n behalf of the Hanover College Panthers, Head Coach Wayne Perry, and our entire coaching staff, we would

like to thank the AFCA for allowing us the opportunity to share some thoughts on our passing game in the 2002 Summer Manual. We would like to thank all of the staffs and individual coaches who have kindly shared their ideas and philosophies with us over the past 18 years since we implemented our “Black Cat Attack” offense. We would also like to thank the two previous Hanover offensive coordinators, Mike McClure and Mike Emendorfer, for their contributions and innovations in helping make Hanover into a nationally known football program. First things first. We believe that our “Black Cat Attack” offense is an attitude. We do our best to instill this attitude into the minds of our players, and get them on the same page as the coaches. The “Black Cat Attack” offensive attitude is as follows: 1. Always think positive 2. Strive for perfection 3. Stay on the offensive 4. Have fun Secondly, from an X’s and O’s standpoint, we believe in teaching a few base concepts in all phases of our offense, including run game, play-actions, passes, screens and specials. We then create ways to execute these concepts from a variety of formations and motions. The shallow-cross passing game has been a staple for us in our offense for several years. It has been one of our bread-and-butter concepts that we can count on having high-percentage completions with built in chances for big plays. We would like to show you how we teach our shallow-cross passes from our Ace formation and how we adapt them to one of our quad formations known as quarters. Diagram 1 shows our ace formation and how we label our receivers. Because we like to spread the field with the receivers, they must be very conscious of their alignments with regards to both hash and numbers. We call this pattern under.


Assignments Quarterback: Five-step drop; possible sight-adjust throw to W vs. backside blitz; frontside progression: Under-Hook-Swing. R: Check release swing route X: Vertical route W: Hash route; sight-adjust Slant route vs. blitz Y: Hook route Z: Under route Having used plenty of motion in our Run-and-Shoot days back in the mid1980s, we learned that by sending a man in motion, several defenders will often react to the motion, thus taking away some of their aggressiveness. Also, the use of motion can give our quarterback and receivers the advantage of being able to better determine whether the defense is playing man-to-man or zone coverage. When using this pattern to the wide side of the field (Diagram 2), we often like to motion Z into a stack position behind Y. This can enhance clean releases for both receivers and can sometimes confuse defenders that are in man coverage.

Hanover’s Black Cat Attack Offense: Adapting Base Passes to Quads

Mike Leonard Offensive Coordinator Hanover College Hanover, Ind.

Diagram 2: Ace-Z-In-Under Wide Receivers Coach

Dave Ebersbach

We also like to motion R out of the backfield (ringo motion), so we can see what type of adjustment the defense will make with us going from a one-back set to an empty set. (Diagram 3). By using this type of motion, we are obviously sacrificing R from the protection. Therefore the quarterback will be ready to throw quick to either side if the defense happens to blitz. The quick throw receiver to the frontside now becomes Z on the under route.

Diagram 3: Ace-Ringo-Under

Diagram 1: Ace-Under

Diagram 4 shows our compliment play to the under pattern. This pattern is known

• AFCA Summer Manual — 2002 •

as spot. Everything remains the same in this pattern, except Y will now run a corner route and Z will run a spot route, getting open in the area over Y’s original alignment at a depth of four yards. A special note in regards to the quarterback’s frontside progression is that both the corner route and the spot route are in the quarterback’s initial eye fix. His eyes will not have to re-fix from a normal 1-2 progression. He will merely pass the ball to whichever receiver he finds open in his line of vision. If neither is open, he immediately dumps the ball to R on the swing.

Diagram 4: Ace-Spot

with many different formations and motions, Diagram 7 shows under from one of our favorite quad formations known as quarters. The benefits of this formation are threefold. First, we isolate one of our best receivers on the single-receiver side at X. Second, we create a bunch set with our next best three receivers. Finally, by putting R, who usually is our worst downfield receiver, as the widest man on the quad side, we will usually draw coverage on him from one of the opponent’s best defenders, the cornerback. This allows the three bunched receivers to work against linebackers and the strong safety, giving us several favorable match ups across the field.

snap decision to work single-receiver side or quad side based on defensive alignment. Quad Side Progression: Under-HookSwing. R: Vertical route; Positive Outside Release (POR). X: Hand signal route from quarterback. W: Swing route Y: Hook route Z: Under route Diagrams 8 & 9 show how we will use various motions to “jazz up” and help disguise this play from quarters formation. Diagram 10 shows our spot pattern from quarters formation.

Diagram 8: Quarters-Z-In-Under

Diagram 7: Quarters Under

Assignments Quarterback: Five-step drop; possible sight-adjust throw to W vs. backside blitz; frontside progression: Corner/Spot-Swing R: Check release swing route X: Vertical route W: Hash route; sight-adjust slant route vs. blitz Y: Corner route Z: Spot route Diagrams 5 & 6 show that the same motions can be used in running spot, as were used in running under.

Diagram 5: Ace-Z-In-Spot

Diagram 6: Ace-Ringo-Spot

As the quarterback scans the defense and sees how they align to our quarters formation, he first notes how they are defend ing X on the single-receiver side. Regardless of how X is defended, the quarterback will signal (behind his rear) a pass route to X. These pass routes can be either three-step drop routes such as a hitch, slant, quick out, or fade, or they can be fivestep drop routes such as a vertical, comeback, post, or post-corner. The quarterback will then get a feel on how the defense has shifted to the quad side. The quarterback will decide pre-snap whether he will throw to the single receiver or to the bunched receivers on the quad side. If he decides to throw to the bunch side, the progression remains the same, in that he will progress from under to hook to swing. The R is primarily a decoy on this pattern, running a vertical route trying to eliminate the cornerback from the coverage. If he faces a hard corner, he is taught to take a positive outside release (POR). Being in a five-man protection, the quarterback must realize that he will need to throw quick to either side vs. blitz. He can throw quick to X on the hand signal route, or he will be prepared to throw quick to the under or swing on the quad side. Assignments Quarterback: Hand signal to X; make pre-

Diagram 9: Quarters-Ringo-Under

Diagram 10: Quarters-Spot

Staying with the premise that we like to use a few concepts in our passing game

Assignments Quarterback: Hand signal to X; presnap decision to work single-receiver side or quad side based on defensive alignment Quad Side Progression: Box-Corner/Spot-Sit R: Sit route; explode three steps up, face toward quarterback. X: Hand signal route from quarterback. W: Box route; find opening deep between safeties; sight-adjust Slant route vs. blitz Y: Corner route Z: Spot route

• AFCA Summer Manual — 2002 •

Regarding the hand signaling procedure, we like the quarterback’s hand signals to be executed from behind his rear as opposed to overhead or on the headgear. The reason is that we will use these hand signals daily during our one-on-one period vs. or own defensive backs. Not only do we guard against our own defensive backs knowing our routes, but we also save valuable time during practice since the quarterback and receivers do not need to come together to call the route before each rep. Most importantly, by using these hand signals everyday in practice, they become automatic and second nature in critical situations on game day. In closing, we feel that by teaching a few concepts to our quarterbacks and receivers, such as the shallow-cross, they will gain much confidence in execution through perfect repetition. At the same time, we feel the need to give our opponent as many different looks as possible so that we can always stay on the offensive. The use of the quad formations and the addition of motions enable us to meet these goals. Again, on behalf of the Hanover College football program, we would like to thank the

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AFCA for the opportunity to contribute to this year’s Summer Manual. We hope that these passing concepts can be helpful to your offensive scheme. If we can ever be of

any assistance, feel free to contact us here in Indiana. Remember to always stay positive, strive for perfection, stay on the offensive, and have fun this season!

E v e r y b o d y ’s NOT Doing It
Finger pointing and dismissing unethical acts with an “everyone’s doing it” attitude in the public arena does nothing to help the game or the image of the football profession — your profession.

Everybody’s NOT doing it, but those who do flaunt the rules and the AFCA Code of Ethics are only encouraged if those honest coaches in the profession treat such acts lightly.

Stand up for your profession by acting responsibly. Lead by example and insist that your fellow coaches adhere to strict professional standards that are outlined in the Code of Ethics.

• AFCA Summer Manual — 2002 •

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