The 3on3 Drill is the MOST important drill that you're NOT doing every day in practice.  If you are incorporating this drill into your daily practice plan, then you're ahead of the game.  This drill is vital to the development of your B back and interior OL.  During this drill, the B back is going to work on reading the Action Key (first defender inside of the Read key).  The OL are going to work on running their tracks and blocking what shows up on those tracks.  The 3on3 Drill is for Guards, Centers, Quarterbacks and B backs.  While these players are in 3on3 Drill, the Tackles and A backs are working the Pods Drill (which I will discuss in the next blog).


During the 3on3 Drill, we are going to run only 2 plays, Zone Dive and Mid Triple.  We are going to run these 2 plays against a variety of defensive looks and stunts.  The goal is to get 40 snaps in 10 minutes.  Tempo is the key.  This period is about tempo, not about hitting.  This is not a full-go Inside Run/9on7 period.  We are simply trying to go fast and become acquainted with the variety of fronts and stunts that we will see in a game.  We run the drill against other OL holding dummies.


Normally, we will run 3 groups on Offense through the drill.  The 1st group will line up on offense.  The 2nd group will be in a huddle next to the backside Guard's hip.  The 3rd group will be holding the bags.  We run a play and then start the rotation.  The 1st group will go from offense to defense on the bags.  The 2nd group will line up to run the next play.  The 3rd group will move to the huddle position off the backside guard.  The coach or coaches will stand behind the offense and direct the defenders where to move on the snap in order to simulate defensive stunts and movements.


As I said previously, we are only working on Zone Dive and Midline Triple during this period.  You can work through the plays whichever way you'd like.  I feel that the most efficient way is to work both plays (Zone Dive and Mid Triple) to one side (right or left) against one particular defensive front, and then to switch to run the play to the other side against the same defensive front.  After that, we will change the defensive front and repeat the procedure.  Our script for this period is as follows:

Zone Dive, then Mid Triple vs:

  • 50 defense (0 nose and 4 tech, Bob backers)
  • 4-3 defense (3 tech playside, Shade backside, Mike backer and BSLB)
  • 4-3 defense (Shade playside, 3 tech backside, Mike backer and BSLB)
  • 4-2 defense (3 tech playside, Shade backside, Bob backers)
  • 4-2 defense (Shade playside, 3 tech backside, Bob backers)
  • 3-3 Stack defense (0 nose and 4 tech, Mike backer and BSLB)


The main coaching points on this drill deal with movement.  The players must give precise movements while playing the role of defenders in order for everyone to benefit from the drill.  We are going to slant the DL on every play in order to prepare our OL for what they will see on game night.  We give them a variety of different types of LB flow (plug/scrape, scrape/scrape, scrape/run through) that they will see as well.  Besides the defensive movements, we are also pushing the players to get more reps every time we do this drill.  The players must move quickly to where they're supposed to be during the rotation.  Tempo is key.  In order to get players moving faster, I will normally count down from 5 to 0.  If I reach 0 and the cadence hasn't started then everyone is doing up-downs.  That usually does the trick.  Finally, you've got to get the players to understand that we're not trying to pancake guys on this drill.  This drill is about speed and training your eyes to anticipate defenders movements based on alignment.


This drill is a MUST DO in my opinion.  Your B back and interior OL improve at a much quicker rate by running this drill every day.  The B back will learn to read the action key correctly and he will also begin to understand how to attack LB flow in order to get more yards.  The concept of "back shouldering the defender" (as discussed during the Ball Security blog) comes into play during the drill.  If we do this drill 3 times a week and get 40 reps during the period, then our B backs should get 120 reps per week and 1200 reps in a 10 game season.  Those numbers will translate to success on Friday night.  As the season progresses, our B back and interior OL get better due in large part to the time we spend on the 3on3 drill.


Check out the drill video at the link below.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.