Remember these days?
Well, these days are over.
A staple in NFL training camps, when the league was once tough and gritty, the favored Oklahoma drill has slowly faded from the league's lexicon. The drill pairs an offensive and defensive player, each with their own objective, and a ball carrier. The offensive player blocks the defensive player long enough for the ball carrier to squeeze through; the defensive player's objective is to tackle the runner.
Oklahoma was typically scheduled during the first day of full pads. Cincinnati will sport full gear during Monday's practice, but Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis told reporters no Oklahoma drill is scheduled this year. It was canceled last year reportedly due to poor weather conditions.
The mother ship adds that "Lewis made it clear there is no room left for such drills like the Oklahoma Drill that lead to such player vulnerability," leading us to conclude that the drill is done for good.
Cincinnati is one of the last teams to ditch the fan-favorite Oklahoma drills, and they drew considerable conflagration for it due HBO's Hard Knocks in 2013. Despite the drill's popularity among fans, there had been growing concerns of players being unnecessarily injured, especially with a significant focus on reducing concussions.
Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has never been a fan, saying last year, that the faster it's "over with, the better for me. I'd just like to get to football."
Even though Oklahoma is six-feet under, the team will conduct Half Line drills, designed to simulate actual football concepts. The Half Line drills feature one half of an offensive line with a tight end and possibly a fullback. Half of the defense matches the offensive set. Rather than squaring players off in isolation combat, the offensive line actually simulates blocking schemes and techniques, such as pulls, down-blocks and the defensive line can stunt to free a linebacker.