With all of the attention on the 7-on-7 drill—a non-contact, all-passing exercise pitting football skill position players against one another—the big men up front who make that glamorous passing game possible can get lost in the shuffle.
Enter the lineman's challenge. This series of events lets groups of offensive linemen, defensive linemen and tight ends (when these guys are not with the skill players in the passing drills) square off in team and individual drills. The events vary depending on the size of the tournament, but mainstays include:
- Tire Flips for Time: Flip a 230-pound tractor tire five or ten times for time.
- Bench Press for Reps: Bench Press 185 or 225 pounds for reps.
- Medicine Ball Throw: Without taking a step, throw a 25-pound medicine ball for distance.
- Pro Agility Drill: Complete the 5-10-5 Pro Agility Drill for time.
- 200-Yard Shuttle Run: Sprint 20 yards and back five times without stopping, for time.
- Obstacle Course: Complete an obstacle course for time.
- Team Sled Push for Time: Six team members push a six-man blocking sled over a distance, for time.
- Team Tug of War: Exactly what it sounds like. Six guys pulling a rope that another six guys are pulling in the opposite direction.
How the Lineman's Challenge Is Scored
Most competitions award medals to the top three finishers in each event, and the events are scored much like a track meet. Sixth place earns one point, fifth place earns two, fourth earns three, third earns four, second earns five, and first place earns six points. At the end of the meet, each team's points are added up to determine which squad won the tournament.
Benefits for Linemen
Simply lifting weights day-in and day-out can be drudgery, so the lineman's challenge offers a much-needed break. It also gives the big guys a team goal to work toward. The tournaments require teamwork, and the camaraderie of competition can help develop chemistry among linemen. The competition also offers the linemen the chance to earn some individual attention—a rare commodity for position players who rarely get noticed during a game unless they commit a penalty.
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