Essentials of Defensive Line Play

                I.    Knowledge

                II.    Fundamentals

               III.    Effort

 

  1. KNOWLEDGE

    1. Stance

    2. Alignment

    3. Assignment

 

 

  1. FUNDAMENTALS

    1. Play the techniques

    2. Keys and block releases

    3. Creating contact

    4. Footwork

    5. Shedding

    6. Pass rush

 

 

  1. EFFORT

    1. Pursuit

    2. Tackling and production

    3. Creating turnovers

 

STANCE

KNOWLEDGE

 

For any defensive lineman to be effective as a player, he must develop a sound functional stance from which to operate.

 

THIS IS CRITICAL- ALL FUNDAMENTALS ARE AFFECTED BY THE PROPER STANCE!

 

THE FACTS ARE:

FUNDAMENTALS will express themselves with a

sound and functional stance.

 

FUNDAMENTAL problems will always repeat

themselves without a sound and functional stance.

 

Developing a sound and functional stance IS A MUST if we are to be a FUNDAMENTALLY sound defensive line.

 

ATTACK THE TECHNIQUE is our 1ST FUNDAMENTAL- Because of this, we cannot compromise our stance.

 

 

***MOST DEFENSIVE LINE PROBLEMS CAN BE SOLVED BY KNOWLEDGE***

1.  STANCE

2.  ALIGNMENT

3.  ASSIGNMENT

 

STANCE

KNOWLEDGE

 

WE WILL BUILD OUR STANCE FROM THE GROUND UP

 

Our defensive linemen will play in a THREE POINT STANCE with his COVERED HAND DOWN and COVERED FOOT BACK in base and move techniques.

 

STANCE CHECKLIST

 

1.  Feet shoulder width apart.

2.  Weight on the balls of your feet (heels out).

3.  Toe to instep – toe to hill stagger.

4.  Hands slightly in front of your eyes.

5.  Butt slightly higher than shoulders.

6.  Shin angles.

7.  All finger tips contacting the ground.

8.  Shoulders square.

9.  Off hand in ready position.

 

Developing a sound functional stance IS A MUST if we are to be a FUNDAMENTALLY sound defensive line.

 

GET-OFF is essential to our success– because of this, we cannot compromise our stance.

 

ALIGNMENTS

KNOWLEDGE

 

ALIGNMENTS are the horizontal positioning of a defensive lineman within a defensive call. We will use the feet of the offensive lineman to determine our alignment.

 

THERE ARE FIVE ALIGNMENTS:

 

1.  HEADS – Feet to feet of offensive lineman.

2.  HEAVY – Feet slightly offset offensive lineman’s feet (cover up ¾ of offensive lineman).

3.  SHADE – Split the feet of offensive lineman (hand to crotch of offensive lineman).

4.  TIGHT – Hand inside foot of the offensive lineman.

5.  LOOSE – Hand to foot with the offensive lineman.

6.  WIDE - Hand outside foot of offensive lineman.

7.  WIDER – Two hands outside foot of offensive lineman.

 

***THE DEFENSIVE CALL WILL DICTATE YOUR ALIGNMENT***

 


ALIGNMENTS

KNOWLEDGE

 

THERE ARE SEVEN ALIGNMENTS:

  1. HEADS
  2. HEAVY
  3. SHADE
  4. TIGHT
  5. LOOSE
  6. WIDE
  7. WIDER

 

TECHNIQUES DICTATE THE WAY WE WILL PLAY EACH ALIGNMENT.

 

  1.   YOU WILL PLAY YOUR ALIGNMENT BY: 
    1. Man Key
      1. Attack the technique to:

                                     i.    Squeeze-Constrict-Bend-Spill

                                    ii.    Shed And Tackle

 

  1.   YOU WILL PLAY YOUR ALIGNMENT BY: 
    1. Ball key
    2. Attach the technique to:

                                     i.    Penetrate – Exchange Gap – Exchange Alignment

                                    ii.    Shed and tackle

 

  1.  GO TECHNIQUE (Nickel Go 2 Man)
    YOU WILL PLAY YOUR ALIGNMENT BY: 
    1. Ball key
    2. Attack the technique to Rush Passer 
    3.  

***ALL ASIGNMENTS AND TECHNIQUES ARE ADJUSTABLE BY TACTICAL CLUES***

 


ATTACK THE TECHNIQUE

FUNDAMENTALS

 

We will play three techniques

  1.  BASE 
  2.  MOVE 
  3.  GO 

 

1.  BASE TECHNIQUE (Firm and Crush Position)

          *ATTACK THE TECHNIQUE TO: SQUEEZE-CONSTRICT-BEND-SPILL

 

  1. Great eye focus
  2. Shoot our hands and our feet will follow 
  3. Create 3 points of CONTACT (shoulders square) 

 

2.  MOVE TECHNIQUE (Tap, Tank, Rip, Wash, etc.)

          *ATTACK THE TECHNIQUE TO: Penetrate, exchange gap or align.

 

PENETRATE (RIP)

  1. Attack the LOS with inside foot (Attack Step)
  2. 2nd step- Under control and pointing foot up-field or to target (Point Step) 

 

EXCHANGE A GAP (ED)

  1. Attack the LOS with foot nearest GAP you are exchanging to, gain ground laterally (off-set step)
  2. 2nd step follows the 1st step pointing up field (Point Step)
  3. Keep shoulders square

ATTACK THE TECHNIQUE

FUNDAMENTALS

 

EXCHANGE AN ALIGNMENT (WASH)

  1. Attack the LOS with the nearest foot to GAP you are an alignment to by stepping at 45 degrees on 1st step (off-set step)
  2. Shoulders square

 

3. GO TECHNIQUE (ATTACK THE TECHNIQUE TO RUSH THE PASSER)

  1. Attack the LOS with inside foot (Attack Step)
  2. Close the distance between you and the offensive lineman
  3. Work to an edge
  4. Leverage
  5. Feet and Hands
  6. Have a Plan

KEYS

FUNDAMENTALS

 

KEYS are a very critical FUNDAMENTAL of effective defensive line play. We must train our EYES to EXPLODE on our keys.

 

*** DO NOT LET YOUR EYES WANDER***

*** HAVE GREAT EYE CONTROL***

 

There will be two keys:

1.  Man Key

  1. Eyes key the attack point vertically down your horizontal alignment
  2. Covered eyes is primary focus

 

2.  Ball Key

  1. Eyes explode on ball

 

Pre-Snap keys:  Read the Formation, splits, and offensive lineman (key their eyes).  Key your attack point and it will lead you to the football.

 ***GET OFF THE BALL WITH GREAT KEYS***

 

STRIKE TO CONTACT (SHOCK)

FUNDAMENTALS

 

We will commonly refer to the fundamental of STRIKE TO CONTACT as HITTING BLOCKS. Creating contact is paramount on aggressive blocks.

 

FOUR POINTS OF CONTACT is essential in this fundamental.  The most important point that we must stress in this fundamental is that it MUST ORIGINATE FROM A SOUND AND FUNCTIONAL STANCE.

 

FOUR POINTS OF CONTACT

1.  FACE

2.  FISTS

3.  FOREARMS

4.  FEET!

 

  1. HAT PLACEMENT

1.      Most critical on aggressive blocks

2.      DL hat to his responsibility (FIRM POSITION)

3.      OL hat to your responsibility (CRUSH POSITION)

 

  1. HAND PLACEMENT
    1. The blow is struck with palm and heels of the hands
    2. Thumbs up and elbows in
    3. Quickness of hands to the aiming point

 

USE GREAT CONTACT TO:

1.  Attack - the blocker

2.  Separate – from the blocker

3.  Adjust the pad level of the blocker.

 


FOOTWORK

FUNDAMENTALS

 

Footwork is the sequence of the first two steps of a defensive lineman. We will name the first two steps based on the technique.

 

Base technique

1.  Shoot our hands and our feet will follow

2.  1st step- Power Step

3.  2nd step- Gather Step

 

Move technique

1.  Exchange a gap – 1st step 45 degree  offset, 2nd vertical point.

2.  Exchange an alignment  - 1st step 45 degree offset, 2nd vertical point step.

 

Rush technique

1.  1st step long

2.  2nd follow toward target

 

After the point of contact- form fit position

1.  Feet must always come to a solid base

2.  Fast feet-  work to stay square

3.  Hips- flatten the offensive lineman out

 


SHEDDING

FUNDAMENTALS

 

To shed a blocker, the FUNDAMENTAL of Strike to Contact must be in effect.  You must first control the blockers to shed.  Players that can SHED blockers are the guys that are making plays and affecting the game. 

 

Four shed techniques

  1. Violent pull
    1. Attack and separate from blocker with square shoulders
    2. Defensive line eyes in his gap responsibility (Firm position)
    3. Rid blocker away from gap responsibility
    4. Escape off blocker with hands and feet down and away
    5. Catch up
      1. Attack and separate from blocker with shoulders square
      2. Offensive lineman hat in your gap responsibility (Crush position)
      3. Retrace
        1. Down and Dirty

 


PASS RUSH

ASPECTS

 

 

FIVE ASPECTS OF PASS RUSH

 

  1. Objectives of a Pass Rush
  2. Plan & Mindset
  3. Pass Rush Progression
  4. Pass Rush Lanes
  5. Pass Rush Techniques

 


PASS RUSH

OBJECTIVES

 

BENEFITS OF A GREAT PASS RUSH

  1. SACK
  2. HURRY
  3. KNOCKDOWN
  4. INTERCEPTION
  5. FUMBLE
  6. HURT THE QB
  7. DEFLECT OR TIP A PASS
  8. MAKE QB LOFT BALL
  9. FORCE QB TO RUN

10. RUIN QB/WR TIMING

11.DEMORALIZE QB’S CONFIDENCE

12.DEMORALIZE OFFENSIVE LINE’S CONFIDENCE

***DISRUPT AND INTIMIDATE!  HAVE A PLAN AND COMPETE!***

 


PASS RUSH

PLAN & MINDSET

 

Plan & Mindset

 

  1. The single most determined effort in the game of football

***COMPETE***

 


PASS RUSH

PROGRESSION

 

PASS RUSH PROGRESSION

 

The PASS RUSH PROGRESSION is a sequence of MENTAL and PHYSICAL things that we must be aware of to maximize our pressure on QB’s.

 

  1. KNOW SITUATION – Call – D&D – Time of Game
  2. KNOW YOUR RUSH LANE- Effects your plan
  3. HAVE A PLAN- Before you get in Stance & Stick to it
  4. CONCENTRATE ON BLOCKER- Disciplined Eyes
  5. GET OFF! – String Tied to the Tip of your Nose
  6. TARGET POINT – Concentrate on Blocker – Disciplined Eyes
  7. EXECUTE RUSH TECHNIQUE – Feet and Hands Constant
  8. FRONT QB – QB to you hands up – QB away from you close
  9. STAY ON EDGE – Forces OL to compromise his parallel relationship with LOS

 

***FINISH***


PASS RUSH

PASS RUSH LANES

 

PASS RUSH LANES

 

A.  Contain Rushers (OCPR)

  1. Widen alignments (can vary depending on move).

B.  Inside Rushers (OEQB)

  1. Key ball for movement
  2. Keep relationship with other defensive tackle

PASS RUSH

TECHNIQUES

 

PASS RUSH TECHNIQUES

 

THERE 3 TYPES OF PASS RUSH STYLES

 

MINIMUM CONTACT

MAXIMUM CONTACT

COMBO

 

1.  MINIMUM CONTACT RUSHES

  • •         HALF MAN RUSHES – ON A SET LINE
  • •         CREATE SPEED IN OL FEET
  • •         CREAT DEEP SET POINTS OF OL

Examples of MIN. CONTACT Rushes

  • •         CHOP – SNATCH – RIP
  • •         CHOP – RIP – GRAB GRASS
  • •         BOB AND WEAVE – ARM OVER

 

2.  MAXIMUM CONTACT RUSHES

  • •         DOWN MIDDLE OR ¼ MAN RUSH
  • •         MAKE OL GIVE GROUND WITH FEET
  • •         GET OL HIGH OR OVER EXTENDED

Examples of Power Rushes

  • •         BULL – PULL
  • •         BULL – TORQUE – LEAD RIP

 


PASS RUSH

TECHNIQUES

 

PASS RUSH TECHNIQUES

 

3.  COMBO RUSHES

  • •         POWER TO SPEED
  • •         SPEED TO POWER

Examples of Combo Rushes

  • •         SPEED - BULL
  • •         SPEED – RIP – HUMP
  • •         BULL – ELBOW LIFT

 

 

ALL RUSHES START WITH GREAT GET- OFF

        AND END WITH A RELENTLESS FINISH

 


EFFORT

PURSUIT

 

THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF PURSUIT:

 

1.  LATERAL PURSUIT

  • •         Maintain Inside/Out or Outside/In leverage
  • •         Never Follow Same Color Jersey

 

2.  PASS RUSH LEVERAGE

  • •         Keep QB In Front and Inside
  • •         No Deeper than a Yard Past QB
  • •         Retrace to QB

 

3.  PASS COVER – UP

  • •         Retrace on Draw
  • •         Retrace on Screens
  • •         Turn and Run on Throw
  • •         Chance for Big Hits and Turnovers

 


EFFORT

TACKLING

 

THE RESPECT A DEFENSE EARNS COMES FROM THE ATTITUDE OF THE WAY IT TACKLES!

 

 

TYPES OF TACKLING FOR DEFENSIVE LINEMEN:

 

1.  FORM TACKLE

  • •         Under Control
  • •         Tamp Feet and Come To Balance
  • •         Club Arms Violently
  • •         Hands Tied To Hips

 

2.  ANGLE TACKLE

  • •         Run Through Ball Carrier
  • •         Eyes on Ball
  • •         Club Arms Violently

 

3.  DOWN & DIRTY TACKLE

  • •         Lateral Pursuit
  • •         Trailing Angle
  • •         Take One More Step and Launch
  • •         Club Arms Violently