Oxford High School
Getting off the ball properly must start with your defensive linemen in a great stance. As a football coach, you can never assume everyone knows a good stance, so take a few minutes early on to insure your defensive lineman have great stances. Remember...if your defensive lineman isn't starting correctly, he can't wreak havoc on the offense!
As we begin the ball get off drills, teach your defensive linemen to line up as close to the neutral zone as they possibly can. Getting as close to the neutral zone as they can helps neutralize the offensive lineman's first step, giving your defensive lineman an edge.
In this drill, when the ball moves, the defensive lineman penetrates into the offensive backfield, recognizes a toss sweep, then the defensive lineman redirects flat toward where the ball will be to make the tackle. The redirection is key in this drill, the lineman must learn to get his toe planted into the ground so he can quickly redirect down the line.
NOTE: This is a "Ball Get Off" drill, so your defensive lineman must look at the ball to know when to fire off so have fun trying to pull them off sides...he shouldn't move till the ball moves!
Everything isn't a toss sweep, so your defensive lineman must know the keys that scream "pass play"...the offensive lineman getting in a pass block posture is probably clue number 1. This portion of the drill works on recognizing a pass and knowing when the quarterback has decided to pass. Knowledge of these "pass cues" helps your defensive lineman know when to start trying to block the pass and finally when the pass is thrown your lineman practices his redirect toward the football to help make the play.