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Quarterback Fundamentals and Drills
by Chris Weakland- State College Football QB Coach



Warm-Up Exercises:

1. Hand Strengthening and Coordination

a. palm drill
b. around waist
c. finger push-ups
d. dribble palm drill
e. through the legs

2. Footwork (with the football)
Focus on maintaining a good cradle and “set” position. (see “set” position below)

a. high knees / butt kicks
b. forward run
c. backward run
d. alternating forward / backward run
e. lateral run
f. alternating lateral run
g. carioca
h. line drills *
       

Throwing Motion:

1. The “SET”, pre-throw, position
a. ball up to between ear and armpit level
b. elbows down in a comfortable position
c. feet perpendicular to target about shoulder width apart
d. eyes and head looking at target with chin down

2. The Release
a. transfer weight from back foot to front foot with a small open step to target
b. rotate hips so that the belly button is facing the target
c. release the ball at the top of the throwing motion with palm facing the target
d. non-throwing elbow should pull down past ribs & break the plain of your back
e. follow through with throwing arm rotating to the opposite side hip

3. Throwing  (right handed)
Focus on getting to the “set” position before throwing to a stationary target about 10 yards away.

a. standing in “set” position
b. right knee down in “set” position
c. both knees down in “set” position
d. up with feet together in “set” position
e. up with right foot forward in “set” position
f. standing in “set” position with rope/shield at top of motion (high release)











4. Ball Handling and the Clock: Focus on a quick first step and taking time to sell the fake.

a. stance and hand position (eyes, chest, arms, hands, knees and feet)
b. taking the snap (thumbs together, fingers apart)
c. securing the ball after the snap (two hands into the mid-line)
d. the steps of the clock:
- 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock (dive and option action)
- 45 degrees (40 action)
- 6 o’clock (drop back action)
- reverse pivot (slant, iso action)
- spin out (qk pitch action)

e. the hand-off and fake hand-off:
- the reach: show the ball; two hands extended towards the back
- the hand-off: give the ball and boot away with hands on back hip (don’t look back)
- the fake hand-off: tuck the ball in front of the hip and give a hand
- the ride: shift weight from back to front foot, into the LOS (option action)
- the play action: look back to ball carrier extending an empty hand; continue drop or
boot away (take your time to sell the fake)


Pass Drops:  (right handed QB)

Focus on a deep, powerful 1st step with consistent, quick drops at proper depths.
Keep your shoulders square and eyes down field.  Have the ball in a secure position between the armpits.

1. The 1-Step Drop   (after throwing a 1-step pass, take a few steps back and gather)

a. the first step is a reach step: it is a powerful, quick deep step with the right foot; open
the foot to face 45 degrees to the right.
b. the gather step is a step with the left foot to the “set” position, however it is now
rotated perpendicular to the target.  The right foot may have to pivot to square up
to a target to the left.
c. at this point the QB should be in a balanced, alert “set” position.

2. The 3-Step Drop

a. the first step is a reach step: it is a powerful, quick deep step with the right foot; open
the foot to face 6 o’clock.
b. the second step is a cross-over step: it is a gather step where the foot crosses over the
reach step (about 1 ½ feet beyond) and is parallel to the LOS.
c. the third step is the plant step: it is small reach step and is also parallel to the LOS. As
the plant step takes place, the front shoulder should dip down slightly to help
maintain a balance.
d. at this point the QB should be in a balanced, alert “set” position.

3.
3. The 5-Step Drop

a. the first and third steps are reach steps: they are powerful, quick deep steps with the
right foot; opening to face 6 o’clock.
b. the second and fourth steps are cross-over steps: the second is 45 degree step and is
used as a push-off foot to assist the third step; the fourth is a gather step where the
foot crosses over the last reach step (about 1 ½ feet beyond) and is parallel to the
LOS.
c. the fifth  step is the plant step: it is small reach step and is also parallel to the LOS. As
the plant step takes place, the front shoulder should dip down slightly to help
maintain a balance.
d. at this point the QB should be in a balanced, alert “set” position.


4. The Sprint Out

a. the first step is a reach step: it is a powerful, quick 45 degree step to the play side.
b. the second step is a cross-over sprint step: it is to gain ground, depth and speed.
c. the third step is a bend step: this step should take place at a depth of  6 yards. It is used
to begin the squaring-up process and should be almost parallel to the LOS. 
d. the fourth step is a pivot step: it is used to completely square-up the hips and shoulders
to the LOS and begin the down hill approach. 
e. the following steps are either gather steps and / or run steps: it is a pass 1st and run 2nd
read that should be made during the bend and pivot steps.  When gathering to
throw, have shoulders and hips square to target with throwing elbow in under the
football.  The football should be between the armpit and the ear.  The throw may
be made on the run or after pulling-up.


Drills:

1. Pure Pass Drops (non-throwing and throwing drills)
Focus on a deep, powerful 1st step with consistent, quick drops at proper depths.
Keep shoulders square and your eyes down field.  Do these first without a throw until they are comfortable, then add the throw.

a. 1 step (20's), 1 ½  yards deepd. 5 step “T” (lateral movement)
b. 3 step (30's), 4 yards deepe. 5 step screens, 9 yards deep
c. 5 step (50's), 7 yards deep



2. Sprint Outs and Play Action Passes
Focus on selling the fake first, proper depths and square shoulders.

a. boots (Rocket) 6 yards deepc. sprint out (40's), 6 x 4 yards deep
b. dive pass (80's) 2 yards deepd. waggles, 6 yards deep





3. Circle Drill: Take the above drops and play actions and throw to the snapper opposite the
QB. For sprint outs and play actions, QB’s and S’s rotate through in a circle. QB
becomes the S and S becomes the QB.  Switch directions.


QBS
S

QB



4. 3-Man Reach and Ride
Focus on reaching the ball back to the ball carrier, shifting weight from back
to front foot in the “ride”, looking into the LOS.  Finish with option fake.


QB

O
O
O

5. Pass Rush Evasion
Rushers rush in one of three manner: 1) both outside 2) right or left inside, the other
outside, or 3) both inside.  Coach dictates movement of rushers. QB should “feel the
pressure while eyes are looking down field.  QB evades pressure by 1)stepping up into
the pocket, 2) sliding to his front, or 3) spinning away to his back side.

Coach


#                #



QB
R                                   R

6. Line Drills
Perform the movements below with a ball in a secure cradle position. When the coach
says “set” and / or “throw”, the QB gathers and does so.

a. slalom QBQB
b. Ali shuffleQB       < 10 - 15 yards >QB
c. over and backQBQB
d. up and back