Defensive Line Principles

1. To have a great defensive line you must start with a philosophy. 

The coach and players must believe in it and stick to it. You will not be a great defensive line by changing your philosophy from week to week or at mid season.

2. Give great effort. You must establish a way of playing hard on each and every play, regardless of the opponent, score, or time on the clock - etc.

3. Your defensive line must be centered around the philosophy that this defense and it's players will be known for its ability to run to the football. Determine your success around video review, how many defensive line can you see inside the freeze frame. You must have patience and understand that you may give up a few yards and some first downs, but feel on a long drive that sooner or later your defensive line will make the offense make a mistake or you will come up with a big play that will put them in a second and long or third and long situation.

4. Pursuit and Gang Tackle / Demand It

A. Demand that the entire defensive line get to the ball, get a piece of the ball carrier.

B. Demoralize the ball carrier by being physical and buzzing around the ball, taking all escape routes away.

C. Eliminate the big play.

D. Create turnovers - fumbles / force interceptions.

5. Communication: Each member of the defensive line must be able to communicate with each other and be receptive to communication.

6. Execute. On each run or pass play, each man has an assignment.

Do it!! If one man fails, the defensive line fails. Anticipate what can happen to you.

7. Unity. You cannot have a great defense line with individuals playing only for themselves. You must have pride in yourself, but at no point can your satisfaction be more important than the team. Respect your teammates. You help them WIN and they in return, will help you WIN.

Courtesy Coach Jerry Campbell

More Free Resources!


The Glazier Season Pass gives all your coaches from all your sports access to these resources:

2024Map v2 750x455 WEB

Unlimited Nationwide Clinics

Each clinic has 100+ sessions of practical Xs & Os for your entire staff. Network and brainstorm with some of the best speakers and coaches in the game.

Find a clinic near you
Drive desktop + mobile small

Digital Coach Education Glazier Drive

Join 15,000 coaches on Glazier Drive and learn anytime. Glazier Drive has 40 complete systems, live Q&As, networking events, 2,000+ videos and forums.

Learn more about Drive
Get Your Season Pass