NFL Draft: Russell Wilson and the 'boot action'

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Russell Wilson might not be considered one of the top prospects at the QB position (4th-7th round grade) and his size (5-11) causes some concerns for pro scouts. However, the former Badger can play some football, has an athletic skill set and is at his best when outside of the pocket. As the NFP’s Wes Bunting will tell you, Russell can generate more torque (and power) with the ball in the boot and sprint game.

Today, let’s go back to the Rose Bowl, check out Wilson vs. the Oregon defense and breakdown the scheme that led to a TD pass on the boot action.

Quick coaching points…

- Always look at the WR splits—because they tell you a story. To the open (weak) side of the formation, the No.1 WR (X) is in a “nasty” (reduced) split into the boundary (sideline). An immediate alert for secondary to play the boot game based off the pre-snap alignment.

- Field position. Ball near the 40-yard line. Ideal spot on the field to use play action (Lead Open run action) and take a shot to the end zone.

- Double-move. Check out the Z receiver to the closed (strong) side of the formation. Align with a short split (to the field) to set up the out and up. The WR has to sell the DB (playing off-man coverage) and force him to drive on the out before he gets vertical up the field.

- Wilson’s mechanics. This is a clean look from the Badgers QB. Execute the fake with the Lead Open action, move the pocket and square his shoulders—on the run. This is what you want to see from the QB position in the boot/spring/dash game. When your WR sells the double-move, give him a chance to finish the play for you.

- One final note on the coverage. Check out the CB from the end zone angle. I like his technique at the start. Read through the 3-step game, get your eyes back to the WR and stay in your pedal. The issue here? He looks back in at the QB when he drives on the out—and loses leverage on the WR. Again, “poor eyes” are the No.1 reason you will see DBs get beat at any level of football.

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