Friday, April 5, 2013

University of Nebraska Linebackers Clinic

I had the opportunity, back in December to watch the University of Nebraska practice for their bowl game against the University of Georgia Bulldogs.  After that practice, the coaches held a small breakout session that was quite informative.  Since I've been a LB's coach over the past 3 seasons, I figured I'd go check out their LB's coach and see what he had to say.  Needless to say it was a very informative session, and here are my notes from the clinic.  Hopefully you can find some good information in this stuff like I did.  If you are interested in their defensive backs, Coach Hoover went and listened to their DB coach speak, and you can check out his post on the matter here.

·         Tackling Progression
o   start from scratch
·         8 Drill Categories
o   Agility
§  General footwork
§  Types of game movements
·         Duplicate and repeat game movements
o   Watch film to see how to do this (never lies)
·         Make players bored with your drills
§  Quick Box

·         Align a 5 yard box with LB's facing coach.  LB approaches and coach points to cone, LB must get to cone, and then react to coach's next signal. 
·         Great change of direction drill with constant movement
§  10 Dots
·         Align dots or cones in a series and have LB's try to get through them as fast as possible
§  Flip Hips
·         Use a line and stay on that line
o   LB must sprint
o   Don't make drill predictable
§  45 Degree Break
·         LB drops away from you and reacts to your pointer
·         LB should break and open hips when you change the pointer
·         If the LB jogs, then simply make him keep running until he gets the idea
o   Footwork
§  1st step is based on the RB's movement
§  They take a lateral step and replace
§  They move with that shuffle until something declares
§  Shuffle Drill
·         10 yards
·         LB's shuffle between yard markers (1 yard), back and forth staying between the tick marks (use dummies)
§  Shuffle Break Drill
·         Same as shuffle drill, but at the end make them break and intercept a pass, or scoop and score
§  Shuffle with bags
·         Good drill with high reps

·         1st LB on command shuffles to end of 1st dummy and reacts to coaches command to either go forward (sprint to the next dummy), or break and cross over to the opposite side.
·         Once 1st LB goes, 2nd LB aligns on same side as the 1st LB on 1st dummy.  Both will then react to the coach's command.
·         The 3rd LB will then repeat what the 2nd LB did, so that you don't have guys standing around waiting on 1 guy to do the drill.
§  Leverage
·         Don't give a RB a 2 way go

·         Set 1st cone 3 yards deep and 2nd cone 5 yards deep
·         Put RB between the 2 cones
·         LB aligns on deeper cone
·         RB will run to shallow cone and can either cut upfield or cut back (no juking)
·         If RB cuts back, LB makes good physical tackle
·         If RB cuts upfield, then LB must flatten and run feet, driving like crazy as he has no leverage.
o   Drill is done to prevent the cutback
§  Double Leverage Drill
·         Same as leverage but now with 2 LB's
o   Double the work
o   Same reactions for both LB's
§  Space
·         LB aligns on hash and WR on top of #'s

·         Coach throws ball to WR (can just make motion if you can't throw-better this way b/c WR doesn't have to catch the ball)
o   If you don't throw it, have coach hold WR for a second to mimic game speed on fast screen
·         LB attacks landmark and does not allow WR to cutback (similar to leverage drill but done in a much larger space)
·         WR goal to get 10 yards, LB goal to stop him from getting 10 yards
§  Shuffle-Alley-Shuffle

·         RB starts out jogging down yardline, and will alternate between jogging and sprinting (you can control with whistle if need be)
·         LB should shuffle when RB jogs (don't give up the cutback, backside leverage) and sprint with shoulders square when RB sprints
·         RB has 2 way go after 3 or 4 reps and can cut back or try and out run the LB
o   Vs. cutback LB makes tackle, Vs. run away LB runs feet and makes leverage tackle (combo of leverage drills)
o   Blocks
§  Shock the blocker (head and hands)
§  Shock and then get off
§  Keep it competitive
§  Shock sled
·         Sled they have they use in early season and off-season
§  Shock drill (vs. a man)
·         Set up OL and LB with LB in a shade in one direction or the other
·         LB/OL should be the same distance apart as they are in a game
·         Have OL execute a scoop or zone block, LB should attack (shock) the blocker and then get by with a push-pull move (doesn't care to rip, only after push-pull does he tell his guys to duck their arm under)
·         Set up a cone to either side that the LB/OL cannot go outside of
·         LB should shock the OL, release and then burst upfield
·         Can do this drill in multiple groups
o   Tackling
§  Leverage drill
§  3 yard box
·         RB on 1 end, LB on the other of the 3 yard box
·         On command RB will move lateral between cones, while LB shuffles to mirror him
·         On command, RB attacks LB head up (no juking) and LB must make a face-up tackle and drive legs
o   Similar to "mirror drill"
§  Low Tackle
·         Tackler wants his body at the center of gravity of the ballcarrier
·         Step on the RB's toes
·         Wrap and twist once contact made
o   Wrap dummy, land on dummy and then roll completely over
o   Pass rush
§  Attack the middle of the RB & flip hips to get by
§  LB should slap RB hands down as he's flipping the hips
§  Can create this using a standup dummy and have LB blitz the dummy, slap at the dummy and flip hips to get around the dummy
·         Once clear of the dummy LB should accelerate
·         Can also do this drill to imitate a blitzer coming off the edge
o   Play on Ball
§  Teaches the strip
·         "Start the lawnmower"
o   Many kids nowadays not familiar with lawnmower tech
§  Key is to lift elbow and punch the ball downward
·         Only done when ballcarrier is secured
§  Can add scoop and score to any agility drill
§  Play on Ball
·         Reach with long arm, knock ball down and turn back to QB
o   Make them do the drill 1-armed -no pass interference
§  Put their near hand in their pants to do this
·         Reads
o   They key RB's, because when you focus on something further away you can see more than focusing on something that is close
§  OL can give false keys
o   If LB's having a tough time reading, vary their depth off the ball
o   Make their first step lateral, then have keys that make them attack downhill
§  "Slow til' you know"
§  All their drills are shuffle and read
§  This depends on the leverage of the LB too
·         This also depends on what your opponents run
o   They see a ton of inside/outside zone