I 1

-

Table of Contents

I. Introduction t • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 3

II. General Quarterback Terminology 7

III. Stance 10

IV. Receiving the Snap ". . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 11

V. Quarterback/Ball Carrier Exchanges 12

VI. Dropping Back to Pass ".................. . . . . . . .. 13

VII. Setting Up to Pass " 16

VIII. Delivering the Pass 18

IX. How Passes Are Thrown (Various Roues) 20

X. Theories for Effective Passing 36

3

I. Introduction

Whether he likes it or not, the quarterback IS the leader of the offense in both design and execution. His play has an unusually large influence on the degree of success of the offense. His responsibilities are many and when on the field, he must be in total command of the offense, his roles and the multitude of the ever-changing game situations he must face. The quarterback's action, execution and leadership will have a tremendous bearing on how effective the offense will be in moving the ball, scoring points and, ultimately, in helping to win. The offense, and team in general, will look to the quarterback when the going gets tough to garner the leadership and confidence necessary to pull out victory. On top of all of the fundamentals, skills, reads and knowledge a quarterback must master to succeed, he must be the true leader and winner for offensive and team success to be a possibility.

Respect and confidence by the offensive players and the rest of the team is a must. Without either, all of the skills and abilities a quarterback may possess diminish greatly. The offense must be able to believe in the checkoff the quarterback has made in a clutch situation and in the fact that he will help to start the execution of the play to precision. Without such a belief, there will rarely be the positive attitude necessary to become a great offense.

Teaching and training the quarterback is certainly special. Due to the tremendous mental and physical role responsibilities of the quarterback, he must be the most well-coached and welltaught player on the field. He is the one offensive player who must know the whys and the haws of the offensive design as well as all the demanding mechanics of his own position. I can never remember having yelled at a quarterback I've coach, ESPECIALLY in front of his peers. A quarterback needs to be taught, taught and taught again until he can teach it himself. Such teaching must take place in a positive, supportive and truly educational environment if the quarterback is to succeed. He will have all the pressure he can handle via the nature of the game's play. On a pass play, up to eight defensive players may be blitzing "full throttle" in an attempt to sack the quarterback. The quarterback doesn't need additional pressure from his coach. Instead, he needs his personal leader upon whom he can rely to help him become the best he can be. "Blow your quarterback's mind" by yelling and screaming at him and you may very well push him over the edge of what anyone individual might be able to handle. Teach and coach him to be cool, calm and collected when under the gun and you will help to produce a quarterback who runs his offense on a needed game-winning two-minute march in the fourth quarter in a cool, calm and collected fashion.'

GAINING TEAMMATE CONFIDENCE

1. The quarterback must know exactly what play and formation to call before he enters the huddle. He must be positive and assertive in his tone. He must be sure the offense can sense his confidence in them and in himself.

2. The quarterback must speak up clearly and distinctly in the huddle ... he must E-N-U·-N-C-I-A-T-E clearly!

3. The quarterback must give a clear and positive sounding snap count.

4. The quarterback can't be phony ... he must BE HIMSELF!

5. The quarterback must take charge in the huddle. He must command respect.

6. The quarterback must concentrate to avoid the silly error (going the wrong way, missing the snap count).

7. The quarterback must always be positive both in his support and command. The rest of the offense must be made to feel that they can get the job done no matter how far removed success may seem.

8. MOST IMPORTANT. .. THE QUARTERBACK MUST HAVE CONFIDENCE IN HIMSELF! .

GAINING TEAMMATE RESPECT

1. The quarterback should never criticize a fellow player on or off the field.

2. The quarterback must take responsibility for a poor play if he was in any way involved.

3. The quarterback must congratulate his teammates on a good play (especially the linemen).

4. The quarterback must never make excuses.

5.

The quarterback should execute his assignments with precision on every play. His teammates are always watching him.

6. The quarterback must set the pace for execution of the "little things" that can make the difference (e.g., faking).

7. THE QUARTERBACK MUST ALWAYS HUSTLE ... HE MUST NEVER BE LAZY!

8. The quarterback must always have words of belief and support for a player or players after .a temporary setback.

The quarterback will be asked to give more of his time than any other position on the team.

Often an offense is only as good as its quarterback. Therefore, he must know more and be more polished than any other player. A great deal of his time will be spent in the following areas:

Watching Film - There is no way he can watch enough film of opponents. It is the only way to get to know the strengths, weaknesses, structures, fronts, coverages, stunts and blitzes of the opposing defenses and their individual players. However, the coach must be sure that he is helping his quarterback account for what he is watching. Let your quarterback chart the coverages used by an opponent and tally how many times those coverages are used. Of course, you, as the coach, must check to be sure he is right. Let your quarterback suggest what are the top five pass plays that should be used versus a particular opponent and let him tell you why he thinks so. Such an exercise helps you to find out what he truly understands about an opponent and what he understands about applying your offensive attack against that opponent. Two days before a game, r have my quarterbacks list the best ten pass plays combined with the formation

4

5

to be used that they feel will ensure us ten straight completions. Again, this helps the coach to determine what the quarterback does or does not know after a week of film study and game preparation.

Study Defenses - As a quarterback, he must know as much as possible about the defenses he will face. HI~ must know the theory, basic alignments and strengths and weaknesses of the most common defenses he will see. I say common. Do not teach the old Wide Tackle-6 defense to your quarterback if no one in your league uses such a defense. There's enough for your quarterback to learn without cluttering his minds with possibly obsolete information. We will often show our quarterbacks a training film of the basic defenses we see from our opponents. We will test our quarterbacks off that video or ask them to verbally explain the fronts, coverages and stunts and blitzes seen. This is a good off-season exercise.

Coverages·- The quarterback must know what type of coverage goes with what front. What coverage is dictated by a specific alignment? What coverage takes away what route or pattern and what is given up or taken away by each coverage? We like to utilize a coverage video made up of various examples of different coverages. Again, the quarterback can be tested on what he seE'S on the training video verbally or in written fashion.

Skill Learning - The quarterback must be adept in the fundamental skills of his position. The snap exchange, steps, pivots, fakes and ball handling must be mastered. When he knows his techniques weH enough to teach it to others, he then knows it well enough. We like to have our quarterbacks return for pre-season camp and actually make a training video of about 25 key skills (e.g., footwork on our five base run plays, option skills, the three types of five-step drop actions we utilize). His personal video will act as a test of his knowledge as he returns for fall practice. Also, watching film of himself in past games or scrimmages is the best way to observe and correct his own quarterback faults.

Know the Plays - The quarterback must know the plays of his offense inside and out. He must know the routes and adjustments, the total backfield action and the basic blocking designs of each play. Testing of playbook knowledge is a must. We like to make our quarterbacks go to the blackboard or grease board and test them by having them diagram our plays and reads.

Check-Offs .- The quarterback has to know what and where and to what play to check to, along with how and WHY. Again, video training tapes help to teach the quarterback how to execute a check-off or check-with-me system. To help both the quarterback and the offense learn and practice the check-off system, we will often tell the quarterback to make three consecutive "checks" at the line of scrimmage on one play after the huddle break when at the line of scrimmage.

Snap Count - All the quarterbacks must develop a constant snap count. It is important that all the quarterbacks sound as much alike as possible so if a quarterback change is made in the

middle of a drive, it does not disrupt the tempo of the offense. « .'

Dedication -- Most of all, the quarterback must be dedicated. He cannot be proficient in any of the preceding areas unless he is committed to becoming great. He must worry about one thing - IMPROVING. He must strive to become the best he can possibly be.

Improvement - The quarterback cannot worry about anything except his own self-improvement. Such self-improvement can truly only come over the long haul. Total success comes through strings of small successes pieced together. The quarterback shouldn't worry about his up-todate statistics or his previous games' performance. He must strive to get better each and every practice, each and every game, each and every quarter and each and every play. A mistake is not a mistake if one learns from the error. The quarterback must worry only about getting better each and every opportunity he has to do so. The only thing he can control is his own destiny. That is what he must concentrate on.

7

II. General Quarterback Terminology

Below the Shoulder Pads - Where all the medium and deep crossing and come-back-to-theball type passes must be thrown. A high ball allows for a safety strip of the ball through the receiver's arms.

Bring Receiver Back to Ball - Where the ball should be thrown on all intermediate and deep type passes in which the receiver works his route back in to the quarterback. This thought coincides with throwing below the receiver's shoulder pads. However, due to the position of the defender, the ball still should be thrown to the side of the receiver opposite the coverage side of the defender.

Downhill- The attacking 30 degree angle (downhill) option course executed AT TOP SPEED by the option quarterback. This puts pressure on the pitch defender to force him to make a quick decision.

Drill- Putting low trajectory on a pass with a greater degree of force. Another term for drilling the ball is "throw a rope." The quarterback, however, must still be coqnizant of the possible need to throw over-the-top of linebackers even though a drill pass is necessary.

Dump - A quick overhand release of the ball to drill a tight end, slot back or back in a vacated linebacker area. Such a pass must come off of a high release to get the ball over the frontal pass rush.

Finesse - Putting varied "touches" on a pass release to drop a pass in, spin a ball in, etc. Proper toque, body rolling over the top of the step foot, allows the quarterback to "finesse" a pass since getting his body into the throw will provide needed power. Follow through, however, is allimportant onfinesse throws to allow the ball to drop in properly.

Finger Follow-Through - The extra emphasis of following through with the index finger of the throwing hand on a dump type pass, a sprint-out pass or any pass in which the quarterback may have problems stepping into the throw with his body. If the quarterback can't get his body into the throw, the more the need for finger follow-through,

Forcing the Ball-· The attempt of "cramming the ball" to a receiver when he is covered by the pass defense .. Forcing the ball leads to interceptions, If a receiver is not open NOW, scan to the next receiver in the pattern,

Full Cock - The point at which the quarterback's shoulder does not have to be brought back (cocked) any further prior to delivering a pass. Keeping the ball UP during the cock action goes hand in hand.

Full Sprint - The passing action in which the quarterback attempts to break contain. Often used on bootleg and waggle action as well.

Hang - Putting high trajectory on a passed ball. The quarterback must be sure to follow through to the zenith point of the pass so that the ball drops in nose down.

High Throwing Platform - The upper part of the body used in the actual throwing action. Quarterbacks want to operate with a high throwing platform. The quarterback cannot have a high throwing platform if his throwing elbow is tucked in tight to his body. The quarterback must divorce his upper throwing platform from his lower running platform on a sprint-out or roll-our type passing to enable a maintenance of a high throwing platform.

Hole - Area between two pass defenders. Also known as the "void."

Key: -. The specific defender read to determine which receiver to throw to.

Launch Point - The point from which the quarterback delivers his pass, be it set-up or on the move. This is the position for which the pass protection utilized is focused.

Look Off - The action of looking off in the opposite direction that the quarterback intends to throw prior to his actual read and pass action.

L.O.s. - Commonly used abbreviation for "Line of Scrimmage."

Move Action - Setting up at a passing launch point somewhere in the vicinity of the tackle. (Sometimes used as a term to denote all passing action in which the quarterback throws on the

run.)

Parallel Shoulders - The quarterback's maintenance of level shoulders all throughout any pivoting or reserve pivoting hand-off action. (AVOID lifting up and down at all costs to allow for a level hand-off action.)

Plant Step - The final step of a quarterback's drop back and set-up action to stop his backward. momentum which allows him to set up to deliver his pass.

Press - The actual placement and press of the ball on the imaginary "spot" (dead center) on the ball carrier's pouch two inches above the belly button. Pressing disallows any sliding action of the ball in the pouch/pocket of the running back.

Pressure - The upward lift of the top hand with the bottom hand under the seam of the center's pants prior to a center's snap. PRESSURE MUST BE CONSTANT AND MUST RIDE THE CENTER'S MOVEMENT.

08 Draw - The run scramble aspect every single pass play in an offense contains. If the receivers are covered, the quarterback shouldn't eat the ball. He should QB draw and get to the LOS first and then gain positive yardage.

Read - The determination of what the defense (and specific keys) are doing after the snap of . the ball to determine which route the quarterback should throw to.

Ride - Sinking and pressing of fake as long as possible in the faking back's belly to sell the fake action.

8

9

Scan Principle - The principle that states that the quarterback should get off of his prime read if the read does not look good when the quarterback hits his plant foot of his drop. Instead, he should go to his outlet routes. If in doubt, SCAN to your outlet routes. If you wait, rarely does the

prime route get better. It almost always gets worse. .

Soft of Your Belly - The quarterback's holding of the ball on the "soft" of his belly to the side and just above ·the junction of his leg and torso with one hand as he fakes with the other hand.

Spin the Bailin - A firm but not overpowering pass to a short receiver (usually a back or TE) which necessitates a great amount of finger follow-through to put the ball on the money.

Stand Tall .- The act of maintaining a straight back and a sticking out of the chest by the quarterback: to stand as erect as possible when behind the center. This allows for the best quarterback visioning when under the center.

Stepping f()r Pass Direction - The quarterback's stepping at the point he wants to throw the ball to. He steps for direction only, not for follow-through. (NEVER overstride.)

Third Hand - The quarterback's bringing the ball to his stomach (the "third" hand) directly after the snap of the ball or after a fake for protection of the ball. (Seat the ball.)

Throttle - The next to the last step on a drop-back set-up preceding a quarterback's plant step in which he shortens his steps, starts his lean back towards the line of scrimmage and brings his body under control to set-up.

Torgue - The quarterback's maximum use of body movement to provide maximum power and follow-through on a pass. Proper torque has the body rolling over the top of the forward step foot.

Trajectory -- The varying degrees of arch (height) a quarterback must put on a pass to get the ball to a receiver. The quarterback must follow through to the zenith point of the arch to get the ball to drop in nose down.

Tumble - The end-aver-end turning action of the ball when pitched on option action. This is the easiest pitch action for a pitch-back to catch.

Zenith - The highest point through which a ball must pass (and the point to which the quarterback must follow through to) to properly throw a deep pass with hang, allowing the ball to drop into the receiver nose down.

III. Stance

Key Points:

1. Feet shoulder width apart. Too wide a stance produces false stepping.

2. The quarterback can utilize a slight stagger of the feet (toe to instep). However, the stagger of the feet must be consistent so as to not provide a tip-off key for the defense.

3. Toes pointed slightly inward to create a "digging in" action of the inside cleats for best push-off.

4. The heels of the feet should lightly touch the ground so that the majority of the body weight is on the balls of the feet. This helps to avoid flat-footed ness.

5. The knees should be slightly flexed to create an athletic carry of the body.

6. "Stand tall," ... chin up, chest out. This will best enable the quarterback to vision the defense in front of him. No hunching over (rounded back) action or vision will be cut off.

7. Align close enough to the center to allow for arm bend. Arm bend allows for a proper riding action of the center.

10

11

IV. RecE~iving the Snap

Key Points:

1. Precise and consistent hand positioning is the first key.

2. The top hand (throwing hand) is placed comfortably under the center's rump. The fingers are well spread with the palm facing down at the ground.

3. The middle finger is place directly on the center's pant seam. All other fingers of the top hand press upward to make contact with the center's pants.

4. The thumb of the top hand is spread in such a manner as to nearly be parallel to the line of scrimmage.

5. The bottom hand is placed in position so that the thumbs of both hands mesh comfortably.

The knuckles offset so that the bottom hand is slightly behind the top hand.

6. The bottom hand places the upward pressure on the top hand creating the hand pressure up under the center.

7. This pressure and contact is maintained all throughout the snap. The top hand remains in contact with the center's rump until the actual snap of the ball places the ball in the

quarterback's full control. '

8. Good bottom hand pressure will guarantee good contact between the bottom hand and the top hand and between the top hand and the center's rump.

9. In a perfect snap, the fingers of the throwing hand should receive the laces in such a manner that the ball is ready to be thrown with a minimum of adjustment.

10. After the ball is secured, it should immediately be brought to the stomach for control and safety.

V. Quarterback/Bali Carrier Exchanges

Key Points:

1. All hand-off action is executed from the soft of the belly.

2. Take a proper front out or reverse pivot step on a course which will not interfere with the run course of the ball carrier.

3. Step for the exchange point with depth. The deeper the exchange, the better the cut angles for. the ball carrier.

4. All hand-off action is executed with parallel shoulders to best mesh with the ball carrier for the exchange. Do not raise up and down as you approach the ball carrier. Such action may force a hand-off action on a downward angle which could hit the ball carrier's upper arm.

5. All hand-offs (one-handed or two-handed) are placed and pressed on the money (dead center of the soft spot of the stomach, approximately two inches above the belly button).

6. Press the ball. Do not let it slide across the ball carrier's bel/y.

7. Execute a perfect hand-off ... THEN fake. Faking before or during the exchange action can lead to exchange miscue.

8. On dive option action, ride the ball to your belt buckle (to a parallel to L.O.S. position) and then pull it back to your sternum. Riding the ball any further into the L.O.S. can create serious mesh problems.

9. Option attack downhHl on 30 degree angle. Pressure the defense to react to you ... do not let the . opposite occur.

10. . On the downhill option attack course, the worst mistake the 08 can make is to flatten out and/or slow down. Such action plays into the hands of a slow-playing end of line defender.

11. Use peripheral vision to know where the pitch back is. Know to whom and where you are pitching.

NEVER pitch on the blind.

12. If in doubt, DON'T PITCH. Keep the ball and head north-south.

13. Pitch the ball from the sternum. A low carriage of the ball results in a "slinging" action ... a hard pitch which explodes upward into the face of the pitch back.

14. On either the thumbs down outward rotation of the hand pitch or the basketball toss pitch, the OS must be sure to follow through to the pitch point. .. one to one and one-half yards in front of the pitch back, belt buckle high. A high follow-through release results in a high pitch as a low follow release results in a low pitch.

15. The pitch should be a soft tumbling pitch that drops in end-aver-end into the pitch back's hands, belt buckle level high.

12

13

VI. Dropping Back to Pass

Key Points:

.

1. Maximum depth on all drops is a must. This will aid the blocking scheme, give you more time to read your keys and allow you to step up into the pocket if excess rush occurs from the outside.

2. Initial concentration is on the stepping action of the first drop step. Step for depth with as close to a 1800 step action as possible. Body lean on an approximately 600 angle tilt helps to ensure depth of step away from the L.C.S.

3. A three-step drop utilizes one depth step. A five-step drop utilizes three and a seven step drop utilizes five depth steps.

4. No matter how many depth steps are taken (one, three or five), all effort is made to take as deep a step or cross-over step as possible assisted by the approximate 600 angle tilt or lean of the body.

5. During the depth steps, the quarterback should rock the ball tightly across his sternum or upper belly. Elbows should be in close to the body to ensure a tight and efficient drop back action.

6. Elbows that are out away from the body during the rocking action tend to produce a floppy, shortened drop.

7. The quarterback should not "prance" during his depth stepping action (a high kneed drop stepping action in which the quarterback does not have a BOa angle tilt or lean of the body). Prancing shortens the quarterback's drop depth since the steps are shorter.

8. The last two steps of a three, five or seven step drop back action are the cross-over throttle step and the back foot plant step.

9. On the next-to-last cross-over throttle step, the quarterback brings his body under control by shortening the cross-over stepping and bringing the body back towards a perpendicular

to the ground positioning. .

10. The final plant step brings the quarterback back to his full, upright controlled passing stance.

11. On highly-timed quick passes thrown to the left (for a right-handed quarterback), the quarterback should utilize two cheat steps on his throttle-plant stepping action so that he can cheat-turn his hips to the left as he sets. To have his hips set with a turn to the left, the quarterback does not fully cross his cross-over, throttle-step backwards. Instead, he steps slightly forward towards the right sideline. On his fifth plant step, the quarterback swings his right/back foot around to the right to turn his hips to the left.

®

.,'

it

Cheated F&rth: and Fifth Throttle/Plant Steps to Open a Right-Handed Quarterback's Hips to the Left

12. Depth from the L.O.S. on a five-step drop should be approximately seven yards. A sevenstep drop depth should be approximately nine yards. (A three-step drop varies in depth from three to four yards depending on the quickness of the throw.)

13. Be sure not to over-drop in depth. Too deep a drop facilitates easier outside rush lanes for outside defensive rushers and, subsequently, more difficult offensive line blocking angles. Usually, however, too short of a drop is the problem ... not over-droppinp.

14. On sprint-out or roll-out pass actions, the initial three- or five-step depth steps (for fiveand seven-step sprint or roll action) is changed only by the lateral sprint-out or roll-out course. Depth from the L.O.S. is still a key.

15. The fourth step on a five-step sprint-out or rolJ-out action or the sixth step on a seven-step sprint-out or roll-out action is a flattened, just slightly more than a parallel to the L.O.S. step to help turn the body back to the L.O.S. By stepping up into the line of scrimmage slightly, the body is forced to turn up towards the line of scrimmage.

®

It is important to note that for a right-handed quarterback, one extra step is added to a typically timed five- or seven-step sprint-out or roll-out action to accommodate the need to step at the target with the right foot.

14

15

16. The final step "(fifth step right on a five-step timed sprint-out or roll-out action right and the sixth step left on a five-step timed sprint-out or roll-out action left) (seventh step on a seven-step timed sprint-out or roll-out action right and the eight step on a seven-step timed sprint-out or roll-out action left) works the quarterback's body back up into the L.O.S. on an approximate 450- angle (or, more precisely, at the throw target spot) and becomes the actual throwing step foot when working to the right for a right-handed quarterback. Again, an extra step is needed for a right-handed quarterback working to his left. (See diagram for 15.)

VII. Setting Up to Pass

Key Points:

1. The ball should be gripped comfortably by the fingers, the thumb and heel of the hand.

2. The ball should not be palmed, nor should the index finger be too far from the end of the . ball. Both actions can force a hard, nose-down ball which is hard to catch.

3. If there is no "air" between the ball and the quarterback's palm, he is "palming" the ball.

4. On the drop back plant step, the quarterback should be in an upright position with slight knee bend. (Locked legs produce flat-footedness.) The slight knee bend allows for an athletic setup.

5. The quarterback's feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. They are better off being too close together than too wide apart to accommodate proper pass delivery stepping.

6. Slightly more weight should be distributed on the back foot in the passing stance to allow for proper forward pass delivery stepping. In addition, the majority of the body weight should be distributed on the balls of both feet to assure a more athletic carriage of the body.

7. The ball is held in a gathered position somewhere in the vicinity of the front of and above the rear breast so that the ball has a minimum distance to go backwards for the delivery motion. (All quarterbacks differ in the actual carriage of the bali.)

8. The ball should, however, not beheld so closely to the body that it restricts the delivery motion of the arm in any way. (Nor should the ball be held too low as this slows the actual delivery of the pass since the ball has to be drawn back further to fully cock the bali.)

9. The free hand is placed on the ball during the setup action to help provide ball security in case the quarterback is blind-side tackled.

10. The back shoulder of the setup must be fully cocked so that the shou Ider does not have to be drawn back any further to deliver the pass. (The need for further shoulder cocking action is another hindrance to a quick release.)

11. During the pass delivery, the throwing wrist must be kept firm and straight (but not locked) to produce a tight spin on the ball. When the ball is drawn back, the front nose of the ball will face backwards. However, the quarterback does not want to break his wrist during this drawing back of the ball action.

12. The quarterback follows through to the pass delivery point with his index finger and a downward rotation of the thumb to help produce a natural, screwball-type delivery.

13. The ball should be released with a snapping action of the wrist and a full extension, or lock, of the elbow to help provide maximum velocity.

16

17

14. To provide greater heights or trajectory to a pass, the quarterback still works to transfer his body weight from his back foot to his front foot during the delivery of the pass. (Sitting on the back foot when trying to add trajectory to the pass will only cause the ball to lose its power and die nose up once it reaches its zenith point.)

15. From a less than parallel to the ground tilt or positioning of the shoulders and throwing arm, the quarterback transfers his body weight to his front foot with all follow-through action directed to the zenith (highest) point of the pass. Such follow-through helps produce a pass that drops in with the nose down for maximal pass power. (Sitting on the back foot causes the nose of the ball to stay up once it reaches the zenith point, producing a loss of power on descent.)

16. On sprint-out or roll-out action in which the quarterback throws on the move, it is important for thE:! quarterback to divorce his upper torso throwing action from his lower body running action during the throwing action.

17. Durinq move-out throwing, the quarterback must be sure that all proper arm- and chestforward throwing action used from a set position is maintained.

18. On sprint-out or roll-out action, extra emphasis is placed on getting the shoulders turned to the delivery point (especially to the left for a right-handed quarterback), driving the ball with the chest, an overhand delivery and handlindex finger follow-through.

19. The actual sprint-out/roll-out pass delivery is made over the right foot (for a right-handed quarterback) as the upper torso rolls over the right step while the pass is being delivered. Follow-through then naturally falls through to the next, left foot, step. (For this reason, a right-handed quarterback takes an extra step on a five- or seven-step sprint-out or roll-out throw to his 1eft.)

20. A poor sprint-out or roll-out pass delivery is usually the result of a low carriage of the upper torso" improper body positioning at the delivery point, lack of index finger follow-through and a stepping action towards the sideline rather than at the target point of the pass.

r'

VIII. Delivering the Pass

Key Points:

1. From a proper set with a fully cocked throwing shoulder, the quarterback uses the heel of his free hand to help push the ball back up to its cocked throwing position (off and above the back shoulder and slightly away from the body).

2. It is important for the throwing elbow to also be drawn back and up so that the throwing arm works towards a parallel to the ground position! (Such arm positioning varies from quarterback to quarterback. The quarterback must feel comfortable.)

3. Shoulder and throwing arm positioning from a parallel to ground alignment will also vary with the desired height trajectory of the pass. The higher the desired height, the greater will be the tilt of the shoulder and arm angle from a parallel to the ground position.

4. No matter what the trajectory of the pass, the quarterback wants to avoid a body positioning or stance in which the throwing elbow is tucked in tight to the body. A tightly tucked throwing elbow leads to back foot throwing (poor body torque in relation to transferring body weight from the back foot to the front foot during the actual delivery of the pass).

5. The actual delivery of the pass is a desired overhand (over the top of the ear) delivery much like a baseball catcher's peg to second base. Many quarterbacks will feel substantially more comfortable with a plane less than directly overhead. However, stress. on as high a release as possible is important to assist in a full range of throwing motion (and to help throw over the raised hands of the pass rushers).

6. Forward motion of the actual pass delivery begins with a coordinated lead of the free hand and arm and the forward stepping action of the front foot.

7. The free hand and arm and the front step foot extend out directly at the target spot (actual delivery point) of the pass.

8. The quarterback then emphasizes driving the football by sticking out and directing an expanded chest cavity directly at the delivery point of the pass. (An expanded, lifted chest helps to promote maximum body torque and power in the delivery of the pass.

9. The forward, overhand delivery motion of the upper torso is actually a coordinated, continuous movement with the stepping out action of the forward foot and the whipping action of the hips as they, also, attempt to drive the football.

10. The front step is not a big step. It must be short enough to force the upper torso to actually roll, or fall over the planted front foot. Too big a front step forces the upper torso to position its weight towards the back foot (back foot throwing) with SUbstantial loss of pass delivery torque and power.

18

19

11. On quick fade throw actions to the corner of the end zone, the quarterback uses a one step and gather (with the second step) action to quickly release the fade pass. Due to the quickness of the pass, there is no actual step at the target spot as the pass delivery is made.

12. On a quick three-, five- or seven-step timed throw, the action is plant (on the third, fifth or seventh step) step and throw.

13. On most five- and seven-step timed throws, the quarterback will actually hit his plant step, pop up with two short, quick balance steps before he steps to throw.

14. On some delayed flve- and seven-step timed throws, the quarterback will (provided that the protection is not backing up in his face) actually use two hitch-up steps. rather than pop-up steps to step towards the target point before executing his final direction step on the pass delivery. Such hitch-up action is used on longer developing route/pass throws such as hooks or deep streak routes. Again, hitch-up abilities depend on protection abilities, since it is difficult to hitch up into an offensive line that is backing up into his face due to the pass rush.

IX. How Passes Are Thrown (Various Routes)

20

A. Wide Receiver and Tight End Routes

1.

Across (Cross)

Throw beneath the receiver's shoulder pads. Lead man-taman receiver. NEVER throw behind the receiver. Stick receiver in zone void as he throttles in opening. (From quick five-step to delayed seven-step timed drop for 08.) .

oN " ... 7

ACROSS (Cross)

2.

Choice (Option)

Drill beneath shoulder pads to the breast opposite the nearest zone defender. If man coverage, lead receiver across the formation or to outside (depending on man break of receiver). NEVER throw behind the receiver. Stick receiver in zone void as he throttles in opening. (Usually a fas~~Yf-step timed drop.)

....... ---:::,....--..-

fYl OJJ fV\0v'J 2::tJNe. ~~

®oo

o

o

CHOICE (Option) *Depth Depends On Jam on L.O.S.

21

3. Comeback Out (Deep Out)

Drill a low, driving pass at the receiver's outside hip. Bring the receiver back to the sideline. Timing is a key. Throw as the r.eceiver throttles on his stem, not after he breaks. (Seven- or fivestep timed pop-up drop.)

)

00<8>000

COMEBACK OUT (Deep Out) *Depth varies per design

4.

Drag (Smash, Under)

Lead the receiver tightly into the zone void keeping the ball beneath the receiver's shoulder pads. 0/s. man, the throw becomes an Across route throw.) The pass may range from a drill pass to a finesse pass depending on the distance from the quarterback and tightness of the coverage. (Normally a delayed five- or seven-step timed drop.)

<8>000

oo®

DRAG (Smash, Under)

5.

Dump (Hot)

oo®

A quick dart-type throw to a tight end or slot back receiver thrown just below the receiver's chin (or in the helmet area). Lead (bend) receiver to the inside slightly. Too Iowa Dump (Hot) pass gets knocked down at the L.O.S. Too high a Dump (Hot) pass makes the tight end (slot back) vulnerable to stripping. Extra finger followthrough is a key since the OS may not be able to get his body into the throw. (Usually a quick three-step timed dump release.)

"'Across Dump (Hot) or Flat Dump (Hot)

) 1 \ ,

00<2>

ACROSS DUMP (Hot)

I I I I

®oo

DUMP (Hot)

Thrown similarly to Dump (Hot) throw except

that the quarterback leads the receiver tightly across the formation or out to the sideline. (Usually a quick threeto five-step timed dump release.)

<8>00

FLAT DUMP (Hot)

22

MOJJ

.~------

6.

Fade

1'2-

A quick, high trajectory pass which drops the ball (fades ball) to the sideline away from the man coverage defender. Proper hang is the key. Let receiver run under the ball and give him a chance to make the catch by releasing the ball quickly. Never throw the ball out of bounds. (Quick three-step timed drop. Inside the 10 yard line, the OS uses a two-step pop-back off the L.O.S. action for an even quicker release.)

7.

Flag

oo®ooo

FADE

Lead the inside receiver upfield into zone void 18 to 20 yards deep. If man, lead the receiver to the sideline away from the man coverage. (Five-step timed pop-up drop.)

oo®

FLAG

23

24

8.

Flat (Arrow)

Throw shoulder high leading the receiver tightly to the . sideline. NEVER throw behind the receiver. (Five-step timed pop-up drop.)

®ao

FLAT (Arrow)

9.

Hitch (Quick Stop)

Drill ball from the middle of the receiver to his back breast. Keep the ball below his shoulder pads. (Quick three-step timed drop.)

oo®ooo

HITCH (Quick Stop)

25

10. Hook (Curl)

Throw below the shoulder pads and slightly to the inside of the receiver. Bring the receiver back to you. NEVER throw high (allows defender to strip the bali). Throw to receiver's outside only when man covered from inside. (Seven- or five-step timed hitch-up or pop-up drop.)

11-

00<8>000 HOOK (Curl) "Depth varies per design

A firm pass 20 to 22 yards deep to an inside receiver which attempts to split two deep safeties. Drop the ball in over the linebackers. Any deeper than 22 yards allows the two deep safeties a good anqte to inter-cept the ball. (Five-step timed pop-up drop.)

1

C;~

11. Middle

o

o

MIDDLE

12. Out (Speed Out)

12-...-- __

*

Throw shoulder high. Lead receiver tightly to sideline pushing the receiver upfield to 12 yards. NEVER throw behind the receiver. (Five-step timed pop-up drop.)

to

00<&>000

OUT (Speed Out)

Some OUTS are run as short Comeback Outs in which the receiver stems to 12 (or 15) yards and drives back to 10 (or 12) yards. (This pass is thrown off a five-step timed pop-up drop instead of a seven-step timed pop-up drop.)

oo®ooo

SHORT (Comeback) OUTS

26

27

13. Post

/

A below-the-shoulder pads throw. DRILL the ball into the receiver tightly just after his break (actually, throw as he is breaking). Never loft unless you are throwing an "over-the-top" post because the receiver has gotten behind the secondary. (Five-step timed pop-up drop. as may go to seven-step timed pop-up if he knows he is throwing "over-the-top.")

ooo®

POST

14. Post Corner

Drop ball into zone void toward flag or sideline. The degree of lead to the flag or flattening-out action to the sideline depends on the type of zone or man coverage seen. Timing release of ball is the key. The ball should be thrown as the receiver makes his post fake, not after he has made his final corner break. (Seven-step timed

pop-up drop.) ~O

"~ 11-

\'2 ...

00<8> POST CORNER

(Into Zone Void)

®oo POST CORNER

(Flattened vs. Deep Zone Coverage)

I~

00<8>

<800

POST CORNER 0Is. Man Coverage)

POST CORNER

015. Coverage Receiver Can Beat Deep)

POST CORNER

15. Quick Out

Throw shoulder high. Lead receiver tightly to sideline pushing the receiver upfield to six yards. NEVER throw behind the receiver. (Quick threestep timed drop.)

28

ooo®oo

QUICK OUT

1i3. Rollaway

17. Rollback

f~

Drill ball tightly to outside breast of receiver, below his shoulder pads, as he "rolls away" to the sideline. (Highly timed five-step pop-up drop.)

Il-

00<8>000

ROLLAWAY

Drill ball tightly to outside hip to breast of receiver, below his shoulder pads, as he "rolls back" to sideline and L.O.S. (Highly timed seven-step pop-up drop.)

18

oo®ooo

ROLLBACK

29

18. Seam (Alley)

19. Slant (Quick Post)

/

Lead inside receiver into the zone void halfway out to the flat area off of his twelve yard stem action. The pass may range from a drill pass to a finesse pass depending on the coverage. Keep the ball slightly below the receiver's shoulder pads to prevent stripping. (Five-step timed popup drop.)

<2>00

SEAM (Alley)

Throw the ball low beneath the receiver's shoulder pads and to inside. Try to stick the ball tightly to the receiver's inside breast. The pass isactually a quick post. (Quick three-step timed drop.)

oo®

SLANT (Quick Post)

30

20. Square-In

A below-the-shoulder-pads throw which leads the receiver into a zone void or across the field versus man coverage. Be ready for the receiver to throttle down in the zone void. If man, lead the receiver across the field to a greater degree. (Usually delayed five- or seven-step timed hitchup drop.)

Square-Ins can be run as Post Square-Ins in which the square-in action is run off of a post stem. The routes are thrown to identically. (Post Square-Ins, however, usually take longer to develop and are often thrown with delayed five- or seven-step

timed hitch-up drops.) ""-fNJ ,g

~

00<8>00

SQUARE-IN *Oepth varies per design

*

)0

oo®ooo POST SQUARE-IN *Depth varies per design

31

~ I

I

21. Streak (Deep)

0Is. erage

Receiver Can Beat Deep)

22. Take-Off

A high trajectory pass which leads the receiver straight upfield if the receiver beats the coverage deep or to the outside (fade to the sideline) if the receiver is covered tightly. Proper hang is more important than distance. The quarterback must release the ball quickly enough so the receiver can run under the ball. Following through to the zenith point is of utmost importance so that the ball _ drops in nose down. The quarterback must never throw the ball out of bounds. (Five- or seven-step tim d hitchup drop.)

ooo®oo STREAK (Deep)

(Faded to Side me Vs. Tight Coverage)

-

Used as a two deep adjustment route. The route

necessitates a drill pass in the two deep hole between the squatted corner and the safety 20 to 22 yards deep. Any deeper allows for a good interception angle for the safety. (Vs. a two deep structure, the OB uses a fast five-step timed drop.)

<8>000

TAKE-OFF

32

33

B. Back routes
1. Across (Cross)
2. Choice (Option)
3. Drag (Smash, Under)
4. Dump (Hot)
5. Flat (Arrow)
6. Post-Corner
7. Seam (Alley)
8. Control (Dump, Stop) * All thrown in the same fashion as to the Wide Receivers and Tight End

A firm, finesse pass directly at the back's nose. Spin the ball in. If he's angled upfield, throw to his front number. Keep ball below the back's shoulder pads to prevent stripping. Don't overpower the balL.the back's too close, (Usually a delayed five- or seven-step timed drop.)

CONTROL (Dump, Stop)

9.

Delay

A firm, finesse pass. Spin the qall into the back's front number. Keep the ball below the back's shoulder pads to prevent stripping. Don't overpowerthe ball .. .the back's too close. Try to throw to the back in the guard-tackle area so he can best cut north-south. Can also be run by tight end or slot back. (Usually a delayed five- or seven-step timed drop.)

oo®oo o

DELAY

10. Half Swing

A firm finesse pass thrown across the back's numbers to his outside, upfield number. Lead him slightly towards the L.O.s. enabling the back to catch the ball two to three yards behind the L.O.S. for best cutting ability. Don't overpower the ball ... the back's too close. (Usually a delayed five- or seven-step timed drop.)

34

®ooo o

o

HALF SWING

3

11. Swing

A firm pass thrown across the back's number to his outside, upfield number. Lead him towards the L.a.s. enabling the back to catch the ball directly at or just behind the L.O.S. (Usually a delayed five- or seven-step timed drop.)

oo®ooo o

SWING

t

FS

A drill type pass thrown in the two deep "hole" between the squatted corner and the two deep safety 20 to 22 yards deep. Thrown exactly as a wide receiver's TAKE-OFF route. (Could be a deep streak-type throw if back beats the cover deep.)

12. Wheel (Around)

o

00<8> o

WHEEL (Around)

x.

Theories for Effective Passing

1 ..

I

Sum of Your Patterns (AND THE INDIVIDUAL ROUTES That Make Up the Patterns) Attack the Field

Horizontally from sideline to sideline.

Vertically from the line of scrimmage to the end zone.

Overlay thinking. (Lay all of your base patterns on overlays on top of one another. Do they attack all of these areas?)

DEEP OUTSIDE 1/3

DEEP MIDDLE 1/3

DEEP OUTSIDE 1/3 .

FLAT

HOOK! CURL

I- - - - - -r- - - - - -t-- - - - - - I- - - - - -r- _

2. Use Horizontal Width of Field

MIDDLE

HOOK! CURL

FLAT

Expansion and Contraction Theory (Tighter formations for outside patterns to tighten the defense. Wider formations for inside patterns to spread the defense.) Maximum splits for inside routes to, again, spread the defense.

Disguise the splits on runs.

f I

I I J I

OQ~OCO r

J

r

36

3. Stretch the Vertical Length of the Field

Blow top of coverage deep with deep throwing threats. To do this, however, you MUST throw deep.

Expand the Intermediate Zone by throwing deep.

Throw deep quickly (three-step, five-step drops). Don't let receivers outrun the QB's arm with 7-9 step timed drops. You CAN throw deep effectively with an average-armed OB if the throws are quick.

Don't bring too many RECEIVERS (and, as a result, DEFENDERS) around the ball. Cluttered patterns become more cluttered due to the extra defenders brought around the ball.

L5""

Proper horizontal and vertica displacement of Receivers to help spread the

defense. I I

I I

ro I

f

I

4. Don't Let Routes Bleed

10

5.

o c, 00 Route Depth by Timing of patt~

There must be a coordination of the timing of the OB's drop and the timing ofthe receivers' routes.

Three-step drop = 5 to 6 yard routes, 1-, 2- or 3-step break routes or fades.

Five-step drop = 12-15 yard routes.

I'l.:

00<&>00 o

even-step drop = 18 yard range.

~~~~~

6. *ZONE = THROITLE (SETILE) IN THE ZONE VOID

)0

.' .. !

\ I

1'1

Be a steady target in the zone void. Avoid stopping. Try to settle down in the void..

<8>00

Know the difference between a hard zone and an easy zone. In an "EASY" zone, settle down early since the defender has overcommitted away. On a "HARD" zone, get to the middle of the zone void.

oo®

fC&

\1

sy

38

- -----------------------

7. *MAN = SEPARATE FROM THE MAN COVERAGE AND MAINTAIN THE SEPARATION

Don't separate and throttle. Such action only allows the man defender to catch up to you after you have separated from him.

8. STEM INTO TECHNIQUE OF DEFENDER (THREATEN HIS TECHNIQUE)

G1 Defender back on his heels (then break into route course).

~ \v

~)

9. WORK OPPOSITE DEFENDER HIP TURN

Hip turn means vulnerability to the opposite side of the defender's hip turn.

With pre-snap reads.

Know what you will be doing with the ball (trying to figure it out when you get to the launch/drop point is too late!).

Know what to expect from film study. React accordingly if the defense reacts oppositely of what you expected.

<8>00

10. ANTICIPATE THE PRIME READ

o

39

11. SCAN PRINCIPLE

If the prime route (or prime combination of routes) is not open, get off of it! Rarely

does it get better! It usually gets worse! .

This is due to the defense's reaction to the OBIs eyes on the prime. As the prime gets worse, the outlets get BEITER!

~ W-- -=:::::-> +-

12.

00<8>00 NEVER THROW OVER THE ~D OF A RETREA ING DEFENDER ON HIGH/LOW READS (Intermediate Depth Routes)

If in doubt, GO LOW! Take the easy throw when the defense starts to react to the low throw; you'll have an easy throw up top.

13. BE LEERY OF THE WEAKSIDE; HARD SPOT COVER 2 (SQUAT) TEAMS

Especially when scanning late to the QS's backside. This is the QB's blind spot.

14.

ooeoc WORK OUTLETS INTO as SCAN 7 ~

40

15. OUTLETS STRESS RECEIVERS, NOT QS'S

Receivers work back to OS (Zone or Man) and GET OPEN.

16. DON'T FORCE as TO MAKE TOUGH SECONDARY/OUTLET READS

ThenJ/ too much pressure on the OB to do so. Outlets must be easy to find. IS'

17.

8-1"1.

cc~oI

GET BALL IN HANDS OF BEST PLAYERS

Isolations/Mismatches.

Let the best people do their magic.

18. ISOLATE COVERAGES

Produce match-ups in your favor.

Find ways to get your best players covered by the defense's least effective coverage defenders.

I

r ,

C

I ,

o

I

6

19. DON'T SCAN TO ISOLATION ROUTES

] J J I ,

l I

C

\ \

o

41

Two-way go of isolation route is tough for the OB if the receiver breaks away from his scan.

By staring AT the option receiver, the 08 will see what is on both sides of him.

20. RECEIVER AGGRESSION!!

Out-physical the secondary (ALWAYS!) .. .is the KEY to effective receiver play. The ball is OURS!!

The receivers may be smaller in size than other players. They CANNOT, however,

be any less tough.

21. DON'T ALLOW OB TO THROW PICKS (INTERCEPTIONS) IN PRACTICE

Interceptions are NOT allowed!

Chart picks (if you throw interceptions in practice, you won't play!)

Take pride in interception to touchdown pass ratio. - -} We feel proper route displacement in our patterns and our scan principle help to ~

eliminate interceptions.

'·.r" ..

22. QS MUST FEEL FREEDOM TO EXPERIMENT/LEARN IN PRACTICE

Make him explain what he has done wrong whenever he throws an interception in practice/game setting.

However, FORCING the ball will NOT BE TOLERATEDI

23. BUILD ON DUMP OFF/SAFETY VALVE SYSTEM FOR PATTERNS

On every play (if possible).

Practice dumping off (extra back/manager/coach).

When downfield routes are covered, dump offs can turn into big gains.

24. THROW QUICK

Effective, high-percentage passing.

Allows for fast vertical passing which can "crease" a defense. Easiest protection (don't have to protect for long).

Easiest way to exploit undercoverage weaknesses.

A natural way to control/exploit blitzes.

25. PLAY ACTION FOR FULL COMPLIMENT

Integrates the run and pass game (ties them together).

One of the most effective ways to pass (freezes LB'ers/Secondary).

Helps to move launch point of OB.

Helps buy time for the OB as defense is "frozen" by the run fake.

42

26. HELP A SHORT 08

Shotgun

Move passing (sprint out/roll outlwaggle/bootleg/naked).

Three-step drop passing is tougher for a short as (balls get knocked back in his face).

27.. MOVE. LAUNCH POINT

Helps protection (slows rush as defense must find 08 before they can rush him). Can move a OB away from half of the rush on the backside.

Helps a short OB.

oo~ooo

.: '-1

o I cr--

oo®ooo

28. VARY YOUR PROTECTIONS (DON'T LET DEFENSE GET A BEAT ON YOU)

One or two protections may be too easy for a defense to figure out.

Yet, be simple (TOO MANY protections may mean confusion and lack of execution).

The combination of varying the protection scheme and the QS's launch point can help slow down a defense greatly ..

43

29. BE UNPREDICTABLE

Play calling (and believe in it!).

Be a "Riverboat Gambler." Don't let the defense get a beat on you.

If you want your pass offense to stink, run on first and second down and pass only on third down after your run game has failed.

The best pass down is 1st down. The best way to do it is to play action on 1 st down.

30. MUST BEAT BLITZ

Hot/Sight adjust. Max protection.

Quick control patterns (quick three-step/five-step).

Sprint out/Roll out action to move as and disrupt blitz timing. "

31. MUST BEAT MAN UNDER

Must beat coverage one on one.

Isolate best receivers vs. worst man coverage defenders. Pick (legally, of course).

Option routes.

Crossing routes.

Post corners.

32. MUST BEAT PRESS/JAM COVERAGE

Drill daily (or at least regularly).

Must be able to beat jam and release at line of scrimmage. Must man separate from the defender.

33. SPECIALLY DESIGN, PRACTICE AND EXECUTE A GOALLINE/SHORT YARDAGE PASS ATTACK

Less room to work in (defense actually has spacial advantage). Play action a great help since defense fears any type of run threat. Must design patterns to make use of every inch of the goalline area.

34. SPECIALLY DESIGN, PRACTICE AND EXECUTE A 3rd DOWN PASS ATTACK

3rd and short (1-2 yards) 3rd and "medium (3-6 yards) 3rd and 7-9

3rd and 10-12

3rd and 13+

The shorter the third down distance, the more effective play action passing is.

The pattern and/or route should be able to get the needed yardage. NEVER make the receiver adjust his route depth from the normal unless it is part of a special play design.

\

45

35. DON'T ALWAYS ATTEMPT TO THROW FOR NEEDED YARDAGE

Let Receiver run for needed yardage on a vertical type route {Le., Slant). Routes that "slice throuqh" a defense can often produce big yardage even though the catch

may only be 6 or 7 yards downfield. . ,

,

®OO

~/

36. SPECIFICALLY DESIGN, PRACTICE AND EXECUTE A RED ZONE (+30) PASS ATTACK

Field shrinks. (As in Goalline Passing, the defense begins to have the advantage since they have less space to cover.)

Pressure Defense (i.e., no I sprint draw play action vs. weak corner blitz team). QUICK passing help to control blitzing and pressure in this area.

37. DESIGN, PRACTICE AND EXECUTE A SCRAMBLE CONCEPT FOR EVERY PATTERN

Practice at least once a day.

Short Receiver to side of scramble goes deep. Deep Receiver to side of scramble comes back.

Everyone else trails across the field to the scramble (never at the same level of a Receiver in front of you).

=:':

t I J l

/

COl

I I

i 1

, -

38. THE BEST WAY TO THROW THE BALL EFFECTIVELY IS TO HAVE AN EFFECTIVE RUN GAME

BALANCE is the key. If you only do one (run/pass) effectively. it's easy for a defense to "load-up."

And, play action passing ties the run and pass game together.

39. DON'T TRY TO THROW THE BALL IF YOU DON'T TRULY BELIEVE IN IT!

To make anything work, you have to believe in it, stick with it and MAKE IT HAPPENI

40. LIKE ANYTHING ELSE IN FOOTBALL, TO MAKE THE PASS GAME WORK, YOU MUST EXECUTE!!!

And, you must give the pass game the proper commitment to make that happen.

46