linic season is beginning soon so I’d thought I’d break down Larry Johnson’s Rushmen clinic.

Apologies for the video quality in some of these clips. The clinic tape I’m working off of is a bit rough.



Coach Johnson’s entire drill progression builds up to teaching his D-Line 2 moves.

Long arm and...

Side scissors.

Below is the step by step process he uses to build the fundamentals needed to execute these moves.

Step 1: Program the hands

The first step to learning the long arm & side scissors is to program the hands to respond to a stimuli (the blocker’s punch) automatically.

Coach Johnson uses a 5 step sequence detailed below.

Drill #1: 3-count

Three count is an incremental step toward side scissors that works hand placement and speed.

Coaching points

  • Block the hand
  • Cup the elbow
  • Replace the hand

Once you’re comfortable with this movement progress to side to side 3-count so you can practice torquing your shoulder along with hands.

Drill #2: 2 Count + Wheel

Next, progress the 3 count to a new level by incorporating lateral hip movement. This helps his D-Line to counter a punch from the blocker's inside hand.

Coaching points

  • Bock the hand
  • Cup shoulder
  • Wheel hips laterally

Drill #3: Side scissors

Now practice the full side scissors hand movement on each side to improve you reaction to the blocker's punch.

Coaching points

  • Block the hand
  • Cup the elbow

And once you’re comfortable with this movement incorporate the approach and hips to bring together the entire movement.

Drill #4: Cup

The cup is a predecessor to the tiger lift. By cupping the elbows you train your hands to match the blocker’s punch if he has low hands.

Coaching points

  • Cup the elbow

Drill #5: Long arm + Tiger lift

The first part of this drill is to practice removing the blocker's hand from your shoulder using the tiger lift.

Coaching points

  • Cup the elbow
  • Violently lift

Then, add the stab and hips.

Coaching points

  • Punch V of the neck
  • Cup the elbow
  • Violent lift

Bring it all together

Once you’ve programmed the hands in the 5 step sequence, have the look man control the drill and decide the sequence in which the driller executes his hand movements.

Step 2: Work the approach

Larry Johnson teaches a fast fast power fast approach meaning that the player closes distance (fast fast), then take a power step (power) to get the blocker to shoot their hands, then finishes the rush (fast).

Here’s a few drills he uses to teach this.

Sand get off

  • Replace down hand w/ first step
  • Explode out not up
  • Sprint through 5 yards

*Using sand is a great way to improve stance weight distribution

Pop up stab

  • Replace down hand w/ first step
  • Close distance
  • Power step
  • Stab through bag

*Edge players take 3 steps before stabbing, interior takes 1

Pop up side scissors

  • Power step
  • Block hand & cup elbow
  • Point the toe
  • Finish

*If you don't have the equipment for the drill you can use a look man

Step 3: Drill hips

Loose hips allow you to turn the corner and get to the QB so coach Johnson incorporates hip flipping into quite a bit of his drill work. Here are the drills he uses.

Barrel circles

  • Stay tight
  • Replace front foot with back foot

Hoop drill

  • Power step
  • Point the toe
  • Replace front foot w/ back foot
  • Side scissors upon punch

*This drill is also great for improving reaction to the blocker's punch

Step 4: Bring it all together

Last but not least Coach Johnson brings together all skills listed above into combo drills that improve multiple skills in once drill. Here are a few that he uses.

Fan drill

  • Step over bags
  • Flip hips through bags
  • Pound the pavement (finish)

Ladder Drill

  • Step over bags
  • Flip hips in between bags
  • Flip hips around trash cans

A final note

From what I can tell OSU D-Linemen aren’t taught to pre-plan their rushes, but rather react to what the blocker is giving them.

It’s my belief that the OSU D-Line has been consistently good because they program their rushes to react automatically vs. pre-plan.

If you enjoyed this post it would mean a ton if you could share the below tweet with your audience by giving it a retweet. Thanks!

Dec 20, 2022
Pass Rush

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