Youth Football: Coaching Quarterbacks 101 Part Five: How to lead the huddle; Organization
Youth Football: Coaching Quarterbacks 101 Part Five: How to lead and command the huddle with Organization
Part of any quarterback’s duties includes leading and organizing the huddle. As mentioned back in part one, not only is the quarterback responsible for what he must do, he’s also responsible for knowing what everyone else is doing as well. This is extremely important as everything on the offense starts within the confines of the huddle. The huddle is set 5-7 yards from the line of scrimmage. From here, the center is the one who establishes this mark by the center yelling huddle with his hands in the air.
A common type of huddle for youth football is the two-tier huddle, with the lineman in the front row and everyone else behind them in a row, with the exception of the quarterback who is in front of the lineman. Heads should remain up at all times and all eyes should be facing the quarterback. To make it easy and simple to count heads, the five players behind the offensive lineman should be stacked directly behind a player in front of them. This makes it much more efficient for the quarterback to get a head count. Nobody should be talking beside the quarterback; all communication is shouldered on him. He should be the only one allowed to talk. The play call with the formation alongside with protection and whatever else you add should be repeated twice by the quarterback, once to the left side of the huddle and once to the right (ex Wing T 69 Bootleg Right). On top of this, the cadence should be repeated to both sides just as the play call and formation were.
When it comes to basic alignment in the huddle, you should have a basic structure of where each player aligns up every time you huddle. Here is an image of a basic huddle formation. This is flipped from the formation we mentioned in the paragraph above.
In this alignment, you can consider having your offensive lineman standing, while the skill players are on one knee.
Here is an example of a pro-style huddle. Obviously, this is a little different with the offensive lineman’s back facing the defense.
It’s the same idea though as the quarterback repeats the play call twice, once to the right side and once to the left.
It’s important that once the huddle breaks, every player hustles to the line of scrimmage and gets set in their proper stance.
How you break from the huddle is how you will play once the ball is snapped into play and must be disciplined, focused, and unified. It is important that ALL of your players run both TO and FROM the huddle. Communication is vital here for the quarterback as he must be able to recite word for word the play call and the cadence, knowing what his keys are as well as what everyone else is doing.
Quarterback Coaching 101
By: Matt Kerns