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The Oklahoma drill, also known as the pitt drill is an American football practice technique used to test players in confined full contact situations. Developed by legendary University of Oklahoma coach Bud Wilkinson, the Oklahoma Drill has become a tradition not only at OU, but at football practices across the country from high school to the pros.
The Oklahoma drill has several variations. The most common involves two players lined up three yards opposite one another. A corridor is set up typically using three blocking bags on each side of the players lined up top to bottom to create a wall, and the walls are spaced about one yard apart. This creates an area of about three feet by nine feet. The two players, at the sound of the whistle, then run at one another and the drill is over when one of the players is on the ground, or if a ball carrier is involved when he is tackled. If a player is able to drive the other player out of the corridor, that also ends the drill.
Many high school and college teams use the Oklahoma Drill as a way to kick off the first day of full contact practice. While often criticized as excessive, it can be a critical tool used by coaches to evaluate players that might have looked good in non-contact drills, but have yet to face full contact. Other times the drill is used simply to get players in the proper mind-set for full contact practices, especially in high school and college where many times players have gone up to eight months in non-contact only drills.
In the NFL, some team owners and coaches do not allow the Oklahoma Drill. Notable exceptions include the Jaguars, Chargers, and the Bengals who use the drill as a kind of celebration of the first day of full contact practices. In the case of the Jaguars, fans use to be invited to watch and media members are allowed to submit match-ups subject to the coaches approval. However, with the firing of head coach Jack Del Rio, and with the hiring of current coach Mike Murlarkey, the drill has been banished by the team. Veterans and high profile NFL players rarely participate in pit drills due to the higher risk of injury.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Today's players don't know the drill". The Boston Globe. July 29, 2006. http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2006/07/29/todays_players_dont_know_the_drill/.
- ↑ "Oklahoma Drill Highlights Monday". SoonerSports.com. August 6, 2007. http://www.soonersports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/080607aab.html.
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