To develop a player’s ability to read the QB and break on the ball using the fundamentals they’ve developed.

Have players pair off with teammates of similar size and ability and form a line 10-20 yards in front of the coach. Coach will start with a football.

Player breaking on the ball and swatting with the inside arm.


Diagram of players performing the Buddy Drill.


  1. The coach will start the drill by snapping the ball, queuing the players to begin lightly jogging towards him.
  2. When they are about 10 yards away, the coach will open his shoulders up to either the left or right side and begin to throw to that player.
  3. The player the coach is throwing to will then become the receiver with the other player becoming the defender. The defender must immediately react and break on the ball, going for the interception if possible but otherwise just swatting the ball down to the ground with their lead arm.

Coaching Tips: 

  • While they may not be able to read the QB’s eyes, the DBs can always react to the QB’s shoulder. As the players approach, the QB/Coach will have to open his shoulders in one of two directions – this will be their tip-off as to what direction the Coach is about to throw the ball.
  • The key to the proper footwork here is to get the outside foot in the ground, break towards the throw and transition right through the football, reaching with the front arm to swat the ball while maintaining contact on the receiver with their back arm so that in a game situation they would be able to secure the tackle should they miss the ball.
  • As players become more comfortable with the drill, you can make it less obvious which side you are going to throw to as well as throwing the ball wider out to the offense side, making it more difficult for the defender to make a play on the ball.