What I'm about to say should come to no surprise to coaches who have dedicated their coaching careers to the offensive line: Steve Addazio, a longtime offensive line coach himself, believes that 7 on 7 drills are an absolute joke.
The topic came up on WNML-FM SportsPage when Addazio was asked about the youth and inexperience on his team heading into this fall. He noted that talent can be something easy to see right off the bat, but consistency is something that takes a little longer to assess, especially when talking about the quarterback position.
"When you talk about the quarterback position, that's a whole separate entity because there is the talent, and then there is the intangibles that, to me, matter more than the talent."
"You don't know how people really perform until you put them in those pressure situations, so I equate it to 7 on 7. To me, the 7 on 7 drill in football is kind of a joke. The quarterbacks are throwing, there is no threat of being sacked, or being hit, and there's really not a heavy contact threat in the back end."
"So, it's a drill that has value for a certain reason, but it's not real. It's not real football. I equate that to preseason camp, and to spring ball. It's not real. You're not in the heat of the battle and you're not on national TV in front of 70, 80, or 90,000 people with the pressure on you."
"There are some guys, that have that competitive excellence, that when their number is called, they're at the top of their game. There are other guys where pressure plays havoc on them, and those are the guys that you won't really know about until it's the heat of the season."
Addazio went on to explain that he doesn't believe in "gamers," or guys that have bad practice habits that can just turn it on when the lights come on during game day, but does believe that there are guys practice well, that you may not be aware of possessing the competitive excellent trait until he's actually in the heat of the battle.
When it comes to 7 on 7's, Addazio is simply saying what everyone else is thinking. Is it realistic? Absolutely not. But does it have a purpose and place in today's game? Absolutely.
Listen to Addazio's full interview below.