Quarterback Passing Drills
One of the critical components to being an effective passing team is getting enough reps of a youth Quarterback throwing to the Wide Receivers. This can be difficult to achieve in any practice structure but if your team is only practicing twice a week it is very difficult to develop the timing needed to have an effective passing game. The solution for this is to have a few highly efficient quarterback passing drills that gets the players a large amount of reps in a short period of time.
The best drills to achieve this are Pat and Go and Settle and Noose.
Pat and Go
The Pat and Go is an Air Raid staple drill that guarantees a huge number of reps for both the receivers and the QBs throwing vertical passes. The traditional youth football drill is spaced out about 30 yards but this distance can be adjusted to match the arm strength of the Quarterbacks. Two Quarterbacks will line up 30 yards apart facing each other with a line of receivers to their right. When the QB moves the ball the WR will run a fade route. It’s important that the QB does not call Go as there will be two QBs doing it and eventually one of the receivers will go at the wrong time. This is also a great time to put an emphasis on the WRs that they do not listen to the cadence and instead go when the ball moves. As the receiver runs his fade route the QB will throw the ball to him. The exact type of throw can vary but it should be high enough that the receiver can work on running under the ball and adjusting to it in the air. When the receiver has caught the ball he will hand it to the opposite QB and get in that QB’s receiver line.
Settle and Noose
Settle and Noose is another Air Raid staple, youth football quarterback passing drill that allows the QBs and Receivers to work on their essential skills during pre-practice. In this drill a Receiver will start on the line with two cones around 7-8 yards apart on that line. The wide receiver is looking to run his route, break on each cone and then square up the QB to catch the pass (see diagram below). The key coaching points for the receiver are to really emphasis sticking his toe into the ground when he is making his cut and to settle in between the cones with his hands to the QB in a diamond. Once he does catch the ball he should drop step with the same leg as the direction he is going and burst downfield for five yards. By using a drop step he guarantees that he is gaining yards right after the catch and is not moving sideways. When receivers move sideways they create a much easier tackle for the defender who is guarding him.
The Quarterback can be working on a variety of different things during the Settle and Noose Drill. He will have time to work on footwork while the Wide Receiver is working on his plants and cuts. This can be done through a variety of different ways. My favorite is to have a Coach working with the QBs using a wave drill and throwing the ball when the Coach claps. The QB should be focused on the accuracy of his throw. He needs to put the ball on the shoulder that is furthest away from a defender. By throwing the ball to the shoulder that is away from the defender the QB allows his receiver more time to get out of the break and accelerate. By Coach David Weitz