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QB Mechanics for Mid-Line Option

QB Mechanics for Mid-Line Option

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Published by Michael Schearer

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Published by: Michael Schearer on Jan 19, 2012
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Quarterback Mechanics and Mesh for Midline Optionby Jerry Campbell
The Midline Option read is considered one of the easiest options to install due to thecloseness of the read. On the midline option which we will call 10 or 11, you willwant to run it to a 3 or 2 technique for best results and for true midline mechanics.On Midline Option you will want to teach your quarterback to read the inside jerseynumber of the defensive tackle.There are several different ways to teach the quarterback his footwork, the one I liketo teach is called push away step at 6:00 O'clock. What push away means is thatwhen the quarterback receives the football, he will push off his play side foot withthe backside foot stepping away and parallel to the line of scrimmage. After pushingoff his playside foot he then will step at 6:00 O'clock with that foot, which gets thequarterback out of the path of the fullback who is running at the mid point of thecenter. The following examples illustrate the initial footwork by the quarterback:
QB Midline Footwork
1 2 3
Example number 3 shows the quarterback out of the way of the dive back. Thequarterbacks heels and toes should be pointing towards the sideline. Quarterbackreaches the ball back to the dive back as deep as possible with his eyes on the inside jersey number of the 3 technique. By keeping your quarterback on the line of scrimmage with his initial steps and running downhill after the ball has been pulledwill help negate penetration by the defensive players.Once again the inside jersey number of the 3 or 2 technique dictates the give or pullread. The give read happens when the quarterback sees the inside jersey numbercome down or he can see the white of the number. By reaching the ball back as deepas possible for a longer ride this invites the down defender to make a decision oneway or the other now so he can't play soft in the hole, thus, being able to play bothgive and or pull. If the ride is shorten then the defender plays softer, if the ride islonger it usually brings him to the dive.A key coaching point with any dive mesh is to tell the running back to run with hiseyes and head up as he goes through the hole. Whenever the back drops his eyesand head it makes him clamp harder to the ball, if he runs with his eyes and head up
it makes for a softer pocket, smoother exchange and better mesh betweenquarterback and dive back. If the quarterback gets the give read from the downdefender he should carry his option fake on out, make the defense believe that hestill has the ball. Another point to remember here is if you, during a ball game, seethat the 3 or 2 technique is taking the quarterback and or playing upfield thencompliment the midline with the trap, this will keep the defender from playing upfieldand more apt to take the dive.The pull read by the quarterback is dictated by the down defender showing his jerseynumber to the quarterback and or just simply coming down and attacking the diveback. As the quarterback keys the inside jersey number the pull will be dictated bythe down defender taking the dive. As the quarterback reaches the ball back andrides the dive back through the hole and he pulls the ball he wants to replace thedefensive tackle taking the dive. Again, replace the down defender keeping your pathinto the line of scrimmage because this negates the penetration by the defense.Remember, you will always track the play side linebacker and free safety with twooffensive blockers: One being the playside guard and two depending upon youblocking scheme the tackle, tight end, running back, and or wing back. A problemthat usually occurs when the quarterback takes it up and into the line of scrimmageis cutting up to sharply and not allowing the second blocker to clear. Yourquarterback upon keeping the ball and turning up into the line of scrimmage shouldrun behind the second blocker coming through the line of scrimmage, keeping hispath running outside.The following examples will illustrate the quarterback's path when running up andinto the line of scrimmage:
QB Midline Path
 As I present 10 - 11 Midline Option I'm going to illustrate several different ways inwhich to install the midline. As you all know, and for those just starting out, youropponent has several ways in which to defense the midline and also take the midlineaway and dictate which person they want to carry the football.
Reduced Front Considerations
 Several other situations to consider are as follows. Most defensive coaches know thatthis play is usually a give or quarterback keep play, so, whenever the quarterbackturns upfield running the ball the defense will have their outside invert or strongsafety fall back in on the quarterback. By blocking scheme the invert is unaccountedfor and as an offense we're counting on the invert to cover the pitch player. Thepitch usually never occurs until the quarterback is downfield, thus, the invert comesoff the pitch and takes the quarterback - as the following illustration will show.
Inverted QB/Pitch Defender

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