Coaching Defensive Linemen
Part I: Philosophy, Constants and Key Points
Mike Walker
Defensive Line Coach, Ishpeming (Mich.) H.S.


Regardless of the defensive scheme you run, to teach it effectively you must break down the techniques and skills that each position requires, and you must have a system to communicate and teach those techniques and skills.

In other words, as a coach it is your responsibility to give your players the tools and confidence they need to be successful in what you are asking them to do.

The system to teach those techniques and skills consists of philosophy, drills, and key/code words. However, coaching isn’t always about what you teach. It is often about what you emphasize. The trick is to make sure you are teaching what you emphasize.

For example, if a coach emphasizes turnovers, but never practices the techniques and skills necessary to create them, then he shouldn’t be surprised his team doesn’t create a lot of takeaways.

As a defensive line coach I must have a specific, organized and realistic approach to practice so that the techniques and skills my players need are developed and fit into the overall defensive concept.

Before I get into my approach of accomplishing this though defensive line progressions, I want to discuss philosophy, constants and key points of coaching defensive linemen. ... To read this article, and for full access to all CLN resources, get your MEMBERSHIP NOW.