As we discussed in the previous 2 blogs, our PODS drill is where we're going to get most of our individual work on 2 very important plays, Zone Dive and the Load Tag on Inside Veer.  On our 3rd or 4th day of Install, we will begin to teach the Load Tag, which is used against an 8 man front (1 High Safety).  With the Load tag, we are telling the PST and the PS A-back that they are responsible for the Over-Under concept on the PSLB.  Whichever players does not block the PSLB will block #3 (the single High Safety).  The PSLB in the 8 man front is generally the player that gives us the most problems.  When we miss this block, the PSLB will scrape right to the ball and bad things will happen.  The B-back will never see him and get smashed.  If the QB pulls and keeps, he will either get smashed or he will try to pitch off of the PSLB, which is the worst case scenario and recipe for turnovers.  Additionally, after taking one shot like that, your QB will get cold feet.  With that being said, we really need to ensure that we work Load blocks and secure the PSLB first and foremost.


  • Both PST and PS A-back are trying to skim around the Read Key (#1) DE as close as possible.  If the PSLB stays inside, then the PST will take him.  If the PSLB flows outside, then the PS A-back should get him.  Our aiming point on PSLB is the PS # to PS Hip.  
  • The Tackle will Veer Release inside, utilize a jab step (flat, 1"-3") with inside foot.  The 2nd step (outside foot) is trying to get to the defenders inside foot.  Rip the outside arm and pull upwards with inside arm like a row.  This should turn the shoulders in towards the ball.  We tell our players to penetrate forward on the 2nd step (gain ground) so that they maintain correct pad level ("Hear what the hip has to say").  Get eyes on PSLB on 2nd step.  The 2nd step is not really a crossover step.  The feet should end up almost in a line with shoulder still square, but turned.  "IT'S NOT A SCOOP!"
  • The A-back will step with his inside foot and get his eyes on the outside hip of the Read key (#1).  Tell the A-back to "Take the change out of his pocket" with his inside hand.  That will get the A-back to skim #1 and not allow any air between him and #1.  By the 3rd step, the A-back needs to get his eyes on the PSLB.  The A-back is working upfield at all times with his steps. 
  • If the PSLB plugs or stays inside:
    • The PST should be able to reach the PS# or PS Hip.
    • The PS A-back should work through the PSLB (inside arm punch) and come off to #3 (FS) when needed.  If PSLB completely disappears inside, then A-back should bend outside flat to ensure that he can get #3's outside shoulder (FS).
  • If the PSLB flows wide or scrapes outside:
    • The PST should chase the inside hip of the PSLB to get on the correct path to block #3 (FS).  [It kinda looks like a ? mark path.  We tell them to go flat down towards the sideline to gain leverage.]
    • The PS A-back should take the appropriate path to maintain leverage on PS# or PS Hip of PSLB.


This is a little easier because we're only going to use this Tag against the 8 man fronts.  Don't make the drill too easy by having the PSLB always fill inside.  This makes the players a bit passive.  I like to make sure that I'm always getting good scrape movement outside or very fast flow outside, so that the Tackle and A-backs have to make decisions at game speed and take their proper tracks.  The PSLB plugging inside will be the easiest thing in the world to block, so we don't do it too often.

  • 4-2 Cov 3 (Stunts: Blood, Squeeze, EZ, Up)
  • 3-3 Cov 3 - Load the Stack LB to FS (Stunts: EZ with DE and Stack LB, Blood with DE/OLB, Squeeze)

Defensive Movements/Stunts - LOAD Tag (Inside Veer)


  • Again, the main point is to coach the defenders on this drill.  You have to get realistic looks, ones that your kids will see on game night.
  • Veer Release - 2 quick steps (Jab-Shoot your foot) and penetrate upfield, not inside.
  • Load Steps - No false steps.  Focus on outside hip on 1st step.  Close to it on 2nd and 3rd step, then snap eyes to PSLB.
  • Both Tackle and A-back need to skim that Read Key (#1).  Don't deviate around him.
  • Don't pass up PSLB to go block #3.  Cardinal sin.
  • If you lose leverage on PSLB, then chase his inside hip and run to the sideline to try to gain leverage on #3 (FS).
  • No Hi/Lo blocks.
  • Teach them to run THRU contact, not TO contact.  No position blocking.


This is a MUST DO if you're going to face a lot of 8 man front teams (which you do in High School football).  Obviously, a big part of any gameplan against those fronts is to change formations, which could change our count.  Sometimes, we gain an extra blocker (WR), which allows the A-back to work through the PSLB longer.


Please stay tuned for the next segment on PODS drill, where I discuss how we work TOSS and MIDLINE DOUBLE during this drill.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at mark_kp@hotmail.com, or you can phone me.  My info is on the Contact page or About page.