Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Coach's Corner: Offensive Line Play
Posted at 8:00am -- 2/10/2009
Coach's Corner: Offensive Line Play
To refresh people on GBMW take of the offensive line at the beginning of the season that received many attacks along with people claiming we did not like this coaching staff and then we saw what we did this past football season: 8/29/2009 -- Offensive Line Concerns
This will be based on a combination of my twenty plus years of offensive line experience, and my coaching of running backs, combined with clinic notes.
Size absolutely matters, you will never block Alabama's 360 lb. Cody with a 265 pound offensive guard, this is not going to happen.
That being said, size is just one of the skills needed to play offensive line. Size is necessary but in itself, not sufficient to insure outstanding play.
You will not be successful at 265 pounds, but being 350 pounds, as above, is not a guarantee for success. In my opinion, you can play with 290 pound or so offensive tackles most of the time, if they have the other skills we will talk about in a moment.
A smaller weight can be compensated for as long as offensive linemen have the long arm body type that helps them in pass pro. It is at offensive guard where size and power are at a premium.
1) Get Off:
Ninety percent of the time (this number I have gotten from offensive line coaches at most clinics) linemen who get off the ball first win the battle.
This is why S&C coaches work on linemen's explosive ability. This is what we call EDD. An everyday drill then becomes working on getting off the ball.
How many times have you heard the low man wins? But leverage is also about bending your knees and pounding the earth with feet.
A drill we stole and works is simply lining boards on the field and power walking down the board and learning to push off the ground. Coach Frey uses this drill a ton. The lineman must be able to use the ground to get leverage or he will not move the line of scrimmage.
3) Quick Feet and Hips:
With all the angles and stunts defensive linemen use, if a linemen cannot adjust by moving is feet and turning the hips, he will get beat.
One of the things teams are doing to stop "Read Option,” (Michigan this year applied this technique), is angle/crash the defensive end to the mesh point of quarterback and running back trying to confuse the quarterback's read.
If the offensive tackle cannot adjust with his feet and hips the defensive end will gain leverage and blow the damn thing up.
4) Overall technique:
Linemen must have quick hands, must take proper steps, and successfully show competence in all the other fine points. In fact with proper technique a player can make up for some deficiencies in offensive line play. Being able to master the techniques of step and cover, punch, and helmet placement (this is something Coach Frey really emphasizes), all play a big part in making and improving offensive linemen.
5) Nasty *SS Attitude
It takes a toughness to play and compete in the trenches. Coach Frey talks about knowing what to do when they get there, an having the ability to finish plays.
Coach Stud, former offensive coordinator at Bowling Green and offensive line coach at LSU, talks about driving them through the end zone and burying their *SS.
This is probably the most overlooked part of offensive line play. These guys have to be very smart. There are so many adjustments and calls you cannot succeed without some brains. Focus and poise help to maximize the brainpower needed for success.
Written by GBMW Staff
Go Blue -- Wear Maize!