Watch These Washington Huskies Offensive Line Drills
The offense generally only goes as far the the offensive line takes them. Surely a great quarterback and running back can make some plays in spite of a poor offensive line, but in general without a solid unit up front, the offense won’t be consistently moving the ball. Therefore, scoring will be inconsistent as well and winning ball games is less likely to occur.
An offensive lineman must be capable in handling many situations in run blocking and pass protection. While most plays last only a few seconds, split second decisions, agility, timing and strength are needed to successfully handle an individual assignment. As a unit, all must work cohesively. If just one player on the offensive line fails in his job, the whole play could be unsuccessful.
So how does an offensive lineman and unit improve? Washington Huskies coach Dan Cozzetto (now coaching with ASU) breaks down the daily drills which helps make the Huskies line the best it can be game in and game out.
The first drill is the "get off the line" drill, where the lineman fits up into pads. In the next phase is the "step to fit" where the linemen work on their first two steps to get off the line then work on trying to get eyes and hands into the bags at the same time. Last step is the "total get off" where the first two phases are combined and incorporated into the straight drive block, in which you try to maintain constant contact with the pad.
The high hat drill is next and the defender will hold a medicine ball high, the offensive lineman works at coming into the medicine ball hard. In addition to coming on to the defender straight on, the players work at coming from an angles from both sides of the defender. The players also work on the surge, when both players come together on a pad and work off on a linebacker.
Move from more of individual drills to drills as a whole offensive line unit. The drills as a unit are timing and assignment drills, where you work against a couple of defenses and work on the plays they want to get in.
Jamming-the-bag drills, team-up drills one on one, one player on offense and one on defense. In these drills the offensive lineman learns how to counter different pass rush moves from the defensive lineman.
More drills such as team gauntlet drills involving three phases, offensive lineman versus defensive lineman, tight end/receiver versus linebacker, and wide receiver versus defensive back or safety are worked on. The goal is for the running back to get through all three phases.
Finally pass rush drills where the entire offensive line must be set. At the snap the coach will name which defensive player is hot, forcing all players on the line to be ready.
Their multi-faceted and quantity of drills performed daily not only reinforce good habit, but also facilitate learning and improvement both at the collegiate level, and perhaps, for a shot at the NFL.
The Huskies have put 93 linemen (including tight ends, who also have blocking responsibilities) in the NFL. Active NFL linemen from Washington are Seneio Kelemente of the Texans, Josh Perkins of the Eagles, Austin Seferian-Jenkins of the Jaguars and Willy Dissly and Darrell Daniels of the Seahawks.