One of the more under coached areas of the youth football team is the defensive line. All of my championship teams have had one thing in common and that was great defensive line play. Many players go 100 miles an hour to get in the backfield, only to let the play go right by them.
You need to teach your defensive line to control their gap and look for ball carriers. Checkout the detailed post from Coach Bye.
By Dale Bye, eHow Contributor
updated November 08, 2011
Knowing how a defensive lineman reads a play will help you become a better player, coach or fan. Although it’s difficult to watch defensive linemen — instead of the quarterback or running back — focusing on line play, even on replays, will help you understand why a play succeeded or failed. Take your cue from the same keys that defensive linemen read.
Look at the offensive linemen’s stance. In a three-point stance, in which the offensive lineman puts one hand on the ground, the play could be either a pass or run. But if the offensive lineman sets up without a hand on the ground, it’s almost certainly a passing play. Defensive linemen also try to discern how much pressure the offensive lineman puts on his hand. If the offensive lineman is putting a lot of weight on his hand, that indicates he’s leaning forward, probably to charge out on a running play. When the offensive lineman is back on his heels, it’s often a pass, though sometimes he is getting ready to run — or pull — to the edge of the formation for an outside running play.
React to the first step of the nearest offensive lineman. If it’s back, it’s a pass. If it’s straight ahead into the defensive lineman, the play likely will be a run just to the left or right of the initial collision. If the offensive lineman takes a step toward the defensive lineman’s shoulder, it’s because the play calls for the defensive lineman to be steered one way or the other away from the hole where the play will be run.
Watch out if it’s too easy. If the defensive lineman is not blocked immediately, he must start looking around because the play is coming at him. It might be a trap — a lineman from the other side of the ball trying to blindside the defensive lineman. It might be a draw — letting the defensive lineman charge up field, then slipping the ball to a running back behind the charging defensive lineman. Or it might be an option play, where the quarterback hands off or pitches to a running back swinging wide, depending on the actions of the defensive linemen.
Check the offensive lineman’s drop. If the offensive lineman steps back to protect the quarterback, it is the defensive lineman’s job to get past, either by getting around — usually a defensive end — the offensive lineman in front of him or by overpowering or knocking the offensive lineman off balance. But see where the offensive lineman sets up his block; it will tip the defensive lineman whether it’s a quick pass — get the hands up — or a longer play — put some pressure on the passer.
Watch for a screen pass. If an offensive lineman engages but then releases the defensive lineman, the defense should read that as a possible screen pass and check both flats for the outlet receiver.
Find the ball. Once the defensive lineman has read the play and neutralized the offensive lineman who engages him,
Read more: How to Read a Play as a Defensive Lineman | eHow.comhttp://www.ehow.com/how_121922…man.html#ixzz1hbdQVc7V
All of these techniques can easily be taught and worked on daily with your defensive line. By teaching the above six tips, I guarantee massive improvement from your defensive line play.