clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Coach Zorn introduces the team to dodgeball

New, comments

Per Redskins Insider:

Zorn, who has a reputation for "thinking outside the box" (hate that term but I'm kinda rushing here so I'm taking a lazy cop-out), brought out some huge silver exercise balls and started up a game of dodgeball. For real.

One quarterback held the ball in the pocket and the other quarterbacks chucked the balls at him from various directions. The QB holding the football - not the dodgeball - would have to slither and slide away from the big silver balls, simulating having to elude an oncoming defensive player ... without the obvious risk of injury.

"It 's (a drill) I've been doing to get the quarterbacks to be able to move without a real live guy (chasing them)," Zorn said. "It's been an effective drill to help improve the quarterback's feet and his lateral movement, and what's great with those big balls we use, if we were using smaller balls all they'd have to do is duck; here you really have to move your feet to get out of the way."

Reader(s) are reminded of another unconventionally childish coaching strategy Zorn tried in Seattle, video below:

I don't think Jason Campbell has bad footwork in the pocket, but we all watched him get sacked and subsequently fumble the ball for much of the season. His rate of fumbles per sacks was downright scary; source says he was sacked 21 times but fumled the ball 13 times. No one else at Football Outsiders is listed with as many fumbles lost as Campbell, despite the fact he only played 13 games last year.

Before you use this as an opportunity to call for Todd Collins, remember that Collins was only sacked 7 times... and fumbled four of them (but lost just two).

Bottom line is that sacks turn into fumbles turn into possession change. I think Campbell moves around fine in the pocket but think he hangs on to the ball a bit too long. I also think his release is slow (but not dramatically so) which exacerbates the problem. If he can move just a little better from the pocket, more power to him because that could mean the difference between 7 lost fumbles and, say, 3. That could be the difference between 8 and 9 wins or, put differently, playoffs or no playoffs.

I also think the addition of Fred Davis and two tall receivers in Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly should help, since they provide large targets that can be thrown at when the pressure comes. The West Coast offense emphasizes short passes anyways, which likewise gets the ball out of our quarterback's hands before the pass rush arrives.