It doesn’t matter how great your coverage is, if you can’t get good pressure on the quarterback, your defense will suffer.

And while a well-timed blitz will usually deliver that pressure, getting it consistently from a four man rush will make your job as a playcaller infinitely easier.

The following drills are fantastic for working on the agility and footwork that are vital in developing a player’s ability to beat his blocker on a regular basis.

Football Defense Drill
Simon Says

Simon Says

This is drill is great for not only improving a player’s agility, but also improves their reaction time, and teaches them that they should keep an eye on what’s happening with the quarterback at all times.

Have your player(s) start off lying face down on the ground, watching the football. Do not practice on cadence, teach your players to move on the ball.

Now when you hike the football, move it immediately to one side of your body. As you do so, your player will sprint in that direction – until you move the football to the other side of your body. The player should be covering about a 15 yard radius, 7.5 yards in each direction from their starting point.

Go back and forth one or two times and then pull the ball up as if you are about to pass it – when the player sees this he should immediately charge the quarterback and just before he reaches you pump fake the ball.

On that pump fake the player will turn and sprint back to their starting point, completing the drill.

Around The Corner

This drill focuses more tightly on a lineman’s footwork, and their ability to explode not only off the line, but through the quarterback.

Football Coaching Drills
Around The Corner

Set up a tackle dummy, and stand some 5-7 yards in front of it. Place two cones; one a little bit further out then where your offensive tackle would be, and another 10 yards to your side and about 3 yards behind you.

The player should be lined up in a defensive ends approximate position relative to the ball, in 3-point stance, as close to the ball as they can be. When you hike the ball, they should sprint out to the closest cone, plant and sprint to the far cone, coming around it and accelerating into the quarterback.

Coaching Tips

Try using a green football if you have access to one – they’re great for challenging players to really focus in on the ball

Make sure to teach your players to take the most direct path possible, and not bend their runs around the pylons

If you need to improve a player’s ability to tackle a slippery scrambling quarterback, throw a player in instead of the tackle dummy and make them chase him down!


Hope you liked these drills! If you really want to turn up the heat on the offense, check out these  basic blitz packages of the 4-3 defense!