Post #1 in a Series on QB development within a Flexbone Offense
Off-Season QB Development
I think the first thing you have to do is find a quarterback to run your offense. Paul Johnson always asked himself these 3 questions when trying to figure out who that player may be.
Does the QB prospect have the willingness to get off the ground after a big hit, call the same play and run it aggressively? (Toughness)
Does the QB prospect have enough athletic ability (speed,quickness, and balance) to run for a first down when the defense forces him to carry the ball on an option play? (Ability)
Does the QB prospect embrace being an option quarterback, not just tolerate it? (Commitment)
** I like to add a 4th question to the mix, Does the QB prospect have the ability to understand who #1 and #2 are and does he have the ability to get the team into a better situation when the play caller hasn’t? (Smarts)
I think these questions are an important starting point in finding a QB in the off-season. If you can find a couple players that have most or all of these questions answered then you are on your way!
How are we going to teach him??
Once you have identified a couple of players, then next steps are teaching them what the expectations are for the position. We do that a couple of ways:
We have an QB meeting once a month where we cover leadership, huddling (how to command it), signals, how to take a snap, anything and everything related to playing the position that is non-physical.
We have a chalk-talk and film cut-up meeting once a month. We highlight each play family, defensive alignments, who #1 and #2 are and if the QB decision was right or wrong.
We have one skill development opportunity a month. These include cadence/ensuring the snap, stance/start, working option footwork in the gym on veer strips, or throwing drills.
I have found that if you can work with your quarterbacks 3 times a month on 3 different aspects of the position, the players stay engaged and keep a fresh perspective.
What do we cover in the Non-physical meeting?
2. We discuss Leadership and what a good leader looks like and why our quarterbacks need to be leaders on our team. We typically use a leadership podcast or book study to emphasize these qualities. I like Jacko Podcast by Jacko Willink and several books come to mind : “The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon, “Lead for God’s Sake” by Todd Gongwer, “Teammates Matter” by Alan Williams are some that are really good to use and have been really effective in the past.
3. Lastly, we end the meeting by asking and talking through three questions, What have you done that is a positive today/week? What improvements could you have made today/week? What acts of kindness have you displayed today/week? These questions inspire the quarterbacks to act and creates the application in daily activities.
I have found that really working on the non-physical meetings and making connections and developing relationships helps us coach the kids a little harder in the other two meetings. I have found the more we can get them discussing things the more they are willing to look critically at their own film if we have it or just open up about what they are seeing in film study.
What do we cover in a Chalk Talk or Film Meeting?
I really like to use game example clips to emphasize a specific meeting goal. We may watch 10 good clips of 12/13 and 10 bad clips. I always pause the film and ask several questions. I explain who #1 and #2 are and why we identify them, typically I have made notes on the film in HUDL and go over those as well. I think its good for players to see themselves or older players and be critical of what was good and bad. Below are some examples of clips that I have used in the past.
We also use poker chips to simulate defenses, diagram formations, we have them go through blocking assignments with them. It can be a fun way to break up the traditional film/talks and listening to my voice the whole time!
I know some coaches may wonder when in the world is there time for meetings like this, when the players may be in a spring sport, lifting schedules, family commitments etc., but if you really sit down and think through a months schedule, you will find you have an hour here and an hour there to make it work, don’t be intimidated just figure out a starting point and get to work!!
Our next blog post will continue with an emphasis on QB development, We will have a guest blog from Coach Don Watt, he will detail the point method for option mesh. As always feel free to discuss blog posts or ask questions on our forum page located here: http://flexbonenation.proboards.com/ If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on twitter @runthetriple or @themeshpoint and my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.