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About Running Backs And The Four Minute Drill

When I was a kid, fullbacks and running backs were staple positions on any football team. Now fullbacks are almost extinct dinosaurs and running backs are being diminished because of more teams’ reliance on the intricacies of the passing game. I think that depreciation of the running back has occurred for three reasons. Firstly, the offensive run blocking is not at the level it was in the past. Offensive lineman are not able to open holes or are just routinely missing their blocking assignments. Secondly, most running backs are being picked on the basis of straight line, 40 yard dash, speed. The coaches are forgetting that a back has to be strong and shifty enough to get to where that straight line speed can be utilized. Most of the straight line speed backs are stopped in the backfield if there is no hole opened up for them or they run east and west for 20 yards with maybe a one or two yard gain to show for their effort. Lastly, the preponderance of ankle biting or ankle tackling has limited backs to very short yardage. About 75% of the short yardage, gains of 2 yards or less, seem