team practice: buck sweep drill/”perfect play”:

our first team drill that we use to execute the buck sweep is a controlled drill using blocking bags and shields. We also set up our alignment spacers or “tubby sticks” so that our linemen “see” their splits and get properly aligned back off the ball and away from the adjacent lineman. Our o line coach stands on the line of scrimmage and is evaluating alignment before every play starts.

We call this period “buck sweep drill” but it is more acurately a “perfect play” period. Every assignment must be executed as perfectly as you want it to be. Every player must stay on his block till the whistle blows. Every player must hustle back across the line of scrimmage or…. The team runs the play again. And again! And again! Until it is executed to the coache’s satisfaction.

*** key coaching points: 1- make sure anyone who is blocking a dummy gets his head on the correct side. 2- that every player who is assigned to block a bag drives/moves the dummy in the proper direction until the whistle blows. Some of them think that if they just kick their feet in the air, that it counts for effort! 3- the se is cutting off the free safety. 4- that the guard’s are getting proper depth on their pull steps. 5- that the back side guard is “finding” that lb in the hole and blocking him or… walling off the backside. 6- critical: That everyone who is blocking is “on” a bag till the whistle blows! (especially the backside guard. He has the block in the hole that springs the hb!) if not, they line up and run it again. If they start fussing at each other for having to run again, they get to do it again! Coaches don’t have to scream and yell… just simply tell them: “no good. The wingback stopped driving the bag he was blocking before the whistle blew. Do it again.”
once the first play is run correctly, the 1st team gets to run the same play to the other side; i.e., 121 then fly (wing-- short motion) 429 --- buck sweep to the se side.
The 2nd team only gets one play to execute “perfectly.” it is up to the coaches to decide how picky they want to be with the second unit.
*note: We even let the jv run this drill with us.
Just keep shotgunning units out of the huddle and really keep a racehorse pace to this drill.
We do this drill every week on tuesdays which is our “big o” day of practice.

team period

the only way to evaluate how well you are executing the buck sweep is to run it live in team time. We go live in pre-season but always tell our scout defense to tackle our backs high. We also blow a quick whistle. Once we are in the regular season practices, our scout defense wears forearm blocking sleeves to absorb some of the blow. They are told to come hard and try to make the offense miss! We want it as tough as we can get it on tuesday without turning it into a full scale scrimmage.

In our first pre-season scrimmage, our goal is to run buck sweep at least 12 times. We want to get as in-depth a look at this play as we can.

A coach that i conducted a clinic for emailed me recently to say that they broke a 121 for 91 yards last game and… though everyone was in the right place, very few blocks were made. The rb made a nice cut-back coming out of the tunnel and went the distance. He was flabbergasted that a play could have so few people blocking on it and still break! My response to him was that i’ve seen it happen dozens of times over the years… where we only got one or two decent blocks, yet the back made a good cut and broke it! The reason is that the rb has seen it so many times in practice that he knows when and where to make that cut! It’s why it is so important to practice it a dozen times each week. Once your kids get it down, change up the defense so they are always interpreting their rules.