Noose Drill Progression

Nov 24, 2014 | Drills, Position Groups, Wide Receivers

Jeremy West

Offensive Coordinator

Stamford HS (TX) - 2012 1A Div 1 State Champions

Editor’s Note:  Currently the offensive coordinator/receivers coach at Stamford (TX) HS.  Have also had other assistant coaching stops at McGregor, Holliday, Knox City and City View (Wichita Falls) all in TX. Have worked under AD/HC Wayne Hutchinson for 11 of the past 12 years at Stamford and Knox City, being promoted to OC in 2009. In those 11 seasons have been 97-32, including 37-6 in the past 3, with a quarterfinal appearance in 2003, a trip to the state finals in 2011 and the 2012 1A Division 1 State Championship. Also coach OLBs and DEs on defense, 8th grade basketball and assistant coach of the Bulldog baseball team that has made 3 consecutive state tournament appearances. Father of 4 Boys and husband to wife Mindy.



team picSeveral years ago, we decided to scrap our flex bone offense and made the wholesale switch to a shotgun spread offense. In doing so, we knew we would need to incorporate many ideals that would help us become more consistent and successful at throwing and catching the football, but one drill that we run everyday is the Noose drill. I first encountered this drill in Lubbock at Texas Tech under the direction of Mike Leach. Most of you guys by now, probably know the story of Coach Leach and his tutelage under Hal Mumme. Then, when we went into spread offenses, we became clients of Tony Franklin and his “System”, another branch of the Air Raid offense family tree and came across the drill again and developed a better understanding and application of this drill.

The reason I like this drill so much and we use it everyday is for a couple of reasons. I have never seen a drill that encompasses so many of the little things that receivers and quarterbacks need to be conscious of in one drill that can be done in 5 minutes. Secondly, we are a small school (1A in Texas, our high school enrollment is 185) and we have guys that play both sides of the football and our entire coaching staff must coach both offense and defense. Coincidentally, we typically only have an hour for our offensive half of practice. Since we’re lacking some of the individual time that bigger schools may have, noose is great because we can coach so many details for our positions without having to spend a great amount of time on it during individual offense in practice.

Again, one of the best things about Noose is that it covers a myriad of things that we will harp on that we believe are critical to being a good receiver. In listening to many “Air Raid” spread offensive minds (Mumme, Leach, Franklin, Dana Holgerson, Sonny Dykes, Art Briles, etc.) speak, one common thing that most will mention is that the best way to get embarrassed in the spread offense is to not able to defeat press man coverage and not be able to get off the line of scrimmage and get into your routes. You may only see it once or twice a season, but when you do, you better be prepared for it. So for this reason, we work everyday on man press releases and the first few steps of the drill reflect this. It’s a worst-case scenario mentality…if you can get off man press, everything else should be easier.

We run noose drill everyday in pre-practice as a warm up. Another thing that we don’t waste time on anymore is an old-school, static, block-type stretch, where it takes 5 minutes everyday just to get the freshmen in a straight line in the back. Instead, we warm up with Noose.

Drill Set-Up

The drill is set up with two cones five yards apart (we use the boundary and yard lines). Some people will use stand up dummies or trashcans instead of cones or you could even use two guys that are in line. The cones are used to represent a defender, particularly a linebacker for the purposes of this drill. The receivers will line up behind one cone, facing the other cone. The next man in line will step around and be a defender. The QBs will be perpendicular to the cones, about 8 or 10 yards deep. Sometimes we will use our centers and if not, the receivers will come give the snap before that return to the back of the line. We typically have 5 or 6 different QBs, each with his own set of cones and will even out the receivers accordingly, trying to maximize our reps. It is a half speed drill, so all of these techniques should be very clean and noticeable. We want to try and exaggerate them during the drill.

XO Labs PPT Template 

Wide Receiver Mechanics

  • STANCE – The first thing we coach our guys on is their stance. So for stance, we want our guys to have a wide base, a “fighter’s stance” with their feet about shoulder width apart. We don’t worry about one foot or the other being forward, because we don’t count steps in our routes. The next thing is we want our shoulders lower than the defender’s shoulders and our hands up and ready. It’s a street fight mentality and we want our stance to reflect that, all the while being comfortable and being able to run off the football. We also want their eyes on the snap, since our receivers are taught not to listen for the cadence, but to watch the snap. We will coach this in all phases of practice beginning here, the idea being to eliminate the temptation for us to jump offsides anticipating the snap.

  • FOOT FIRE – Our next step is a foot fire technique. Here we are rapidly firing our feet and hands. We want to gain some ground and threaten the DB’s cushion and get into him, all without giving him a clue as to what our first move is going to be. We want to be violent with our hands and not let him engage.

  • STICK OPPOSITE – Here we want to begin our single “stick” release by sticking our toe in the ground in the opposite direction that we’re going. We want them to do a good job of selling that they are going in the direction of the stick, so we want a good head and shoulder fake. We encourage them to “put some flavor in it” just like they’re being covered by their brother in the back yard. We have given our guys the freedom to work both left and right during this drill and trust that they will do so. A lot of young guys will only want to work their outside release or even worse they’ll only go right, because that’s the way we start them out in junior high!

  • CLEAN THEIR HANDS – Here we need to be violent with our hands. After we’ve set the DB up that we are going the other direction, we want to “break his wrists” or “break his elbow” are good visuals that we will use here. We want to get the defenders hands off of us as we’re going into our dip.