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 lineman, you must have heart and passion as this is the most important part of being an NFL lineman. Heart and passion for the game and winning is more important than size and strength. Looking good won’t help you, but looking bad will (that’s a joke).
The average lineman is 6’0″ to 6’8″ tall and weighs 290 to 350 pounds and all NFL linemen fall in this range. If you’re 5’8″ and 165 pounds, being an NFL lineman is not in your genes or in your future. I’ve always felt that linemen are blue-collar workers in football. We do the hard, dirty work that It has to be done for the team to succeed, but we hardly ever get any of the glory. While quarterbacks and wide receivers get all the attention, we do all the hitting, and our bodies bear most of the physical stress and damage.
To be an NFL lineman, you absolutely have to work on your strength. While you are in high school and college, it is essential that you continually work with strength coaches. There are three core areas of the body that you need to work on. These are the upper body, the midsection, and the lower body. You have to work very hard in these three core areas if you want to make it to the NFL. You must also work harder than others. Getting into the NFL is extremely competitive. To get to the NFL, you have to work harder than everyone else. While natural talent is helpful, I’ve found that the players who make it to the NFL are almost always the players who work the hardest on and off the field to be the best at their position.
Here are the field techniques you must master to be a successful lineman:
1. Work and perfect your posture. You need to have a stance that gives you the most power and the most speed at the point of attack.
2. Work on the speed of your takeoff. Take-off speed for a lineman is extremely important because it is almost always the lineman who hits first who has the advantage.
3. Strive to stay 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, you have an easier time keeping your balance and not getting knocked over. Remember, the shortest player always wins.
4. Hand placement is extremely important and you should always focus on getting your hands into your opponent’s shell as this gives you more control and power over your opponent. You will find that the best linemen are the ones with 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 takeoff short.
6. Learn to finish every play and never give up until you hear the whistle. The best players in the NFL NEVER stop playing until the whistle blows.
And remember, it doesn’t matter if you play defense or offense, all linemen are part of the same family. Work hard and I look forward to seeing you playing in the NFL.