Defensive Back Strip and Fumble Recovery Drills


The purpose of these Defensive Back Strip and Fumble Recovery Drills is to emphasize the turnover and properly recover the fumble or pick it up and run.


  1. Line up a ball carrier holding the football in his outside arm, the Defensive Back (Safety or Cornerback) line up about 3-4 yards behind the ball carrier.
  2. Upon command the ball carrier starts running about 80% speed.
  3. The Defensive Back also starts but with 100% speed closing in on the ball carrier.
  4. When the tackler get close enough he strips the football from the ball carrier using either the tomahawk chop coming over the top or punching the ball out from below.
  5. When the ball is out the Defensive Back charges to recover the ball or pick it up and run it back.

Variations/Progression steps:

  • Ball carrier runs faster
  • As soon as the ball is out it’s fair game, so the ball carrier also tries to recover the football

Coaching Points

Emphasize that making the tackle still has first priority, so if the ball doesn’t come out, the tackle still has to be made

Recovering the fumble (securing it on the ground) should be practiced first before working on picking up the football and run.

The drill is over when either the player controlling the ball is down, or the ball is returned to the starting point (or the ball carrier scores – bad! real bad!)


  • Football(s)