Today’s video features some great Running Back Footwork for Football Practice.     I’ll also introduce you to 3 drills that you can use to improve the game of not only your running back, but also your tailbacks and quarterbacks.

We are going to talk about how we make sure the quarterback does not push the tailback off the midline on the power, because when we are running the power towards a 3 technique, we like to stick it right into a gap.   And the other thing that could happen, is that we have the cutback on the play, and if the quarterback pushes the tailback too far off the line, he won’t be able to get his eyes on the cutback if it opens up.

The Power

The emphasis of this drill is to make sure we do not push the tailback off the midline.

The steps for the running back are very simple – he’s going to drop step with his playside foot about 6 inches, gather and then come straight downhill. The quarterback will hand the ball off and then set up the pass.

We like to run this drill on a line, to make sure that the tailback is not getting pushed off the midline.

The Belly

The next play we are going to talk about is the footwork of the running back on the belly. It’s very important that you teach this to your tailback and your fullback if you want to run this play out of multiple formations. I like to play this play out of 2 back, which we give the ball to the fullback, and we like to run it out of 1 back, which a lot of times is our tailback. So its important that when you go on the line, timing drills in pre-practice, that the fullback and the tailback get to do these steps.

Now, the first step of the running back in this play who is receiving the ball – he’s going to take a 6 inch open step right to the middle of the playside tackle. His next step is going to be a crossover step, making sure that he keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. On his third step, he’s going to plant and then he’s going to get downhill.   Also, it’s very important to emphasize to your running back to keep his eyes on the downblock the entire time. It’s the quarterbacks responsibility to get the ball and put it in the pocket, not his.

Then the quarterback and the tail back should carry out their fake and try to get a pull on the playside linebacker .

Our fullback and offense will align and his heels should be at 5 yards from the football.

Sprint Draw

The last play we’re going to talk about is our Sprint Draw. One of the things that we want to do is make sure the tailback takes the proper steps because we want to influence the linebackers on this play. Like I said before, we want to make sure that this play looks exactly like the speed option or the option from our offense. So the quarterback is going to open up front side, the fullbacks going to take an open step and then go low at his linebacker, and the tailback is going to take a 6 inch open step.   He’s going to crossover, then he’s going to plant and come downhill, reading the first down lineman playside. It’s very important that he works on getting his shoulders somewhat to the sideline to make it look like he is on his option track. The reason we do this is we like the linebacks to be scraping and moving lateral, we don’t want the linebackers to meet us in the hole on the isolation. So if we can get the play to look like the option, we can get the linebackers scraping and then what happens is your isolation block – from your fullback to the playside linebacker – will happen on the other side of the line of scrimmage, so you can get positive yards.


If you liked this article, be sure to check out my “Tips for Running Backs”.   And don’t forget to Follow Me on Twitter, where I will share more great football practice tips!