Footwork Drills

This is where it all starts - the beginning and where your QB gets his confidence for the footwork before you put him in a mesh situation with another back.  
We put the QB's straddling a line facing the sideline.  This gives him a picture of the midline.  The midline is an imaginary line that starts in the middle of the center's crotch to the middle of the QB's crotch to the middle of the Tailbacks crotch.  On the field this "midline" is imaginary but with this drill the 5 yard lines are a physical midline for the QB's to work. 
1st progression
The coach will be facing the QB's and call out - Sweep right - 1st step only - on sound - "Set"
Each QB shoud take his 1st step with speed and the ball should be in the correct position - 1/4 turn of the ball with his right hand and both hands on the fat of the ball with the point in his belt buckle.  His elbows should be tight to his body and the ball should be parallel to the ground.
2nd progression
The coach will be facing the QB's and call out - Sweep right - 1st 2 steps only - "on sound" - "Set"
3rd progression
The coach will be facing teh QB's and call out - Sweep right - 1st 3 steps only - "on sound" - "Set"
4th progression
The coach will be facing the QB's and call out - Sweep right - all the footwork and drop the ball where it is to be handed off and finish with the waggle fake to the sideline.
We will do this for all the footwork.  We will utilize lining paint to hand paint the spots where the QB's footwork should be to help them know the foot patterns to begin with.  Once through any new footwork we review and repeat given footwork each day.  We skip the 1st step and just do either 2 or three steps.  With the buck series I would do 3 steps and with the belly footwork you can do just 2. With down you must do 4 steps.
Once the steps are taught we will only do all the steps in this setting -mixing up the plays - so that the QB does not do the same play twice in a row or the opposite play back to back.  This should be done in 2 to 3 minutes and in practice when the QB's can get some extra work - during special teams, before practice or after practice.  
This drill is a staple for the Quarterback and Backs to perfect the timing and the technique of their mesh points.  This is done a the beginning of individual period.  However the largest  part of this work should be in the offseason with your Running Backs and Quarterbacks.  This is also a critical drill for the older part of your youth leagues and your middle school programs.  
We have 3 stations depending on your numbers and depth.  You can alter this by using 2 stations if your numbers are smaller.

The Tailback (Fullback for some of you) station

The Tailback will be aligned with toes at 4 yards behind the football.  The Quarterback will be aligned behind an imaginary center about 1 1/3 yards behind the football.  We will beginn with our daily installation.  The buck series - we will practice our footwork of 24 and 26 guard trap.  It is important on the hand off to make sure we look the ball in and we finish all our fakes.  On our fake of waggle we must go through our reads of deep - short - run.  I want the Quarterback to yell out his reads as if they were happening.  I also want him to yell them out in the time frame they would happen.  For instance - he should be able to see the deep route approx.  5-6 steps from snap and the short read 3 steps after that and the run read then takes care of itself.

The Halfback Station

The Halfback will be aligned as a Dive back (Toes at 4 yards and straddle the outside leg of the Offensive Tackle) to begin with and once the timing and the mesh is mastered then you can change to the Wing Back Position.  We will begin with the buck sweep.  The HB will crossover on his first step and getting his shoulders turned will receive hand off on second step and finish his buck sweep path. We would set cones down at the beginning - 4 yards deep over imaginary TE and 3 yards deep 2 yards wider than the TE - to help the HB with his path and getting the feel for making the cut.

 Check out Hand off Drill Diagram Here


Score Big!

Coach Hrovat