The Hitch – Detailed Info from Bill Mountjoy

Blue Print Cover DG.001

Coach Bill Mountjoy always passes along great information, and here is some more on an “old school” play that is as effective than ever.

Coach Mountjoy is one of Dan Gonzalez’s influences and mentors.  Dan has put together a great series on Developing an Offensive System, with part 1The Need for Change and part 2 The Blue Print available now.

Dan Gonzalez’s iBook is available now for a limited time at $39.99 ($20 off the regular price).  Get it here. This iBook is loaded with content.  Gonzalez goes into detail on the essentials of putting together an offensive system through instructional video clips and interactives.  60 instructional videos explain concepts and analyze plays in detail.  Over 50 multi-angle cut-ups of plays are included for your own review and study as well.  The total minutes of video included is just over 2 hours. Learn more about what is included here and here.

The introductory sale applies to  The Need for Change as well.  Get $5 off Part I.  Read about The Need for Change here and here.  Get it here.

If you get both Part 1 & 2, you are getting over 3 hours worth of video as well as text, interactive presentations, and diagrams.  Gonzalez put the highest level of detail into these manuals.

Here is a message from one of Dan’s clients:

I asked their coach, Ryan Schartz, if he’d write a bit on how they have benefited:

Last winter my offensive staff and I knew we had a group of players suited to throw the ball.  Our run and shoot system was by no means broken, but it did limit some of the the things we wanted to be able to do.  After reading Dan’s book Re-coded and Reloaded, it dawned on me that this was the system to use.  Installment started in the spring and continued into the summer.  The language that he uses allows players to learn quickly.  Our kids have commented several times that it is much easier to learn than our former system.  His system was an easy transition as it has many run and shoot concepts built in. One of our main objectives was to be able to get our RBs out in to routes out of the backfield.  The Gonzalez system more than allows an offense to use all 5 receivers.  The best part, though is the rhythm passing and progression allows the QB to make his reads quick and decisive. After using parts of it for the first 3 weeks of the season, we have noticed that there is much flexibility in attacking defenses.  This is all coming from at team that traditionally runs the football 80% of the time.  Dan has been terrific!  He is readily available to help explain and give advice.  Although we have not changed much of our run game, his passing system has been a wonderful resource for our program.

Ryan Schartz
Head Coach
Fort Osage High School
Independence, MO

From Coach Mountjoy:

Joe Gibbs’ 3 Step Drop Back Passes (he always said the HITCH was the single most effective play in his offense BECAUSE it was an easy  completion that was like a SWEEP which was around the corner & 6 yds. downfield, & it you rolled up to stop it the WR would convert to the FADE (for a big play).  So in effect, it was a short pass, a deep pass, and a sweep, all rolled up into one!

HITCH” depends on play of Corner ((5-8 yds deep AND “bailing”), PLUS the Flat Coverage. “60 SERIES” We relies MOSTLY on “Pre-Snap Looks” (PSL):

THREE STEP DROPBACK PASS

HERE IS OUR WHOLE PHILOSOPHY IN A NUTSHELL. PICTURE YOURSELF AS THE QUARTERBACK IN THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE:

X—————O-O-C-O-O-Y
————-H——–Q——————–Z

———————-R

YOU HAVE TWO MEN SPREAD ACROSS THE FIELD – X AND Z. IF EITHER OF THE TWO MEN IS SINGLE OPEN (CB BAILING), YOU SHOULD THROW TO HIM ALL DAY. IF YOUR OPPONENT SENDS SOMEONE OUT TO HELP COVER HIM, YOU SHOULD RUN! THIS IS THE FIRST THING WE DO. WE CHECK OUR WIDE RECEIVERS. IF THEY ARE SINGLE COVERED, WE GO TO OUR 3 STEP GAME.

ALL OF THE ABOVE IS ASSUMING THE CORNERS ARE OFF AND “BAILING”. WE DO NOT LIKE THE 3 STEP GAME INTO HARD CORNERS. SO, IF THE CORNERS ARE OFF AND BAILING – HOW DOES THE DEFENSE HELP THEM? CHECK THE ALIGNMENT OF THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FLAT. HE CAN LINE UP IN ANY OF 4 PLACES.

——–W—-E
X————–F
X——————O-O-C-O-O-Y
—————-H——-Q——————–Z

————————R

1. “F” = “FORCE” (8 OR 9 TECHNIQUE ON LOS)
2. “E” = “STACKED ON OUTSIDE HIP OF DE” OR SLIGHTLY WIDER
3. “W” = “WALKAWAY” (1/2 WAY OUT)
4. “X” = “ON X” (OUTSIDE; HEAD; OR INSIDE SHADE) = RARE

“FEWX” DETERMINES THE USE OF THE 3 STEP GAME IN SITUATIONS WHERE THE CORNER IS OFF AND BAILING. EXAMPLE:

A) “HITCH” = YOU WOULD NOT THROW THE HITCH VS. THE “X” POSITION (UNLESS YOU WANTED TO LIMIT YOUR CHOICE TO THE INSIDE RECEIVER). IF YOU THROW IT VS. THE “W” POSITION – YOU HAVE TO READ HIM CAREFULLY AND BE SURE HE IS HELD DOWN BY THE INSIDE RECEIVER. IT IS GREAT VS. THE “F” AND “E” POSITIONS, AND YOU WILL PROBABLY NOT GO TO THE INSIDE RECEIVER VS. THE “E” POSITION.

B) “SLANT” = YOU WOULD WANT TO THROW THE SLANT VS. THE “X” POSITION IF HE IS IN AN OUTSIDE SHADE OR HEAD UP (IF HE IS IN AN INSIDE SHADE – DON’T THROW IT UNLESS YOU SPEND A TON OF TIME TEACHING THE “SPECIAL” RELEASE REQUIRED). VS. THE “W” POSITION IT IS VERY GOOD IF THE DEFENDER IS PULLED OUT BY THE INSIDE RECEIVER’S FLAT ROUTE (OTHERWISE – THE SLANT IS TAKEN AWAY AND THE FLAT SHOULD BE THERE). VS. THE “F” AND “E” POSITIONS YOU WILL HAVE TO HIT THE SLANT QUICKLY BEFORE THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO WORK UNDER IT (IF THEY HANG – THE FLAT ROUTE COMES OPEN).

C) “UP” (FADE) = THE ONLY PART OF OUR 3 GAME WE REALLY LIKE TO CALL VS. HARD CORNERS. HIT THE W.O. IN THE “HOLE” 18-22 YDS. DEEP BETWEEN THE CORNER AND SAFETY. CAN PUT INSIDE RECEIVER ON A “SEAM” ROUTE UP THE HASH TO HOLD THE SAFETY, OR ON A FLAT ROUTE TO HOLD THE CORNER (WHICHEVER YOU NEED TO DO).

(see “FLAT TERMINOLOGY” ATTACHED at bottom):

PS: We like SMOKE to WR on the backside of Trips (3×1 sets). We like Hitch from 2×2 sets based on FLAT coverage in attachment (generalities).

COACHING THE QB & RECEIVER ON THE “HITCH”:

I.      QB CROSS STEP FOOTWORK IN DROPPING BACK 3 STEPS ON THE HITCH ROUTE:

1.       Pivot on the left foot and take a long step back toward the set-up spot with the right foot.  Then use cross-over action to the set-up spot.

2.      Starting with the right foot, you will take 3 steps and “Stop”, “ready” to pass.  You must have stopped and be ready to pass before the receiver makes his final break (on at LEAST 2 steps more than the QB took).

3.      Open your shoulders at an angle NOT TO EXCEED 90 degrees to the LOS and look straight down the field, seeing your reads as you go back.  Know where you are going with the ball by the time you reach the set-up spot.  IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE QB TO KEEP HIS SHOULDERS AT A RIGHT ANGLE TO LOS, AND HIS FOREHEAD PARALLEL TO THE LOS ON HIS FIRST STEP SO HE CAN SEE THE FIELD.   ON STEP 2 & 3 TRANFER YOUR VISION TO THE THROWING AREA.

4.       The ball must be held chest high and with two hands.  Always be ready to unload the ball quickly.

5.      Stop in the “Ready” position without any resetting so you can pass immediately if necessary.

6.      THREE STEP DROP  (“QUICK DROP”):
A.      The 3 step drop is a 1 + 2 step drop, with 1 full stride and 2 short gathering strides – planting on the third step and throw. Always stop with short steps and come to balance before throwing.
B.      It is coordinated with the quick passing game.  Receivers run 5 step breaks.
C.      Think in terms of the set-up spot being 3 to 4 yards deep.  Set up in .8 seconds and throw the HITCH (timing route) in 1.3.

II.   WR ALIGN 12 YARDS FROM H/Y WITH OUTSIDE FOOT BACK  STEPS ON HITCH:

1.  First step with your outside foot.

2.  Your fifth step will find you on your outside foot (at 6 yards deep).  Plant this foot and pivot your inside hip to the outside – staying low and stationary.  Turn your eyes to the QB first and foremost.

3.  EXPECT the ball to be on the way BEFORE you turn your head.

4.  After the catch roll to the outside (you are a broken “arm tackle” away from a score)!

III.   ESTABLISHING TIMING BETWEEN QB’s & RECEIVERS:

THIS APPLIES TO “TIMING” ROUTES ONLY (THE “HITCH” IS A “TIMING” ROUTE):

A)      THE TIMING OF THE DELIVERY IS ESSENTIAL.  IT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ITEM TO SUCCESSFUL PASSING!

B)      GIVE THE RECEIVER 1 SECOND TO GET OUT OF HIS STANCE, AND 1/10 SECOND FOR EACH ADDITIONAL YARD RUN.  FOR EXAMPLE:  A 6 YARD “HITCH” SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY THE RECEIVER IN 1.6 SECONDS!  NOTE:  ON A TIMING ROUTE – THE RECEIVER MUST TAKE AT LEAST TWO MORE STEPS THAN THE QB DOES IN SETTING UP  (THIS GIVES THE QB .5 SECONDS TO GET THE BALL OUT).

C)      QUARTERBACK MUST GET THE BALL OUT OF HIS HAND (ON “TIMING ROUTES”) BEFORE THE RECEIVER MAKES HIS FINAL BREAK.  FOR EXAMPLE:  THE RECOMMENDED TIME FOR THE QB ON THE “HITCH” IS 1.3 SECONDS (IT HELPS ON ALL “TIMING” PASSES IF QB’S ARM COME UP INTO THROWING POSITION AS LAST STEP HITS THE GROUND).

D)      (QB)  IF YOU CANNOT CO-ORDINATE EYE AND ARM TO GET THE BALL AT IT’S INTENDED SPOT PROPERLY AND ON TIME, YOU ARE NOT A PASSER!!!

E)       KEEPING THE BALL IN BOTH HANDS AND CHEST HIGH IS PART OF THE ANSWER.

F)      “BREAKING POINTS”:  (FOR TIMING PURPOSES) – OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING (ON TIMING ROUTES):
1)      QB TAKES 3 STEPS (IN .8 SECOND) – ON PASSES WITH BREAKING POINTS OF 6 YARDS.  QB GETS THE BALL OUT IN 1.3.  The WR on the HITCH comes open at 1.6.

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