Start with the playbook, which Tedford wants quarterbacks to "learn" rather than memorize - akin to thinking in a foreign language rather than simply memorizing the right sentence for ordering dinner in a restaurant.
"So much of the game is the mental part, being prepared scheme-wise, and understanding the game, and understanding the concepts, so they understand on every play where to throw the football," Tedford says. "It's not memorizing; you find a lot of times that kids will memorize, but they have to understand the whole concept, and the whole field. There's a purpose for everything we do with every position, and they need to understand what that purpose is."
As he teaches understanding of the playbook, Tedford begins by drawing diagrams with pencil and paper. From that, he'll move on to the checkers. Across a table from his quarterback, Tedford arranges 11 checkers in a defensive formation, against the quarterback's offense and asks the quarterback to show what's happening - what's the formation, what's the pre-snap read, what's the play call, what are the possibilities out of the formation, what are the protections, what are the routes? "I'll make them say the snap count, the whole thing, and what happened," Tedford says.
I've never used checkers to teach a quarterback, but if Jeff Tedford says something about quarterbacks, I'll listen. Read the full article here.