Since you’ve already taught your defensive linemen how to get a great jump off of the line, the next thing you’re going to want to show them is what to do once they get into the backfield.
If they’ve got a clear path at the quarterback, it’s pretty simple – tackle him. But if a second blocker presents themselves or an opportunity to make an even bigger play than a sack is there, there are a couple other options that your defensive linemen could pursue.
Here’s a drill where you can work on both your technique on batting down the ball if the quarterback is able to get the ball out before you get there, and the proper technique for stripping the ball loose during a sack.
Indicator/High Strip Drill
Start off down in stance, with the quarterback already dropped back 5-7 yards. The defensive lineman will execute a pass rush move, and then begin his rush on the QB. As they get closer, they’ll want to keep an eye on a few things that are generally indicators that a quarterback is about to release the ball: his
off-hand, his shoulder, and of course, the actual ball.
If the quarterback begins his throwing motion before the linemen is able to get a hand on him, than he should jump up in the air with two hands straight up, doing his best to get a deflection on the pass.
However if you’re able to get within arms reach before the QB begins to throw the ball, teach the lineman to proceed as follows: grab with his inside hand on the cloth of the quarterback’s jersey, and follow through with his off-hand, swipe through the ball with the backhand, stripping the ball loose.
A sack is nothing to sneeze at, but if you can make an even bigger impact on the game with your pass rush – why not go for it? Learning how to clog a quarterback’s passing lanes or strip him loose as you drag him to the ground is invaluable, and is often, as seen above, a game-changing play!