Having An Athletic QB: Move the Launch Point

If you have an athletic QB, one of the best ways to stress the defense is to move your QB’s launch point. We try and move our launch point several times a game. This prevents the defense from targeting one point in their pass rush. There is always the issue of containment.

In addition, moving the pocket puts the athletic QB in a run-pass scenario. This can be a nightmare for defensive coordinators and forces them to dedicate extra practice time to dealing with this new element.


We change the launch point in a few ways. First, we employ the standard quick game from the gun using the rocker step & throw. In addition, we employ a 3-step passing game from the gun. Second, we employ a play-action game. This involves a run fake followed by a 3-5 step drop from the shotgun depending on the concept.


However, when we truly want to change the launch point and break contain, we sprint out. We will sprint from any formation and in any situation. We feel that getting our athletic QB on the corner can get us on the edge were our QB can put pressure on the perimeter of our opponents’.


When we sprint, we try to keep things easy on our offensive line. The offensive line will execute outside zone assignments. However, instead of heading downfield for linebackers, they “peel back” on the pursuit. Our RB is our lead blocker and helps seal the edge for the QB to break contain. Our RB takes three steps flat for the sideline before turning up for the outside shoulder of the alley player. He must make sure if the tackle has a wide 5t DE that he chips if the tackle calls for it. If he has no one to pick up because the alley defender plays pass coverage, he “peels back” also, usually on the DE.


We use one base route combination initially, but as we progress we can “tag” our dropback & also, quick pass concepts on to the play as well. We like the comeback because it is a difficult route for the CB to learn to play and it puts stress on the flat defender as well due to the roll out of the QB. For us, our base combination is as follows:


Playside Split: Split TON (Top of Numbers). Mandatory outside release (MOR), 15-yard Comeback. Push vertical through the CB outside to 15, throw up your outside hand simulating a Fly route, then rip that arm down to help burst your feet and work back to 12 on the sideline.

Playside Slot/ TE: MOR, 12 yard High Corner Route. Aim for the front pylon. In the red zone, aim for back pylon.


Backside Slot/ TE: Climb route. Inside release and go under the OLB and over the ILB. Get across the field aiming 12-15 on the opposite hash. Must get across fast and in sync with the QB. If ILB walls, you can go under.


Backside Split: TON split. 12 Middle post.