Defensive Line Read Drill


The purpose of this Defensive Line Read Drill is to improve the reaction of the defensive lineman to the movement of the offensive lineman.


Set up 3 cones in a triangle about 10 yards apart. Put two linemen facing each other in the middle between two cones, put a designated ballcarrier at the third cone. The player facing the ballcarrier will be the defender, the other player the OL. The coach should stand behind the DL and signaling the direction and the snapcount. On the command, the ballcarrier runs in a straight line to the designated cone, while the OL blocks accordingly. The DL reacts to the movement of the OL, controls & escapes the OL and makes the tackle before the ballcarrier reaches the cone. (After the DL got comfortable with the drill, you might bring in ‘real’ OL and Runningbacks to increase intensity and speed.)

Coaching Points

  • Defenders shoulders and hips should stay square to LOS.
  • Check for proper hand and arm technique to control and escape OL,
  • Feet should be moving all the time and never get close together.


  • 3 cones
  • Ball, if run with offensive personnel