Notes on the Dropback passing game in the West Coast Offense
From a 49ers coaches meeting:
(A) Three Step Drop
-Takes advantage of a bad defensive adjustment.
-Receivers = five steps.
1. Hitch and Quick Out:
- Adjust splits to break in or out.
- Don't lead receiver - throw at his hip.
- Throw outs to LEFT and ins to the RIGHT (from all drops).
- When throwing to the right, step towards the receiver on the 3rd step.
- 3 quick steps when throwing out. (WR 8 yrd split).
- Best place to throw quick out is from SLOT formation. (to SE).
- 3 big steps when throwing hitch. Throw to middle of the receiver. When receiver catches the ball, he pivots to the sideline and runs to goalline. (WR 12 yrd split).
[Ed. Note: QB reads the flat defender -- if he retreats for the slant throw the flat/shoot route; if he takes the shoot throw the slant in the window]
- Slant pass is a big chunk play.
- 12 yrd split - 5 to 7 steps and break.
- Slant is best weak.
- Throwing strongside you should use dropback and weak flow.
- Throw ball to middle of receiver and above his waist - if anything slow him up to catch it.
- Receiver should always be aware of relationship between corner and safety.
- Hop inside and come under control in hole.
- Ball should be caught 1 ft. in front of receivers numbers.
- Vs corner inside - go full speed and break across his face.
- Always practice 1/2 as many throws to outlet as primary.
(B) Five Step Drop
- Ball control, timed passes; good on 1st and 10, 2 and 6, 3 and 4.
- Receivers run 10 - 12 yrd routes.
- WR 8 yd split.
- Square out = 5 quick steps - don't lead WR.
- 9 out of 10 square outs are thrown to the LEFT.
- Throw square out into short field and away from rotation.
- If LB crosses throwing lane - throw the outlet route. (Practice with coach catching primary and anyone catching outlet - hands up indicate who to throw to.)
- Prefer to throw square in to the RIGHT.
-5 Steps and hitch step.
-WR sells GO pattern. Inside release, outside push, plant outside foot and start in.
-WR 12 yd split.
-QB 5 BIG STEPS - HITCH and throw on time. WR does NOT keep running. Catch ball no more than 3 steps inside original position. (keep ball in middle)
-WR catches ball and runs straight upfield.
-"Square-in, wide Flare, wall off."
[Ed. Note: The square-in is addressed in the video below by Ron Jenkins.]
5. Flanker Post:
- Prefer Big, smooth WR.
- WR 12 yd split.
- QB 5 BIG steps and Hitch.
- ALWAYS throw RIGHT.
- WR break into hole in the zone.
- Attract FS weak to create hole - throw ball inside corner and past SS
- TECHNIQUE is outside.
6. Curl: -5 step timed.
-Throw to middle of WR.
-GREAT vs middle LBer defender - if WR is not open go to outlet immediately.
-WR 12 yd split.
[Ed. Note: Video below.]
(C) Seven-Step Drop -Bread and Butter BIG chunk offense.
7. Go pattern: -- Only to fastest WR.
-Practice 4 to 1 to fastest WR over other WR's.
-WR 12 yrd split.
-DON'T THROW AGAINST THEIR BEST DB! (Scout their personnel)
-Throw GO in conjunction with plat action.
-Keep the length of the throw consistent.
-7 step hitch and throw.
-Practice throwing to a spot with WR standing there.
-Don't throw if DB is deeper than WR when you hitch step.
-Measure distance with WR full speed than practice stationary.
-WR: release inside than out - chase DB step on his toes and run by him - keep DB in his backpeddle - look DB in the eyes NOT past him.
-At 8 yds, be 1 yd inside, next 8 yds be 1 yd outside.
-When thrown inside the 25 yd line change to 5 step drop.
-Throw GO RIGHT more often than left.
-Vs Cloud throw in hole (only vs stationary DB) 5 Step drop.
8. Deep Comeback:
-Only when DB is turing and running away.
-WR 12 yrd split.
-20 yds full speed - plant and come back.
-7 step and hitch step and throw to spot.
-Ball should be released as WR is planting foot.
-WR always keep elbows and arms in running position. Just before you break, drop head and dig (pump hands).