Screens Part 2: Skills

Now the break down of what the Skills do

Quick Screen:
The #1 WR (widest WR) to the called side foot fires, a lot of exaggeration from arms and feet, really want the CB thinking he has to get deep.  He should go about a yard up field, then come back to catch the ball where just behind the LOS.  My biggest piece of advice here, is repping the screens live in practice, so he gets used to cutting off his blocks and finding lanes.  We allow them to come inside a few steps to let their blockers get in front of them, but it hits best when they get back outside after this. On these WR screens are best long gainers, were when the WR dipped in (behind an OL or WRs block, then got up field or back outside)

Slot WR(s) : The #2 WR has the rule of #1MDM, or most dangerous man to making the play.  If he sees a very tight corner then that corner is the most dangerous man and our #2 WR must block him.  If the corner is soft and the OLB over him is playing tight then that is the most dangerous man.  If both guys are playing soft he will slow play it, going half speed off the LOS looking for who is coming downhill to attack the screen first.

If we are in trips and have a #3 WR he then blocks the second most dangerous defender.  We work everyday drills in practice with the WRs recognizing who is picking up who based on their depth.

RB:  Original TFS stuff has the RB also getting out on the second defender play side, but ours never really did anything, my Ol were better blockers so I eventually stopped releasing them to block from the backfield.  I would either move them out to empty so their path is shorter, or if they are in the backfield they just step up in case somehow someone comes through completely untouched and can possibly fluster the QB.

QB: Grip it and rip it… that’s really it.  It is called quick for a reason, he throws it as soon as he gets it.  With a kid who has bigger hands I think he can get away with not even getting the laces and just getting it out.  I tell my QB to throw the ball to where the WR starts out pre snap.  If they throw the ball right there, the WR (after going up and back) should be in the perfect spot to catch the ball.

Bubbles are fairly simple for the skill guys. We run these to our #2 and #3 WRs, as well as to the Rb out of the backfield.

Called WR runs the bubble route which I teach as follows:

  • Align a little deeper than normal for easier window for QB
  • Cross over step toward sideline on the snap
  • Lose 1 yard on first step
  • Run flat down the line after that
  • Shoulder North/South
  • Head Turned back to Qb

I dont like big looping bubbles, QB has to be extremely accurate and lead the WR just right. We align deeper and lose 1 yard off the snap so we have more depth, makes QBs throw easier.  Then we run (kind of a cross over type run) toward sideline, since ou shoulder are square Qb can just throw the ball aiming to throw it in front of the front shoulder, once ball is in the air it is easy for the WR to adjust.  Very effective and I don’t recall my team having a single incompletion on bubble all year.

QB: Similar Grip it and rip it idea, key is aiming for bubble man’s front shoulder.

Other WRs: Stalk your man

RB: I will either have him do the same as in Quick screen, or I will signal a play fake and the RB fakes a run the opposite way QB just shows the ball and throws the bubble.  RB fake was always good for making the Lb take at least 1 step the opposite way we were throwing.

Solid Screen:

This one will be short because it is essentially the same as Quick Screen.
Solid always goes to the #1 WR.
Same WR blocking rules apply

#1 WR will push it up the field maybe one more step than on quick, for timing, then come back to other side of LOS.

RB fakes run to the opposite side.

QB rides the fake and throws the screen.

RB has to sell the fake because QB is mostly concerned with getting the laces and focusing on the throw itself.


Jailbreak is always to the #1 WR.

#1 WR: He pushes an outside release up the field for 3-4 steps, then turns around retraces his steps, gets back on his side of the LOS and runs flat down the LOS to give QB an easy target.

Slot WR(s): On jail we usually identify the corner as the most dangerous because we sell pass by everyone else, so the defender over our slot WRs usually follow him in coverage because they have him in man or they have flats.  The only time he won’t block the corner on jail is if that OLB is attacking the screen right at the snap.

#3 WR (if we have one) will block the next most dangerous guy

RB runs a swing to the opposite side.

QB catches the ball, pumps the bubble to the RB.. then he has to retreat, quickly ( we don’t block any DL up front so its on him to get depth) then he throws the screen aiming in front of the WR, allows WR to run flat down LOS right into the pass.

We can also fake to the Rb if we tag or hand signal it

Key on this is the Qb getting plenty of depth, makes his throw much easier.

Slow Screen:
All WRs run whatever route we put on their wristband, usually verts to clear things out.

RB: Step up like normal pass pro, don’t really touch anyone, then reverse pivot to face Qb and settle in an open area to receive screen.

QB: Take 3 step drop… hitch up, then maybe retreat just a bit before dumping the screen to the back.

We didn’t run this a ton, I didn’t like it, I felt we were running it too wide.  I have seen some stuff with running it always as a middle screen to the Rb that I like a lot more.  a lot of defenses overloaded guys deep and outside on us and the middle was wide open.  I would like to run a RB middle screen, similar set up, but RB just works in between tackles to get open instead of outside like we did this year.

Well I think I touched on just about everything regarding skill guys and screens.  I highly advocate running them live in practice 10 minutes a day so your kids get used to reading the lanes on them.
OL post coming within the next 24 hours I hope.


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