Running Back Blitz Pick Up Drills


The purpose of these running back blitz pick up drills is to teach the correct positioning and reading progression to pick up the most dangerous blitzing defender.


  1. set up 3 (C-G-T) to 5 (T-G-C-G-T) standup dummies as Offensive Linemen
  2. have 2 to 3 defenders lineup as possible blitzers
  3. have RB lineup at his position
  4. coach stands behind RB and signals which defender should blitz
  5. on command, the RB steps his first 2 steps as if the innermost defender would blitz, on these two steps he reads who is actually coming, adjusts to him and blocks him as close to the LOS as possible

Coaching Points

Reading Progression is from inside out

  • First 2 steps are short but forward towards the innermost possible blitzer (he has the shortest way to the QB)
  • RB should meet blitzer as close to LOS as possible (don’t let the defender come to you)
  • RB has nevertheless to stay under control (he must not miss the blitzer)

As the skills of the RBs improve, make the blitz pick up drill more difficult:

  • have one or more defender fake the blitz
  • let more than one defender blitz and make sure the RB blocks the correct one
  • build in a rule what the RB has to do if nobody blitzes


  • plus QB so the RBs get a better feeling for their position in relation to the QB
  • two RBs at a time (including the QB)
  • if your TE is also passblocking on some schemes add him and call complete plays so the RB have to know if he’s blocking or going out on a route.


  • 3 to 5 Standup Dummies
  • Ball if with QB
  • eventually shields for the blitzers