Offensive Line Conditioning With Screens

By FirstDown PlayBook on May 11, 2022
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Offensive linemen both love and hate screens. In one sense, it is the consummate “got ya” play for an overaggressive defensive lineman, hell bent for leather to get to the quarterback. In another sense, it is a play in space that requires at least some of your offensive line to…run.

If you can find a way to condition your football team with a football like activity you are going to come out way ahead. We say “football like” because we understand that there are rules that restrict what you can do in the off season with the players.

When it comes to conditioning your offensive line, it can be hard to create ways to get it done with football in mind. Too often the big guys are in the weight room doing what the big guys do. You also mix in sprints to create a form of conditioning during the off season.

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Our suggestion is that you use your screen plays to create conditioning that is football smart. There is no need for a football. There is really no need for a ball or receiver/back.

Instead of lining your big guys up across the goal line and running sprints, consider this. Have your offensive line go through their normal pass sets and then sprint to a standup dummy or even a cone. This way you are getting some football movements incorporated with the offensive line conditioning.

There are not many football plays, other than special teams plays, that involve as much running as a screen pass. The modern versions of the screen like jail breaks and hitch screens generally have the offense spread out across the field. These plays require timing that is similar to that of a kickoff return.

Your offensive line can probably get four screen pass simulations in with one trip down the field. You do that about five times and you are sure to get the intended effect with conditioning. Your linemen will understand the importance of full speed and timing required on screens too.

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