Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Speed up your quick game

For years I struggled with how to make our quick passing game... quicker. I constantly harped on my QBs to get rid of the ball faster. We talked about making pre-snap reads on the quick game, but I really didn't know how to coach them up on it other than to say, "Get rid of it faster!"

Two years ago, we took several QBs to Darrin Slack's Quarterback Academy Camp at Jenks High School in Tulsa, OK. In my opinion, Coach Slack is the premiere QB coach in the country, and his camps and products are all top-notch. From this camp I took away one small tip about the quick game that finally gave me a coaching point to make our quick game quicker:

The inside of his right foot sets the hallway
"Set the hallway"

Look down at the shoe on the dominant side of your body (righties look at your right shoe, lefties look at your left shoe). Most athletic shoes have a logo on the inside of it. Imagine that logo is a laser sight. To get rid of the ball faster and to be more accurate, you must "aim" that logo (and thus the laser) at your target. This is what Coach Slack refers to as "Setting the Hallway."

I have heard QB coaches talk about imagining you have cameras all over your body that you want to aim at the target, or simply telling QBs to "step at the target." I found that this simple coaching point of setting your hallway with the inside of your shoe is the best tip in order for the QB to get the ball out quickly and accurately.

The ball is going to go where that logo is pointed. 

This tip applies to the 5-step dropback game, as well as the quick 3-step game. The ball is going to go where that logo is pointed.

For the quick game, we want to immediately set the hallway by pointing that logo at the target. We should already have a presnap read based on cushion and alignment of the defense.

Throwing to the right

When throwing to the right, we immediately open our right foot and point the logo at the target. As we are throwing, we should push off of our right foot so that our momentum is going straight at the receiver. There shouldn't be any wasted motion stepping back, hitching up, or shuffling our feet. This is something we work on daily, even without throwing the ball.

Here are examples of throwing quick to the right. Notice the QB's footwork. There is little wasted movement, and his momentum is going straight at the target.

Oh Snap!

You need to install Silverlight to watch Hudl presentations. Download Silverlight

Need help installing Silverlight? Click here.

Throwing to the left

When throwing to the left, our footwork changes slightly. We are still setting our hallway and "aiming" at the target with the logo on our shoe. However, we must first take a crossover step with our throwing side leg. This crossover step will allow us to set the hallway, and carry our momentum at the target. Before I used this coaching point, our QBs struggled to accurately throw to the left. Again, it takes muscle memory of doing this every day in practice, even without throwing the football. Drill the crossover footwork so that it becomes second nature to them.

Here are some examples of throwing the quick game to the left:

Oh Snap!

You need to install Silverlight to watch Hudl presentations. Download Silverlight

Need help installing Silverlight? Click here.

Once your QBs begin to think about setting the hallway by pointing that logo on their shoe at the target, they will become more accurate and begin to deliver the ball on time.

What other coaching points have you used to coach up the quick game?


  1. Do you have any coaching points for throwing to the left from under center in the quick game? We have coached what we call the drop step where the third step with the plant leg steps behind so he can more easily step towards his receiver.

  2. Seth - Thanks for the comment! Great question. I haven't coached it under center for a few years, but here is what I would teach:

    1. 1st step gains ground away from the center

    2. 2nd step is a cross-over

    3. 3rd step, the QB should set the hallway. Think about aiming that logo at the target as he plants his foot in the ground. This will get him to open up his shoulders and be on target.

    Tell me a little about that drop step - I am curious to learn more.

  3. Well, when the QB is throwing to his right. We call it a J step. When throwing to the left it's a drop step. The drop step is basically setting the hallway, we just never coached the ankle pointing. But I will from now on. Really the step just makes it easier to step towards where you are throwing.

  4. I know your not going to like my comment, but your QB in those example videos is taking a full step or sometimes two steps up to the line. Is that intentional? I mean I looked at the first video on the QB throwing to the left and it just looks funny.
    I coach QB's and the quick passing game is really simple, switch your feet and throw. what happens if the pre-snap read isn't there post snap and the QB has to go to #2? he will hitch up and be a yard of the line.
    I would just keep it simple switch your feet, so what I mean is small power step as your catching the ball then back step and plant your foot at the target. if its not fast enough then run them through a drill where you pepper balls to them and they have to catch and throw to 3 or 4 targets. that drill is great.
    I'm just saying the example videos kind of ruined it for me.

  5. Coach: Thank you for the comment. What you are talking about is something I worked on all year with that QB. He improved greatly from the time I started working with him in the summer. He was holding, holding, holding the ball in the quick game to the point where it would be a sack. We worked with him on his footwork and getting the ball out faster. I don't coach the quick game as a progression read. It is presnap decision based on grass and leverage.

    Again, thank you for the comment. I am always open to new ideas and perspectives.

  6. How did you embed Hudl clips into your blog post?

  7. Dustin - You have to have the Gold Package that has the presentation feature. Once you create a presentation, you can generate an embed code.

    You can then change to HTML mode in the blog and paste the code in there.

    I hope that makes sense. You can e-mail Hudl support and they can also walk you through it. It is a pretty slick feature.