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Help Develop Qb With Slow Release/tunnel Vision


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#1 A Name Already In Use

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:20 AM

I am in a 5-on-5, five second count rush league in the 8-10 year old division. I am struggling this season without a quarterback and am making the best of one of my fastest players with very little arm. The upside he is enthusiastic about playing QB although he is a much better RB and one of the more athletic players with good confidence even if he throws an interception. I've found there is nothing worse than a QB that shuts down after an interception.

I have scaled my plays back to provide short passing opportunities that shred the typically zone defense we come against instead of the long passes I had last season.

My problem? Our QB gets tunnel vision on a single player and does not scan the field for all passing opportunities. Even worse, the tunnel vision is extended with a hesitancy to throw so by the time he decides to throw the ball the defense has already read where he is throwing to.

Can someone provide me with some drills to open up his awareness and speed up his throw?

Thanks, in advance.
5 on 5, velcro flag, 5 second delay rush, boys & girls ages 8-9...Alpharetta, GA

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#2 KWILSON512

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:53 PM

I just wrapped up a season with a 6 on 6 (5-7 year old) team, we through the ball about 40 to 50% of the time this year.

Here are some things we did...
1. I would practice the same play over and over (no defense) and I would make the QB hit a different reciever everytime. I felt like it helped his mechanics, decision making and timing. If he took longer than 5 seconds to throw i'd blow the whistle and restart the play.

2. We also ran our offense against 3-4 parents, the parents would act as linebackers and cover routes which would then force our QB to find the open route, we rotated the open routes. I really liked this because the parents were way more coordinated than any of my players and a poor decision resulted in pick 6's. I felt like the pick 6's were a good way to show the QB the consequences of poor decision making and i'd usually talk to the QB about why he made the throw and his thought process between plays. Again, I would blow the whistle if the QB had not thrown the ball after 5 seconds and make the restart the play.

3. Tunnel vision - Our QB got tunnel vision from time to time but I found it to be a direct result of the QB understanding the capabilities of his recievers, he would throw to more dependable recievers when it doubt. We worked really hard on catching for the first 10-15 minutes of every practice and eventually the QB got to the point where he felt pretty comfortable with most of them due to the fact that they all became way better at catching.

Hope this helps, I have no clue if these are sound coaching methods, i'm only in my second year and this is what worked for us...good luck.

#3 Orange

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:37 AM

Personally I think the problem is that you are giving your QB too many choices. With respect to the previous post, I don't think a young, or in your case inexperienced (because I don't think 10 is young) QB should need to check down to find the open receiver. Simplify your plays!

I would have one go-to receiver for every play. If for some reason that breaks down, tell your athletic, speedy QB to "make something happen." But that shouldn't be the case very often. Design plays where he looks downfield (or in a different direction) and then turns and throws to the designated receiver. Here is an example that is very simple. It's a pass play to the center. On the snap, the center slides down the los towards the sideline, turns and faces the QB. The receiver on that side runs a 3 yard down and in. The QB looks at the receiver and fakes like he's throwing to him. Then he turns, faces and throws to the center. It's important to tell your QB who is new to looking off the defense to then find the designated receiver before throwing to him. If not you'll get crazy no look passes and you don't want that.

Now, I'm assuming that you are facing zone defenses. Against man, that's going to be more difficult.

#4 TeeDub23

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 09:46 AM

I agree that at this age, not many kids are going to be able to check down off or 1 or 2 reads. I would recommend that you tell your QB to go to a specific player and live with the outcome. For example, if you see a certain route is open, make him throw it there regardless. I cant have a QB scared to throw it, so I take that fear out and tell him to throw it no matter what. As he develops he can start to make plays happen and will not have the fear of throwing.

We have a great QB and one of our most basic plays that killed teams was a fake hand off going right where the QB rthen olls left with 2 set reads. The left WR would run a go route for the deep ball (20+ yards) and the center would be on a 5 yard out to the left. We practiced this play over and over and explained to our QB that if the CB drops, you have the center coming across for an easy 5 yard pass. If the CB does not drop, just bomb it to go route. Very easy to execute and if you set them up with a couple of runs right, they bite every time. Rep this play over and over. We would even practice with coaches playing the CB and the LB. We would test the QB by dropping as the CB sometimes and then sometimes staying short. All the QB does is read the CB.

As he gets this, we implemented a 3rd read that would read if the safety was the blitz guy. We had a slot on the right side of the line that would hit a post down the middle. As the QB rolled right, he could read if the safety is blitzing and therefore leaving the deep middle open. If you execute the runs to set up the play action roll out, the blitzing safety will go after the fake hand off and leave the middle wide open. It is a TD every time.

Rep this play as your 1-2 strategy and you will perform well.

#5 Orange

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 01:11 PM

TeeDub, that's good football right there. You're doing a little misdirection, rolling and letting your QB make a decision based on one read. It makes the game simpler and easier to execute. The play action sets it up for success. Plus that's how he'll learn. I think a mistake coaches make with youth QBs is trying to have them drop back and find the open man.

#6 KWILSON512

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:30 PM

I had a 6 year old checking down, sometime 2-3 checks with no problem, my buddy who also coaches had a 7 year old checking down no problem. I'm not saying it's for all kids but I feel like people under estimate these kids too often. We practiced it and practiced it just like it would look in a game until it became second nature. The teams that have a "go to" reciever on plays are left looking lost if and when that reciever isnt open.

#7 TeeDub23

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:57 PM

I have coached alot of flag and now contact football and if you tell me a 6 year old is going through 3 reads in a matter of 2-3 seconds, I would say that is amazing. Now, I agree all kids are not the same and I dont under estimate some kids, but having a kid take a 3-5 step drop correctly with a 7 yard rusher blitzing quicky and they are scanning down 2-3 reads, I would say you have a very talented kid. At that level, the WRs cant even get past the defense before the QB is being chased by a rusher, so the QB ends up basically throwing to a spot. Which, I do teach spot passing to my kids. Basically, I dont want the QB to hold the ball for more than a couple seconds (especially in contact football) and to throw to a spot in order to time the WR beating the D and running to it in time.

It is not whether they can check down or not, it is whether they have the time to do it.

#8 KWILSON512

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 11:22 PM

There's no pass rush in our league and we have 7 seconds to pass the ball, no drop just due to the fact that theres no rush. We play 6 on 6 , we have to have 4 guys on the line and the defense has to cover those 4 on the los so we are always facing a 4-2 or a 5-1 look. We run all of our passing plays off of fake's and misdirects and for the most part the 2 check downs are always the same and always open.

#9 TeeDub23

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:45 PM

Well, I actually wasnt questioning merits, just impressed with the talent of your kids. I thought it was a great lead up to the spot passing strategy in coaching these kids and I did respond to the original poster with some insight prior to my debate with you. Re-reading my post, I see that it could come across as questioning, but that was not my intent at all. You obviously play in a rule specific league and I have no experience in that hybrid type of league. Most flag leagues have rushers with no blockers,etc and I was just assuming you played in a more common style league and was impressed a 6 year old could check down under those circumstances. So, for that I apologize. No flaming was intended.

Its like in contact football, I have a QB that is 8 years old and can rocket the ball 25 yards on target down the field. This is very uncommon at this age, but it is not the fact that he cant throw it, it is the fact that I dont have kids that can execute a route and catch it with any amount of success at this level. That is why I said it is not whether they can check down (some kids can), it is whether they have the time (from a rusher) to do it. But, I agree with you and everyone else here that practicing the play over and over to build up that ability is key.

#10 Johnp2

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:59 PM

Our league has a 7-second rush (which is very nice) and I see QBs (including ours) check down all the time. It's one of the benefits of not having to be out there running for your life....you get the chance to actually read the coverage and react. As TeeDub alluded to, it's all about having the time to do it...we are fortunate for this rule, so a lot coaches take advantage of that. We've had a two-deep progression for many seasons now. Once we tried to go three-deep, but I found that to be a little too much. If your check down is not open, find ANYONE who is open after that. ;-)

Regarding the original post---it's not uncommon for QBs at that age to get tunnel vision. Sounds like implementing short passes with a (consistent) check-down is the best approach. The check-down does not need to be complex....simply always have a receiver 3-5 yards in the right flat and allow that to be the QBs safety net. Once he gets used to that, you can increase the level of complexity with regards to looking for the secondary receiver....then you "make something happen". If your QB bird-dogs his receivers you just simply have to keep drilling the QB to scan the field and react. Another idea is to implement fakes and then have him throw. This will take his eyes off primary receiver running the route. Good luck!