One of the most important portions of practice is simulating situations for the Offense and Defense. By simulating these situations, be it 3rd and longs, 2nd and mid yardage, 1st and ten, we get close to game like experiences. The best way to do this is through "Live" team drills. During this time QB's are quick whistled if anything might happen to them, but for the rest of us its full go--everything is legal. Offensive lineman will "free-lance" for work, cut defensive lineman, cut Linebackers, and cut the rest of the secondary if in proximity, Fullbacks will hold nothing back on lead blocks, and Runningbacks will dip on anyone who tries to tackle them. Oh and Jahvid and/or Shane will make you look stupid if you try tackling him in open field...standard.
Now, I'm not saying that the coaches are going to throw in a freshman that has been here for a month and a half for summer workouts up against me as the title of this blog might suggest, but it might happen. Usually we get the secondary Defensive line to go against the starting Offensive line for a couple plays, as well as 1st team Defensive line versus 2nd Offensive line, but then we rotate back to 1 on 1's, 2's on 2's and so forth.
As a 6th year senior, it is still important for even I to get the exposure needed during a season. But it is a pivotal role for the growth of the younger athletes on the team to experience what game speeds are like. It is important to have a 6'6" 320 Tackle running at you full speed and at about a yard out try sticking his helmet on your play side knee cap so that you can practice using your hands to press off, shedding the block, get back up and try to make the play. If you don't practice it how will you be able to perform when it actually happens in a game? You wont.