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Pursuit Drill


Position all 6 players on defense as if they were playing in a game. Be sure the sideline is clearly marked, either with field paint or cones. The offense will have a coach/quarterback who will start the play by pitching it to the running back.


This drill is for the defense. The running back will need to run up the sideline as fast as possible without juking, cutting or slowing down. The drill begins with the coach/quarterback pitching the ball to the running back. As the running back heads to and up the sideline, the defensive players must take proper angles to tag the back. This is where taking proper pursuit angles is important. Repeat this drill a few times with players rotating to different positions and different running backs.


  • Defenders need to learn to run where he’s going to be, not where he is.
  • The further away from the sideline the player is, the steeper angle he will have to take.
  • Instruct players to gently tag the running back but to let him keep going so other defenders can practice their angles.