Moves For Defensive Lineman

At the lower levels of the game, you can get away with just a bull rush if you’re the biggest player on the field, but what happens when you play college football? What if you aspire to even higher levels? You’re not going to be able to dominate using one move, so now is as good a time as any to start honing your skills. To help that process, CoachUp has put together a list of moves you should add to your arsenal. Mastering any of these moves will make you more dominate and help keep the opposing guards constantly on their toes.

Bull Rush:

If you can push the lineman back and extend your arms, you’ve already won the battle. With your arms extended, you can see the ball carrier and pick a side to attack. You’ll have also put the opposition on his heels, making it even harder for him to block whatever move you try next.

Bonus Tip: A good way to initiate a football move is to start with a club. Let’s say you’re making a move to the right, take your right arm and grab outside of his left shoulder and pull to your right as hard as you can. By unbalancing his upper body, you make it much harder for him to block to his left. Once you have established your club, you can either rip or swim.

Note: These following tips all assume that the defensive lineman has his right arm on the offensive lineman’s left shoulder.

The Rip

Now, make a fist with your left hand, bring it across the offensive lineman’s body and rip it as hard as you can under his left arm. While you start this move, you should be stepping across the lineman’s body with your left foot so you can get outside position. Once you gain that, you’re golden, push him aside and proceed towards the running back or quarterback with reckless abandon and fervor.

The Swim

This is a great move if you’re taller than the lineman blocking you. Rather than ripping under your blocker, you’ll want to swim right over your opponent’s left shoulder with your left arm while simultaneously stepping across his body with your left foot. Remember, the higher you swim the easier it is for the lineman to push you back and recover, so swim just over his shoulder pad.

The Spin

If your defender is catching on to the club move, you can switch it up with a spin move. You still need to start the move with a good bull rush to put the lineman on his heels so he’s blocking mostly with his arms. Then, if you’re going to the right, make your right hand a fist pointed upward and sweep it across your body — this will knock the blocker’s hands off you. While you’re sweeping with your right arm, you should spin counterclockwise, leading with your left elbow and foot. Your left elbow should literally hit the blocker in his back so you know you are past him.

(Related: Read about the Standard Operating Practices for offensive lineman here.)

Huddle Up

For any defensive lineman trying to spice up their game, these moves are your answer. Whether it’s the spin, swim, or rip, they’re all sweet additions to take advantage of. Think about any great defensive lineman, they all have go-to moves, right? Just like any star, expanding your game can be a key component towards taking your game to another level. Consider hiring a private coach with prior experience so he can bestow all of his knowledge on you too! Soon enough, you’ll be sacking quarterbacks with the best of them. What are you waiting for?

Be prepared for the biggest moments by mastering the small ones off the field. 

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