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BYU Passing Game

W e want to express our gratitude to


the AFCA and the program commit-
tee for the chance that we have to spend a
ball. No one is more aware of possession
time than we are. We understand that we
need to watch the clock and control the
few minutes with you. We have a very good clock a little bit.
football staff and you will meet our offen- Number three, we always try to incorpo-
sive guys, but we also have a very good rate the run and the pass. That is obvious,
defensive staff with Ken Schmidt, Tom right? You aren’t going to win football
Ramage, Barry Lamb and Brian Mitchell. games just running the ball and you aren’t
We have been together a very long going to win football games just throwing
Norm Chow time. We have competed against a lot of the ball. We like to think we can do both.
you and we are friends with a lot of you, so We try to make it as similar as possible.
Offensive a chance to spend a few minutes with you Lance will talk to you a little bit about the
Coordinator is very gratifying to us. path of a halfback on a run that is the same
Lance Reynolds, who is the running- path taken on a throw that we have. We try
Brigham Young backs coach, Chris Pella, who is the tight to incorporate both running and passing
University ends and special teams coach, Roger and make it look as similar as we can to
French, who is our offensive line coach and cause a little bit of confusion.
Provo, Utah myself will each spend a few minutes with Number four, we are going to take what
you. the defense gives us. I know that is simple,
I know we don’t want to spend a lot of but it is very true. We are going to try to
time on philosophy, but I think if we express take advantage of what the other team is
our basic tenets as the hour goes on, it will doing on defense. During the course of a
make a little more sense. game, with the sophistication of defenses,
Number one, we are going to protect the coverages are disguised and the use of
quarterback. If you decide to rush seven, zone blitzes and fire blitzes become very
we will block seven. If you decide to rush hard to beat. We’d be lying if we said we
Lance Reynolds
10, we will try to block 10. We are going to sat up in the box and knew what coverages
try to protect the quarterback. Lance and were being run. What we try to do is take a
Runningbacks
Roger spend a lot of time picking up blitzes portion of the football field, the weak flat for
Coach
and that is the basic tenet that we have. example, and we will attack that until we
You may be better than we are, but can figure out what the defense’s intentions
schematically we will try to protect the are. Then we try to attack the coverage that
quarterback. we see. It is very difficult to cover the whole
If we do decide to run a hot route, it field. We are not going to try to fool any-
becomes very simple because what we try body. We are going to take little portions of
to do is incorporate the unblocked defend- the field and try to attack them until the
Chris Pella er in the play call. Whoever the unblocked defense declares what it intends to do.
defender is, we will simply call that player’s Number five, we feel very strongly that
Tight Ends and name in the play call. That way the quar- you need to KISS it. You need to KISS your
Special Teams terback, receivers and offensive linemen all offense. You all know what that acronym
Coach understand that is the guy we cannot block. means, you need to Keep It Simple, Stupid.
We actually point to him and we say we I think the biggest mistake we make as
can’t block him. If we don’t call him out, coaches is that we try to do too much.
then the receiver progression is one, two, Lance does a great job of always reminding
three. But, if we call out the unblocked us, “Hey we are doing too much, we’re
defender, then the quarterback under- doing too much.” If you walk out of here
stands that his responsibility now in receiv- with nothing else but the idea that we try to
er progression becomes blitz one, two, keep our offense as simple as we can, I
three. We try to keep it as simple as that. think we have gotten the point across.
Roger French
Number two, we like to think we can A few years ago, I was talking to a for-
control the football with a forward pass. I mer NFL coach who has since retired. He
Offensive Line
know that is something of an anomaly, but said, “What is the comfort level of your
Coach
we want to do that. We played a game a quarterback in a critical situation? Third
couple of years ago, and we threw consec- and four situation, what is the comfort
utive 18 completions. The only reason we level?” I was trying to impress him and act
did that, in my mind, is because they were like I knew what I was talking about so I
simple throws. Throws that were eight and asked him what comfort zone meant and
10 yards that we thought we could make. he said, “Simply, how many throws does
We like to think that we can control the foot- your quarterback feel confident making

• Proceedings • 77th AFCA Convention • 2000 •


when it is third and four and you have to two and the defense is in a strong zone linebacker is outside, we break in and just
make the first down?” I said, “Maybe seven with the strong safety trying to take away play with the option game. We have taken
or eight.” Then I turned and asked him, the tight end, we call this color flash. We one route or one pattern, if you will, and we
“What about you and your quarterback?” see someone coming over to take the tight tried to devise things to take advantage of
He said, “Two.” This is an NFL coach end away from his backside, who is proba- what an opponent does defensively.
coaching an NFL quarterback. That has bly a guy from the deep third, then we try
Lance Reynolds, Runningbacks
always stayed with me. We really feel to get the ball in that open area. We have
strongly that we need to KISS our offense. tried to create a triangle. If, for some rea- It is an honor to be with you. I am going
We will show you some diagrams and son, they play route recognition and bring to try to emphasize most of my time on try-
translate how we try to develop a football the stud linebacker to seal, we tell our ing to utilize the runningbacks in the pass-
play. We like to think that you need a five- quarterback to throw to the runningback. ing game.
step game, a three-step game, you obvi- Now we want to present something dif- The runningbacks have several key roles
ously need to run, a play pass, a screen ferent with the same idea. If your opponent in the passing game. One is protection. It is
game and be able to move the quarter- is rolling the zone over to the right side of a big responsibility and anybody who coach-
back. If you can’t handle the pass rush, the the field and they bring in a linebacker to es runningbacks should take a lot of time
quarterback needs to be able to move. That cut off some angles. What we try to do is and effort to try to make sure that they fill
is what we have incorporated in our game, call play and use girl’s names for the hot their role in that protection scheme, whether
a three-step, a five-step, runs, play pass off linebackers. We call the play and we end it it be blocking guys or hot releases or dealing
the run, screens and movement of the by saying Wanda. We cannot block Wanda with the blitz in some kind of screen. Some
quarterback. That is simply how we try to if he decides to come. Wanda hits it, now way, we have to either block the blitz or
put our offense together. we become hot. The look now becomes attack the blitz. Some of it is in two-back
The way we like to attack a defense is blitz one, two, three. sets, some of it is in single-back sets.
with the passing game remaining curl, flat, The backs are critical to obtain the
Diagram 2
four verticals and creating triangles and “stretch” that the quarterback guys are
mismatches against man-to-man cover- always talking about. You needn’t do an
age. That is a basic strong-side pattern for attack zone cover whether it be in some
us. We try to create triangles. Everybody kind of horizontal fashion, some kind of ver-
understands horizontal stretches, routes, tical fashion, or where we get a triangle to
and vertical stretch routes. At BYU, we like stretch a defense in an angle. Again, we
to develop oblique stretches. They are all are involved in all of those. We are going to
done to create stretches involved in a pass talk about using tailbacks in man-to-man
offense. coverage because most tailbacks are great
Diagram 1 Diagram 3 athletes.
We are going to learn how to use screens
and hot routes to attack a blitz. Most of our
five- and seven-step routes read from deep
to short. Since I have never met a quarter-
back who didn’t like to throw deep, or didn’t
think the deep guy was open, we added
some terms to some of our throws to help
get the ball to the backs and tight ends. A
term like H-option will reverse the quarter-
Our quarterback’s progression now The reason we have done this is back reads, instead of going from deep to
becomes a cover three read. One is if the because we see that this linebacker is get- short, he will go from short to deep.
corner rotates over, throw the deep ball. If ting back into the tight end hole and we For example on the strong throw, if we
we can’t throw deep, we will look for the cannot get the ball to him like we want to. just added the term F-option, what happens
tight end and that is called a sail route. We See, we have the tight end in a deep route, is the back becomes one, the tight end
try to put him in that imaginary spot where we have one back in the flat and we have becomes two and the post becomes three.
the three deep zones meet. Our back the halfback right in the spot where the stud What that does is make the quarterback
checks the protection and then goes to the linebacker left. That is how we try to attack focus his eyes on that option of the blitz. If
flat. a route depending upon the coverage we the blitz comes, he will throw it hot and the
Now the quarterback reads one as the see from the defense. If we see man-to- idea is now we can get our quarterback’s
receiver, two as the tight end and three as man coverage and think we can get by with eyes and attention on throwing a shorter,
the back. All we have done is try to create a back against a run support guy, then what higher completion percentage throw. We
a triangle depending on how the defense we try to do is get that guy on a get-away change terms to get attention back on the
covers. The quarterback’s read is to look route. We call a get-away an option route. shorter route, both with the quarterback
for the go route and we tell him that two If the stud linebacker hits it, we turn it out. and the runningback. Some terms will
becomes both X and the tight end. As my If the stud linebacker plays him man-to- change the quarterback’s reads from deep
receiver progression takes me to number man, then we give him room. If the stud to intermediate to short and some will not.

• Proceedings • 77th AFCA Convention • 2000 •


Another option we can talk about is the make it look the same to the defender on there is no hot guy. The only disadvantage
angle. We will take the back and roll him that side of the field so he cannot recognize is when you turn protection, you have to
out, plant his foot and return it into the hole. the difference between the option or a peek on the other side to watch out for new
Sometimes that stud linebacker will get comeback. hot guys. So there are some things you can
back to take away that intermediate ball. Norm spent a minute on hot routes, that do with it by changing your protection
We will start like we are going to the flat is the term we use to discuss when we are around. If you have the right kind of back
and roll back quickly. I think these reads not going to block somebody, and on this and you do it enough, the players get a lot
change into a real high percentage throw play, we do not block the weakside line- of confidence and they love to be one-on-
and you can utilize your backs to beat man backer. Depending on protection, we are one with some grass out there. Usually the
two coverage and also get into seams of going to adjust in one or two ways. With the defenders work like crazy to get nine guys
zones. We will call a play then add a term back stretch release, the quarterback around the ball all the time. Especially
to it. The back is on a delay route, a term checks that if the linebacker comes, we will when you are running the ball.
we call rip. When the quarterback drops, he either turn or we will swing. We plant our When you release and you see man-to-
is going to go through his reads, high to foot and push hard for two reasons. One, man coverage, you are going up and
intermediate to low, but it emphasizes in the way people play now, you have to get putting a move on and working it inside or
the quarterback’s mind that if this line- away from the zone blitz. If they zone blitz outside. When they release, they need to
backer drops to take away a sale, then he an end to try and bring that weakside line- get up to that move point, shake, push, put
is going to throw the delay. backer, make an adjustment and turn that on a definite move and then plant a foot
end and push hard to the sidelines and stay and now accelerate and use speed. I tell
Diagram 4
away from the bad guys. Second, we need young players to take their time and really
to be able to get ourselves in a position make a hard push. Now, at the move point,
where we can get rid of the ball quickly, freeze the defender and go inside or out-
because we don’t want the free safety to be side. Make the defender run. Now to get
able to disguise and stay high. this to where you are comfortable, you
The precision between the quarterback have to be able to release, having in your
getting that ball to the backs in a hurry and mind what you are going to do before you
the width of the backs is critical. If the back get there. You need to get the quarterbacks
gets the ball before the free safety gets in a drill everyday with the runningbacks so
The first one we will start with is our half- there, we think he can make a play on the they can learn to recognize quickly and
back option game. It is probably one of the free safety or on the end. The timing and make precision moves with good timing
best ways to get the ball to a good receiver recognition of it is critical on the hot ball. If between quarterback and runningback.
or a good runner. The first thing you need we are attacking a zone, then it is almost
to do is evaluate your personnel and pick a like playground football. We will tell him to
Chris Pella, Tight Ends
guy who can run the H-option vs. man-to- release and he sees people drop, we tell Coach Reynolds mentioned that I have
man so that he can separate from people. him to go get the hole with your feet. So, if been at BYU for a little while. I’m the new
Some players have a feel for that and some that linebacker drops wide and a corner guy on the staff. This is my 14th season. I
players don’t and it is very difficult to get a goes deep, then the hole is going to be feel that it has really been a privilege to
guy that doesn’t have much feel to run it right between the weakside and middle work with the offensive coaches at BYU
correctly. I think it can be a real equalizer linebacker. The second we plant our foot, and to work with the tight ends. During our
sometimes. The option now being with the we need to throw the ball so we can exe- best years, the tight end was a valuable
halfback, we can run this off the strong cute the play before the defense has an part of this offense. We are always trying to
route or the weak stretch. In a normal ability or has time to close on us and find ways to enhance our offense, as a lot
route, a receiver would be one, tight end squeeze that route down. of teams have done. Sometimes you see
cross two and the back would be three. If you fish hook, it makes it real difficult an empty backfield, five wide receivers in
When we add the term option in the half- for the quarterback. So we want him to run the game and people dislocate out of the
back option, he becomes one. The tight right into the hole, plant his foot and get the backfield. Traditionally, for our tight ends to
end becomes two and the receiver ball right now. If they do squeeze us, then catch many passes, it creates a bit of a
becomes three. So we will go from short to we have the tight end coming over the top unique scenario in trying to recruit tight
deep. First, he needs to align. You can’t run in the off curl and we will throw behind the ends that can fill a different role other than
this very well from the backfield unless you guys that are squeezing. Now if they play line up, block a few times and run down the
get the back over behind the tackle. You us on another kind of zone, let’s say the field and catch a lot of passes.
can’t run this play from a split backfield or width drops straight, the corner presses In recruiting, people ask me, what is your
the offset I, but he needs to be where he and they have some kind of two deep and profile of a tight end at BYU? I would like to
can get a quick release. This release needs there is a big hole. As we release and that recruit 6-6, 265 pound guys who run 4.5. I
to be an arc that gets a little bit of width. We width drops, we say go get the hole. We think everybody in the country would like to
can be no tighter than the inside leg of the teach our players to crouch and become recruit guys like that, unfortunately, we’re not
tackle and there needs to be a little bend to very small after they catch the ball so they able to do that. So, I’d probably settle for 6-
the release. It needs to be the same as if are harder to tackle. You can do some 5, 260 pound guys who run 4.6 and maybe
you were running a draw-trap. We want to other things like turn your protection so only have a 38-inch vertical jump instead of

• Proceedings • 77th AFCA Convention • 2000 •


a 48-inch vertical jump. Unfortunately, I to get off the line of scrimmage. Get your- going to be the last play in my career. It did-
haven’t been able to reach that goal either. self in position to get to your route. n’t matter if it was in practice, the Pro Bowl,
Our tight ends range from 6-3 to 6-6, 240- Obviously, people are going to try to the Super Bowl, no matter what the situa-
260 pounds. They all have good mobility reroute you. The number one thing I tion was, I was going to take advantage of
and can run. When you have somebody believe is protecting your chest. So, our that opportunity.” That has always stuck
who is 6-5 or 6-6 out there and you have a whole format is to release in a manner with with me and it has always been a part of my
corner or a safety over there who is under a technique that allows us a chance to get coaching philosophy. What happened earli-
six feet tall trying to cover him, we certainly our shoulders past that defender and get er today, you will never have that opportu-
think that enhances our ability to throw the ourselves into our routes. nity again. What happens tomorrow is
ball down the field. We are also trying to find Fundamentally, we always emphasize another challenge, but you can’t get to that
a tight end that can fit into a four vertical con- release steps which means to open our until you get to tomorrow. I have always
cept. He can be one of the four guys running hips and get ourselves in position to drive tried to instill that into my players. Don’t
down the field trying to put that fourth verti- our arms up the field, protect our chest and miss this opportunity because you aren’t
cal stretch into that secondary. keep those linebackers and defensive line- going to get it again.
Traditionally, the fullbacks and tight men from getting to our arms or chest and I coach the kickers, also. I tell kickers all
ends run very similar routes and have very rerouting us. The thing that we do that I the time, once that ball leaves your foot, it
strong crossover ability. If we put our tight think is creative is line up our tight ends in has to leave your mind. You have to get
ends in a Y split-out position, they will gen- the backfield and put them in short motion ready for the next kick. I tell the tight end, if
erally make most of the catches on the and direction in the way we want them to you make a bad block or if you drop a pass,
team. I also think what is very important to go when the ball is snapped. I think this that is history. Just think about the good
understand is tight ends cannot be elimi- gives us a chance to have our tight end one or think about the next one and get
nated from blocking, protecting and helping moving or put him in a formation where ready and make yourself visualize that you
the running game. I think that the biggest they can’t anticipate where he is going to are going to catch the next one. You are
thing that I have to work on as a tight end be and have somebody waiting for him. going to overcome that little mistake that
coach is trying to find time to make sure Another thing we will do is split him out. you can do it and try to create a positive
these guys know how to block. They know Bringing tight ends across formations will environment for them to play and practice.
how to pass protect. We are going to come give you different ways for them to get off I think it is very important that you take the
up with a scheme that allows us a chance the line of scrimmage into those outs. opportunities in practice and make the kids
to protect our quarterback. That means If the tight end doesn’t block, then they the best that you possibly can.
keeping the tight end in protection once in are going to think pass right away. So we Tight end is a low level, mid-level route
a while. think it is very important that our tight ends type of position for us. Certainly that fits the
We run zone plays inside and outside to help sell the run also. We work hard on try- profile of the standard traditional tight end.
turn our tight ends into good blockers. All ing to release through people on play- We want our tight ends to have a chance to
you have to do is block him in or block him action passes. We want to sell the run first, be successful. The word sale was men-
out and the back will make a cut. That we run a bootleg where we have two tight tioned in two formations earlier. Sale is a
makes you a good blocker. That has taken ends running the first and second level on hole we try to create 15-20 yards deep,
a lot of pressure off of our tight ends on misdirection. If they take off down the field where the three-deep and the underneath
blocking certain run points. The hardest and the secondaries get a primary key of zones meet. We emphasize to our tight
block for a tight end is to hook an outside pass and they are running with them, then ends, get 15 yards down the field before
linebacker. I think with the zone play, we that whole play-action fake concept has you even start to slow down. We try to sell
have changed our aiming point and put a been wasted. into that spot and become a fixture and
zone position where we just want our tight I have always felt very strongly about give the quarterback a chance to throw to
ends to knock him backwards and then the ability to get guys motivated to play you in an area that is going to be open. It
block him wherever he goes. hard. I think we have a very narrow window changes a little bit from where the ball is on
Traditionally the way we teach blocking of opportunity in coaching. Obviously when the field and those types of things.
has changed a little bit, but I also think it is we have practices, that is an opportunity to Two things that we are concerned about
a critical element. I am a real leverage type coach and make ourselves better. I think are getting enough stretch and that the
person. I think a lot, talk a lot and coach a the kids have to realize it. This window of wide receiver, flanker and split end have
lot about using leverage in blocking. I fig- opportunity closes very quickly. I spent a lot enough speed to force the corner to go
ured out that leverage is a creative devel- of my early career in coaching at Utah deep and a safety to respect that deep
opment that can help you win the battle of State and also played there with Merlin post. That is when things open up for a tight
trying to block big people backwards. If you Olson. Merlin was part of the ‘Fearsome end. We still like to create a scenario where
can get your hands inside the defender’s Foursome’ with the Los Angeles Rams. I that tight end has a chance to catch the
hands and get your body in a position to was down in Ram Park one day just sitting ball. Obviously if it is just man-for-man, he
control his chest, you can control his body. there with Merlin and I asked him, “Hey becomes a primary receiver in this route. If
I think the most important thing if you teach Merlin, what do you contribute your suc- it isn’t a hot ball, then our tight end knows
blocking is understanding that the guy with cess to as a football player?” He said, “I that he has to get open. A man route is just
his hands inside wins the battle. I think the always had this one philosophy that I was a hard cut out. The big thing about teaching
other thing that is important for tight ends is going to play every play as though it was man routes is working on staying flat and

• Proceedings • 77th AFCA Convention • 2000 •


getting separation. As soon as you drift up block the defensive people on the line of with smoothness and glide. You don’t want
the field, if that ball is thrown in any kind of scrimmage in a cup formation to give the to bounce. Bouncing around will not get it
position where the defender can come quarterback enough room to throw. Myself, done. People always ask if he has good
underneath, they have a good chance for I talk in different terms to my kids. I talk in footwork. If he has big feet, sure he has
an interception. As long as you keep your terms of mug protection. But when I talk good footwork. The answer is how does he
body between the ball and the defender about a mug protection, it has a better move on those feet? Which way does he
and the quarterback has a chance to throw value for what we are trying to get done move? If you look at a young man and he
that ball in front of you, it is almost impossi- because in this scenario, they are going to jumping and galloping everywhere, he
ble to intercept it. close to the quarterback. In mug protection, does not have good footwork. The smooth-
In the zone concept, the quarterback our thoughts are to go perpendicular. ness is something you have to have.
can throw the ball wherever he needs to Everything we do, we want to be perpen- We put our athletes in aerobics to add
throw it to get you to an open spot. In this dicular. We want to come straight back. Our agility and smoothness. The number one
alignment, the quarterback can throw the front three people are going to be the lock- thing I teach is getting in the proper stance.
ball inside. If the safety is inside, he can up men in the front to give the quarterback The important part of three-point stance is
throw the ball outside. The halfback option any opportunity to step forward if he has to. where the buttocks are. If you want to get
is exactly the same concept, only it is to the We will make it a four yard variance coming out of a stance quickly and move your feet
weak side and we bring the tight end into the quarterback. So you have four quickly, you cannot let your buttocks drop
across and create the same scenario, 15- yards on either side and in this situation down. Your feet won’t move as fast when
20 yards deep in his sell zone to get open. they are going to close it a lot quicker. We you are sitting on them. Another situation
I think the other thing that is important try to maintain splits. We’ve got a three-foot that you have is what you do to protect
about tight ends is they can be a factor in split on each side of a player and we hope yourself in offensive line play. Number one,
blitz control. We just want a little arrow our tight end will go anywhere from three to you have to be in what we call a stagger
route involved with a strong safety blitz. We four feet widening the area that they have stance. A stagger stance will put you in a
have a free safety in a position to try and to come through. A lot of people say you position to get the job done. The other thing
cover a tight end and we compress our can’t over-split because they will jump peo- that you want to prevent young men from
body, drop our shoulders, turn up the field, ple down inside on you. That is very true doing is going forward on pass protection.
break a tackle and have a chance for a big but you readjust or pick up the player with That is an essential. When the lineman is in
play. That play probably generates more a back. We try to keep guys four yards from a stance, the number one thing I want is
yards after a catch than any play tight ends the quarterback. that knee over the toe. I want my foot down
get involved with and I think it is a very The hard part about anything is keeping and I want my feet flat on the ground. I want
good route. your offensive linemen in a squared-up to be on the instep of my back foot or my
I think the number one reason receivers position. I think the number one thing you stagger foot, that way I can push off from
drop footballs is because they turn their have to teach your offensive linemen is any direction I want to go. The other thing I
eyes away from their hands before they they have to keep square to the line of want to do is to have my back straight,
catch the football. You cannot spend scrimmage. We have to keep those shoul- shoulders back, hands up in position to
enough time teaching kids to watch the ball ders squared, they have to keep those hips block with bent knees.
into their hands and watch that ball come to squared, they have to keep those feet com- We have four nevers that we always talk
their body. I am a real believer in that and ing back in the proper setting. That’s not about. If you can do all four of these things
you can look at just about anybody who easy. That is the thing that you have to try you will win most of your pass protection
drops a pass and you will see their head to teach and the thing that we try to do. If and one-on-one techniques. Number one,
turns away from their hands. If you can the defense jumps down inside, we relock never go forward. If you go forward you are
train an individual to be disciplined enough our backs and the guard makes a signal to going to lose the battle. Ninety-nine percent
to always watch their hands, they will never the tackle to block outside. The back helps of the time, you are going to end up in a
drop a pass. with the inside pressure. The one thing that footrace to the quarterback and the defen-
Roger French, Offensive Line you always find is you have a real tenden- sive man is going to win. This is a real
cy to get beat inside because of the move- must, never cross your feet. Now, we do go
The one thing I have found out about ment. You want to come back square so forward on certain individual things. If we
football is that it is a demanding sport and that if this guy does arc in there, your abili- are running a 50 protection or a three-step
when you coach the offensive line, it is ty to move inside or outside is made a lot of drop, our offensive linemen will fire forward.
even more demanding because things are easier for you. If we run play-action, our linemen will fire
changing. I remember when we would just One thing I have found that really helps forward. But, the main thing you want to do
line up and we could block five guys. our lineman is jumping rope. If you have a is to prevent them from going forward on
Defenses are really gearing up to come great athlete and he can’t move his feet, he dropback protection. The next one is don’t
after you. People are jumping on top of the cannot block. Jumping rope teaches good drop your head. Once you put your head
quarterback and we aren’t sure where they footwork and enables players to move their down, people are going to get behind you
are coming from. feet better. Blocking is a sliding and gliding and get in between you and the quarter-
Everyone talks about cup protection. technique. It’s keeping those feet flat on the back. Always keep your body in-between
For me, cup protection is fine and relative ground. If you move, you have to move the defender and the quarterback. At least
to what a lot of people are trying to do. You slow. When you move, you want to move that way they don’t get a free run and knock

• Proceedings • 77th AFCA Convention • 2000 •


the quarterback’s head off, which occasion- into a position to take down an outside the outside, he slides over and punches
ally does happen. rusher. The importance of all these steps is him. The next defender crosses behind
The one that bothers me more than that you get an anchor. You have to anchor and the center slides over and punches
anything in our relationship is talking about the inside foot. That comes right back to him. You can keep this drill going over and
never getting beat inside. The reason you that knee position. You want to be moving over. It is a great reactionary situation. You
never want to get beat inside is that by not with your weight always distributed on the can incorporate as many people in the drill
getting beat inside, you are going to force inside of the knee. When you move, you as you need to. Another drill we use is
defensive men to go the long way to the are keeping your center of gravity always in called a recoil. Punch and recoil. On the
quarterback. The main thing is, don’t let the same place and that is straight down snap of the ball, the defender is going to
your guys get beat inside. Anytime we are the middle of you. walk out and boom, I’m going to set him,
even beat inside, the first thing we try to do At all costs, don’t get into the position he is going to come again, boom, I’m going
is force the man that is beating us inside to where you are leaning out away from that to set him. The object of the drill is to hit
come back outside which buys us time to foot. That foot has to move and you have to him in the numbers in the proper position.
get the quarterback to throw the football. sit that weight right back down between If you do that, number two, you will want to
That is essential. There are a lot of others those legs. So what if they change direc- stop his charge. You go for about 10 yards.
that you can add and one is, don’t let your tions. I use a jazz step. You kick back and The first time you do it, try to keep that
kids lean. Sometimes, if a guy takes a lat- don’t just step the toe back in there but knee over your toe so you won’t go for-
eral step or a polished step to the right, drive it into the ground. You are forcing the ward. One more is called the balance drill.
and the defender goes there, instead of defensive man now to go into the line of A defensive man puts his hand around a
continuing to move your feet, they start to scrimmage. When our kids get into a situa - lineman’s neck and the other hand on his
lean with their hands. So, if you can pre- tion that they can’t take on a speed rusher, chest. All you are going to do is rock for-
vent those things in an offensive lineman, we want them to get a pre-kick and get into ward and back. I’m going to pull on that
you are going to be successful in your a position with that instep and that flat foot. neck and then I’m going to push to the
pass protection. The snap of the ball is the only time that we chest. It is an excellent drill for balance. It
The other thing that we want to try to do take the inside foot out. What we are doing is a good drill and all you have to do is
is get out of your stance. If you are in a is we have a pre-kick and I want him to get watch their feet, watch where their hands
stance, you want to get out of it. We will put as wide and as deep as he can. Because are, see that the head is up, see that the
guys in a two-point stance and we want the deeper this foot is, the further this one feet are moving properly, that they have
them to move quickly to the snap. It’s got to can come back. So if he does get a jump on the lead left knee over the left toe or the
be relatively automatic that that left or right me, or if I can get a jump on him, I am a right toe depending on how they position
foot going back, is going back. We talk in yard deeper than I originally would be if I and go from there.
terms of a power step which is a head on took a kick step. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope we gave
position step maybe six inches to the inside Here is a great drill for centers. If you you something you can use and remember.
and six inches to the outside. We have can do this drill, you will be a good center. This is how we do it, if you do it another
what we call a kick step where we are Number one, the center kicks back and he way, that is fine, it’s not etched in stone.
going to get our feet quickly back and get sets his position. The defender moves to Thank you.

AFCA Divisions
It is important to know the AFCA Division and District in which your school belongs. Following
are the four AFCA Divisions:

Division I-A — Institutions that are in NCAA Division II — Institutions that are in NCAA
Division I-A Division II and the NAIA

Division I-AA — Institutions that are in NCAA Division III — Institutions that are in NCAA
Division I-AA Division III

• Proceedings • 77th AFCA Convention • 2000 •