As a current high school football coach and a former NFL quarterback, I have to talk often about quarterback training skills and drills. I was watching the Monday Night football game and Jon Gruden was talking about a replay of quarterback Jay Cutler from the Chicago Bears after he had a terrible throw which caused an interception.
The football replay showed Cutler back peddling and throwing off his back foot with no pressure from the pass rush. As expected, this will typically happen: he overthrew the receiver by five yards in the end zone and was easily intercepted.
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First, young quarterbacks need to learn the proper drops. I mean a correct three-step drop, where the first step is an open step shoulder width, the next step is a crossover step, and the last is a plant step. Stop your backward momentum and plant so you can begin to drive forward as you throw.
Holding the Football
I also noticed after watching Cutler that he holds the football on a passing play around his midsection, just above his waist. This is terribly wrong! The correct pre-pass football position is your pec pocket–near your right pectoral muscle if you’re a right-handed quarterback. Watch Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, or Mark Sanchez or Drew Brees, and notice their ball position when they are doing football drops for pass plays.
The reason for the ball position at the pec pocket is the throwing motion. From the pec pocket you want to bring the football up to just above the ear hole to start your throwing motion. If you have the football at your waist area it takes way to long to bring it up and around to the ear hole. This slow throwing motion is the worst thing you can do and no college quarterback coach would recruit you with this throwing motion.