Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wide Receivers pre-practice and individual period


I believe this may be one of the most overlooked skills.

1. Foot alignment: A good starting point is for the inside WR have the inside foot up and the outside WR have the outside foot up. When a WR is on the LOS then the foot position may be determined by the coverage.
2. Watch the ball: A WR should never have to know the snap count. He needs to watch the ball. I will always simulate the snap while calling out various cadences.
3. Release: Make the DB uncomfortable and which way is your route. When a WR has a free release then I will let them know to attack the DB’s opposite shoulder.
4. When the DB is in press coverage:
-The WR’s helmet level must be lower than the DB’s helmet. This compresses the body surface which makes it harder for the DB’s press technique.
-If the DB is cheating to a side then the WR’s foot to that side should be up. This provides for easier separation.
-If the DB is head up then the WR’s foot that is opposite of the release he wants should be up.
-The WR’s hands should be up ready to “strike” the DB.


Q: What are the keys to effective blocking? A: Great hands and feet.

Q: What do most WR’s have? A: Great hands and feet.

IF you teach WRs proper technique and attitude toward blocking then your WRs will start to block! The WR must keep hands and feet moving, I tell them it is like setting an illegal pick in basketball. I break down this skill by working feet then hands. I start with the classic mirror drill with the WR’s hand behind his back. The WR works on keeping their balance, eyes on the target, and not over committing. Next, I have the WRs work their hands by striking their partner’s shoulder pads. Keep the hands moving and make sure the strikes are quick. Keep the DB off balance and uncomfortable! I tell the WRs that a block never needs to be devastating, just make the DB’s path to the ball carrier a difficult one.


1. Partner Catch: The WRs find a partner and face each other. The WR looks the ball in. Arms are extended and the hands forming a diamond or triangle (FIG. 1).Early in camp have the WRs call out what they see on the ball "LINE-SEAM-LACES". Remind the WRs of proper ball security…”wrist higher than the elbow”. I will walk around the drill and try to rip the ball out or bump the WR.

Once they have show a mastery of this drill then change it up.
-Sideways: The WRs are now catching on a different angle
-Around the clock: The WRs throw the ball to spots on the “clock”
- Over emphasis the catch. The WRs throw the ball to make their partner stretch for the catch. The WR pauses and looks at the ball then tucks it and takes a long look at the tucked ball.

2. Tennis balls: I try to do this on Wednesdays. No footballs used during partner catch, just tennis balls. The more the better. The WRs throw the ball “rapid fire” to each hand. Step it up by having two balls thrown at the WR, not at the same time but the second ball following quickly.


This is the drill taken from a Texas Tech drill tape. A key point is, after catching the ball, to turn up field quickly and away from the contact. Emphasis on keeping low,as the turn is made, to avoid that “big hit” from the DB.


I will set up cones in a box pattern and the WRs will line up and jog through and make their cuts. SPEED CUTS: short choppy steps to slow down then a hard step for the break (FIG. 2). POST CUTS: no choppy steps, but one hard “stomp step” for the cut (FIG. 3).


  1. Good stuff coach, thanks. One thing with press coverage that we also do is actually have our receivers stand more upright with the feet CLOSER together than normal. This makes it easier to release horizontally. Also allows you to create some space from the defender while standing back from the line. We work on using the DBs "lunge" energy against him if that makes sense.

  2. Great comment Coach, keep them coming!

  3. As a part of your football receiver training, you will be doing a variety of wide receiver drills and plays. Keep these tips in mind, learn the proper routes you need to run, and put your best foot forward during every game!