in the weight room.
2. Evaluate stance: Self-examine the stance you teach your players, to make sure what you see on film marries up with what you teach in practice. Understand that stances have changed over time. What was once considered poor form is no longer the truth because of how leverage and fit are being taught.
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3. Evaluate scheme: Some schemes from older offenses may teach techniques that are no longer effective or viewed as best practices. This doesn’t mean the scheme needs to go, but it may mean the technique needs a refresher to reflect modern concepts.
As an offensive line coach, you can never stop learning, analyzing and adjusting.
Check out this Continuous Set Drill the Green Bay Packers use to develop a swift kick slide technique and accurate hand punch.
Keith Grabowski, USA Football's director of football operations, has nearly three decades of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate level. As host of USA Football's Coach and Coordinator podcast, he interviews the most knowledgeable head coaches, coordinators and position coaches from professional, college, and high school football. Keith and his guests discuss the philosophy, concepts, schemes, and strategies they have learned throughout their careers. Each show includes a specific idea that can be applied to help coaches at every level find the winning edge.
This is an updated version of a blog that originally published December 5, 2016.