Football teams ranging from the high school level down to
the youth football level will never be successful passing
Do you believe this? Many coaches and football bystanders
do. I do not.
In my experience, if you”re trying to have success with five
or seven step drops, then my opening statement is true.
However, if you implement the shorter three-step drop and
roll-outs, you can definitely have success passing the ball
Let”s take a closer look at the types of roll-outs you can
use with your youth football team to gain those crucial
yards necessary to move the chains.
1) Basic Wide Roll-Out
The basic idea behind the roll-out is to create pressure on
the defenders to make a decision on whether to defend the
run or pass. At the snap, your quarterback runs to the left
or right behind the line of scrimmage instead of dropping
As your quarterback “rolls out”, the cornerback or
linebacker in coverage to that side must make a decision: Do
they commit to stopping the quarterback from running or stay
in pass coverage?
If the defender stays in coverage, the quarterback can throw
if the receiver is open or take off and run if the receiver
is covered. If the defender decides to come up to stop the
run, you may have a wide open receiver for your quarterback
to pass to.
2) Short Roll-Out
On a short roll-out, you”ll instruct your quarterback to
move just past the tackle. This type of roll-out gives you
the same advantages as explained in the “wide” roll-out with
the added option of the throwback pass to the side opposite
that of your quarterback”s roll-out direction.
The sprint-out is a roll-out where your quarterback will
take a quicker and more shallow route along the line as he
moves behind the running backs. Usually, you”ll have two or
three receivers (half-back, tight end, flanker) on the play
side run quick outs or hooks so the quarterback can get the
ball out quickly. You can also have the quarterback give a
quick pitch to a half-back rolling out in front of the QB.
Whereas in the previously mentioned roll-out types your
quarterback moves in the same direction as the running
backs, on a bootleg he moves in the opposite direction. At
the snap, your quarterback will fake to a running back, then
roll to the opposite side of the field.
A bootleg is good in short yardage situations or at the goal
line. As the defense reacts to the flow of the play in one
direction, your quarterback is moving with the ball in the
opposite direction and will usually find an open area in
which to run or pass into.
Some teams will have a lineman pull out to provide extra
protection while some run a pure “naked” boot where only the
quarterback rolls opposite the initial flow direction.
There are different opinions on what constitutes a waggle.
Some coaches call it a waggle when the quarterback fakes to
one or two running backs and then rolls behind the backs as
they all move in the same direction.
Other coaches call it a waggle when the quarterback makes
the fake and then moves out in the opposite direction as
explained above in the “bootleg” section. Usually, the
pulling lineman is employed in this type of roll-out.
I”ve often found that young offensive lineman have trouble
holding out defenders long enough for the five and
seven-step drops. Plus, the roll-outs described above will
most likely open up more receivers for you as many youth
defenders will get confused on whether to come up for the
run or stay back in coverage.
It”s up to you, but if you desire success with passing the
football in the youth leagues, I highly recommend you get
good at employing some form of the roll-out into your