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Double Teams: Working with Guards to Neutralize Defenders

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Double Teams: Working with Guards to Neutralize Defenders

When it comes to neutralizing defensive threats in football, double teaming is a fundamental technique that can dramatically shift the dynamic on the field. This article dives deep into the art of double teaming, specifically focusing on working with guards. From perfecting timing to maintaining leverage, we'll explore how players and coaches can enhance this crucial piece of offensive strategy.

The Fundamentals of Double Teaming

Double teaming involves two offensive linemen working in tandem to block a single defensive player, typically a lineman. This technique requires impeccable coordination, communication, and a solid understanding of blocking angles.

  1. Coordination with Guards: Guards play a pivotal role in double teams. Their ability to recognize defensive alignments and adjust their approach ensures the block's success. Proper hand placement and the ability to mirror the center or tackle are key skills.

  2. Timing: Successfully neutralizing a defender depends heavily on timing. Both linemen must initiate contact almost simultaneously and maintain their blocks long enough to create running lanes or give the quarterback time to make a play.

  3. Leverage: Maintaining leverage is essential. Using the proper pad level, keeping the feet moving, and driving through the block ensures the defender cannot disengage easily.

Techniques for Effective Double Teaming

To execute a double team effectively, players must master several techniques. Below, we break down each component and offer tips to refine your strategy.

TechniqueDescriptionPlayer TipsCoaching Wisdom
Hand PlacementEnsure hands are inside the defender's chest to control and steer them.Keep elbows tight and hands ready to punch.Teach linemen to react quickly to the defender's moves.
FootworkQuick, choppy steps help maintain balance and power.Don't cross feet; maintain a wide base.Drill footwork patterns to build muscle memory.
CommunicationVerbal and non-verbal cues between linemen are crucial.Use calls and eye contact to coordinate.Implement communication drills in practice to reinforce habits.
Pad LevelStaying low is key to winning leverage battles.Bend at the knees, not the waist.Emphasize the importance of pad level in every blocking drill.
ProgressionTransitioning from double team to second-level blocks (linebackers).Be aware of when to release and move to the next defender.Incorporate progression drills to practice transitioning effectively.

Drills for Mastering Double Teams

  1. Two-Man Sled Drill: Use a sled to simulate the resistance of a defender. Practice engaging and driving the sled with a partner, emphasizing hand placement and leverage.

  2. Mirror Drill: Pair linemen to practice mirroring each other’s movements, building synchronicity and communication without pads.

  3. Combo Block to Linebacker Drill: Focus on transitioning from a double team to a second-level block. Start with engaging a dummy as the primary defender, then move to block a linebacker dummy or coach.

Game-Day Execution

On game day, the mental aspects of double teaming come into play. Linemen need to trust their training, communicate effectively, and adapt to in-game adjustments by the defense. Encourage players to watch for shifts in defensive alignment and maintain discipline in their techniques.

  • Film Study: Watching film of opponents can provide insights into their tendencies, allowing linemen to predict and counter moves.

  • Adjustments: Be prepared to modify double team strategies based on defensive adjustments. Flexibility and quick thinking are as crucial as physical readiness.


Double teaming, especially with guards, is an indispensable tactic in football. It requires diligent practice, effective communication, and a keen understanding of techniques and timing. By following these guidelines and drills, both players and coaches can enhance their ability to neutralize defensive threats and pave the way for successful plays.

Stay tough in the trenches, and remember: teamwork and technique are the bedrock of a formidable offensive line.

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