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flexbone
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February 13, 2020 4:19 am  

I have my way of teaching each position what their assignments are and who to block on each play but I'm curious as to how others do it. So, after teaching individual techniques i.e, down, double-team, hand placement, etc., and are now on team offense.

1. How are you teaching each position (specifically OL) what their rule is and who to block?

2. Is it rote memorization or some kind of verbiage you use to help them recall their individual rules for each play?

3. Do you test these rules by lining up in various defensive fronts?

 

Let's use DTDW Superpower as an example

I'm detail oriented and love all the small little details so feel free to go in-depth.


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CoachDP
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February 13, 2020 10:00 am  
Posted by: @flexbone

1. How are you teaching each position (specifically OL) what their rule is and who to block?

Everything is tagged. So our play call could be "blah blah blahpity blah DOWN" or "blah blah blahpity blah REACH" or "blah blah blahpity blah HINGE."  The only time we don't use a tag is when we default to our base rules which are position-specific (MOMA/GOD/GOOD).  We line up opponents (sometimes cones, sometimes coaches, sometimes other offensive personnel) so they can explain not only who they have to hit, but how and where they're going to hit them.  I don't coach against boredom.  I seek boredom.  I don't try to BE boring but when players know their responsibility so well that they're bored, I feel comfortable in their knowledge of their job.

2. Is it rote memorization or some kind of verbiage you use to help them recall their individual rules for each play?

Whether it's Man On/Man Away for the Center, Gap/On/Down for the Guards and Tackles, Gap/On/Outside/Down for the Ends, etc. we review this base rule (their default rule) on a daily basis, along with positioning the defensive linemen is a variety of spots so that each offense lineman can identify exactly what Gap is, what On is, what Down is, etc.

3. Do you test these rules by lining up in various defensive fronts?

Always and every day.  Keep in mind that we teach a lot of blocks that are specific to a particular play (Wedge, Trap, Part, Reach, etc.) in addition to tag adjustments (Down, Up) as well as their base rule for rule-blocking.  It's VERY simple, but it's also time-consuming.  But I am absolutely inflexible on my philosophy which states that my offensive line will work with their offensive line coach for the duration of practice with the exception of our dynamics period or if we scrimmage (Power Hour).  Other than that, they are with the line coach coaching over every drill we have.

Keep in mind that we cover:

WEDGE

TRAP

PART

REACH

BASE

DOWN

UP

G

CROSS

HINGE

FORKLIFT

CRACK

that are in addition to our fit drills, board drills, pulling drills, footwork drills, hitting drills and cadence drills.  We also work on the Guard/Tackle pull, the Guard/Tight End pull, as well as the Guard/Tackle/End pull.  While it's impossible for us to get all of this in during a single practice, we do get all of this in during a week of practice.  It certainly keeps our time from getting stale.  While I love coaching all aspects of our offense, defense and special teams, I have a particular interest in the offensive line if, for no other reason, that they make our offense go.  And with that crucial responsibility, I liken to coaching it like being an ace auto mechanic.  You should be able to diagnose, disassemble and reassemble that engine blindfolded.  You should NEVER be staring at it, scratching your head and wondering what you should do next.  We put a lot on our offensive line in terms of responsibility, as well as a lot of work in.  If I am your offensive line coach, you should only see me at the beginning and end of practice; otherwise, just leave us alone.  When I coached our linemen at Cary High School, I hated when the header would call us in for Group or Team, because we were so productive in Indys.  But given the style we block (X-Men), our players feel like they have an advantage over defenders and look forward to being able to line up over a defensive opponent.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Coyote
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February 13, 2020 11:58 am  

Greetings

Since we're a buck and Belly team, (3rd & 4th graders) we've really simplified things for our TEs, Ts, and C*.  We SAB, and put them on a track.  We want to get where there really is no thinking involved, they run the 'track'. If a DL is there, block him;  No DL, go 2nd level.  (only exception is on Trap, when the G,T & TE go 2nd level and form a wall)  Our C does have to know when to SAB to playside or backside.  We put the pressure on the OG's to know which block to use, and we seek out the kinda kids who can handle that during the combine and we emphasize G's in our draft.  

We go over and over and over the track until it is boring. I'm with CoachDP on the boring thing.  When the kids start to groan when we go over it, that's when I know they're starting to get it. 

I don't know what the education theory is these days, but back in the '70's they told us in Education classes that the 3 keys to learning are:

1) repetition

2) repetitive repetition

3) redundant repetitive repetition

* Late in the season when everything is solid, we'll add cross-blocking TE & T, and/or T& G, if they show they can handle it. 

Hope this helps

This post was modified 10 months ago 2 times by Coyote

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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mahonz
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February 13, 2020 8:12 pm  

Block Somebody. 

Seriously. Block Somebody. Since we went mega splits its painfully obvious for each position whom they must block. 

Now...will they? Mostly yes. If they screw up they know it and that in itself is a positive. 

Really has simplified our World. Just gotta teach them to point pre snap. Then the mud clears. 

Anymore there is no real reason to teach a specific blocking rule to match a specific running play because of all that space. Now you have more time to work on the things you never have time for....like this.... 

 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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flexbone
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February 13, 2020 8:17 pm  

Wow this is a profound statement. I can see why our OL struggled now lol

But I am absolutely inflexible on my philosophy which states that my offensive line will work with their offensive line coach for the duration of practice with the exception of our dynamics period or if we scrimmage (Power Hour).

1. There is obviously A LOT of different blocks you are teaching? Would you mind breaking down how a weekly and daily practice segment (for a 2hour practice) would look like so you can fit in all of those with high quality repetition?

 

2. When you mention you tagged every play "blha blah HINGE" does that only work because every OL assignment is Hinging? same with reaching, etc? Just curious how it works because let's say you're running "blah blah TRAP" since not every OL is trapping.

 

3. Coach if I understand your answer correctly to this, The kids and their individual position just have to know that when we run the play POWER, this is what their rule is because we have drilled it so dang much.

" 2. Is it rote memorization or some kind of verbiage you use to help them recall their individual rules for each play?

Whether it's Man On/Man Away for the Center, Gap/On/Down for the Guards and Tackles, Gap/On/Outside/Down for the Ends, etc. we review this base rule (their default rule) on a daily basis, along with positioning the defensive linemen is a variety of spots so that each offense lineman can identify exactly what Gap is, what On is, what Down is, etc."

 

4. Just had to ask cause its been bugging me, I see it all the time GAP-ON-DOWN or GAP-DOWN-BACKER

Isn't GAP and DOWN the same thing!? GAP is inside gap, DOWN is ______?

or does DOWN mean go to Backer if so, then doesn't that mean DOWN/BACKER are the same thing!?

 

5. What is a definitive way to define ON for kids? Say zero splits, what is ON me and then how far until he is now in the GAP and then how far until he is ON my teammate? What do YOU guys do?

 

@Coyote, I've read about the SAB for the younger crowd and its good stuff. I'm working with MS so the kids should be able to handle more or so I hope 😀

When you add cross blocking, I'd imagine it comes on as a TAG?


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flexbone
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February 13, 2020 8:19 pm  

That FG is insane! Was it the field goal block thingy? We had a kid a few years back who could boot it pretty good off the tee thing but not 45 yards !


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Bob Goodman
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February 13, 2020 8:51 pm  
Posted by: @flexbone

I have my way of teaching each position what their assignments are and who to block on each play but I'm curious as to how others do it. So, after teaching individual techniques i.e, down, double-team, hand placement, etc., and are now on team offense.

1. How are you teaching each position (specifically OL) what their rule is and who to block?

The team I've been coaching on the past 3 seasons uses a multi-layered approach, not by any systematic design, but the way it just seems to fall out from the coaches.

  1. We tell them the same rule the coaches use, for instance (and usually) "gap, down, backer".  Assignments that don't follow this rule we explain in other words as we rep them.  Once in a while we find an exceptional front that the rule doesn't encompass, so we have to explain that one in a way we don't have an abbreviation for.
  2. We rep them against various looks.  We literally walk them before running.  We do 1 or 2 steps and freeze.  However, we don't have them stand in place and point unless confusion has become evident.
  3. We explain to individual players, "You look here...," etc.
  4. We try to give them a sense of why, of the purpose, to understand how it fits into the play.

I do think we could save some time by systematizing it, but probably only a little time because I'm sure we'd have to go "back to square one" for some players and plays sometimes.

2. Is it rote memorization or some kind of verbiage you use to help them recall their individual rules for each play?

It's partly rote, just knowing that with a certain play call they do this, but it's also partly the sense we try to impart to them of how the play is supposed to work.  The hole number is part of the play signal, and we expect them to have a mental picture based on that.  They might not have been good at it as 9 year olds, but probably were by the time they were 11.

However, a big part of it is having an offense system that keeps the amount they have to memorize to a minimum.  If you're designing an offense, there are times you could draw up a whole O playbook against different D looks, figure out the optimal way to block each against each, and then, taking one position at a time, add up the total number of rules the player at that position would need to memorize to run the whole offense, and then decide that at one or more positions it's too much, and substitute on some plays a rule at that position that you know will give an inferior result against some defenses, because you'd rather take a chance on that play's being on against that look and accept an inferior result than to have players have too much to remember and have your whole system come crashing down.

It so happens that for a basic wing T system, an amazing number of the plays can be blocked efficiently as GDB at most OL positions, so there's not a great deal to memorize.  So with your example of double tight double wing, on super power the players who are pulling need to know that, as does the end covering for the pullers, but on the front side most of the line can block similarly to the way they'd block for several other plays.

3. Do you test these rules by lining up in various defensive fronts?

 Of course.  And there's one more point to that, which is that it gets us coaches squared away on how we're going to block the plays.  Sometimes we line up and wind up with a disagreement (or doubt or confusion) between coaches, in which case we confer with our head coach.  We try to straighten those things out on paper before we have the players carry them out, but it doesn't always work out that way.

Also, once in a while we alter the assignments based on a player's ability.  Basically this means a player turns out to be too slow (getting off or just running) to release to a LB as dictated by blocking rule, in which case we trade with an adjacent player's rule-derived assignment.


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Bob Goodman
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February 13, 2020 9:07 pm  
Posted by: @flexbone

4. Just had to ask cause its been bugging me, I see it all the time GAP-ON-DOWN or GAP-DOWN-BACKER

Isn't GAP and DOWN the same thing!? GAP is inside gap, DOWN is ______?

Almost always.  If your splits are big enough, you could have an opponent on your inside gap and another a position down from you.  So GDB could be stated more simply as "first DL inside, 'backer".  However, GOD could not be simplified like that.


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CoachDP
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February 14, 2020 4:04 am  
Posted by: @flexbone

1. There is obviously A LOT of different blocks you are teaching? Would you mind breaking down how a weekly and daily practice segment (for a 2hour practice) would look like so you can fit in all of those with high quality repetition?

--In a youth practice plan (3 days a week/6 hours):  Fit, Wedge, Pulling and Cadence drills are EDDs.  Forklifts are an EDD when the Center is getting his 150s (150 snaps).  Trap/G/Reach is repped on Day 1.  Base/Part/Down/Up is repped on Day 2.  Cross/Hinge is repped on Day 3.  We quick review their rule everyday.  Fit is practiced by the entire team after Dynamics.  Pulling and Cadence are repped together at the end of practice.  Hitting and Board drills are done twice weekly.  Footwork is practiced once per week.  All of these are adjusted by how well we are performing.  We might have a week where we Board and Hit only once, while we are working footwork every day.  It's simply the adjustments you make as a coach regarding what needs work and what doesn't.

If we break down our practice into 8 periods (ex: Monday):

Period 1--Dynamics

Period 2--Fit & Drive for 55

Period 3--Hitting (Tackling) & Board Drills

Period 4--Wedge

Period 5--Trap

Period 6--G

Period 7--Reach

Period 8--Pulling & Cadence

Again, you will need to make adjustments based on which linemen also play defense, whether you use sleds, how much you scrimmage, who's at practice and who isn't, etc.  Sometimes I'll combine Trap/G/Reach all in one period to free up time for other things.  But my practice plan is always emailed to my staff the night before, so they already know how tomorrow's practice will be broken down, what drills we will be running and which players will be in which drills. 

2. When you mention you tagged every play "blha blah HINGE" does that only work because every OL assignment is Hinging? same with reaching, etc? Just curious how it works because let's say you're running "blah blah TRAP" since not every OL is trapping.

--In our play call, we "call your name" if we have tagged you.  If we haven't "called your name," then you simply block your rule (the default).  So an example of a play call could be "Loose Right   Lee 36 Fake   A-Drag   B-Fly   Larry Hinge."  In this pass play, the left side of our offensive line ("Larry") is going to Hinge Block.  Since we did not "call the name" of the right side of our offensive line ("Roger"), their default is to base block on a pass play.  If we ran Power to the left, we could call "Ray 45 Toss Roger GaTE."  "Roger GaTE" tells our Right Guard and Right End that they are pulling.  Since we did not call for our Right Tackle to pull, he stays "home."  Since we did not call the name of our left side ("Larry"), they will block their default rule, which is G/O/D for the Guard and Tackle and G/O/O/D for the Tight End.

3. Coach if I understand your answer correctly to this, The kids and their individual position just have to know that when we run the play POWER, this is what their rule is because we have drilled it so dang much.

" 2. Is it rote memorization or some kind of verbiage you use to help them recall their individual rules for each play?

--They each have ONE base, default rule.  MO/MA for the Center, G/O/D for the Guards, Tackles and Wing Backs, G/O/O/D for the TEs.  Other than that ONE rule, everything else is tagged.  And the tag is descriptive, so the tag tells them what to do.  If they do not hear their name called ("Roger" or "Larry") or if we don't tag a play, then they simply block their rule.

4. Just had to ask cause its been bugging me, I see it all the time GAP-ON-DOWN or GAP-DOWN-BACKER

Isn't GAP and DOWN the same thing!? GAP is inside gap, DOWN is ______?

or does DOWN mean go to Backer if so, then doesn't that mean DOWN/BACKER are the same thing!?

--Gap and Down are not the same thing.  That's why they each have their own part of the rule.  If they were the same, we'd simply say, "Gap/On" or "On/Down."  "Gap" is whatever defender is in the inside gap of our blocker.  "On" is whatever defender is lined up on our blocker.  "Down" is whatever defender in lined up on the next inside blocker.  An example would be our Tackle blocking his rule ("G/O/D"): His first responsibility is to block the defender in his inside GAP (a 3-Technique).  If there is no 3-Technique, he blocks the defender that is ON him (a 4-Technique).  If there is no 3-Technique or 4-Technique, he blocks the defender who is DOWN from him who is lined up in front of the Guard (the 2-Technique).  Instead of calling it "G/O/D," you could call it 3/4/2, specifying the progression of his responsibility in blocking the Techniques.

 5. What is a definitive way to define ON for kids? Say zero splits, what is ON me and then how far until he is now in the GAP and then how far until he is ON my teammate? What do YOU guys do?

--We've done it a couple of different ways over the years, depending on whether we used a small split, or was foot-to-foot.  With small splits, we have used ANY part of the defender overlapping my offensive lineman was considered ON.  With zero splits, we have defined ON as a defender lined up between the shoulder pads of my offensive lineman.

Coyote, I've read about the SAB for the younger crowd and its good stuff. I'm working with MS so the kids should be able to handle more or so I hope 😀

When you add cross blocking, I'd imagine it comes on as a TAG?

--I'm not Coyote, but SAB/TKO/Down is a viable block for the Double Wing.  I would recommend it as the default block at the youth level simply because of time constraints.  The Double Wing works perfectly well with down blocking as the default.  As for cross blocking, it's always been a tag for us.

--Dave

 

 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
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February 14, 2020 4:27 am  

One of the biggest reasons you don't see an offensive line at the youth level get this much work is their lack of a qualified offensive line coach.  Add to that, so much of it is as Mahonz admitted to ("Block somebody.")  Further, the tail simply wags the dog at many of the practices I've seen where coaches are kowtowing to the players because coaches don't know how to lead and instruct.  The better part of those practices are spent where coaches are pleading and begging their players to do the work and then yelling at them when they can't get what they want.  Then the coaches commiserate over and again about how badly their players perform, how they don't "want" it, how they're not dedicated, willing to work or are soft.  If you read any of the Facebook football coaching groups you see the blind leading the blind in a competitive battle of ineptitude.  I finally had to just "unfollow" four of the groups I was in because I couldn't believe the amount of stupidity that was being perpetuated there.  I'm still trying to hang on at a few other sites, but they're a tough read.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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mahonz
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February 14, 2020 9:27 am  
Posted by: @flexbone

That FG is insane! Was it the field goal block thingy? We had a kid a few years back who could boot it pretty good off the tee thing but not 45 yards !

We had two kids on that team that could really boot it. They took turns. Thing is....we took the time to practice it....a lot. We won the championship that year 19-18 but only scored 2 TD's so it paid off. 

Every practice....two PAT's vs a Defense then move the ball back 5 yards per to an opposing hash with every rep until they missed. That took time. Since our blocking rules were pretty much Block Somebody....we had the time to do other stuff. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Coach E
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February 14, 2020 1:37 pm  
...our blocking rules were pretty much Block Somebody....

Seems simple enough...until you get into the details of how to block that somebody, I would presume. They have to know what to do when they get there...footwork, handwork, head placement, etc. It would be interesting to read what you do to get your players ready. I would think that blocking in space like that doesn't allow you to "hide" players that can't do the job.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.- Marcus Aurelius


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CoachDP
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February 14, 2020 3:34 pm  
Posted by: @coache

Seems simple enough...until you get into the details of how to block that somebody, I would presume. 

True.

But I think the biggest issue isn't what they're being taught, but IF they're being taught.  And that goes back to the majority of problems of offensive line play at the youth level.  It's not the scheme (or even the lack of one) that's as big of an issue as the lack of attention to detail in coaching.  Many coaches believe that "It's so simple.  Just block the guy ahead of you."  And while it may be "simple," that doesn't mean it's easy.  And that's where most coaches (regardless of experience or level) make the mistake.  If something is simple, they think that it doesn't require a great deal of practice.  Whereas the mindset should be, if we want to be good at it, we need to invest the required amount of time to be good at it.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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February 14, 2020 3:58 pm  
Posted by: @flexbone

I have my way of teaching each position what their assignments are and who to block on each play but I'm curious as to how others do it. So, after teaching individual techniques i.e, down, double-team, hand placement, etc., and are now on team offense.

1. How are you teaching each position (specifically OL) what their rule is and who to block?

2. Is it rote memorization or some kind of verbiage you use to help them recall their individual rules for each play?

3. Do you test these rules by lining up in various defensive fronts?

 

Let's use DTDW Superpower as an example

I'm detail oriented and love all the small little details so feel free to go in-depth.

We identify who we block based on a count. Center calls his man and we just go off of their, like whisper down the lane.  For super power bag and bat pull, so I would teach playside normal " center your man is 1 opposite the call, or minus 1".  Go over the pulling, then explain to the bste what his job is.  

 

This is basic right nothing crazy, we learn scheme by walking through first in offensive group. I will align a defense based on what we see or will see then walk through the play, answering questions or correcting as we go along.  Then we move to half speed, with a flash card type drill where the online faces away from the defense, the defense aligns, I say go, oline turns to face defense and we run the play. At first I allow 3 Mississippi before I start cadence, then we progress to 1 Mississippi. 

 

We drill blocking technique and play execution separately.  Then we go run group and team. 

 

Our blocks are the same no matter the play (power, base run, wide run) we don't emphasize robotics like previous years ( 1st step, 2nd, and so on), just the first step and get on your guy.  Worked well the last 5 seasons. 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Best advice I got coaching was from Michael "only coach what they need to know, when they need to know it". So don't given a dissertation on running dw super power, but give them pieces of  thit as they need it

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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CoachDP
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February 14, 2020 4:58 pm  
Posted by: @bucksweep58

Then we move to half speed, with a flash card type drill where the oline faces away from the defense, the defense aligns, I say go, oline turns to face defense and we run the play. At first I allow 3 Mississippi before I start cadence, then we progress to 1 Mississippi. 

I like this. ^

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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