Football Drills for Coaching Defense | FBCP S07E21

Stop Wasting Time on Football Drills

Football drills are a big favorite among coaches. It’s our thing. Standing there holding a whistle, watching your guys run around hoops and over bags. That’s what coaching football is all about.

Except that most defensive drills are a waste of time for high school football players. They end up never translating the drills to the field. Today you’ll find out the football drills that really matter at every defensive position to get your players ready to win on game day.

Football is All About Blocking and Tackling

It’s an old saying, but it’s still true. The best football teams do a great job of blocking and tackling. Defenses that want to get to the top need to work on football drills that teach defeating blocks and secure tackling.

I like to use our tackling and block destruct drills as pre-practice drills that the entire team does together. It helps to emphasize the importance to the players. We also get players coaching each other from different position groups doing it this way.

Several years ago, I decided to simplify block destruct too. Everyone on the defense works a rip move now. It seems too simple, but I know I’m not the only one who’s figured this out. I’ve heard Division 1 coaches say the same thing. I explain the decision and how we drill it in this podcast.

The Most Important Football Drills for Each Position Group

After the basics of defeating blocks and tackling, it’s time to break down the most important football drills for each defensive indy group. And it’s a short list for most of these groups.

It’s all about winning the 1-on-1 game. Most drills waste a lot of time perfecting skills that your players don’t even have yet. Think about that… you’re using drills that polish up a skill that your players can’t even do. That’s like putting a new coat of wax your rusted out old truck.

This episode shares the most important drills for Defensive Line, Linebackers, Safeties and Corners. Check out the video above to see the Key Read Drill our Defensive Line spends their entire Indy period (all 8 minutes!) working on, with Freddie Roach from a few years back at Ole Miss.

Football Drills for Defense Show Notes

  • Tackling Drills for the entire defense
  • Coaching the Rip Technique for all positions
  • Defensive Line Drills including Key Read Drill
  • Linebacker Drills including Guard Reads and In-At-Out
  • Safety Drills with the Force-Fit Drill and Umbrella Drill
  • Cornerback Drills focusing on both zone coverage and press-man coverage

Related Links for Football Drills

Where to Go From Here…

I mentioned a lot of drills that we teach in our defensive schemes at JDFB Coaching Systems. You can get unlimited access to all of those systems including the drill library on a special trial offer at