If you want to learn what’s in the secret sauce of running back play in regards to footwork, pad level, leverage, and cuts, this is the episode for you.
I don’t care if you watch this film room, because I’m going to be wearing out this episode on YouTube. 2010 MAC Offensive Player of the Year Chad Spann returns to the show with a truckload of clips featuring running back drills, including ones he formulated for David Cobb last summer (and a good story of how he worked with Cobb in the film room). If you truly want to learn more about the running back position, this episode is a must-watch:
- Why the position of the head is integral to generating power.
- The importance of running from a squatted position between the tackles.
- The anatomy of a jump cut, slalom cuts, 90-degree cuts, speed cuts, and step-over cuts.
- Cutting off the “correct foot” and the “incorrect foot.”
- Backs (past and present) who exhibit skill with these specific cuts.
- The mechanics of good footwork.
- Where step-length factors into different cuts.
- How practice habits specifically impact in-game performance.
- Why Spann integrates multiple skills into his drills.
- Good practice habits to remember.
- How to use “speed” correctly.
- The significance of rep volume and how it works.
- The vital art of visualization throughout a rep.
- The importance of rest between drills and reps.
- The importance of having loose hips and drills used to loosen the hips, which also applies well to the receiving game.
I can’t even remember all that we talked about, which is why I’ll be watching this show a lot. Even one viewing will give you a vast appreciation for the running back position despite the characterization of it being “instinctive.” These drills, are great examples of how a back achieves this level of integrating, mind-eyes-feet.
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