What Is The Oklahoma Drill In Football?

Oklahoma Drill

What Is The Oklahoma Drill In Football?

The sport of American Football is extremely demanding, both mentally and physically. The aspects of mental toughness include self-motivation, confidence, and resiliency.

The physical demands include being able to endure hard hits that are bound to occur throughout a game and season. One Drill that recreates the type of physical play encountered during play Is the Oklahoma Drill.

What is the Oklahoma Drill? What is the purpose of it? When did it begin? Is it still being used at the NFL level today? Let’s examine the answers to these questions and more.

How Does the Oklahoma Drill Work?

This practice drill involves one player getting the ball, who will run a few yards to get into the end zone. Three other players, including a blocker and two defenders, are present. The defensive player’s job is to stop the ball carrier from getting into the end zone.

Coaches can vary the number of players used, sometimes going three defenders against two offensive linemen and a back or perhaps going two on two or even one on one.

Why Is It Called The Oklahoma Drill?

The name came from Bud Wilkinson, while head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners. It was his Drill, later called the “Oklahoma Drill.”

When Did The Drill Begin?

It began when Bud Wilkinson was the Oklahoma Sooners’ head coach from 1947 through 1963. It was a method to pin an offensive player directly against a defensive player who tries to make a tackle while the offensive player attempts to get by the defender.

Over time, it became increasingly popular, and football coaches started implementing this early in their training camp sessions. It became so popular that players not participating would watch the proceedings unfold.

What Is The Point Of The Oklahoma Drill?

Get Players Used To Being Hit During Games: Sometimes players look like all-stars during non-contact drills, but there is no way to gauge how a player will perform in a game until he gets hit and tackled.   

Coaches Feel This Is a Great Way To Unite The Team: As players participate, the rest of the team gathers around to watch it unfold. Some of the best teams aren’t just those with the most talent but who is the most tight-knit group.

Helps a Runner Get a Feel For How Defensive Linemen Will React To His Moves: The scrimmage is similar to what youngsters play in a good old-fashioned three-on-three game. This also allows coaches to run multiple scrimmages at the same time, each monitored by a member of the coaching staff.

Is There a Winner In The Oklahoma Drill?

The offensive player wins if he gets by the defender and scores a touchdown. The defender wins if he either knocks the running back out of bounds or makes the tackle without allowing a score.

What Do Critics Think Of The Drill?

Those with the old-school mindset that believes that the NFL of today is not as physical or “too soft” think that the Oklahoma Drill should still be allowed. Players of past eras believe that player-safety rules took the toughness out of the game.

People are gradually changing their minds about such physical drills. With head injuries more of a concern due to the evidence of an association between concussions and dementia, more people are against drills that increase the chance of player injury.

Is The Oklahoma Drill Banned In The NFL?

The NFL banned it in 2019 due to increased concerns over player safety. The ban was put into effect to reduce the number of situations that could cause injury to players during practices.

Although the NFL banned it, high school and college coaches are still allowed to use the Oklahoma Drill.

Conclusion: Oklahoma Drill In Football

The Oklahoma Drill was a way for teams to hold mini-scrimmages with the offense and defense players pitted against each other. It was started in the late 1940s by Oklahoma Sooners’ coach Bud Wilkinson.

It was designed to prepare players for the physical contact they would endure during games but was banned by the NFL in 2019. Although still allowed in college and high school, many programs at these levels are also not using the Drill.