In an earlier blog we talked about pass protections and building a passing game for lower level football programs.  Today we are going to look further into the concept of "Hot" throws.  I consider myself fortunate to have so many people viewing the blog and following me on you tube, so when one of those followers asks a question about a topic I will always try to respond.  One of the recent questions I received asked me to explain "HOT" throws so I will do my best to explain the concept.

A "Hot" throw is a throw made quickly by a QB because he is being pressured by a LB that we did not account for in our pass protection scheme.  The number of defenders you can account for is determined by the number of receivers you release into the passing concept.  If you release 5 players into a pattern, then you only have 5 players left that can block.  This means a 6th defender rushing the QB will come free.  Hot throws are quick inside or outside breaking throws that the QB makes before the unblocked blitzer can get to him.  You must have receivers that are in position to receive these hot throws if you want to complete passes.

There are two different approaches to receiver routes in the "HOT" concept.  You can choose to build routes into your concepts that can be thrown if you get hot blitzes or you can have receivers read the hot blitzers and alter or "sight adjust" their routes if they get a blitz.  I choose to build routes into my concepts that can be thrown hot so it involves less teaching with the receivers.  Now the issue that arises here is this may limit your drop back passing concepts.  That is why most higher level college and pro teams will sight adjust vs blitzes so they can run all of their concepts.  By keeping it simple I choose to teach the QB all the reads vs blitzes based on our protection and route concepts while allowing the backs and receivers to simply run their designed routes.  

One thing to keep in mind is having a plan vs. blitzing teams may reduce the number of times they blitz.  Unfortunately at the lower levels of football some teams and coaches only know how to blitz and will blitz regardless of the outcome.  Because of that mindset and ideology you must be prepared to handle blitzes if you want to throw the ball successfully.  Changing the number of players you use to account for blitzes, and changing your protection schemes will also help.  If you use a half slide protection scheme all the time then good defensive coaches are going to figure out which way the center turns, and constantly pressure away from that side.  Using full slide protections with running backs helping opposite the side the line turns will help increase your chances of keeping the QB in an upright throwing position.  Using 5,6, and 7 man protection schemes will also help vs heavy pressure teams.

I hope this explanation and video helps you better understand "HOT" throws and pass protection concepts in general.  Always remember to PLAY FAST.

Speedball Tempo Plays

Fast Faster Fastest

 It seems like almost any offense can operate out of no huddle in today's game.  I would venture to guess that more than 50% of high school and college teams are now no huddle offenses.  The fact that teams can operate without a huddle does not make them a tempo team.  In reality the huddle was used as a method of communication for the offense.  Coaches needed a way to get all the information into the players, so the QB acted as the interpreter gathering information from the Coach and then delivering all the information to the players in the huddle which was where all 11 players were.

Offense Is In Control

How many times have you seen an NFL team get shutout for 28 minutes, go to a 2 minute drive at the end of a half and go right down the field and score?  You ask yourself why they don't do that more often, and the answer is simple.  They can't communicate their entire playbook that way so they usually have 5 or 6 things they practice each week in a 2 minute drill.  What you find out is the defense has a hard time communicating with their players and you usually see more base defenses which makes it easier to execute on offense.  So offensive coaches figured out since they control the personnel changes and the pace of the game, why not do it all the time?  Being in or out of the huddle is not about schematics, it's more about how you choose to communicate with your team.  That is why any offensive system can operate as a no huddle team so long as they can streamline their communication.  The question that arises now is can you be a tempo team?  That is where schematics comes into play.  If you are a power I team that has all predetermined runs and passes it is very difficult to be a great tempo team because you do not possess built in answers to how the defense chooses to defend you.  You will have to teach your QB how to check out of bad plays which essentially is slowing down your pace of play.  That is why the true "UP TEMPO" teams are so good at what they do.  Their plays have built in answers to adjust to the different looks the defense presents.

Today I am going to talk about a philosophy called "Speedball" which is essentially the fastest you can play on offense.  When using a speedball approach you are essentially staying in the same formation and running the same play as fast as the refs will allow you to do so.  This really puts a strain on the defense because your players already know that but the defense does not.  When you use this philosophy coming from the sideline your offensive guys already know what they will be doing but the defense has to react to it.  You have now negatively impacted the defenses lines of communication because they are trying to get a call and you already have yours.  Now the issue that arises is you have to have a play that has different built in options for the QB to get you out of bad situations.  Usually the best case scenario for speed ball is any form of option football that has built in access throws for the QB based on coverages.  In this scenario you can get the football to 3 or 4 or 5 different players without ever changing the play.  Now you have to have a QB that can read and react on the fly as opposed to a QB that can stop and change the play.  So in general you still need a smart and savvy QB that has to be well trained to execute this type of offense.  

Keep in mind there are no magic bullets in football.  It will still always come down to blocking, throwing, catching, and securing the football on offense.  I took a new job in the off season and we got off to a slow start and lost a few games because we did not execute the fundamentals of football.  But our kids understand how to run the speedball tempo and the few times we have done it this season it has worked for us.  It actually eliminates a lot of the thinking on offense because you do not have to worry about formation, snap count, or assignment changes.  At times I think coaches including myself make it more difficult than it needs to be and in essence slow kids down when our whole intent is to PLAY FAST!!!!!

Sometimes I forget myself, but it is important to try and remember our goal is to PLAY FAST.