Validation for everything you do as a coach on the field and in the classroom is when you see that skill that is constantly drilled in practice show up on game film. The ultimate goal of practice is that the physical skills being taught are directly applied and successful in the game.
Here’s an example of a simple drill we do with the quarterbacks daily. It’s called the concept call drill, and it’s a great drill for mental repetitions. We typically use this drill when field space is limited, when we want to rest arms for a little while, or simply in pre practice to mentally rep each concept that we have on the script. This is a drill that Dub Maddox and Darin Slack outline in their R4 book, From Head Set to Helmet. You can purchase this outstanding coaching resource here.
In this clip, the quarterbacks can be seen working their eyes and feet through the progression, and finish with a B-gap escape (Release).
This type of movement of the eyes and feet through the progression can be seen in the following game cut-up. The QB starts to the left and moves across to his right finding a receiver and throwing him open.
Another drill we work daily is a planned B-gap escape. This is the natural place for our quarterback to leave the pocket in our protection if he has exhausted all options down the field in working through his progression, or if pressure flushes him to the backside. This is another daily drill. The quarterback basically has two options: the B-gap is open and he can maintain his status as a passer looking for any receiver on that side or a late opening receiver working towards him as he begins to leave the pocket, or as he begins up into the pocket, the defender closes the gap and he must release outside of the B-gap getting around any outside rusher. The drill is shown here:
Game application of the drill can be seen in the next video clip.
Seeing what you work on everyday in practice certainly justifies all of the hard work in drilling. It also provides you with good feedback on how you are spending your time. How often are you seeing those drills/skills replicated in a game? Scale your use of your drills based on the frequency of which it happens in the game.
I will be writing on this topic much more during spring practice which begins for us on April 2nd. You will see posts on American Football Monthly and on this website. I primarily use AFM for offensive clinic articles, and post smaller tidbits here. Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or suggest topics. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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