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The Clemson Shotgun Quick Game Passing Attack

The Clemson Shotgun Quick Game Passing Attack

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Published by: mwuw on Dec 22, 2010
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12/22/2010

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F
irst of all, let me say what a great honorit is for the Clemson offensive staff tospeak to you today. On behalf of our headcoach Tommy Bowden we would like toexpress our gratitude to the AFCAand theprogram committee for this opportunity.Rick Stockstill, who is our wide receiverscoach, Burton Burns who coaches our run-ning backs and our offensive line coachRon West along with myself will each spenda little time with you this morning.As with any offensive system, severalaspects must be executed with consistentprecision in order to effectively move theball and score points. One of the mostimportant aspects that we feel is crucial toour success is the quick passing game.Because we run about 80 percent of ouroffense out of the shotgun, we must beable to execute the quick game out of thegun as well.As everyone knows, you must have crisptiming in your execution of the quick passinggame. We feel our timing is often better inthe shotgun than it would be under center.We will still go under center on occasion withthe traditional quick three-step drop (one bigand two gather steps), but we prefer to be inthe shotgun and use a catch and throw withour quick game route packages.The components of our quick gameinclude the following facets:
The Snap
One advantage of the shotgun game isthat the zone dropping linebackers or sec-ondary won't get as fast a read that a quickpass is coming as they would if the quar-terback went under center and did his quickthree-step drop. So instead of buzzing flatunderneath routes, the linebackers/defen-sive backs must hesitate a little longer toclear the run or drop-back passing game.Another advantage of the shotgun is thatthe quarterback (especially if he is undersix feet tall) can get a better pre-snap readof the defense because he is lining up fiveyards behind the line of scrimmage. Ourpre-snap read will determine which side ofthe formation the quarterback will workafter snap. If the snap is poor (extremelyhigh or low) then the shotgun becomes adisadvantage because the quarterback hasto shift his eyes completely to the ball andhe will lose his pre-snap read.We want our centers to snap the ballfirmly around chest-high and preferably tothe right side of the quarterback's chest (ifthe quarterback is right-handed). T h eimportant thing with the center snap is thatit is firm and consistent. If the snap is con-sistently to the left of the quarterback, thenyou can move the quarterback’s stance tothe left to compensate. It is also importantthat the centers work diligently on theirsnaps while taking their protection steps(either man or gap protection). It helps tohave a flexible center and he must be ableto sit on the ball to be effective. Ahigh snapis often the result of a center's rear endraising up to soon.Our quarterback will line up five yardsfrom the ball with his arms out (but elbowsbent) to receive the snap with a slightlystaggered stance (right foot to left heel)with the feet underneath the arm-pits.
The Catch and Throw
The quarterback will get a pre-snapread before the cadence and then preparehimself to catch and throw the ball asquickly as possible. We use the analogythat he is a shortstop in baseball preparingto turn the double play as he will move hiships and his feet while his hands work toget the laces on the ball. It is important thatthe quarterback work his hands and feetquickly and that he is surveying the cover-age as he gets the laces. The quarterback(with a decent snap) should be able tocatch and throw in 1.4 seconds or less. Wework on this technique more that any otherin practice and the best drill we do for thisis when we feed a quarterback five ballsfrom a bag as quick as we can and he mustcatch and throw them with accuracy.Because we will determine what side ofthe field we will attack with our pre-snapread, the quarterback's eyes can focus onthe ball with peripheral vision on that half ofthe field as he readies his feet, hips, andshoulders for the throw.And we remind ourquarterback's, timing and accuracy aremore important than velocity.
The Routes
All of our quick game routes (except thefade) have pre determined steps so it isimportant that our wide receivers get in agood stance and do not false step. They mustbe physical and quick versus press man andthey must attack the defender's outsideshoulder on the snap (slot receivers willattack over their alignment in zone coverage).
Alignment
It is very important in our many forma-tions that our wide receivers have the prop-
 
The Clemson ShotgunQuick Game PassingAttack
Brad ScottOffensiveCoordinatorClemsonUniversityClemson, S.C.Rick StockstillWide ReceiversCoachBurton BurnsRunningbacksCoachRon WestOffensive LineCoach
 
er alignment on all of our plays and spacingis very critical in our quick game. Our basealignment in our four wide receiver set hasour outside receiver to the short side (X)five yards from the sideline; our outsidewide receiver to the wide side (Z) is fiveyards outside the hash; our inside receiverto the short side of the (H) splits the differ-ence between the X and offensive tackle;our strongside slot (Y) lines up one yardinside the hash. As a general rule, in near-ly all of our formations the wide receiver willalways have five to six yards between themand the nearest offensive player. Ourreceivers have their inside foot up in theirstance.Our quarterback is five yards from theball in the shotgun, with our tailback also atfive yards directly behind the tackle.
The Protections
We will use either a gap or man protec-tion-based on our formation. However,occasionally the protection will be based onthe defensive scheme we are attacking ifthe formation allows for either man or gapprotection. In both cases, our offensive linewill be aggressive on the line of scrimmageand will attack the mid-section of the rush-ers to keep their hands down and not allowpenetration.
The Read
Most of our quick game route packagesare mirrored routes so we can work on eitherside of the defense. This allows our quarter-back to have a helpful pre-snap read and toforce the defense to balance their coveragefrom sideline to sideline. Our quarterback willalways locate the free safety before eachsnap and then take a quick pre-snap read ofthe coverage before having the ballsnapped. With the many disguises, rolledcoverages and variety of coverages that areemployed with today's defenses the quarter-back must not rely solely on the pre-snapread to determine where to throw, it will, how-ever, help him to pick a side to work. The post-snap read depends on theroute package but most of the time it is theflat defender (a corner with a two-safety lookor a Will linebacker/strong safety with a sin-gle look).
Quick Game Route Packages
We have four quick game route pack-ages that we will use in every game. Welike to use a multitude of formations witheach package, particularly with all of ourspread formations. We feel that the execu-tion of these packages is vital for us inorder to have an answer for the many dif-ferent defenses that we could face.T h e s efour packages include:
HitchWide Receivers:
Run five step hitch(sell the fade); inside foot is always up it thestance; snap head and elbow back to quar-terback on fifth snap.
Tailback:
In backfield, block protectionin no-back formation, run hitch.
Offensive Line:
Man or gap aggressionprotection.
Quarterback:
Pre-snap read for softestcoverage; if the coverage is equally soft,then work the shortest throw; post-snapread the flat defender to the side you pick.Catch and throw as quickly as possible.
Notes:
We like to throw the hitch pack-age out of many formations and the widereceiver's will not convert their route on therun if the corner squats or lines up in press.We will, however, change to another pack-age (slant or fade/bow) before the snap if wethink it is a hard, two-deep corner or if welike one of our match-ups in press coverage.
SlantWide Receivers:
Run three step slant(attack outside shoulder of defender) and inat about 45 angle. NEVER go behind thedefen der. Inside (slot) receivers should break flatter verses press coverage.
Tailbacks:
Block protection of play fakein front of the quarterback. (Diagram 4).
Offensive Line:
Man or gap aggressionprotection.
Quarterback:
Pre-snap read the cover-age; post-snap read the flat defender.Catch and throw (you may need tosqueeze the trigger and hold the ball for afraction of a second if it is Cover 3 and theflat defender sits in the throwing lane).
Notes:
We like to throw the slant ver-sus a two-deep safety defense and wewill sometimes have the back fake a runplay before he protects to hold the out-side linebackers.
Fade/BowWide Receivers:
Outside receivers (X& Z) run a fade route (must outsiderelease); inside receivers run a four-stepspeed out. (We call this a bow route) The X& Z must fight to stay at least three yards inbounds.
Ta i l b ac ks :
Block protection or playfake.
Offensive Line:
Man or gap aggressionprotection.
Quarterback:
Pre-snap read the cover-age; post-snap read the flat defender orfind the best match-up versus man cover-age. Catch and throw as quickly as possi-ble. Versus hard corner two-deep stick theball in the hole to X or Z. When throwing the
Diagram 1Diagram 2Diagram 3Diagram 4Diagram 5

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