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Friday, August 12, 2005

Sprint-out and Half-roll Passing

Discussion of half-roll protection and diagram from my original website:

Our half-roll protection is very similar to that used by the run and shoot, except our QBs have more freedom to keep rolling out. It is actually designed as a full-sprint out, but the QBs usually end up stopping and setting up after a half or semi-roll out.

It has been a great benefit to vary the launch points for our QB. I am a firm believer in dropback passing, but a simple way to roll-out has been very effective. Further, this has helped a diverse number of QBs, particularly shorter QBs and ones without strong arms. I think many QBs can be more comfortable with the rollout and half-roll passing game.

The Rules:

Backside Tackle: Backside Tackle: Turn and Hinge
Backside Guard: Turn and Hinge
Center: If covered or shade to callside, reach. If uncovered with no shade to callside, turn and hinge.
(Note, on turn and hinges, unless you make immediate contact begin to get depth to stay between the QB and your man. You do not want to be still on the LOS as the DE comes upfield)
Playside Guard: Reach, plug hole/backside
Playside Tackle: Reach (Note: On any reach block, if you are unable to reach, ride your man out to the sideline. Don't get beat outside trying to reach hopelessly. A man pushed out of bounds and kept on the LOS is just as effective.)

RB: Take two steps to callside, looking at outside rusher. Look for OLB or outside rusher to come shooting, block first color that shows. If none show, check middle and then backside. You are the QB's bodyguard. Step to rush, do not wait for him to get to the QB.

QB:Pre-snap look is key. QB will go at a 45 degree angle to a depth of 5-6 yards and then will level off. He will need to get his eyes up, and look downfield. He can continue moving parrallel to the LOS, but he must know when he must stop and step up in the pocket and deliver the ball. If he breaks contain he can continue out, he does not have a set place he has to be, but he must be smart.

This is a protection reliant on the QB being smart. On a dropback everyone knows he should be in the pocket, 5-7 yards behind the center. In this protection his blockers are doing the best they can and he needs to find the best space to throw or run the football from.

He must help his blockers by not getting into trouble and thinking he can outrun everyone. He must have a good sense of timing and be well practiced, as this type of dropback is not as carefully calibrated as our 5 and 3 step drops are. However, its simplicity has been a real asset to us.

Below are some of my favorite sprint out/half-roll pass routes and a (very) brief discussion of each. I like to keep them simple. Also, this series becomes even more viable in the red zone, where giving your QB a run-pass option can be a huge boost to your O. Also, most of the passes are designed to go to the outside, since a) one advantage of moving the pocket is making these passes shorter, b) it puts the defenders in a tougher run/pass bind and c) throwing on the run is easier when the receivers are either stationary or moving in the same direction as you are, so we try to limit receivers to these two categories.

1: My favorite movement pass. The outside man runs a post-curl, looking to make his post move at 8-10 and then curling at 13-15, depending how upfield the defenders are. #2 wants to run a 10 yard out. I like to speed cut this out, but some good passing teams prefer a sharp cut. The QB reads outside to in. He wants to throw the out route every time, but if they fly out he will point his shoulders inside and throw the post-curl. If the post-curl isn't there he thinks run, looking to cut back against the grain. I've seen more than a few long-TD runs by QBs on rollouts, almost all cut-back runs.

2. My second favorite. #1 runs a whip. He will release inside and push to 6 yards and turn back to the QB. Versus man he will pivot and run back to the sideline, versus zone he will turn back to the QB and slide with him. #2 runs a 10-12 yard corner. The QB reads corner to whip, again looking to run/cutback if they are not there. Great in the red-zone.

Also, you can run this from trips sending a man on a seam route (#3) or a go route down the sideline (#1). Either can hurt the defense, but the go is the easier throw for the QB.

3. Great sideline route. Outside receiver runs a comeback to the sideline, making his break at 15. The slot pushes to 12-14, turning inside to the QB but pivoting back outside. Again, the QB reads outside to in.

4. This is a simplified version of the run and shoot choice route, diagrammed in 6. You can tag or call the single receiver's routes, and then from there read across the field as the receivers come into the QBs view. Some coaches would prefer to read deep to short for the deep cross and shallow cross/drag, and while this would be desirable, the receivers come into the QB's vision in this order and this will better reflect how the defenders will actually react to the receivers.

5. This is our adjustment to the first play I diagrammed. Here, the slot runs an out and up and the post-curl looks to whip back out to the sideline a bit more. Great if if you've thrown this a few times and the deep cover men (safeties/corners) think they can jump your possession passes.

6. The run and shoot choice route, thrown in just because it is so effective. Most of you won't want to install all the reads (I didn't), but it's a play many teams have had great success with.

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