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June 2014

June 2014


Drills Report: The Wall Return Drill

by: Tim Salem
Running Backs Coach and Special Teams Coordinator University of Illinois
© June 2014

One of the most exciting plays in football is when a punt returner is able to sprint around the edge and make use of the “wall” on an outside return. At Illinois, we rely on a drill installed on day one of our fall practices for our punt return team.

An important phase of the return is having initial landmarks for the wall blockers (Diagram 1). When the ball is on a hash and a wall return is called to the wide side of the field, the wall blockers use the far hash as a landmark. When the ball is on a hash and a wall return is called to the short side of the field, the wall blockers use the numbers as a landmark. If the ball is in the middle of the field, we use the “logo” (difference between hash/numbers) as a landmark.

Diagram 1: Wall Drill Variations

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