Mirror drill is an everyday drill that we begin working in the spring and will do through the final day of the season.
Very simple drill, OL begins in stance, he will execute a quick set on cadence and “get his feet hot”. On my whistle the “defender” will move around, the OL must work his feet and “mirror” the defender so that he is always splitting his crotch.
It reinforces good stances, quick sets, good anchor position and body position, keeping feet hot, proper stagger, stepping while not hopping, and staying in front of the defender.
When we get pads on the defender will rush the OL at the end of the drill and they have to drop their butts and punch. If they get lazy on their sets I stop and make them start over.
Here is some video I had a kid shoot today with my Iphone.
First group the kid on the left is doing some crazy rocking thing with his hands, ignore that. The 2 kids in the second group are much better, the one on the left is my graduating 1st team all league RT/DE (he works out with us some days) and the kid on the right started at Center as a sophomore this year, should be very good for us the next 2 seasons.
Now that I have explained my new set of screen rules in a previous article I want to touch on how I run a RB screen using the same OL rules as I use in our WR screen game.
Quick refresher… PST has the unblocked Alley player, PSG has 1st LB in box, C has 2nd LB in the box.
First I believe in doing the RB slip screen as a double screen. I think at some point in all of our coaching careers we have called a RB screen only to see the DE read it and sit right in the QBs window, or you have that fat DL who just didn’t rush that play and is now right on top of the RB ready to kill him. Well I got tired of seeing this so i believe in running all RB screens as a double screen. RB slip screen to one side, with a WR built in on the backside that the QB can throw if he has any doubt or cloudiness with the RB screen.
We installed this last year and I really liked that we always had an answer, it was automatic for the QB, drop and throw to F if he is open, if you don’t like the throw, plant and throw jailbreak backside. Clear = F screen, Cloudy = Jailbreak
OL will block it just like Jailbreak, the play side half (including Center) will block using same rules as jailbreak to their side. Backside Guard and Tackle will block just like Jailbreak to their side.
If we had a RB screen called to the Right it the assignments would look like this
RG: 1st LB in box
C: 2nd LB in box
RB: Slip Screen Right
My blog posts on our screen game have probably been the most popular/asked about of all the content on my blog. The screen game has been the best part of our offense for the 2 years we have been spread but I began noticing a problem with our screens last year. They were still very successful but we began having some “run by” issues with my OL. We were so anxious to get down the field that pursuit would often come right behind us and make the play. I preached “not running by color” but it didn’t help. I decided that a tweak to my “out, up, in ” rules was needed. Our entire run game is rule based. I look at our screen game as outside runs so I decided to give my OL steadfast rules to be able to always know who they are responsible for and thus greatly reduce the risk of running past the defender they are suppose to block.
I will explain the specific assignments later on in this post.
We run 4 types of screens:
fast screen = throw it right now
play action = fake run away then throw
jailbreak = sell drop back then throw
slip/double screen = RB slip screen with jailbreak on the backside ( I will explain this one later on in a separate post)
On our fast screen I really just want the ball our there fast… I will call this because I have the defense either outnumbered or out leveraged. I don’t need my OL picking guys up down field but what I do need is for them to seal the box and keep the defensive end from getting in the quarterbacks window to throw. On fast we block it just like OZ to the play side.
Our play action and jailbreak screens remain nearly identical as my prior articles. The WRs will always block the most dangerous defender(s). Up front we are either showing run steps away or selling pass set at the snap, we engage, and release flat down LOS … Now is where the change to blocking rules comes in to play.
OL BLOCKING RULES
(After working flat down LOS)
Play side tackle – Alley defender
The alley defender is either the corner or the defenses overhang player. Since the WRs are blocking the most dangerous, someone is left unblocked and this can change depending on leverage and depth of defenders. That’s why I describe this rule as alley, he is running the alley thinking 1st LB outside the box… If he sees him being blocked then he knows to keep working flat to the Corner.
Play side guard – 1st LB in the box
It’s that simple… He works flat down LOS and picks up First LB in the box from the sideline.
Center – 2nd LB in the box
It’s that simple… He works flat down LOS and picks up Second LB in the box from the sideline.
We ran right past these 2 players a lot last year and they pursued out screens very well from inside out and this change should stop this.
Backside Guard and Tackle have the safeties… Essentially creating a touchdown alley or cutback opportunity for the WR.
I believe these changes to our screens will improve our consistency from down to down in our screen game. We get a hat on a hat against every look we may see and we have a more concrete, definitive set of rules that are much less open to interpretation than my previous screen blocking system.