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Daily WR Blocking Circuit

Daily WR Blocking Circuit

The key to any elite offense is generating explosive plays. Generating big plays dramatically increases your team’s chances to score points.

How can WRs help an offense generate more explosive plays? The obvious ways are by catching deep balls and generating yards after catch on shorter routes. However, the far less glamorous way to aid the offense is in the run game. It’s these important blocks that turn 7 yard runs into 40 yard TDs. It’s these important blocks that turn a drive that ends in a FG into a drive that ends in a touchdown.

Focus on Details

This drill is designed for both inside and outside WRs that are attempting to block a defender downfield, in space. This type of block typically happens on an outside run or screen. It is ideal for the WR to give the ball carrier a “2 way go,” meaning the ball carrier has the option to break either inside or outside of the WR. In order to create the “2 way go”, the blocking WR must relentlessly engage the defender. This makes the movements made by the defender much less predictable. The blocking WR must be able to adjust to the defender and which way he breaks.

The Mirror Progression is made up of 4 phases

  • Phase 1: Mirror (hands behind back)
  • Phase 2: Mirror (hands in front, punch)
  • Phase 3: Diamond Drill
  • Phase 4: Cutoff Drill

Phase 1: Mirror (Hands Behind Back)

Start with the receivers 5 yards away from the defensive back. On the whistle, have the receiver run to the defensive back, stopping just in front of him. This phase is called the “burst to tempo.” You have to be able to eat up the cushion between yourself and the defender, and then be able to breakdown and be in a balanced position to make the block. Once they tempo down, have them put their hands behind their back. Make sure their knees are bent, and their feet are moving.

On the next whistle, have the defender start to move laterally. Put a cone two yards away on either side of the line, so the defender has 4 yards of lateral space to move. The WR needs to move his feet to stay in front of the defender.

Key Coaching Points:

  1. Maintain active feet.  Take quick steps, don’t cross over
  2. Sink your hips, keep your head back
  3. This prevents you from leaning forward and getting off balance

Phase 2: Mirror (hands in front, punch)

This drill starts the same as Phase 1, but now when the receiver tempos down in front of the defensive back, his hands are in front of him. Just like in phase one, the next whistle starts the mirror. Then, on the whistle, the defensive back stops moving and the receiver punches the DB and drives his feet.

Key Coaching Points:

  1. Punch – keep thumbs up, elbows and wrists together.  Punch should be compact and aiming for the DBs breastplate
  2. While punching, must bring your feet with you.  Drive feet immediately as your shoot your hands.  This prevents lunging and getting off balance.

Phase 3: Diamond Drill

During this drill, stand in position where the receivers can’t see you as they work towards the defensive back. On the first whistle, the receivers start to move towards defensive back. Without blowing a whistle, point towards either side, indicating where you want the defensive back to go. Also you can point straight ahead, telling the DB to run directly at the receiver.

Once they see me point, the defensive backs moves at an angle in this direction. This is simulating the defensive back reacting to where the ball carrier is going, and running at the appropriate angle to make the play. The receiver must be able to transition from running to a position where he can be in a balanced position to make the block. The key now is getting in the proper position to make the block.

Key Coaching Points:

  1. Hands still need to be tight on the chest during the punch
  2. Want to get helmet to the far side of the defender.  Must cut off the direction that he is going

Phase 4: Cutoff Drill

During this drill, stand in position where the receivers can’t see you as they work towards the defensive back. On the first whistle, the receivers start to move towards defensive back(burst). Without blowing a whistle, I point my hands to either side deep, indicating where I want the defensive back to go. If I point deep right, the “DB” will turn and run on that angle, if I point deep left, the “DB” will turn and run on that angle.

This is simulating the defensive back reacting to where the ball carrier is going, and running at the appropriate angle to make the play. The receiver must be able to transition from burst-to-tempo-to-sprint. The key now is hustling to get in position to cut off the defender so he can’t make the play.

Key Coaching Points:

  1. Receiver needs to hustle to get his head in front of the defender to cut him off.
  2. Use your hands intermittently on shoulder pads to slow the defender.

Blocking is not optional for receivers. Stress it daily and in the pre-game because it is critical to both moving the ball on the ground and setting up the defensive backs to give us more space in the passing game.

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