Structuring QB’s Pre-Snap Options

Jan 9, 2016 | Offense, Pass Game, Quick Game Pass Concepts

By James C. Gower
Offensive Coordinator & QBs Coach
James Madison High School (Houston, TX)
Twitter: @gower_james



madisonMy offensive philosophy, as well as the topic of this clinic report, is calling the next play as quickly as possible, while giving your QB as many options as possible. We all hate calling a play that we think will work only to see that the defense has changed, making the play you called a bad play. To get out of the bad play, you either have had to teach your QB all kinds of audibles, or you call a time out. I want my players, and our QBs especially, to just play the game. Therefore, I do not teach them to do any kind of audibles. Instead, I teach our QBs, “the offense is like going to a restaurant; they give you a menu, and you order what looks good.” 

Scan (Pre-Snap)

90% of our run game is the inside or outside zone. In addition, we like to match our quick game passes and screen game to our inside zone to give the QB pre-snap options. By simply adding a tag onto our run game call, we give our offense multiple opportunities to take what the defense gives us. With a simple “Scan” call, our QB/WRs have pre-snap options.

Our WR rules on “Scan” are as follows:

  • Multiple Receiver Side – The inside receiver runs the bubble and the outside receiver(s) block most dangerous man. It should be noted that we do not count an attached TE whether he is on/off the line of scrimmage. The TE is involved in the run game called.
  • Single Receiver Side – He will run a six yard Hitch. Again, we do not count an attached TE as he is involved in the run game called.


I teach the QB the following pre-snap progression:

  1. Hitch
  2. Bubble
  3. Inside Zone (reading the end man on the line of scrimmage)

Therefore, on our inside zone to the right call with a “Scan” tag, four different people can get the football.