When a DB wants to “choke” you off the line there are only a couple things you can do. The first situation we will discuss is when you are in a 1on1 setting with no full defense or pass rush. So this is pretty much a fake scenario. DBs will jump the snap count, hold etc. This is not a real look you will see in a game but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to make the DB look foolish because we always do. So something you can do with your QB is go on 2. Hit the DB with a hard count, he jumps the snap count because there is no threat of being off sides. It’s 1on1s so if you get him to jump once then he is going to be hesitant the second time around, and it’s a 5yd penalty. Then you create some space/time to work your releases.
The second situation I want to talk about is when he is about maybe 2-3yds off but he is waiting for you to address him to get hands on. This is something WRs struggle with because they don’t know how to approach it. They call this “catch” technique. So the main keys about catch is that you can’t just try to run around a DB. You must always make him feel uncomfortable and “step on his toes”. When you attack his leverage then you can use range to make a move, don’t get too close and let him get hands, attack just enough to make him feel you approach so he gets on the defensive.
The last situation I want to talk about is when he’s pressed up, IN A REAL GAME, and is going to get hands on you. So this is realistic, unlike the first point we mentioned. So he is going to be reacting off of you, so you need to come up with a release that is quick and efficient. If you aren’t in a stack formation something like a step back release can work because you automatically give yourself some room to navigate. Or a split release because the hesitation in your move can freeze him. It’s all about your feet. Footwork is what makes you dangerous. Especially if the DB is bigger you don’t want to try and hand fight with him. Give him something quick and get into the route. Always need a plan but your range and quickness should be the plan against a physical guy. I’m not saying don’t use your hands but that separation comes from your feet and how sudden/how much of a salesman you can be.
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