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Why Do Some Of You Insist That Ball Skills Can't Be Taught?


Dr. Zanzibar
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Unless you are born playing cornerback, it most certainly can. And from what you hear when Nnamdi Asomugha talks about it, as I heard him a great deal earlier this year both on ESPN and B. D. S. S. P., it seems hard work and intelligent play has alot more to do with it than any magical ability.

The most important part of making a play on the ball is know where the ball will likely be thrown, and to that end, a great deal can be read before it is even thrown.

You help yourself a great deal by knowing the down, and yardage needed for it. So if its 3rd and 3, it could be a short in or slant pattern, while if its 3rd and 11, it is more likely to be a streak, skinny post, or another deep route.

Also, you can pick up things by watching the body language of the O-line, the body language of the QB and the body language of the Wide-out.

Of course, the first few milliseconds after the ball is snapped tell alot more than even that.

You also help yourself by knowing based on what defensive package you are in, what the weaknesses in the secondary are, and thus which areas of the field become more likely to be thrown at. If you have safety help it becomes less likely that your side will be thrown at, but more likely that if you are thrown at, you can sell out to make a play on the ball with fewer consequences. You can look at past games, based on what defenses they played, and get a better idea of how they will attack you secondary, based on if you play more man, or zone coverage, and how you use your safeties.

Nnamdi also said the big part is to keep your eyes focused on the hips of the wide receiver, as, like Shakira says, the hips don't lie, and you can't go where your hips don't. From there you can read the eyes and upper body of the receiver if your back is to the QB, as the wideout having his arms raised a little bit in anticipation can tip you off to the cut in the route, and his eyes getting a little larger can tell you the ball has just been thrown his way.

One reason Moss is so lethal and always seems to have such success with really deep routes despite people knowing his speed is that he is said to have the most stone face when he is about to catch the ball, he has a poker face that tells you absolutely nothing.

And of course you study the receiver on film to get an idea of what moves he uses, whether he is a power or finesse route runner, and how he looks when he is about to catch the ball.

There are certain parts of a route, especially right after a break, where you have the opportunity to look back at the QB for a split second. You can also look at the coverage from the rest of the field and get an idea if your guys is more open than the others, and if the QB has rolled out of the pocket, which makes certain passes more likely, and others less likely.

And as far as actually making a play ON the ball, you can certainly practice stopping and leaping for a ball thrown from every single direction, while you were in every single body position imaginable, and you can even run drills where you practice coming back to a ball and swatting from behind the wide-out. You can practice bumping a receiver and then turning around to cover him, using as few unnecessary footsteps as possible, and even diving to swat a ball that has been thrown to a certain side of you. And of course, learning that you catch the football with your fingers and not your palms or body can be trained too.

All of these things, that in a game would help you make plays on a ball, being things that are functions of the mind rather than physical attributes such as raw speed and leaping ability, can be trained and honed on a practice field, with a coach that can help you understand what happened and why, and then prepare you for the next time it happens.

A big problem I think is that often defensive backs only practice as long as the other defensive players, despite the fact that they have arguably the most difficult job on the entire defense, and likely the second most difficult (after QB) in all of football.

What seems to set the Champ Baileys and Nnamdis apart are their realization of this, and their constant work to hone their craft.

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Nnamdi also said the big part is to keep your eyes focused on the hips of the wide receiver, as, like Shakira says, the hips don't lie, and you can't go where your hips don't. From there you can read the eyes and upper body of the receiver if your back is to the QB, as the wideout having his arms raised a little bit in anticipation can tip you off to the cut in the route, and his eyes getting a little larger can tell you the ball has just been thrown his way.

:mellow:

<_<

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Da*n this is long. Did you truly wake up with this n your mind

I woke up around 6 something, and came on here after I put a pot of coffee on, and saw even more posts of people who think that ball skills, emphasis on SKILLS, can't actually be taught.

Don't worry, I type quickly, typing a rant is just like typing a sentence for me heh.

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