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Notes on the Dropback passing game

in the West Coast Offense

-from a 49ers coaches meeting

A) 3 Step Drop
o Takes advantage of a bad defensive adjustment.
o Receivers = 5 steps.

1. Hitch and Quick Out:

 Adjust splits to break in or out.
 Don't lead receiver - throw at his hip.
 Throw outs to LEFT and ins to the RIGHT (from all drops).
 When throwing to the right, step towards the receiver on 3rd step.
 3 quick steps when throwing out. (WR 8 yrd split).
 Best place to throw quick out is from SLOT formation. (to SE).
 3 big steps when throwing hitch. Throw to middle of the receiver.
 When receiver catches the ball, he pivots to the sideline and runs to
goalline. (WR 12 yrd split).

2. Slant:
 Slant pass is a big chunk play.
 12 yrd split - 5 to 7 steps and break.
 Slant is best weak.
 Throwing strongside you should use dropback and weak flow.
 Throw ball to middle of receiver and above his waist - if anything
slow him up to catch it.
 Receiver should always be aware of relationship between corner and
safety. Hop inside and come under control in hole.
 Ball should be caught 1 ft. in front of receivers numbers.
 Vs corner inside - go full speed and break across his face.
 Always practice 1/2 as many throws to outlet as primary.
B) 5 Step Drop
o ball control, timed passes; good on 1st and 10, 2 and 6, 3 and 4.
o receivers run 10 - 12 yrd routes.

1. Square-out:
 WR 8 yd split.
 Square out = 5 quick steps - don't lead WR.
 9 out of 10 square outs are thrown to the LEFT.
 Vs Cloud - run SEAM route.
 Throw square out into short field and away from rotation.
 If LB crosses throwing lane - throw the 'M' outlet route. (Practice with
coach catching primary and anyone catching outlet - hands up indicate
who to throw to.)

2. Square-in:
 Prefer to throw square in to the RIGHT.
 5 Steps and hitch step.
 WR sells GO pattern. Inside release, outside push, plant outside foot
and start in.
 WR 12 yd split.
 QB 5 BIG STEPS - HITCH and throw on time.
 WR does NOT keep running. Catch ball no more than 3 steps inside
original position (keep ball in middle). WR catch ball & run straight upfield.
 ”Square-in , wide Flare, wall off".

3. Half-back Flat:
 HB runs at 'W' - crosses face and breaks out.
 QB 5 quick steps - plant and throw.
 Vs Cloud - HB sits down.
 Don't make HB reach for ball - THROW SOFT.

4. Y Cross:
 TE - BIG get body between defender and QB.
 TE crossing - release cleanly = move.
 QB - 5 BIG steps and hitch.
 Throw to middle of Y.
 Y 10-12 yds deep and settle over center.
 Vs Man Under - drive past defender - shake one way and go the other.
5. Flanker Post:
 Prefer Big, smooth WR.
 WR 12 yd split.
 QB 5 BIG steps and Hitch.
 ALWAYS throw RIGHT.
 WR break into hole in the zone.
 Attract FS weak to create hole - throw ball inside corner and past SS
 TECHNIQUE is outside.

6. Quick Hook:
 5 step timed.
 Throw to middle of WR.
 GREAT vs middle LBer defender - if WR is not open go to outlet
 WR 12 yd split.

C) 7 Step Drop
o Bread and Butter BIG chunk offense.

1. Flanker Turn In:

 WR split 12-14 yds.
 Same as 'X' Hook.
 Goal is beat a particular defender with hooking pattern.
 Don't want WR moving when we throw ball. Stop him with the ball.
 Practice WR catching and DE hitting him from behind with a bag -
drill around bag or cone.

2. Hooking Pattern:
 WR 12-14 yd split. Split will be game planned.
 Vs Cloud convert to Fade and turn after clearing Cornerback. Release
inside vs Cloud.
 Not a very good route vs Man Under. Instead run crossing routes.
Turn-hook become crosses.
 Must have certain amount of touch on the ball. Don't bounce it of
WR's head.
 Hook pass is BEST pass in football!
 Run Square in strong and Run Hook weak.
3. Flare-back:
 Practice catching check off flares and splitting two defenders. Look
for two and get your body beyond tacklers.
 FB gets ball move on Flanker. Turn in then Flanker.
 Have the nerve to stay with the FB.
 Y gets to sideline as fast as possible and sits down.
 FB sets for an instant and rns 'M' route.

4. Go pattern:
 Only to fastest WR.
 Practice 4 to 1 to fastest WR over other WR's.
 WR 12 yrd split.
 DON'T THROW AGAINST THEIR BEST DB! (Scout their personnel)
 Throw GO in conjunction with plat action.
 Keep the length of the throw consistent.
 7 step hitch and throw.
 Practice throwing to a spot with WR standing there.
 Don't throw if DB is deeper than WR when you hitch step.
 Measure distance with WR full speed than practice stationary.
 WR: release inside than out - chase DB step on his toes and run by
him - keep DB in his backpeddle - look DB in the eyes NOT past him.
At 8 yds, be 1 yd inside, next 8 yds be 1 yd outside.
 When thrown inside the 25 yd line change to 5 step drop.
 Throw GO RIGHT more often than left.
 Vs Cloud throw in hole (only vs stationary DB) 5 Step drop.

5. Deep Out:
 Only when DB is turing and running away.
 WR 12 yrd split.
 20 yds full speed - plant and come back.
 7 step and hitch step and throw to spot.
 Ball should be released as WR is planting foot.
 WR always keep elbows and arms in running position. just before you
break, drop head and dig (pump hands).