Friday, September 13, 2013

Escaping the Pocket and Scrambling

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Introduction
The scramble, or as Borges calls it, the third play has been a huge asset at times to Michigan this year, as well as a liability at other times. In this article, we are going to discuss some scramble rules. This includes how to the QB can utilize different escape moves, how the QB will throw on the run, and how the WRs react to QB movement.

Escaping the Pocket
First, let’s get a basic thing out of the way as far as pocket movement. This is not an escape move, but climbing in the pocket does a few things: it helps a pocket naturally form around the QB; it makes the QB into a non-stationary target; and it helps guide the QB’s eyes and timing. Some will call this “hitch stepping”, I prefer to call it “climbing the ladder” or “climbing in the pocket”. In my opinion, the hitch step is the weight transfer at the end of the drop in which your weight goes from your front foot and you hitch both feet forward to transfer the weight onto your back foot to prepare to throw.

Climbing in the pocket is a bit different. As much as possible, as a QB, you want to remain in a position where you are ready to throw. What that means is that your weight remains on the back foot as much as possible and your stride keeps you balanced and prepared to step into a throw. So to do this, you will step forward with your front foot and pull yourself forward, or climb up in the pocket, rather than pushing off with the back foot, which would lead to a transfer of weight forward. By pulling forward, you keep your stride more balanced you keep your back foot down longer, and you are more prepared to throw at any moment.

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