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Pass Route Cut Drill
The only equipment needed are cones (or other markers; we use old jerseys) and all QB's, TE's, and WR's. RB's can also be utilized in the drill.
Place a marker at the point where the receiver will break for the assigned pass route and a marker for the line of scrimmage and markers for the QB for a 3, 5, and 7 step drop.
First assign the route you want the players to work on. One QB will go to the assigned drop point of either the 3,5,or 7 step drop. One receiver will go to the marker indicating the cut of the assigned route. The receiver will line up so that he is two to three steps before the cut point. On the command "ready!" the QB will start by moving his feet as if he had completed his drop and is ready to throw to his target. The receiver will run in place rapidly and pump his arms as if running the route. On the QB's command of "Go!" the receiver will run forward as if he is in the last two or three steps of the assigned route and then cut at the break point of his assigned route and finish running the route. The QB will step and throw the ball to the receiver at the proper time for the assigned route.
The key coaching point for the QB is that he must be on balance and ready to throw. The ball must be in his chest cavity and eyes downfield and head up. The QB's must also keep his feet moving.
The key coaching point for the receiver is to make sure that he cuts properly for the assigned route and it is vital that the coach make sure that the receiver gets his head turned on the swivel to locate the ball and that he keeps his focus on the ball and executes proper eye hand coordination and proper hand placement when catching the ball.
This drill eventually will help each player run the proper routes from your offensive formations. Most players can run straight ahead so we eliminate the first phase of the pass route and emphasize the actual cut and finish of the pass route. Once the timing is down we then can run full skeleton pass drills and our regular pass plays against a live defense.
The objective of this drill is to allow the receivers to learn to run their passing tree without wasting a lot of time. Too often we have found that a player runs the route too lazily or is not crisp on the cuts. It also teaches the QB when to throw the ball on an assigned route and where his aiming point is for each assigned route. The drill also helps the timing between each receiver and QB as well as teaching proper QB mechanics and allows the WR's to learn to "finish" off their routes.
Variations include having several groups of QB's and WR's run the same drill at the same time on different parts of the field or you may run an entire pass play with each WR, RB, and TE executing their proper cuts and this allows the QB work on looking at the entire field. Eventually you may also run this with DB's in their man-to-man positions or in their zones.