One luxury that not every coach can afford, and that can make us look so much better at our jobs than we are, are players that can always
perform in one on one situations. Whether your dealing with making a big block, or beating a defender in the open field, or on defense needing a player who can beat that block, make that tackle.
By practicing these one on one situations as much as possible in practice, you will not only have players more deft at performing in these situations, but you as a coach will know who you feel most comfortable on their own.
1 on 1 vs the Blitz
When you know the blitz is coming, having a back in the backfield you know you can rely on to take care of an extra man breaking at the quarterback will allow you more flexibility in your playcalling, extra receiving options, and a more confident quarterback. Conversely on defense, you’ll know which of your players you’re going to send on that crucial third down late in the game to get pressure on the QB.
Have your rushers line up with a wide technique, coming in off the edge, and your blocker lined up beside the quarterback on the same side. An assistant coach will be lined up as a mock quarterback. The goal here is for the blocker to prevent the rusher from getting within
the range to touch the QB for as long as they can.
1 on 1 Tackle Drill
Here we find out who your great open field tacklers are, and which of your players have been blessed with the elusiveness and strength to shed would be tacklers. Regardless of their regular positions, players who do well in this drill will often exceed in special teams, as tacklers or perhaps returning kickoffs and punts.
Have two lines of players setup, facing each other about 15 yards apart, and two cones setup halfway in between, a couple of yards off too one side. The offensive player will sweep into the running lane and the defender will follow, and then they can do anything they want, as long as they stay within the two cones.
If you need some tips to help your linebackers out, check out more of these great defensive drills!