to improve fundamentals and keeping theoffensive scheme consistent during hiscareer were as equally important.Completion percentage is always one ofthe first things I try to evaluate after thegame through the use of statistics and film.Consider things such as: receiver drops,not taking a loss with incompletion, sacksor pressures, scrambles, poor weather,number of long ball attempts, screensattempted, third down percentage, andother factors that may not show up on thestat sheet.
Short List to DevelopAccuracy in QuarterbacksBe a Master of Good Technique:
Mustbe obsessed with delivering the ball in anygiven situation with sound technique(Spiral, proper trajectory, footwork/bal-ance).
Throw High Percentage Passes inYour Offense:
Standing targets andscreens are great confidence builders andeasy throws. Also, I always keep a list ofeach of our quarterback’s top ten favoritepass plays to use if he is struggling andespecially if the backup is in.
Knowledge of Opponent’s Defense:
We both need to be on the same page as towhat type of tools we feel will be effective
against our opponent’s style of defense.Generally discuss the overall strengths andweaknesses as it pertains to game planning.
Developing the QuarterbackDuring the Week
There are a number of ways to work onthe quarterback’s fundamentals as itrelates to throwing the football. I would nowlike to share some of my favorite drills Ihave incorporated into our program from anindividual, group and offensive unit per-spective that is oriented toward quarter-back development. Every day we start fromthe ground to moving our feet to workingwith groups and then to working with theteam, while trying to maintain a consisten-cy in technique as we throw.The idea instarting on the ground (seated, one knee,two knees) is to really focus and evaluatefragments of the players delivery from thewaist up. I will then start to get the feetinvolved so that we can develop efficientfootwork and create a “feel” for how theentire body works in the delivery through avariety of drops and scrambles. Wheneverthe group or team session begins the focusprimarily shifts to decisions and timing.
One Knee High Ball:
Have two quar-terbacks facing each other about five toseven yards apart with their throwing sideknee down on the ground. One quarter-back will then take the football in histhrowing arm and elevate the football sothat the elbow is slightly above his shoul-der and the ball has been turned so thatthe front nose is pointed away from thetarget. We want to hold this position for just a count to get a feel for the oppositeshoulder being pointed directly at the tar-get; the football is clearly above and awayfrom the head, as we deliver the upperbody rotates so that the arm just feels likea “whip” extending off the shoulder.Exaggerating the ball height and exten-sion away from the body will hopefullyexpand a comfort zone mentally for thequarterback in developing a good highrelease and also develop smoothness inusing the upper body rotation. I like to usethis drill right before I let them use bothhands from the same one knee position.
Bring the Hips:
At this point of ourwarm-up we are starting to get the feetinvolved. This is one of my favorite thingsto work on because a quarterback can geta feel for how much power is involved in thehips that transfers into arm strength, pre-venting an over-stride, and perfecting theuse of various trajectories when throwing.Have two quarterbacks start about 10yards apart facing each other preferablywith their feet behind a line. The passer willstand as if he is at the end of his drop readyto throw. What I am looking for here is if theshoulder is pointed at the target and theball has been pushed back close to the armpit by the off hand. The quarterback shouldalso have more weight on his toes with hisfeet just inside his shoulders. I let them pat-ter (slightly buzz) their feet a little if theywant to before they throw because it’s amajor part of the rest of our drops. Fromthis position we throw the football, hopeful-ly with a good high release but also veryefficiently. No wasted motion, everythingstays high and going forward.If the quarterback was standing behinda line with his front foot, all he would needto do is pick up the front toe, get it pointedin the direction of his target as deliverybegins and then transfer his weight fromback to front. After the throw, I want tomake sure that the back hip has crossedthe line. Ageneral rule about over-stridingis that if you don’t feel like your nose is overthe top of your front toe after the throw,then you have over-strided. It also meansthat a big step in the delivery typicallybrings the throwing elbow down causing alow release.The second part of this drill is varyingthe distance and trajectory of the throwsyou ask of the passers. I am constantlymixing this up because no two throws areever the same in a game situation. Everyquarterback I have ever coached likes golf,so we always use our various “clubs” fromdifferent distances to work our trajectory. Ifhe doesn’t like golf we move him to anoth-er position. Just kidding.For instance, I may say let’s get 25yards apart and use our five iron for “x”amount of throws. That means I want medi-um trajectory. Next, I may tell them to usetheir pitching wedge (more arc) or threewood for throws that have to be deliveredon a straight line. I never tell them to usethe “driver” because I am not very goodwith mine yet.
Rights and Lefts:
This is most com-monly used out of our run-and-shoot setwith the quarterbacks, wingbacks and widereceivers on both sides (Diagram 3). Splitthe quarterbacks up with one group goingto the right hash and the other to the lefthash. If you are a wingback or wide receiv-er you go to your side hash. We don’t flopeither position so if you are on the rightside you go to the right hash. The quarter-back then instructs the wingback what playhe wants run. This forces both positions torecall the proper route to be executedalong with the drop for the passer. T h eplay is executed, now it’s the wide receiverand the next quarterback’s turn. All threepositions will vary their alignment accord-ing to the play. Be sure and have bothsides going at the same time to get morereps. Once we feel like we’ve got a goodunderstanding of the drill and our plays wewill try to go against our defensive backs. Ithink doing this helps players learn theoffense and improve timing of individualcuts between the quarterback andreceivers (on air and versus man to man).
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Diagram 3:Rights and Lefts
Both sides throwing —One position at atime