As you get closer to the ball carrier, there are going to be guys that are in your way. Many players want to run around blocks. But what really needs to happen in a shock and lock on that blocker, with the defender finding where the ball carrier is going and then ripping off of the blocker to make the tackle on the ball carrier.
The Special Teams “Butt & Press” is a great drill for block protection or block destruction. This is a complimentary drill to the “Hard Turn” Avoidance Zone Drill, as in this special teams drill, we have an opportunity to work with the defender on using his hands.
In this special teams drill, the defender is going to move approximately 10 yards down the field, where he is then going to meet with the blocker and square up. One of the keys to this drill is having the blocker move forward towards the defender, just like in a game, and see if that defender has the ability to get his thumbs directly in the center of the chest plate of the blocker.
The defender also wants to be able to lock out, while at the same time peaking so that he can find the ball carrier, get off the block with an escape technique, and then make a good, solid angle tackle.
Special Teams Tackling Tip!
In most situations in football, you aren’t going to get a head on crunch with the ball carrier, especially on a kick off return. As the ball carrier is angling, the defender wants to always keep his back foot one step on top of the ball carriers inside foot. As you do this, you want to throw your hands while always keeping that back foot in front of him so you can squeeze his hip and drive him off course.