To teach players how to close  the distance and make a play on a receiver who has created separation and gotten open.


Have players pair off with a teammate and form a line, with the first pair stepping up onto the LOS and facing each other with the defender shading to the inside.


Player closing the distance and making a play on the ball from out of phase.


Diagram of players performing the Out of Phase Drill.



  1. On the coach’s signal the receiver will release inside and the DB will jam the inside shoulder.
  2. The receiver will ‘beat’ the DB, gaining a few yards of separation as they move downfield.
  3. The coach will lob a pass up over the defender, who must then close the distance on the receiver and make a blind play on the ball.

Coaching Tips:

  • When a DB is out of phase, there is no point in looking back to see the ball, as they aren’t in a position to make a play on it. They need focus entirely on closing that gap to the receiver.
  • To do so, we will coach our players to focus on the V at the neck of the receiver and essentially become a track athlete, giving everything they’ve got and going full speed ahead to get as close to the receiver as possible.
  • When they see the receiver’s hands go up, the DB will secure the tackle with the back hand and attempt to strip or knock the ball free with their front hand as they bring the receiver to the ground.