I am a retired NFL player and I was a lineman. In this article I am going to explain what you need to do to become a lineman in the NFL.
First of all, to be an NFL a lineman you must have heart and passion as this is the most important part of being a NFL lineman. Heart and passion for the game and winning is more important than size and strength. Good looks will not help you but looking mean will help (that’s a joke).
The average lineman is 6’0″ to 6’8″ tall and weighs 290 to 350 lbs and all NFL lineman fall into this range. If you are 5’8″ and 165 lbs, being an NFL lineman is not in your genes or your future. I have always felt that linemen are football’s blue collar workers. We perform the hard dirty work that must be done for the team to be successful but we almost never receive any glory. While quarterbacks and wide receivers get all the attention, we do all the hard hitting and our bodies take the most physical stress and damage.
To be an NFL lineman, you absolutely must work on your strength. While you are in high school and college, it is essential that you work continuously with strength coaches. There are three cores areas of the body that you must work on. These are your upper body, your midsection and your lower body. You should work very hard on these three core areas if you want to make it to the NFL. You also must work harder than everybody else. Getting into the NFL is extremely competitive. To make it to the NFL, you must work harder than everyone else. While natural talent is helpful, I have found that the players who make it to the NFL are almost always the players that work the hardest on and off the field to be the absolute best at their position.
Here are the field techniques you must master to be a successful lineman:
1. Work on and perfect your stance. You need to have a stance that gives you the most power and gives you the most speed at the point of attack.
2. Work on the speed of your take-off. Take-off speed for a lineman is extremely important because it is almost always the lineman that strikes first that has the advantage.
3. Work on staying low to the ground in your stance and take-off because the lower you are the more power and leverage you will generate. Also, when your center of gravity is low, it makes it easier for you to keep your balance and not be knocked over. Remember, the lowest player always wins.
4. Hand placement is extremely important and you should always focus on getting your hands on the breast plate of your opponent as this gives you more control and power over your opponent. You will find that the best linemen are the ones that have the best hand placement on their opponent.
5. You must work on your first step as a lineman. Your first step should always be only 6 inches because if your first step is too long, the advantage goes to your opponent and you don’t want that. So remember, keep the first step of your take-off short.
6. Learn to finish every play and never give up on a play until you hear the whistle blow. The best NFL players NEVER stop playing until the whistle blows.
And remember, it does not matter if you play defense or offense, lineman are all a part of the same family. Work hard and I hope to see you playing in the NFL.