Option QB Characteristics

Option QB/RB/OL
Ken James
Northwood High School
[email protected]
Option QB Characteristics
Toughness - both mental and physical
Quickness - must be quick off the mesh
Speed - this is a bonus
Option QB Fundamentals
Must run into the line of scrimmage
Into the line
Down the line 50%
Off the line
Must constantly attack inside shoulder of
dive or pitch key and make him turn inside
to you or the dive
QB Mesh Mechanics
Draw ball back as far as possible
Decide by the time ball hits center of QB’s
However, let QB be an athlete. If he wants to
leave the ball in longer to bait the Defensive
lineman, let him do it
Preach patience, then acceleration
Most difficult thing to deal with is a mesh
charge. When in doubt, give.
Remember, the thought process is as follows:
Think give; react keep. If Defensive lineman’s
shoulder are parallel to the line of scrimmage,
the ball goes vertical. If his shoulders are
perpendicular to the line of scrimmage, the
ball goes outside
Pull back hand off the ball and push it into
dive back’s belly when giving it.
Training the QB’s eyes on the mesh is critical.
Most young QB’s want to peek at the dive
back to make sure he is in the right place. If
you allow this, they will have less time to read,
and they will end up guessing. Put blinders on
them if necessary, but get their eyes focused
on the dive key immediately after the snap.
QB Pitch Mechanics
Stop, step, and pitch
Push thumb down and push the ball toward the
pitch man
Pitch from the waist with your knees bent. The
ball will float, and if you pitch from a standing
position, it will hit the pitch man in the head.
Pitch the ball in front of the RB.
RB should turn upfield as soon as QB gets
attacked. If the ball is pitched too far
out in front of him, it is his fault; if it is
behind him, it is the QB’s fault.
RB should call for the ball if he is in pitch
phase(4x4). If not, he should keep his
mouth shut. QB will only pitch it if he
hears the RB call for the ball.
When QB gets on the edge, think hashnumbers-sideline. If he pitches, he must not
be going straight downfield because the
pitch will be a forward lateral.
School the QB that a pitch downfield is
usually a TD.
Do drills that keep the RB in phase
downfield so that the big plays are
possible (weave drill).
QB Option Drills
1. ATTACKING DE - - One player aligns as a
RB, the other is the QB, and the coach acts as
the DE. On the QB’s cadence, the QB comes
down the LOS, attacks the DE, and either keeps
or pitches. The players then switch positions.
2. TRIPLE OPTION READS - - A QB and full set of RB’s
take the proper alignment. Two defensive players (DT
and DE) are needed. The offensive players run the
triple option at the defenders, the QB reads the
defensive actions and then gives, keeps, or pitches. If
the QB gives the ball to the dive back, he must be sure
to carry out his fake. Defensive backs and wide
receivers can also be added to this drill.
3. WEAVE WITH RB -- QB weaves downfield
with RB in pitch phase. QB should make it
difficult for RB to stay in phase in order to
simulate game conditions. Pitch the ball at the
end of
the drill.
Dive Back Characteristics
Physical - must be able to get two or three
yards on his own. If there is no dive back
threat to force the defense to defend the
middle of the field, the game turns into a
sideline to sideline track meet.
Tough-must be able to take a pounding
Quick-must get to the hole before it closes
Pitch Back Characteristics
Fast- must have ability to turn 5 yard
gain into a 50 yard gain.
Toughness-must be able to block
primary force.
Hands-must be a pass catching threat
General RB Fundamentals
Low man wins
Keep the ball high and tight
Two hands in a crowd
Keep the ball in the outside arm
After a lateral cut, make an immediate vertical
Make cuts through defender’s backside
Dive Back Drills
1. DIVE DRILL - - A defender will be positioned 5
yards in front of a line of RBs. He will be holding a
dummy that simulates a blocker. One at a time, the
RBs will take a handoff and dive straight toward the
defender. He will show his face on one side of the
dummy and the back will cut in the opposite
direction, being sure to continue upfield once the cut
is made.
2. SHOULDER ROLL - - Administered in the
same fashion as the dive drill, except now the
RB makes contact with the dummy, spins away
from the defender, and continues upfield.
3. EXPLOSION DRILL - - Administered in the same
fashion as the dive drill, except now the RB must
explode directly through two defenders. Have the
RB step over a set of dummies after exploding
through the defenders. This will teach him to keep his
knees up.
4. Sideline Drill - a RB fields a pitch and turns up the
sideline. Three or more defenders are stationed
near the sideline and try to knock the runner out of
bounds as he runs past. The RB must lower his pads
and attack the defenders with his inside forearm
5. Pitch Back Drills
Weave with QB
Arc Blocking
Load Blocking
Doubleteam Blocking
Be sure to have HB’s spend practice time
each week with the wideouts when they
are running routes with the QB’s. Put
them in their element—make them catch
dump passes over the middle, etc.
Offensive Line Characteristics
Center: Quick-must be able to get to LB’s or
block a nose one on one
Guard: Strongest linemen. Must be able to
drive a 3 tech and wall an inside LB
Tackle: Usually smaller, quicker. Spends much
of his time chasing LB’s
Offensive Line Fundamentals
Low man wins.
Always keep a wide base and use short,
choppy steps.
When in doubt as to which way to drive
a defender, drive him backwards.
Always put your head in the hole.
Always keep your elbows close to
body. The arms only come into play at the
end of the block.
Keep defender’s hands off your chest.
The best way to do this is to have your pads
down and your back flat.
Never reach for a defender; get there with
your feet.
Pushing a Car
Up a Hill
If you roll your hips while trying to push
a car up a hill, the first thing that will roll
is the car--right over you.
1. DRIVE -- This block is used to put a
defender on his back when the ball is going
right behind the offensive lineman. Step with
the foot nearest the defender, get underneath
him, and take him backwards.
2. REACH -- This block is used by playside
lineman when the ball is going to his
immediate right, left, or outside. Take a
45 step with playside foot, get the head
playside, square the hips, and drive the
defender downfield.
3. CUTOFF -- This block is used by lineman
away from the play. Take a 45 step with
the playside foot, rip the backside forearm
through the defender’s head, and attempt
to get downfield. Remember, the offensive
lineman should never let any defender cross
his face.
4. DOUBLETEAM -- This block is used to destroy
defensive lineman and cutoff pursuit from LB’s. The
post man should step straight at the defender and
stand him up. The drive man should step straight at
the defender with his inside foot and put his head on
the defender’s outside hip. The two offensive
lineman should then drive the defender into a LB. If
the defender slants inside, the drive man should stay
on course and pick up the LB.

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