QB Pre-Snap Reads

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QB Pre-Snap Reads
Understanding Safeties, Boxes, and
what it all means.
Pre-Snap Read
Definition: A survey of the defense to determine
the play / scheme that they are going to run.
Objective: Identify their play to speed up the
decision that we must make once the ball is
snapped.
Result: Allows us to better attack our opponents
weaknesses and avoid their strengths forcing
them to change their plans and giving us control.
Pre-Snap Reads
• Every snap, the QB will identify pieces of
information that will define the defense and
allow us to “play fast”. They are:
–Number of players in the “Middle”
–Number of players “Box”
Defining the “Middle”
• Where is the middle?
– The middle of the field is the space behind the
linebackers and to include the space behind our
#2 and #3 receivers.
– The middle is not “hash to hash”, but a space that
might move depending on where we are on the
field and our formation.
– We are looking to identify the number of
defenders or “safeties” in that zone (1 or 2)
Defining the “Middle”
Defining the “Middle”
Determining the Number of Safeties
• Defenses cannot have more than 2 safeties
without having major problems stopping the
run.
• Basically every defense that is run at any level
has between 0 and 2 safeties.
• Knowing the number of safeties helps us
greatly narrow down the potential plays that
the defense can run and helps us “play fast”
Determining the Number of Safeties
• 0 Safeties (Called Black) = Cover 0 or Man.
Expect blitzes.
• 1 Safety (Called Gold) = Cover 1 or 3. Box
number can vary from 6 to 8 (explained later).
• 2 Safeties (Called Purple) = Cover 2, 4, or 20.
Box number can vary from 5 to 7.
• The following slides will show you a few
examples of each.
0 Safeties (“Black”) vs. Rip
0 Safeties (“Black”) vs. Reo
1 Safety (“Gold”) vs. Rip
1 Safety (“Gold”) vs. Reo
2 Safeties (“Purple”) vs. Reo
2 Safeties (“Purple”) vs. River
Communicating the Number of
Safeties
• The QB will verbally and visibly communicate
the “Middle” read to the rest of the team.
Number of Verbal Communication Visible Communication
Safeties
0
1
2
“Black __” to the right,
“Black __” to the left
Hands visibly at the QB’s side
through the verbal signal
“Gold __” to the right,
“Gold __” to the left
One hand making a signal as
“Gold __” is being said
“Purple __” to the right,
“Purple __” to the left
Both hands make a signal as
“Purple __” is being said
Note: The ___ that follows the color will be filled with our box information.
Defining the “Box”
• Where is the “Box”?
– Width: The space between from tackle to tackle
including the any attached backs / ends.
– Depth: Extends from the ball to the heels of the
deepest linebacker.
– We are looking to identify the number of
defenders in the box in order to know how
important stopping the run is to that team.
• We are expecting a number between 5 and 8.
Defining the “Box”
Defining the “Box”
Determining the # of Box Defenders
• Defenses are telling us how important
stopping the run is by how many players they
put in the box.
• The number of box players is connected to the
number of safeties (see later slide).
• Knowing the number of players in the box
shows us where the space is and helps us
“play fast”
Determining the # of Box Defenders
• 5 players (Called 50) = Likely has 2 safeties and 3
line players. Meant to stop the pass.
• 6 players (Called 60) = Likely has 1 safety. Could
be 3, 4, or 5 man line. Considered to be balanced
against run and pass.
• 7 players (Called 70) = Likely has 2 safeties and at
least 4 line players. Used to stop the run.
• 8 players (Called 80) = Likely has 1 or 0 safeties.
Used to shut down the run.
5 Man Box: 3-2 Defense
5 Man Box: 4-1 Defense
6 Man Box: 3-3 Stack
6 Man Box: 4-2 Defense
7 Man Box: 4-3 Defense
7 Man Box: 5-2 Defense
7 Man Box: 3-3 Stack + Tuff Dog
8 Man Box: 4-4 Defense
8 Man Box: 5-3 Defense
Communicating the Number of Players
in the Box
• The QB will verbally communicate the “Box”
read to the rest of the team.
Number of Players Verbal Communication
5
“__ 50” to the right, “__ 50” to the left
6
“__ 60” to the right, “__ 60” to the left
7
“__ 70” to the right, “__ 70” to the left
8
“__ 80” to the right, “__ 80” to the left
Note: The ___ that precedes the number will be filled with the middle color.
Decision Accelerators
• The two reads that have already been outlined
help us define much of what the defense is
going to do.
• Decision Accelerators are additional reads for
the can give us additional information.
• These include:
– Corner Depth
– Dog Leverage
Corner Depth
• The “corner” is defined as the defender over the
#1 receiver.
• His depth can help define specific coverages.
– Cover 2 vs. Cover 4
– Cover 3 vs. Cover 10
• 2 Basic Alignments:
– On: Player is inside 6 yards depth or obviously playing
man coverage.
– Off: Player is 6+ yards depth or consistently bailing
“On” Corner
“Off” Corner
Dog Leverage
• The “Dog” is the linebacker that is outside of
the tackle on either side.
• The alignment of the dog helps us better
understand the goals of the defense and how
they plan on addressing our different players /
formations.
• Many variations are possible and will be
taught in further sessions.

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