Passing in the 2 Minutes offense is a unique situation that many coaches don’t prepare for. The common answer of coaches in two minute offenses is to throw the ball deep and to the sideline. The only problem with this is that the defense knows this is your primary objective and will set up their defense to protect against it. There are 3 golden rules of the two-minute offense that every football coach should understand.
3 Golden Rules of the Two-Minute Offense
Rule # 1: Have a Second Play Ready!
While offense can vary greatly there are a few general rules that every coach and player needs to know about 2 minute offense. The first rule is to always have a second play ready to run in case the clock is still running. The time it takes for a QB to get the play from the coach can take up to 5 seconds even if the play is signaled in. When you add the additional time that the coach take in picking a play this is a chunk of time that does not need to be wasted. Instead whenever the clock is stopped the coach should give the QB two play calls, one to run and a second play to run if the ball is stopped in bounds. Depending on the level of the rest of the team this play can be communicated to the line or receivers but at a minimum the QB should know the play so he can start communicating it as the ball is being spotted.
Rule #2: Never Throw a Check down!
The second major rule is to never throw the check down. A two minute passing situation is different than the rest of the game. In a normal game if the QB sees that he can’t make a deep pass he should look to his shallow receivers and try to get a few yards. In the two minutes situation this is a mistake. By throwing to the short receiver he has taken time off the clock and put the receiver in danger of being tackled in bounds.
This isn’t to say that the QB should never throw the ball short in a 2 minute offense. Taking quick short passes can be a great way to move the ball into striking distance when the defense is bailing deep. These short passes that are thrown quickly to receivers who can easily catch the ball and get out of bounds are much different than check down routes.
Rule # 3: Do What Your Team Does Best !
The third and final rule of 2 minute passing is to do what your players do best. This is the time when players are tired and under stress. This is not the time to try a new concept or something that you rarely run. Instead you should have a list of plays that your players believe in and trust. The extra experience and trust will pay off in the long run.
Every offense is different and it’s important to acknowledge that. When you are running the two minute offense you must play to the strengths of your players with the understanding that you always want to trade a second for two to three yards. This means that if you call a play expecting it to take 4 seconds you better be planning on getting 8-12 yards. When you’re whole team understands this and how it impacts their decisions you are in a position to make the game winning drive that all players dream of.
Here are some passing concepts that work very well in youth football (Click below):