This is a guest article written for FootballXOs.com by DJ Marrs. Coach Marrs introduces his PSO, Pass-Screen Options that have helped increase the efficiency of their Quick Game.
Two years ago, as an offensive staff we sat down at the end of the year to look at efficiency within the different aspects of our offense. One area we were able to locate a key inefficiency, was within our Quick Game. As a spread offense that likes to get the ball out in space quickly, quick game was something we believed in, and had the explosive plays to show that it was effective. However, we only completed 41% of our quick game passes. After digging further we found that most of these incompletions were throw-aways or missed passes by our QB trying to make throws out of timing. Over the years we attempted many things on the backside of quick game like mirrored routes, set concepts, now screens, but all were pre-snap reads and still didn’t offer a solution to our problem. If a defense rolled coverage, or a QB was late on a quick game read, what does he do with the ball?
Our offense is one that wants to give the QB options and use the entire field. We run RPOs, double screens, and a concise concept passing game with alternate progressions, but this wasn’t true within our quick passing game. With the “timing” being the issue, I finally dug into delay routes, which evolved into a backside slip screen for simplicity. I put in a slip screen with the RB, which would allow us to keep our protections in tact, and still win the numbers battle on the backside of quick game, if defenses rolled another body down.
The Structure of the Play
When we call our quick game, we will run the routes within the concept on the playside. In the past, we used a combo protection with slide protection to the playside and man, or BOB, on the backside. This was something we didn’t have to change. We still slide with the C, PSG, and PST to the call side. On the backside, we are still man, but we screen release with the BSG and BST, who work wide and keep their eyes inside to set up the screen.
The RB will flash across, and check for the BSLB blitz. If a LB comes off the backside, he must engage him before he can release. This allows us to pick-up, and slow down any 6 man pressure. After releasing, we want the RB to get wide and use the numbers as the Runway for the screen.
The QB will still go through and read his quick game, however if the coverage rolls or changes, he doesn’t have to force a throw or waste a play, he can drop, open, and now has the RB on a slip screen with perfect timing on the play.
This past season our quick game accounted for 94 plays(16%) within our offense. We completed 61 of those attempts, with 17 of them being the slip screen to the RB. While 17 plays isn’t a large deal, it was huge to us in the fact that it increased our completion percentage within the quick game to 64% which, otherwise the incompletions would have given us a 46% completion percentage. Of the 17 Screens that developed from quick game calls, 3 scored TDs and 7 were explosive plays for us.
About Coach DJ Marrs
Coach Marrs enters his 8th season of coaching and his first season as Head Coach of the
Quitman Bulldogs in Quitman, AR. Before his arrival to Quitman, Marrs served as the
Offensive Coordinator at Joe T. Robinson High School. In his 4 years as OC, the
Senators ranked in the top 3 in the state in total offense, while compiling 34-15 record
and reaching the playoffs each year and the quarterfinals and semifinals the last 2. Before
becoming the Offensive Coordinator, Marrs was on Staff at Robinson as the WRs Coach
for 3 previous seasons.