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Sprint-Out Pass – QB Mechanics

5 Aug

A sprint-out pass play requires the QB to do exactly that: SPRINT OUT!

He should be sprinting to a specific point about ten yards laterally and seven yards deep before turning and attacking the perimeter. With few exceptions, he
should not look at the defense or his receivers until he turns upfield at that point.

Many times what you see instead is more of a roll out in which the QB either drops too deep or runs too slowly.  Either deficiency allows the defense time to
adjust and pursue, which reduces, if not eliminates, the QB’s threat to run the ball.

That’s what makes the sprint-out so dangerous: the QB’s threat to run the ball.  It’s what puts the perimeter defender’s in conflict: do we lay off and cover the pass or do we attack and contain the run?  When the QB reaches that magical turning point, he MUST turn and ATTACK the line of scrimmage (LOS).

Too often what you’ll see, though, is a QB running toward the sideline instead of toward the LOS.  That is not a sprint out.  It’s not even a roll out.   In this case, the QB is doing the defense’s job for them: he’s “stringing the play out” toward the sideline.

When run properly, the QB should be running TOWARD his receivers and not the sideline.   So how do you get your QB from under Center to that turning point where he’s attacking the LOS?  We have found two methods.  One is the traditional sprint-out technique and the other involves faking a 3-step drop.

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Sprint-Out Pass – RB Blocking

31 Jul
It’s about speed and leverage.  Speed to the perimeter and leverage at the edge.

To get there faster — “there” being the outside — many coaches will run their sprint-out to the weakside since that represents the shortest distance to the perimeter.

Weakside and Edge

It’s how we run it and it’s the scheme we most often saw used in our research.

But how you “set the edge” as coaches say — meaning how you leverage the contain defender — will determine if you even get into the perimeter.

At our level the edge is generally occupied by a DE in a wide technique.  He’s purposely set outside to prevent the perimeter from being exploited.   Sealing him off presents a few challenges, especially if he’s taught to widen when attacked.

Wide DE Alignment

If you’re using a Full Zone scheme, you’re basically reaching and sliding on the first step and, if no contact is made, hinging on the second.   But if the DE is still beyond the PST’s reach attempt then many coaches will teach him to get on the DE’s inside hip/number and bench him towards the sideline.

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Blocking the Sprint-Out Pass: Turnback, Hinge and Combination

23 Jul


We’ve done a ton of research on this subject and consulted with various sources and found that coaches favoring the Turnback scheme point to the pressing need to protect the QB’s backside first.  The best way to do this is to slide your OL to the backside.

Essentially Turnback is like Full Zone in that its a zone scheme but flipped to the backside.  According to Mike Pope,  the OL Coach at Wingate University, the OL drop or bucket step towards their backside gap and, using the Gap rule to define their area of responsibility, engage the first defender aligned in their zone or the one trying to cross their face.

Mike, who also doubles as the Camp Director for Hawg Tuff O-Line Camps, says it’s pretty simple but very effective versus stunting and blitzing defenses.

Turnback Protection

True Turnback, we have learned, does not start with a lateral step to the playside followed by a drop step so that the OL’s back is angled away from the playside.  That’s Hinge protection.

Two different terms, two different techniques.

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Blocking the Sprint-Out Pass: Full Zone

15 Jul

In blocking the sprint-out pass, we’re thinking that you should use a scheme that works with your run game.  Its primary goal should be to quickly get the QB beyond contain and into the perimeter where he can threaten the defense.

Full-Zone is one way to block the sprint-out.  So is Turnback.  But the most common way to protect a sprint-out is to Hinge which is routinely called Turnback protection but isn’t.

All are area blocking schemes and all are simple to teach.

Full Zone

“Full Zone” is short-hand.  It means everyone on the line is using zone blocking techniques and stepping laterally in the same direction.  Put more simply, everyone is reaching to the playside.

The most common rule is that each lineman is responsible for the defender in the playside gap between his nose and the shoulder of the adjacent playside lineman.

Zones using Gap Rule

Some coaches, however, will broaden the boundaries of an OL’s zone of responsibility by using a “nose-to-nose” rule.  The linemen block the defender aligned between his nose and the nose of the adjacent playside lineman.

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Sprint Pass – Flood Route (Video)

13 Jul

Here’s a video analysis of a flood concept from an empty set.  A little daring maybe for 12-14 year olds, but a solid concept nonetheless.  We share it because it shows you how to create and attack a void using layered routes and how to create a mismatch between a LB and a speedier receiver.  Good stuff.

Why Run the Sprint-Out Pass

12 Jul

You won’t see it on Sundays because no coach in the NFL wants to see his million-dollar QB get blown up.  So why run it on Saturdays with your middle schoolers?

The reason is simple really.   The sprint-out pass can do a lot of good things for an offense while doing a lot of bad things to a defense.

Sprint-Out Pass

For starters, it can protect your QB by varying the launch point (where he releases the ball).  Defenses cannot pin their ears back and rush him since he’s no longer sitting in the pocket, surveying the field.

And then — and this is a biggie! — once he breaks contain, the QB poses an immediate threat to the perimeter defenders.

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