3-Step, 5-Step & 7-Step Drops for Your QB

During your time coaching football, you’re going to end up spending a good amount of time with your quarterbacks. Today, we’re going to get into the fundamentals of our 3-step, our 5-step, and our 7-step drop–all great things to go over with your quarterbacks.

coaching football QB

3-Step Drop

First Step for All Drops

Our 3-step, 5-step, and 7-step drop all start under center, and they all incorporate the same thing: a powerful, explosive first step. When your quarterback’s under center and he has his chest up and he’s scanning that defense, he doesn’t want to waste any time on his first step. When he receives that ball, he’s out. He’s in an explosive, balanced position.

Have your QB do this on a line–on a football field use a hash mark. In the gym you may have some other lines. For that first step, your quarterback should step directly behind himself.

If there were hands on a clock between his legs, his first step should be on six o’clock. That first step should be directly behind on all of the drops whenever your QB starts. This is because he wants to get away from the other players–and he especially wants to get away from those guys on defense that want to hurt him.

3-Step Drop

With the 3-step drop, you’ll have that first big explosive step. Your next two steps are called balance steps. They’re going to come underneath your QB, nice and quick.

He wants the ball out. He doesn’t want any wasted time.

There’s no time for any wasted motion. There’s no time for any big steps or any hopping.

Your quarterback takes one big explosive step. Then he takes two steps to get his weight and balance underneath him. And then he’s able to step and throw.

coaching football QB

5-Step Drop

5-Step Drop

A 5-step drop is going to be very similar to the 3-step drop.

With the 5-step drop, you’re simply incorporating two more steps and about three more yards of distance than on the 3-step drop. You still want that first big step, explosive, away from the line of scrimmage, right underneath.

Then your quarterback will take two more big, explosive steps, and he’s going to take two gather steps to get his weight and balance underneath him.

There are times your QB will step and throw right off his fifth; more often than not, he’ll hitch and throw. So, you want the first three steps, big and explosive. The last two, gather underneath, hitch, and throw.

coaching football QB

7-Step Drop

7-Step Drop

We’ve talked about our 3-step and our 5-step. The 7-step, obviously, incorporates two more steps. This incorporates about three more yards of distance. A 7-step drop correlates with a deeper throw.

Your QB’s first five steps are going to be big and explosive, getting away from the other players.

Your quarterback should stay straight down the line, nice and square, big explosive steps. He’ll spend his last two step getting his balance, getting his weight underneath him so he can hitch and throw.

Your QB shouldn’t be all over the place. There shouldn’t be any wasted energy.

As we talk about fundamentals in our 3-step, 5-step, and 7-step drops, I’d be remiss not to point out that not very often in the game of football do you get to just take a 3, 5, and 7 and throw a football.

Oftentimes there’s some movement incorporated in the pocket.

When I take a 3, 5, or 7 and I have pressure in the pocket, I don’t want big steps. I don’t want to be hopping in the pocket. I want to keep my weight and my balance underneath me at all times. If I have to move, I want those steps to be right underneath me so that at any time I could step and throw the ball.

A common fundamental error with young and inexperienced quarterbacks is when they feel pressure in the pocket, everything breaks down. Their fundamentals break down. They lose their sense of efficiency.

Do you think your quarterback would benefit from this quick tutorial? If so, don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page for more coaching tips and quarterback fundamentals.

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Category: Football Drills, Quarterback Drills

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