FNF Coaches Talk — Quarterback Footwork, College Football’s New Defense, 4 Football Conditioning Drills

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. Here are some stories that might help you as you plan your spring workouts.

1. Quarterback Skills – Footwork for Throwing a Football (Coach Ed Zaunbrecher)

Are you coaching up a new quarterback this spring? If so, these drills are a good place to start.

Ed Zaunbrecher spent 37 years coaching in major college programs including 25 years as a quarterback coach. He has coached at numerous top colleges including LSU, Florida, Purdue, Arizona, Michigan State, Marshall, Wake Forest, Illinois, Rice and Northeast Louisiana.

Some of the top quarterbacks “Coach Z” has worked with include: Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, Rex Grossman and Curtis Painter. Currently, he is the owner of the Ed Zaunbrecher Quarterback School, and conducts small group and private lessons.

What drills help your quarterback become more consistent with his footwork in the pocket?

2. Unlocking the mysteries of college football’s new favorite defense (Football Study Hall)

One of the trends in college football this season was the deployment of the 4-0-4 “tite” front which utilizes a pair of big, strong side DEs in 4i-techniques (inside eye of the offensive tackle).

The major problem that defenses have to handle in modern football is how to handle the horizontal and vertical stress created by spread offenses without going soft up the middle.

The major goal of the 4-0-4 “tite” front with it’s double 4i-technique “defensive ends” is to use the DL primarily as a tool for clogging the interior while leaning on the LBs and secondary to handle the rest of the field.

The goal of the “tite” front is to push the action outside to the sidelines. It runs counter to some philosophies that encourage tacklers to turn everything back inside to the help, but it also gives your defense an opportunity to flash its speed while the offense is moving horizontally.

The biggest issue is that an offenses’ most athletic run blockers are typically the tackles and they are completely stymied by the 4i-techniques that are lined up across from them. That means that the double teams and climbs up to the LBs have to be executed by the less athletic center and the guards, and the center has to do this with a nose across his face that is typically either much faster than he is or much stronger.

What defense alignments do you use to counter the spread attack?

3. 4 football conditioning drills to consider this preseason (USA Football Blogs)

Ryan Sprague of Stack.com offered these four football-specific conditioning drills to work into your preseason plans.

  • Sprint ladder. Encourage speed, agility and coordination while building leg muscle strength. Do pairs of 10-, 20-, 30-, 40, 50-, 40-, 30-, 20- and 10-yard sprints with 30 seconds between each sprint.
  • Sprint-stride intervals. This is a fine-tuning of the traditional 100-yard sprints. Instead of all-out sprints, have players perform interval sets of 20-yard sprints and 20-yard strides for the full length of the field. Strides help players develop the ability to cover more ground in less time, resulting in greater speed production. Make sure to rest 30 seconds between each set. Start with four sets and progress to 10 as players get in good shape.
  • Tempo runs. Another drill using the full 100 yards. Start athletes at the corner of an end zone and stride for 100 yards, focusing on long steps at medium speed. Jog to the opposite side of the end zone, then do another 100-yard stride. Start at four sets early on and progress as the season nears.
  • Four quarters. A progressive sprint drill that builds football endurance. Four 10-yard sprints with 10 seconds of rest in between. Four 20-yard sprints with 20 seconds of rest in between. Four 30-yard sprints with 30 seconds of rest in between. Then do alternating 20-yard sprints and 20-yard strides for the full field with 30 seconds between each segment. This ends one quarter. Three more to go.

What conditioning drill provides your players with the most difficult challenge?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!