Jump to content


Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays
Photo
- - - - -

Choosing Your Starting Qb's?


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 Texas_D_Coach

Texas_D_Coach

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas

Posted 06 January 2009 - 02:59 PM

Hello Everyone,
Well we had our first practice for the winter league we are playing in this year. This is my first season as head coach and also my first season as offensive coordinator (after coaching defense for several seasons). Luckily I have a parent on the team who has head coached quite a bit so he is taking over the defense for me.

Here's my dilemma. We have only 7 kids on our team (it's a 5 on 5 league), and 4 have them have several seasons of flag football under their belt, and I have 3 who are totally new flag football.

After the first practice I was actually quite impressed that all of them can throw and catch pretty good, but now I need to decide how to handle the QB situation.

I think almost all of the kids could probably handle the QB position, but the 4 returners definitely have stronger more accurate arms.

I would like to get the QB chosen and let him have a majority of scrimmage plays before our 1st game the next day.

My plan right now is to do some pass pattern drills in our next practice and let all the kids "try out" (although it will be just another drill to the kids), and see who has the most accurate arm, best drop back and handoff skills. My worry is that it seems to me we won't know who handles the pressure best until after the scrimmage.

We have 1.5 hours to practice before our 1st game so my time to decide is limited.

Also 2 of the 4 returners are my son and the other coaches son so I don't want to make it look like they are getting special treatment.

HELP!!!


#2 Coach Rob

Coach Rob

    Ineligible Receiver

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 754 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Anything outdoors.

Posted 06 January 2009 - 03:36 PM

I would like to get the QB chosen and let him have a majority of scrimmage plays before our 1st game the next day. My worry is that it seems to me we won't know who handles the pressure best until after the scrimmage.

To me that pressure situation is a key factor in choosing a good QB. The arm strength and ability to make clean handoffs/pitches is important, but I've found that having a kid who can be cool under pressure is a huge asset. My best QB turned out to be one of my younger players just because he didn't panic. This kid was cool with minimal interceptions and the ability to ad-lib when things went wrong. He also had the ability to pull off more complicated plays with less instruction.

If it were me, I'd pick one or two and pressure them in practice with some good rushes. You probably won't know for sure until after the first game which kid will perform the best.

I wouldn't worry too much about people thinking you're favoring one kid over another. Having a good QB allows everyone on offense more opportunities for successful ball touches. I tried the "everyone plays QB" theory my first yr of coaching during my first game and it was a disaster. Too many fumbles, bad passes and blown plays. Kids were very frustrated. We always try and give everyone a chance to play QB during the season, but I try and choose those opportunities wisely.

Curious what age group you'll be coaching?

CRob
-CRob

#3 Texas_D_Coach

Texas_D_Coach

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas

Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:04 PM

Curious what age group you'll be coaching?

CRob

Thanks for the input Rob. I'm coaching 3rd/4th grade kids so 8-9 yrs old.

Hopefully during the scrimmage I can get a better idea of how the different kids handle a rusher.

#4 rushbuster70

rushbuster70

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 517 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 January 2009 - 06:40 PM

This here is my specialty sirrrr

Haha this is seriously my favorite part about getting started in the new season

I love coaching quarterbacks

My main thing with QB is the most competitive but calm kid.I want a kid who is going to have that attitude were he knows he can do it and doesnt doubt his abilities.Even if he doesnt have the best arm or accuracy.I want him to be able to know the plays and know whats going to happen yet relaxed on the field.

If i have find a QB who cant throw it down the field thats fine i will make the offense work but I just need that 1 special kid who just has "it"

Luckily out of 9 seasons i've been able to have success this way...
AZPanthersFootball.org

#5 Texas_D_Coach

Texas_D_Coach

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas

Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:42 AM

This here is my specialty sirrrr

Haha this is seriously my favorite part about getting started in the new season

I love coaching quarterbacks

My main thing with QB is the most competitive but calm kid.I want a kid who is going to have that attitude were he knows he can do it and doesnt doubt his abilities.Even if he doesnt have the best arm or accuracy.I want him to be able to know the plays and know whats going to happen yet relaxed on the field.

If i have find a QB who cant throw it down the field thats fine i will make the offense work but I just need that 1 special kid who just has "it"

Luckily out of 9 seasons i've been able to have success this way...

Thanks Rush,
How many practices or games does it take for you to decide? Can you get it done in just a couple of practices?

I don' see how I can make a good decision until after I've let them play a game situation. Scrimmaging might give me enough info to go on...

#6 rushbuster70

rushbuster70

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 517 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 07 January 2009 - 05:36 PM

Just depends on the QB.I usually have it done by the end of the 2nd practice though.I always get 4 practice in before the first game.So that give me 2 full practices to work on things.I will always have him rushed to see how he does.Then make adjustments the last practice before the game to fix his issues with the rush.
AZPanthersFootball.org

#7 Johnp2

Johnp2

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 818 posts

Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:57 PM

I agree--the QB is your most important position.

I would advise the following:

Pick two and no more than two. Pick your smartest player and the one with the best arm---if they are the same player---then someone is smiling down on you! :-)

My son (nepotism, you know) is our starting QB. Simply put, he can lead the offense. He knows all of the plays, how to execute them in tandem with his teammates, he runs the hurry up offense when needed (remembers mulitple plays and explains to the team at the line what to do in our "code"), etc.

His arm strength is ranked about middle of the team (I had 12 players) but he lost his confidence throwing this season. Yet when I need someone to run the offense, be cool, and ensure our plays were crisp----he is my QB.

The other player I had at QB was older and had the best arm. He did not pick up the complexities of the offense, and his job was to THROW when he was on the field. I think the key is to know when you want to execute a certain style of offense: a crisp, advanced offense--or a big play "playground" offense that can score one a single play, and with that comes a lot of risks. I personally like the former a little more, but it is also good to have a gunslinger on your team who can chunk it on defenses.

I know the popular belief is to "keep it simple", but I like to challenge my players, and thus put a LOT of responsibility in our QB position. He is the leader of the offense. The play starts and ends with him, and his teammates rely on him for their success or failure (sorry I am sounding like John Facenda again). :-)

Whatever you do---if you find a QB that can sling it down the field, just be sure you have one or more players that can catch it. Ha!

Good luck. Please let us know how you do---this is a good topic and I appreciate hearing what you, Rushbuster, and everyone else has to say on the subject. We are all here to learn.

Thanks!

#8 Texas_D_Coach

Texas_D_Coach

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas

Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:55 AM

Thanks for the advice guys. Our 2nd practice is tomorrow and our 1st game is Sunday, so I'll keep you updated of how things go.

#9 Orange

Orange

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 768 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Florida

Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:34 AM

I agree with the guys who say whoever performs better under pressure. My best qb was maybe the 4th or 5th best throwing the ball in drills (out of 11). If I had decided based solely on that he'd have never seen a snap. Fortunately he played as qb the prior season so I knew what to expect. Even so I began the season thinking someone else would be our main qb. He's reasonably accurate but others can throw better for sure. His arm strength is average at best. But place him in a pressure game situation and something transforms. He has "it," whatever "it" is. He has a confidence and competitiveness that is hard to explain. When others hesitate, he makes a decision, usually the right one. He's bold and is not afraid to take chances. His mind works faster than anyone out there.

Here is an extreme example of what I saw from a kid that is a very good thrower and the qb I described above. The qb above gets the play and then walks to the los with confidence, looks up and down at his players making sure they are ready. He'll survey the defense and maybe even wink at the rusher (he told me he did that once). My good thrower gets the play and then makes a beeline towards the los, eyes focused on the center. He begins the snap count regardless of whether everyone is lined up or not. He executes the play in a tunnel. The good qb can improvise on a broken play where the thrower cannot. There are lots of shades in between the two, my point is there is so much more to being a qb than throwing.

I'd let several play in the scrimmage to sort out those that can handle it. They will separate themselves.

#10 Johnp2

Johnp2

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 818 posts

Posted 09 January 2009 - 04:38 PM

This season our league seemed to be less of a "passing" league as compared with last.

Last season there were 4-5 teams that threw most of the time, and had some QBs that could sling it very far. The key was they also had players who could catch it. No team was really able to consistently move it in the air this season that I saw. We played one team (twice) and they threw 99% of the time. The problem was that none of his receivers could catch 15+ yard passes---but they kept throwing it. It almost became comical. He would just drop back, wait, and then chunk it as far as he could. I don't think they even made a first down in either game we played them.

#11 Texas_D_Coach

Texas_D_Coach

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas

Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:15 PM

This season our league seemed to be less of a "passing" league as compared with last.

Last season there were 4-5 teams that threw most of the time, and had some QBs that could sling it very far. The key was they also had players who could catch it. No team was really able to consistently move it in the air this season that I saw. We played one team (twice) and they threw 99% of the time. The problem was that none of his receivers could catch 15+ yard passes---but they kept throwing it. It almost became comical. He would just drop back, wait, and then chunk it as far as he could. I don't think they even made a first down in either game we played them.


Funny you should mention that John. That is exactly why I decided to head coach this season. The head coach I was assisting last season did the same exact thing, chunking the ball way down field on almost every down. I don't think we ran a running play all season long. Ha!!

So I'm going to try it my way this season. short passes, some quick slants and center drags, a few end arounds and reverses, and the occasional long bomb for fun.

I agree that the QB being good under pressure is paramount. Now I've just got to sort out who those couple of kids are...

#12 Texas_D_Coach

Texas_D_Coach

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas

Posted 12 January 2009 - 10:48 AM

Well we lost our 1st game yesterday 12-6. All in all we played OK, but we had a lot of dropped passes and 2 dropped interceptions that would have definitely made a difference. I tried 3 different kids at QB, and 2 of them played well. The third had the deer in headlights look when the rusher came at him so I doubt he play QB again this season.

The other team were a little bigger than our guys and very fast, and had a couple of guys who could catch really well, but we stopped them most of the time. Their 2 scores were on long runs where we missed the runners flags at the line and then he outran us.

They sent a blitzer at us almost every down, and that really threw a curve for us. We only started learning the playbook saturday and alot of little things caused us to misfire a few times.

We had a dropped snap on one possession, we tried running a few end arounds and reverses, but their blitzer was fast and we didn't execute the handoff deep enough in the backfield or perform the handoff quick enough. We had at leat 4 passes hit the recievers in the hands and then got dropped. Several times the recievers ran their routes and were covered, and our QB had nowhere to go with the ball and a blitzer in his face.

The one play that we scored on worked really well for us. It was a balanced play (WR left and right), with the QB in shotgun and the RB standing right beside the QB. QB takes the handoff and hads it off to the RB who can then run or throw depending on what he sees. It worked great against the blitz because the RB could take off into the gap left by the blitzer. I'm definitely going to practice that one more this week until we have it down perfect. Could be our bread and butter play this year.

Definitely have plenty of things to get corrected, but the kids had fun. Looks like we'll be competitive once we get the kinks worked out.

#13 hollad6636

hollad6636

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 396 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Antonio, TX

Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:18 PM

For me it's always good to get that first one under your belt. It really gives you the ability to see where you stand and to determine what you as a coach have failed to teach them and what you have succeeded in teaching them.

You find out pretty quickly where your strengths and weakness are and you progress from there. Sometime if I have coached in the league before or played a particular team in the past I kind of have a feel for how we are going to compare to the rest of the league.

I think it is important to keep the focus on the progress of your players skill development and not on the outcomes of the games. Regardless of your next game outcome did your players get better? I have fun with this myself as so many of my parents just don't see the big picture. We will struggle with something against a good team and then work on it over and over again in practice and the next week we play a weaker team and do well and my parents will come up and congratulate on how much better we did, etc and I am thinking we won but we made the same mistakes as we did the week before. I think that is also a point to make and that is that you have to have patience and know that somethings will not change overnight.

Good Luck with your season.

#14 Orange

Orange

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 768 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Florida

Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:26 PM

For the end arounds, bring the wideout in motion. Work on the timing to make sure you take the snap when the receiver is about 5 yards from the qb. And teach the receiver to stutter step if he gets there too soon. That's really the only way to get off the handoff and avoid a fast rush with the end around. Make sure to bring the receiver in motion and fake it just as often.

Having completed my season, next time I will have 75%+ of my plays executing before the rush is a factor. Everything will be fast.

Also, my favorite play was from a balanced set under center. Receivers run long patterns and the halfback runs a wheel route towards either side. The qb looks and fake pumps long then hits the halfback at the los by the sideline. This play is executable before the rush is a factor and stretches the defenders out. Eventually the corners will sit home and then you can try to hit a long flag or go route.

#15 Texas_D_Coach

Texas_D_Coach

    MVP

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Central Texas

Posted 12 January 2009 - 03:43 PM

Having completed my season, next time I will have 75%+ of my plays executing before the rush is a factor. Everything will be fast.

Thanks for the advice guys.
I agree with you about getting the ball off fast (something we were unable to do this week). I really paid attention to the Colts plays you put up a few weeks ago and how successful they were getting the play off in a hurry, so I based half my playbook on that concept.

Also, my favorite play was from a balanced set under center. Receivers run long patterns and the halfback runs a wheel route towards either side. The qb looks and fake pumps long then hits the halfback at the los by the sideline. This play is executable before the rush is a factor and stretches the defenders out. Eventually the corners will sit home and then you can try to hit a long flag or go route.

I have that exact play in my playbook, although it didn't work as planned in the game because the QB didn't look for him fast enough with the rush (he was looking fo rother recievers first, we will practice that this week too).

Here is my playbook that I put together for this season. I will be tweaking it throughout the season depending on what I learn.

My goal this season is to give each player 2 primary positions based on their skills, and let them switch between them during the game based on who subs in and out. That way it will be easier in the huddle to get them lined up and they already know what to do on each play.

Attached Files