We've talked quite a bit about Mike Leach's quarterback drills, which he uses to open every practice. Specifically, the five quarterback drill -- and five skill players running routes -- is one of the more fun things to watch at practice. But it's hard to explain exactly what the drill is and why it's so interesting to watch.
So for those that haven't seen practice (probably most of you), here's a visual aid. This is from a Texas A&M spring practice, but it's essentially the same thing. If you'll recall, Kliff Kingsbury -- the OC at Texas A&M -- played quarterback under Leach and runs an Air Raid. He's taken quite a bit from Leach and is using it at Texas A&M.
Chris Brown dug this up because he is a wonderful man.
The sequence is the same as Leach uses. Receivers start practice working on quick routes -- focusing on their releases -- before moving to vertical releases and routes. Eventually, the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers start the five QB drill.
The difference between what Leach runs and what Kingsbury is doing in the video above comes in the form of pads. Leach lays out pads to simulate defenders, giving his receivers visual cues when running routes during the drills. This helps with mesh routes, specifically, and some of the reads they'll need to make.
It's pretty simple and effective, really. Five quarterbacks drop back and throw to one of five receivers in the route. The quarterbacks move on down the line, throwing to a different receiver each time. It's disorienting at first, but makes sense after watching the drill for a bit.
We talked a little bit about the benefits of the drill with Chris Brown -- he having participated in it at one time. It's an efficient drill: Instead of throwing one ball to one player with the rest of the receivers running dummy routes, everyone has to go full-speed, knowing the ball will be coming. Quarterbacks and receivers can get many more reps in, simply by doing everything at once.
The quarterbacks also get to work in something of a simulated pocket. There's a lot of "noise" doing this drill. Guys are dropping back next to them, creating what feels like a pocket -- not to mention arms and footballs flying everywhere.
And sticking with the quarterback spot (segue alert!), Dan Rubenstein was able to grab a few moments of Jeff Tuel's time at Pac-12 media days. In this quick-hit interview, Dan -- sporting a wonderful beard -- talks to Tuel about the transition to Leach's system, the differences between Leach and Paul Wulff, and the adjustments needed to play in Leach's offense.
Of note, Tuel wipes his nose during the last question than shakes Dan's hand He knows Dan is an Oregon Duck. Oh, he knows.