NFL and Collegiate Lineman are Evolving

New program prepares hopeful high school linemen for the change
By: National Youth Football Organization
Lineman- photo Credit Brad Penner:Associated Press
Lineman- photo Credit Brad Penner:Associated Press
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RALEIGH, N.C. - Dec. 5, 2016 - PRLog -- No huddle offenses and variations of the Spread Formation coupled with the phasing out of smash mouth football have dictated a move to faster, smarter, and more athletic big guys up front. The game is faster than it used to be. Passing has increased and the run is more dictated by seams, voids, and the threat of hitting the edge rather than having some huge beast create space in the middle.

As the game is changing, so is the training for the athletes that participate in what football advocates call the greatest sport on the planet. Evidence is measured in the current boom of 7on7 leagues and training for football players at all levels. 7on7 football has greatly assisted the skilled positions, but until now training for the line hasn't kept up with the times.

Welcome the Big 5 Lineman Game; a safe competition providing linemen enjoyable and educational training with the reward of participating in games that enhances fundamentals and position specific rules, while accommodating the new trends for the lineman positions.

"Since the implementation of 7on7 leagues, our most frequent request from high school football coaches has been to establish a more relevant competition for linemen. The Big 5 Lineman game is for lineman what 7on7 is for skill positions", says NYFO Founder, Bob Winstead.

In 2004, the National Youth Football Organization (NYFO) began the "Lineman Challenge", which is great for strength, agility, and movement for the Big Boys; but it isn't enough!  The typical "lineman challenge" doesn't allow coaches to transition flipping tires, obstacle courses, farmers walk, etc., into fundamentals and position specific knowledge, especially when compared to 7on7 for the skill positions.

Since 2011, the NYFO allowed Linemen to participate in 7on7 leagues, which provided the "competition" and is great conditioning, but like the "linemen challenge" doesn't allow coaches to "TEACH" linemen responsibilities, fundamentals, and the "what and whys" associated with the position and play calling. The Big 5 Lineman Game does just that!

Today's linemen must master "positioning" on their opponent and that begins with proper footwork, hand placement, escape moves, gap responsibility, and understanding the play from the backfield perspective. These are all focal points of the game.

The position specific rules and fundamentals of the Big 5 game are consistent with regular 11-man tackle football. The only caveats are limited passing and ball running. Each player will rotate to a position called "The Keeper".

Following three years of planning, consulting with high school, collegiate, and professional football coaches and players, and running a pilot team in the summer of 2016, the Big 5 Lineman Game will kick off nationally Spring 2017. This inaugural year will serve High School linemen only and be operated under the direction of the commissioners of the National Youth Football Organization. For more information see

National Youth Football Organization
Sommer Donahoe
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Location:Raleigh - North Carolina - United States
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