Steve Axman via Coaches Choice Football Coaching Library
A very important concept to understand in the execution of the quick pass game is that pre-snap reading of the defense is a very basic part of the quick pass game’s execution. As a result of the quickness of the execution of the quick pass game, what the quarterback sees when the football is snapped is, for the most part, what the quarterback is going to get in relation to the coverage of the defense. In reality, the football, when thrown as quickly as it should be in the quick pass game, does not give the defense time to radically change their pre-snap alignment looks.
That does not necessarily mean a quarterback won’t have the time to read a two-deep, open middle free safety who is rotating toward the middle of the field on the snap of the football to produce a closed middle coverage. What it does mean is that the quarterback rarely has the pass protection time to look at a quick pass game route or read concept to one side of the field and then scan to the other side once the football is snapped. As a result, the quarterback has to rely on pre-snap reads to determine which side of the pass pattern he is going to read and work rather than to be able to scan to a backside outlet. As will be seen later in this book, there are exceptions to this thought. However, they are part of a more advanced level of quick pass game execution.
Since an approximate 80 percent of the time, offensive plays are started from the left or right hash, the quarterback should always start his pre-snap read into the near sideline. Once he has accomplished that, he then checks his pre-snap read to the field. He then finishes making his pre-snap read by checking back to the near sideline. Why? Because the short side of the field, when the football is on the hash, is where the defense can best disguise its secondary blitzes.
The reason for this is quite simple. To the short side of the field, there is less distance for a cornerback, or short side safety, to have to go to get to the quarterback to create a pressure or sack. Disguising blitz action on the short side of the field is far easier due to the situational distance factor.
That is why it’s so much easier for a quarterback to read blitz to the field. A field blitz has to travel a greater distance, normally takes a greater amount of
time to execute and is, as a result, tougher to disguise.
As a result of such pre-snap reading needs for the quick pass game, the quarterback needs to know where he’s going with the football prior to the center’s snap of the football. Actually, such pre-snap reading should be a reaffirmation of what the quarterback is expecting to see from pre-game scout reports and video study. One way or the other, when the football is snapped, the quarterback should have an excellent idea of where he is going with the football. He has to anticipate the side he is going to read and work and anticipate his throws according to his pre-snap reads.
You can find out more about and purchase the eBook that this article is from at: Coaching the Quick Pass Game