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Misdirection Misdirection is the single most effective way to beat a defense. Misdirection is the art of making a defense think a play is going one way, when it is actually going the other. The key to successful misdirection is freezing the defense for one or two seconds and then attacking the opposite side they think you are attacking. Pull them one way and go the other.

Bootleg A bootleg is a form of play action that allows the quarterback to fake a handoff and then scramble outside of the pocket. The bootleg opens up the secondary and allows the quarterback to locate his receiver while scrambling out of the pocket. Generally the quarterback should scramble to the side that favors his throwing arm.

Play action Play action is a fake handoff designed to make the defense think the play is a run. It will generally pull the defense up to the line of scrimmage, creating vulnerabilities in the secondary or the flats. Play action is a great option for throwing the longer passes and creating confusion within a defense. The fake handoff also takes a few seconds to mature and it allows the receivers to get further down the field by the time the ball is thrown.

Setting up the defense Lets assume you have a playbook filled with easy, yet effective plays and a good system for naming your plays. Now you need to know which plays to use and call in different situations. You can start off the game three ways:

  • 1.

    Using the run to set up the pass.

  • 2.

    Using the pass to set up the run.

  • 3.

    Going "west coast" and using the short pass to setup the long ball and the run at the same time.

You should feel the defense out: What scheme do they use? Are they a good passing defense, running defense, or both? Do they have a fast BZ? You can usually answer these questions in the first two plays. Try a running play then a passing play or viceversa. That leaves you with two more downs to attack their weak spots. If they have exceptional coverage skills and keep your QB from completing a pass, run the ball. If their CBs are great flag pullers, run right up the middle. Suck the defense in, then strike deep with a play action pass.

Use height as an advantage. If one of your WRs is considerably taller than their defender, throw a jump ball right over the defender's head. Try to find the holes in the defense. Find a spot where no one covers and attack it. Find bad habits and techniques from defenders and exploit them. If a CB has poor speed, send your WR on a streak. If the defense takes poor angles, run a sweep and burn it up the side line.

Final Notes:

1. Protect the ball At any level of football, including the PROS, turnovers almost always determine the final outcome of a game.

Consider this scenario. Team A plays Team B and the match up is perfect. All athletes and coaches have the same skill level:

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