Quarterback School

The following notes are from “Quarterback School” presented by Andrew Coverdale and Glazier Clinics.

GOALS: “With greater sophistication comes greater CONTROL.” –Sun Tzu

  • Gain a foundational understanding of the components of our offense
  • Procedures – Terminology – Defenses – Run game – Protections – Routes
  • Understand the “WHY” behind the “WHAT”
  • Begin to visualize the game – Get lots of mental reps – Slow the game down
  • Put yourself in a position by end of summer to:
  • Understand and absorb things quicker the second time through
  • Fully show your physical skills because the learning part isn’t slowing you down
  • Establish leadership by being able to help teammates know what to do.
  • Learn how to get the most out of watching film
  • Establish a good foundation of footwork skills


  • Be active and engaged in the learning process
    • Ask questions
    • Make sure you know the “why” behind the “what”
    • Checkers: Learn from the other guy’s reps…rep it as if it’s yours
    • Review for :15 within 24 hours of our meetings—store in long-term memory
  • Approach the information as though you’ve never heard it before


  • *MENTAL (includes intangible) is to PHYSICAL as 4 is to 1
  • *”The game is largely played from the waist down and the neck up”
  • *”When your best player is also your best guy, you have something special.”


  • Intangibles (Be the right kind of person and teammate)
  • Understanding  (Grasps offensive concepts & opposing defenses)
  • Decision-making (Pre- and Post-snap)
  • Footwork & ball-handling
  • Body position & pocket presence
  • Throws  (Ball placement, choosing the correct velocity & trajectory)

Someone who has the INTANGIBLES we look for is:

  • THE MAN: Wants the responsibility, wants to be a guy people looks to
  • A DETAIL PERSON: Cares about/pays attention to the smallest parts of his game
  • A LEADER BY EXAMPLE/: Hardest worker, most visible, embodies what we want
    GREAT PRACTICE HABITS: On & off the field, takes initiative, goes above and beyond
  • MENTALLY TOUGH: Handles frustration, responds to adversity. FORCES himself to always display POSITIVE body language!
  • COACHABLE: Doesn’t think he has all the answers
  • UNSELFISH: Actively takes interest in his teammates, puts them first
  • A GAME MANAGER: Understands situations, is savvy, avoids mistakes that get his team beat
  • BEST IN THE CLUTCH: Wants the ball when the game is tight, not afraid to make the big throw
  • TAKES BLAME/GIVES CREDIT: When things go bad offensively, shields his teammates from criticism by accepting blame.  When things go well, deflects praise to his linemen, backs, and receivers.

Someone who has the UNDERSTANDING we look for:

  • IS EAGER TO LEARN: Thrives on the game, looks at the classroom/film room as a chance to gain an edge
  • KNOWS ALL 11 JOBS: Sees each play as a “picture” and how everyone fits into that picture. Can establish himself as a leader because he helps other positions learn their jobs
  • KNOWS the “WHY”: Not only knows WHAT to do, but WHY we do things. Allows him to make adjustments in the heat of the game when things don’t show up exactly like they did in practice
  • UNDERSTANDS DEFENSES: So he can attack and manipulate them using the “tools” available to him, and thus CONTROL the FIELD

Someone who is the DECISION-MAKER we look for:

  • VISUALIZES: Rehearses plays and situations in his mind throughout the week, “slows the game down” for himself
  • TRUSTS the SYSTEM: Doesn’t think he’s above the rules of the system, because it helps him account for what will happen on the field in an organized fashion and protects TRUST of the SYSTEM keeps you from FORCING MISTAKES
  • …but ISN’T A ROBOT: Is savvy and confident enough to make plays beyond not against) the system when it’s time to make a play.
  • IS DECISIVE: Makes YES/NO decisions and does it quickly, without second-guessing himself. Doesn’t hesitate.
  • THROWS ON TIME: Related to decisiveness and trust. Throws WHEN the read TELLS him to, not when he sees a receiver open.
  • SITUATIONALLY SMART: Knows when to: Take a sack – throw ball away – etc.

Components of great FOOTWORK and BALL-HANDLING:

  • Pushes ball deep to RB in the running game; makes them RB quickly
  • Angle, mesh, and tempo of runs look exactly same as they do on PLAY ACTION
  • Carries out fake with 5 full-speed steps after every run
  • DROPS are consistent and disciplined, serving the following purposes:
  • Get you where you’re supposed to be: Each protection and route has a specific depth and angle that you need to get to for the linemen to do their job and for you to get the separation you need from the L.O.S.
  • Get you there when you’re supposed to be there: Along with that, each route has a specific TIME when you must be ready to throw! SPEED of the drop is critical!
  • Get your body in a position to deliver the ball when the read tells you to

Components of great BODY POSITION:

  • On straight dropbacks:
    Front shoulder “tent pegged” & closed to target – Ball loaded –
    Instep pointed to target – Everything compact
  • On movement passes:
    Ball loaded – Feet chopping – Shoulder “tent-pegged”

Components of great POCKET PRESENCE:

  • FEELS the rush, doesn’t LOOK at it (eyes stay downfield)
  • Skilled at ANTICIPATING and AVOIDING rushers with quick foot adjustments, getting quickly back to a ready throwing position
  • Willing to stand in and deliver the ball at the last moment – tough & doesn’t “flee” prematurely
  • Secure with the ball (front hand pressure)
  • Knows when and how to scramble

Components of great THROWS:

  • ACCURACY:     Ball placed correct shoulder for R.A.C. or “Gut shot” to protect rec.
  • VELOCITY:       Thrown at the correct velocity needed for the throw/situation
  • TRAJECTORY:  1, 2, or 3 ball appropriate to the throw and the defense


  • “PREPARED PLAYERS PLAY FAST.” The most important :06 of any play are the moments AFTER the play has been called, but BEFORE the snap.
  • The “Six Second rule” is a simple checklist that allows you to make the most of that time, allowing you to be prepared and play fast.
  • Find the :25 clock
  • Less than :12 – Take motion/shifts off
  • Less than :10 – Take all checks off; call a play out immediately
  • Less than :08 – Time out (in key situations, especially 3rd down)
  • Find JACK – Need to know right now if you’re in Zero Safety mode!
  • Right to left scan: Coverage
  • Are they lined up right? (Uncovered receivers, etc.)
  • Number of safeties
  • Left to right: Front – are they lined up right? (2 uncovered OL, 1 & 9 tech, etc.)
  • Pre-snap cues as dictated by play (find the 3 tech, Premium/non-premium, etc.)
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