To put the defensive lineman through a gauntlet of sorts, working on a variety of necessary skills.

Set Up

  • You’ll need two cones, 3-4 flat bags or blocking shields (or anything else that you could use as an obstacle), a standup pop bag, and one extra coach or player with a football.
The setup and course of action for the D-line scramble.


  1. Again, remember to start off slowly and work your way up until the players are comfortable to go full speed.
  2. The player will start off in a 4-point stance then proceed to bear crawl through the obstacles, going around the three bags.
  3. After they pass the third bag, they will start to run, sprinting out to the second cone, pivoting, and tackling the pop up bag.
  4. The assistant coach will throw a football on the ground, creating the illusion of a forced fumble, which the defender needs to scoop up and take off down the field for the score.
  5. Remember to correct technique, while there may be no technically correct technique to bear crawling, don’t let the players cheat to make it easier by putting their butt way up in the air or letting their head drop down – no shortcuts!
A player in mid-bear crawl.

Coaching Tips

  •  There are a variety of ways you can adjust this drill to your liking, anywhere from having them do a seat roll after one of the bags, to having them swat a pass down instead of scooping the fumble, to my favorite – setting up two courses and getting a relay race going at the end of practice!
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with new ways to expand this drill!