Option QB/RB/OL Fundamentals Ken James Northwood High School [email protected] Option QB Characteristics Intelligence 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 100% Down the line 50% Off the line 0% 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 body 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. Vision 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 cut Make cuts through defender’s backside shoulder 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 GENERAL PRINCIPLES: 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 your 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.