8-Man Football Defense Drills


8-man football is played in 18 states, mainly at small schools that don't have enough players to field regular-sized teams. The online site 8man Football notes that the field dimensions for 8-man football are often different from a regular field, with some states playing on a smaller field lengthwise, widthwise or both. 8-man football players play different positions, and most teams aren't big, so versatility is important. Drills help an 8-man team improve its defense.

Tip Drill

The site 8Man Football notes that coaches feel like defense is always a man short of being sound in 8-man football. Therefore, games are usually high scoring, and creating turnovers is vital. Because there are fewer players, 8-man players need to be able to play and do everything on the field. The tip drill teaches players how to react quickly and pounce on the chance for turnovers. To run the drill, have one player stand 10 yards away from the coach; this player is the tipper. Have the interceptor start 25 yards away and run toward the tipper. The coach throws the ball and the tipper deflects the pass and but let’s it pass by. It is the interceptor’s job to catch it and run it back to the coach. Have the players rotate at each spot.

Shed and Tackle

In 8-Man football, getting off blocks to make tackles is important for all defensive players. The shed and tackle drill teaches players to get off of blocks and make a tackle. Have a blocker in front of the defensive player and have the ball carrier line up six yards back and about five yards to the inside of the blocker and tackler. At the whistle, the blocker tries to block while the defender attempts to shed the block. The ball-carrier starts running on the whistle toward the outside around both players. The goal is for the defender to shed the block and make the tackle. Coaches can choose to run this as a full contact drill.

Shadow Coverage Drill

This drill teaches players coverages against passes. You can use both man and zone coverages in the drill. For 8-man football, it is best to run the drill with a 3-man secondary. Call a coverage for the three defensive secondary players. Two offensive players run pass patterns. The coach throws the ball to one of the players on the pattern. The goal is to make sure defensive players stay in their coverage, recognize the pass patterns and be in position to knock down or intercept the ball.