osh Lupoi has coached D-Line at top organizations like the Falcons, Crimson Tide and Jaguars, but before all of this, he started as a D-Line coach at University of Washington.

Luckily, I happened to stumble upon Lupoi's clinic tape from that era. So, for this week's D-Line Examples I'll be breaking down the top concepts from his clinic. Enjoy!

No loaf finish

Every drill Coach Lupoi does incorporates a no loaf finish. Whether it's one-on-ones or 6-point lock out, Lupoi always finds a way to get his D-Line to finish.

His theory is that by consistently repping finishing to the ball, your D-Line can cause turnovers by getting big bodies on unsuspecting ball carriers (like in the below example).


You're bound to 4 different block in a game: Draw, screen, pass and cut. The key is to recognize the difference between these blocks and react accordingly. So, Coach Lupoi uses the DSPC drill to simulate these different looks so his D-Line can quickly recognize and defeat them.

Base mode

When Lupoi wants his D-Line to defeat the run, he teaches "Base mode". This mode has 4 different elements too it...

  1. Eyes: If I'm shaded eyes are on the tip of the shoulder. If I'm head up the eyes need to be on the V of the neck
  2. Alignment: You must be lined up to successfully play not just one block, but any block your opponent can execute against you.
  3. Hand, hips and feet: We are shooting our hands first at the the V of the neck and bicep of the blocker if we are shaded and at the armpits if head up. Once you shoot the hands, hips and feet should follow so you can generate max force into your opponent.
  4. Dawg claw: Violently grab the opponent with thumbs up and elbows in

Below are the following drills he uses to teach the different elements of "Base mode"...


Shoot hands from ground to man with zero wasted motion. Make sure to keep nice tight elbows to deliver a precision strike to your opponent.

5-point explosion

Shoot hands and hips from a 5-point stance while keeping thumbs up and elbows inside.

3-point layout

Explode outward in a 3-point to further engrain shooting hands and hips first.

Escapes: Lock, peak and shed

After executing the above base mode drills, Lupoi progresses to escapes with 3-key coaching points...locking out, peaking around the blocker and shedding to make the play.

Now, the running back could cut any direction so Lupoi practices both escaping in the gap as well as shedding across the face. But still he teaches his D-Line focusses on locking, peaking and shedding, but now across the face.

That's all for this week folks. If you have any ideas for what I should post next week let me know!​

And whenever you are ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

  1. Learn how to develop top tier pass rushers and a lethal pass rush attack here (1,000+ students)
  2. Learn how to turn your D-Line into a block destruction machine here (1,100+ students)


May 24, 2022
Skill Development

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