Off the Ball Releases

There are rules we follow when we work on off the ball releases.

1. Know your route and where you need to go.
2. Have a plan in mind
3. Mix up your plans
4. React well to a bad plan.
5. Be aware of the alignments of the secondary

 Arsenal: Counter Moves

Counter moves allow the WR to get into his route without getting bumped off and create separation between the WR and DB.

1.      Hand Counter

When the DB tries to control you by getting a hand on the WR, the receiver should use a free hand to club the defender’s hands away.  After the hands have been clubbed away the WR should clear his hips of the Defender’s hips.                       

2.      Dent

This is a speed move that will allow the WR to get past the DB.  When the WR pushes off the ball he should attack half of the DB to gain leverage on him.  When the DB goes to put a hand on the WR, the WR takes the arm closest to the DB and chops his hands down. While performing this move you should never slow down..

3.      Club and Rip

Similar to the Dent move, when the DB puts his hands on the WR, the WR clubs the DB.  After clubbing the DB the WR must rip and get skinny to clear his hips and shoulders past the DB.

Drill: Donkey D’s

Method: Set up three donkey d bags in a row.  The WR will run through the donkey d’s executing one of the three separation techniques above.  Each WR should go through at least three times executing each of the techniques. 


A.    Space in Between

Our goal is to move the defender away from where we want to go, club him, and rip through to where we need to be.

Coaching Points: 

     Be patient with the release.
     Stick, and have your backside arm ready
      Be physical with your club, and rip through the defender.
      Get skinny on your rip, fight his pressure, clear the defenders hip
      Burst our of the move to create separation
There may be a point when the DB stops moving as much with your initial move. This is when we just want to beat him with speed, chop his hands down, and burst.

 Command: “Set”

Method: Coach can be the defender, or have the defender align where you want him.  Give the WR a ball side and a route.  Have him execute his release.


Coaching Points: The drill can be done with donkey d’s. 


1.      Two Step and club

2.      Speed and Chop


B.     No Space in between


The other scenario we will see is when the defender is up in our face, giving us no space in between.


1.      Rip

·         Rip to where you want to go immediately

·         Get skinny, change the plane of your shoulders, and fight pressure.

·         Clear the defender’s hip

·         Burst upfield



2.      Freeze

·         Chop your feet to give the illusion that you are running of the ball.

·         Pump your arms violently

·         Attack an edge of the DB

·         Rip through him, and burst upfield.


       Command: “Set”

       Method: Coach designates ball side and route. The WR works a release to get                  into the route.


II.               Separation Techniques – One Step Breaks


Our philosophy on creating separation is very simple.  When our WR run routes we would like them to always look the same.  They should always have their head and eyes up, use great running form, be under control.


1.      Stick Move

·         Drive plant foot into the ground

·         Sit down, and drop your hips

·         Chest over your thighs

·         Head and eyes up

·         Burst out of the break, and rip your elbow back.



Command: “Set”

Method: Set up cones in a ten yard square. The WR will execute stick moves at each cone using good technique.



a.       90 degree cuts                        b. 45 degree cuts

.   Ladder Drill

Command: “Set”

Method:  WR gets off the ball, burst towards the first cone, and executes a stick break.  Once he sticks he will pause, and keep his eyes and head up, and pump his arms full speed for 5 sec.  On the next “set” he will go to the second cone, and the next guy in line begins.  After he leaves the last cone, he will catch a ball.                              


d.   Zig-Zag Drill

Command: “Set”

 Method:  WR gets off of the ball, and executes a stick move at each cone.  After the last cone he will catch a football.


e.  Hour Glass drill

Method:  Set up cones as shown below.  The WR will get off the ball and attack the middle cone executing a one step break.  He will proceed to the upper left cone and make another one step break across the top, here he will look for the ball and catch it.  The WR will finish the drill by mirroring the beginning of the drill ending on the bottom right cone.


                         f.  M drill

Method: Use the same set up as above.  Instead of the WR attacking the middle cone they go straight to the upper left cone and execute a one step break down to the middle cone. At each cone the WR should execute a one step break making an M path.  


2.      Weave Move

We will use the Weave Move on some of our longer routes to get the DB to change his hip position.  We will always start in the direction we want to end up.


Coaching Points

    Execute slight stems in and out using subtle moves at each break.

     Accelerate out of the last move.


Score Big!

Coach Hrovat