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The Drills Report© More from this issue
This month’s drill has been submitted by Coach Jason Phillips, Receivers Coach at the University of Houston. Coach Phillips brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Cougars football program as not only a coach but also a former player. Coach Phillips coaching career began with the Spring Football League’s Houston Marshals in 1999 with stops at the Minnesota Vikings (2001), Atlanta Falcons (2002) and Southwest Texas State (2002). While with the Vikings, under the guidance of Coach Dennis Green, Coach Phillips was able to work with players such as Randy Moss, Chris Carter and Jake Reed.
As a player, Coach Phillips was an All-American Wide Receiver at the University of Houston and led the nation in receiving in 1987 and 1988. After his playing days with the Cougars Coach Phillips was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1989. During his pro career, coach Phillips also played for the Atlanta Falcons as well as the Birmingham Barracudas and Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL.
The University of Houston has one of the most innovative and creative spread offensive systems in the country. Coach Phillips shares with us some line drills that have made the receivers an intricate part of the success of the Cougars spread offense.
• Ball net as a backstop (if available)
• A jugs machine to throw (if available)
• To teach and practice body control, balance, and proper hand position. An effective way to simulate realistic catching angles.
• We want to make the difficult catch look routine.
• Receiver must stay on the line. Don't drift away from the ball at the catch.
• Receiver must keep moving while making the catch.
• Check for proper hand position.
• Emphasize using two hands at all time.
• Stress putting the ball away quickly after the catch is made.
Line Drill Set up:
Receivers will form a single file line on any given yard line or sideline. The coach will stand ten yards away from the receiver. The coach can change positions to add more variety and different angles. Upon catching the ball, the receiver will simply return around to repeat the drill (See Diagram 1).
First Drill: The ball will be thrown slightly in front of the receiver’s head or above. The receiver will meet and greet the football forming the diamond technique with the hands (thumbs and index fingers together). The catch will be made out in front of the receiver’s body with two hands (See Diagram 2).
Next drill: the ball will be thrown slightly behind the receiver's head or above. The receiver will use the diamond technique to catch this ball. The receiver can either catch and snatch the ball back across his body or make a 360 degree turn. The receiver can work
on both options or simply do what feels natural (See Diagram 3).
Next drill: This ball will be thrown slightly in front of the receiver, in between the knee and ankle or lower. The technique the receiver will use to catch this ball will be thumbs out, pinky fingers together and palm of hands up. The receiver must get his hands underneath the ball. The receiver will need to bend at the waist and knees and sink the hips (See Diagram 4)
Last drill: This ball will be thrown slightly behind the receiver between the knee and ankle or lower. The receiver will use the same hand technique as he used catching the low and in front ball. The receiver will have the same after the catch options as the high and behind ball (See Diagram 5).
These drills may be used everyday during two-a-day camp and the regular season as a pre-practice warm-up.
Coach Phillips was inducted into the Houston Hall of Fame earlier this year where he joined teammate and Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware.
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