This Offense vs Defense “A” Drill involves all three levels of blocking for the run game: Offense Lineman vs Defense Lineman, Tight End/Fullback vs Linebacker and Widereceiver vs Defensive Back. And gives the Runningback the opportunity to read those blocks and run accordingly to that.
- Create a 15 yards tall A-Shaped triangle with cones: At the top a the cones are about 2 yards apart and at the bottom about 10 yards apart.
- Place the Offense Lineman on top of the “A” facing into the “A” and the Defense Lineman opposite to him.
- At about 5 yards deep into the “A” place the Tightend/Fullback facing the Linebacker.
- At the bottom of the the “A” place the Widereceiver facing the Defensive Back.
- Finally place the Runningback with the ball at your normal depth behind the Offensive Lineman.
- On command the Offensive Players start blocking their defensive counterpart and the Runningback trys to run and score (reaching the bottom of the “A”).
- The Drill stops immediately if
- The Ballcarrier gets tackled to the ground
- The Ballcarrier steps out of bounds
- The Ballcarrier scores
If the Offensive Lineman is the Center, include a QB and let the Center snap the ball, and have the QB handoff the ball to the Runningback
You can also involve Center and QB with the other Linemen, just place him accordingly next to the blocking Lineman and put the Runningback to the right spot (in relation to the Center). Just make sure that the Center leaves the scene after snapping the ball without interfering with the drill.
This is a full speed, full contact team drill with all positions involved so each position coach can check for correct technique and full commitment.
To make the drill even more competitive you can assign points to offense and defense depending on the result (how many yards the offense gained) and in the end have the “losing” teams do extra sprints, pushups, whatever
I learned about this Offense vs Defense “A” Drill during a combined practice some couple of years ago with the Grafenwöhr Griffins from their then Head Coach James D. Miller – so all credit belongs to him.