So one of the complaints I used to have as a ‘newbie’ Double Wing Coach was our inability to get live reps for our offensive line without setting up a scrimmage with another team. You see in youth football we often have only 16-18 kids (several of which don’t give you much competition against your starters), making it difficult to work live with your linemen to develop their footwork for blocking plays. And of course the Double Wing offense has 11 moving parts and the plays just don’t operate the same without 11 on offense. So now you need 11 on defense to get them a decent look to go up against and now you have a numbers problem. So I felt we had to find a way to simulate a live play with just half the available players.
Just so you know about our version of the Double Wing, we use a TKO blocking scheme for Power, Counter and Trap and of course the Wedge blocking scheme for Wedge and we use a variation of a Reach blocking scheme to get outside. Wedge we found was pretty easy to practice by using a Coach for the O-line to push against and this was actually for the safety of our players as well because that Wedge play really grinds up any Defensive Linemen who happen to get in the way. And of course when we run outside we don’t really get everyone involved so we could practice that pretty easily. But our Power Off-tackle scheme really does involve all 11 players and that is why it is so devastating.
I also realize that some guys use ‘rules’ blocking instead of TKO (we used that for many years as well) and I can assure you that these drills will also work great for your team. You can even get some practice reps for your X or G plays as well.
The first drill I am diagramming is our WALL DRILL. It is used mostly to work on our TKO wall blocking.
And the first thing you will notice is we are using about 9 players with this drill and we can easily rotate them through the different positions to get reps. We don’t need any ball carriers and we are replacing the entire backside of the line with a couple of dummies laying on the ground. I went ahead and drew this one up with a QB taking snaps (sneaky way to get reps). We like to involve our QB with our linemen drills sometimes so they can hear him call cadence more often as well as getting him some footwork reps in a more confined space than when we work footwork with the backfield and no linemen. We can also add a FB to this drill if we want to work on kicking out the DE, but as I have it drawn up no one should block the last bag holder as he is the DE and we aren’t using a FB.
As you can see we have 3 D-linemen holding bags (we often run this drill live with no bags or shields but we can also run this in shells or no pads if we have them hold the dummies and shields). We will move these 3 DL around to different alignments so our kids get used to blocking down with varying amounts of resistance. Again in the drawing above, no one should hit the DE as he is outside the TE and therefore he is the ‘sucker’ we kick out on our Power play. Of course you can remove him altogether but I like to have him there so our TE gets used to leaving him alone when he is head up or outside.
We also have 2 shield holders. I usually have a coach hold the shield in the backfield since the only real purpose is to smack the QB when he doesn’t spin tight enough into the hole. But the second shield holder actually represents the CB sliding down inside at the snap so the QB can work on his aiming point and his block. So as you can see if we eliminate the QB from the drill that also eliminates the need for both shields, making this a drill run with just 7 players. And of course you can add LBs trying to run through or whatever else you feel you need to get your kids game ready.
This next drill is our PULLING DRILL. It is used to work on pulling and kicking or pulling and sealing or both.
Obviously this drill we have flipped the pads and moved them into a 45 degree angle to represent our TKO wall of blockers. The cone represents the FB kicking out the DE and we might even have a Coach stand in that location to simulate more traffic. The shield you see at the cone represents the OLB who is stepping down to fill the hole because this is what we see most often in our league. You can easily move him to another location if your situation is different. Sometimes we remove the cone and the shield holder becomes the DE for our Guard to kick on our Counter play.
Shield holder 2 steps around the top of our TKO wall like an ILB or Safety for the pulling Tackle or TE (some teams pull the OT others pull the TE, this drill works for either) to seal inside. If the shield holder doesn’t step around the bags then the puller should lead straight to the end zone.
The bag holder is there to work on cut blocking and/or cutting off backside pursuit by whoever doesn’t pull in your scheme (G, T or TE). Even when we go live with no shields we prefer to keep this bag if we are working on cut blocks.
Again we are able to practice a significant part of our Power Off-tackle scheme using only 6 players.
The final drill for today is our PULLING COMPETITION DRILL. This is less about our need for half line drills and more about getting our kids to compete while working on important techniques.
This is less about our need for half line drills and more about getting our kids to compete while working on important techniques. We just want to line up 2 groups of linemen with an angled dummy on the ground to represent our TKO wall and a cone to represent the point on the ground that is equal distance from both groups. We are looking to see who gets past the cone first and of course who makes the best contact with the pullers coming back at them. As with all of our competition drills we will usually attach a small motivating punishment like 5 push-ups for whoever loses this drill.