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How to Drill Double Team Destruction

In this article, I will continue to go through how I teach my players to defeat different blocks and will provide some of the drills that I use in order to help them beat the blocks they will see each game.

Double teams are very tough for defensive linemen to take on and beat.

In my opinion, there are two goals that a defensive lineman should have when thinking about taking on double teams. The first is to either beat or stalemate the double team coming at them. The second goal should be to keep the double team from getting up to the linebackers.

I will talk about 3 drills that I use to prepare my players for double team blocks during the season.

Block Destruction from Fit

In this drill we will start to break down how to defeat a double team.

I like to start from a prefit position before beating a double team from a 3-point stance in order to emphasize the coaching points of beating the block. You will need three linemen to work this drill.

Two will start on offense and one will start on defense. The defensive lineman who is up will be locked in his starting position with the offensive lineman. On the coach’s command, the defensive lineman will get extension on the offensive lineman and will move his feet.

The offensive lineman in front of the defensive lineman will try to base the defensive lineman while the other will block down on him, double teaming them. Once the defensive lineman feels the pressure, he will turn his hips to it and get skinny through and will finish with an escape move.  

Here’s a video:

Drill Progression

  1. Get defensive linemen into groups of 3. 
  2. Two will act as offensive linemen, side to side and one defensive lineman will line up on them according to how you run your defensive alignment. 
  3. On the coach’s command, the two offensive linemen will double team the defensive lineman. 
  4. The defensive lineman will get extension on the offensive lineman in front of them first. 
  5. Once the defensive lineman feels the pressure from the down blocking offensive lineman, he will turn his hips to the down blocker and try to get skinny through the two blockers. 
  6. Finish with an escape move. 

Coaching Points

  1. Violent separation from the initial blocking offensive lineman. 
  2. Stay low in your hip turn.
  3. Active feet.

Block Destruction From a 3-point Stance

This drill is almost exactly like the prefit drill except that the defensive lineman is going to work from their 3-point stance and will trigger the football’s movement to start the drill. 

Once again, the defensive lineman will fire out of their stance and attack the man in front of them. Once they feel pressure, they will turn their hips to the down blocker, run their feet and get “skinny” through, and finish with a rip or other escape move. 

Here’s a video:

Drill Progression

  1. Put defensive lineman into two groups. Two linemen will act as offensive linemen and one will be the defensive lineman.
  2. The coach will be beside the two linemen to represent the center snapping the ball. 
  3. On the snap of the ball, the offensive lineman in front of the defensive lineman will perform a base block while the other will block down on the defensive lineman. 
  4. The defensive lineman will fire out of his stance on the snap of the ball. He will get extension on the offensive lineman in front of him and will turn his hips to the lineman down blocking on him. 
  5. The defensive lineman will run his feet and work to get “skinny” through the gap. Finishing with an escape move. 

Coaching Points

  1. Fast and physical get off.
  2. Active feet.
  3. Hips turn to pressure.
  4. Stay low.

Make a Pile Drill

In this drill we will work on when we get a double team from opponents with a big or especially dominant offensive line.

If we know we can’t beat the double team every play, we will work on stopping it and not letting one of the offensive lineman to make a pile. You can start this drill from a pre fit and progress to a 3-point stance just like the earlier drills.

This drill will require two players acting as the offensive linemen and one defensive lineman. The first part will be the player getting extension on the man in front of them. Once the player feels pressure from the down blocker, they will turn their hips to the block and will drop straight to their knee that is closest to where they are turning to.

They will need to grab the jerseys of the players blocking them so that they can pull them down with them in order to make a pile and prevent offensive linemen from getting to the linebackers. 

Drill Progression

  1. Split defensive linemen into groups with two offensive linemen, a coach to snap or simulate the snap, and the defensive lineman themselves.
  2. On the ball snap or command of the coach, the offensive linemen will double team the defensive lineman.
  3. The defensive lineman will fire out of his stance or will get extension on the man in front of him.
  4. He will turn his hips to the pressure.
  5. Grabbing the cloth of both offensive linemen, he will slam down to his knee, intending to bring the offensive linemen with him and making a pile. 

Coaching Points

  1. Fire off low on the ball snap.
  2. Fight against the initial block until you feel the down block.
  3. Grab cloth.

Conclusion

Drilling double team destruction isn’t the first thing you’re going to teach your linemen. But if you want to see success from your guys, they need to get this skill down in a hurry. If you’re interested in learning more about pass rush drills (because double teams don’t just show up in the run game) you’ll be interested in this article about essential drills for the pass rush.

If you would like to look at my previous articles on defensive line play, please read this article about base block destruction and this article about reach block destruction.


This article was originally published in Headsets: Volume 2, Issue 1.

Quint Ashburn

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