When you’re around a position for long enough as a coach or player, you start to hear the same coaching points over, and over, and over again.
Today, after talking to a handful of offensive line coaches this morning, I decided to take on the most commonly used phrases that are used (and often yelled) by offensive line coaches.
Whether you’ve actually played the position, currently coach the position, or just been close enough at practice to hear offensive line coaches at work, chances are you’ve heard – or said – a healthy dose of these 15 words and phrases.
Finish the drill, finish the block, finish the play…offensive line coaches love yelling the word FINISH!
Much like “finish,” the word “drive” is another favorite of enthusiastic offensive line coaches.
- “Get lower” or “You’re too high” or “Low man always wins”
This one has probably been used since the first football practice ever. I’d bet money on it.
- Phrases dominated by four-letter words NSFOLOW (Not Safe For OTHER Lines Of Work)
Coaches, especially at the college level, can get away with a more colorful choice of words than those in other lines of work. Phrases with four-letter words (WTF, etc.) dominate this category.
Used often in pass pro situations, punch means to stop a rusher’s momentum to equalize the advantage they have.
- “Fire off the ball”
Nothing is accomplished on the offensive line if guys “ooze” off the ball to block the defensive line (and second level defenders), an emphasis on firing off the ball in crucial to success.
- “Get your hands inside!”
Not only will you get called for holding with hands placed on the outside of the body, but you also have limited power from that position. Hand placement needs to be inside the frame of the defender’s body.
- “Move your feet!”
I once had an offensive line coach that was adamant that 98% of holding calls could be avoided simply by moving your feet, and I’ve grown to adopt that belief.
- Some form or variation of “Be nasty / mean”
The best offensive lineman have a nastiness to them, and that’s worth reminding your front five of every once in a while.
- “Square your shoulders up”
Reacting forcefully in a space the size of a phone booth means that body position is vital, and that includes having square shoulders so that guys can react to moves by defenders in any direction.
- “Run it again” or “On the ball”
Usually used when one of the five big fellas up front don’t block the play correctly and cut a defender loose
- “Hold the crap out of him, it’s okay as long as your hands are inside the framework of his body”
Defensive line coaches hate it with a passion, but it’s the absolute truth.
- “Root him out of there!”
Often used when a defensive lineman is hunkered down in the hole, and needs to be moved.
- “Play with leverage”
Leverage is what offensive line coaches refer to as the combination of playing with your hands inside and playing with lower position than the man you’re blocking.
- “Focus on that first step” or “Get two feet in the ground before contact”
For the big fellas up front, the first step or two are the most important because they’re vital in winning the line of scrimmage, and get your body in position to make the proper block.
Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand weighed in on the conversation and added “STRAIN” to the list via this tweet.
— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) June 22, 2016