What is the Oklahoma drill in football?

The Oklahoma drill is a now-banned practice drill that was created by Oklahoma football coach Bud Wilkensen.

The Oklahoma drill involves three players one ball carrier, one blocker, and one defender.

The blocker and the defender start the drill inside a corridor made from two football pads. These pads are roughly three to four feet apart from one another.

The ball carrier starts about five yards back from the blocker.

The goal of the drill is for the ball carrier to attempt to run through the ball corridor which is occupied by the blocker and defender.

The blocker will attempt to push the defender backwards and stop him from making the tackle.

The defender will look to fight off the blocker and bring down the running or force him outside the corridor.

Variation of the Oklahoma drill with two defenders

What is wrong with the Oklahoma drill?

The Oklahoma drill in football receives a lot of criticism due to player safety.

In this drill, there is a guarantee of contact between the players. The blocker and the defender will start the play by immediately hitting one another.

Both these players are going to come out of a two-point or three-point stance to start the drill. As these players come together it is often their helmets that are going to collide.

Even if trying to avoid helmet-to-helmet contact it will almost always happen in this drill.

After this collision, the ball carrier will come with a running start and hit these two players. Remember all three players are going to be in a small corridor which is only a few feet wide.

Many studies have shown the damages of repeated head-to-head contact in football. For this reason, the NFL decided to ban this drill from being used in training camps or practices.

What is the purpose of the drill?

Now that you know how dangerous this drill can be you may be wondering why it was done in the first place.

The Oklahoma drill is a great drill to learn about tackling and the physical nature of the game. This drill creates a very realistic scenario of bringing down a player in a tight area.

The idea is that this high contact drill is going to teach players how to properly block, tackle, and avoid tackles. Since this drill involves players from many different positions it is often done as team-wide drill.

In football practices, many drills are done positionally meaning each position group does them on their own.

The Oklahoma drill on the other hand is often done with the entire football team watching. The defense will be cheering on their players while the offense will cheer for the blocker and ball carrier.

For this reason, the Oklahoma drill is considered one of the more “hyped up” drills in practice.

The players in the drill will often be surrounded by players who are cheering on their teammates.

This drill is often used on the first day of contact at a training camp. This gets the players excited and motivated for the season.

In NFL there is very little full contact between players. This is because players want to avoid injuries before the season starts.

For this reason, many players actually enjoyed this drill at the professional level because it allowed them to play “real football”.

Additionally, the blockers and defenders in this drill are often setup against one another on purpose. On an old harknocks episode Marvin Lewis states that if two players had a fight against one another they will be matched up in the Oklahoma drill

The idea is that this will help them sort out their differences but it also leads to the drill being quite physical.

Despite many players enjoying the Oklahoma drill in football, it was the right decision to remove it for safety reasons.

What is the bull in the ring football drill?

Another famous and controversial football practice drill is bull in the ring.

This drill works by organising the players in a large circle. One player is in the middle of the ring with the football, this players is the bull.

Each player in the circle is given a number, if their number is called they will enter the “ring” and attempt to tackle the ball carrier.

If the ball carrier avoids the tackle another player will be called in. This is another drill that encourages a lot of physical contact between the players.

Though it can be great for learning tackling it is also can result in injuries due to its physical nature.

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