“All In” Wide Receiver: 1 on 1 Drill

Jan 19, 2012 | Pass Game Mechanics, Position Groups, Wide Receivers

Going into this season, our defensive backs coach and I decided that we wanted to find time / a drill that could drill blocking for the receivers and defeating blocks for the defensive backs.  While it would probably be easier for us to just do these drills within our own position, it would go against our belief that the best way to get better, both individually and collectively, if for our players to push themselves to practice competitively.  And like any drill we wanted to ensure that is was:

  • Simple:  We don’t want to have to waste time setting it up and explaining it.

  • Quick:  Our practice periods are usually 5 minutes long so we need to be able to get into the drill and get the work done quickly and efficiently.

  • Cerebral:  We want our players to think about different variables on the run.

  • Fast Paced:  We wanted to eliminate standing and watching to keep all the players moving and working different skills.

  • Progressive:  We believe in teaching our concepts in parts and then allowing the athletes to implement them incrementally in practice.

  • Variable:  We want our drills to vary from day to day, even if only slightly, to keep things fresh and to prepare the skills in different environments.

By the end of our brain-storming session, we had devised a 1 on 1 Blocking Drill that met all of these goals and, just as importantly, brought some competitive fire and contact to our position time.  Here is a breakdown on how we run the drill.

Drill Set-up:

  1. Cones are set up in a ten yard square with additional cones splitting the top and bottom of the square and a seventh cone in the middle of the square (see diagram).

  2. An additional cone is set up to the right or left of the square at a width that would be appropriate to mimic the QB / Split End spacing relationship.

  3. The last cone is set up in the spot where the ball carrying receiver is to start the drill (bubble route version of the drill shown.  Additional version explained in the "Variations" section).

  4. Two such drills are set up with one being on the right side of the QB and the other on the left.

  5. WR’s and DB’s are divided up by general ability level and sent to the cones.

Drill Execution:

  1. The first player in each group goes out to the middle cone of the top of the square, the WR engages the DB with proper form and begins to buzz his feet as he waits for the play to begin.

  2. The QB/Coach takes the ball and snaps it to himself signaling to the 2nd receiver in line to begin his bubble route.  He then throws the ball to the WR in stride (practicing our bubble route techniques) and the receiver then carries the ball through the box and reads the block of the receiver.

  3. Once the ball is caught, the defender then begins to fight the block to try to make the tackle.  The offensive player must respond to the defensive players’ movement and shield him from the ball carrier.

  4. After running through the back of the square, the ball carrier gives the ball to the blocker and becomes the blocker against the next defender in line.  The blocker takes the ball to the coach and joins the line on the other side of the field to rep the play in the other direction.

  5. Defenders can rotate if they play both sides or stay on the side of the field that they are on in competition if the defense is run that way.

Drill Progression:

Step 1:  Blocker engaged at 10 yards depth.