Get Your Flag Football Defense To The QB’s Arm

By FirstDown PlayBook on Apr 7, 2021

Everyone assigns a defender to rush the quarterback with their flag football defense. Unless the quarterback is on crutches, they can hurt you by running the ball and also by having all day to find an open receiver. Even when playing NFL Flag rules where the quarterback can’t run the ball, you still need a pass rush.

What do you tell your rusher? “Go get the quarterback” is not coaching. This goes for you too youth flag football defense coaches. Sometimes the simplest of things can make a huge difference with stoping the flag football formations and plays you see. Here is what we mean.

The odds of your defender actually pulling the flag of the quarterback is low. Guess who is probably the best player on their team. You got it. That quarterback is probably going to win an athletic one on one battle anyway against your pass rusher. Having said that, you can still help that pass rusher be more effective.

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FirstDown Playbook suggests that you take away the throwing arm of the quarterback. Get your rusher to the quarterback’s throwing arm. You will find that you will all of a sudden have a defender right in the quarterback’s vision as opposed to chasing them. There should be a rhyme and reason for your flag football defense too.

This makes even more sense for your flag football defense when you consider that a lot of flag football pass plays are sprint out passes. Now you have the quarterback sprinting right into your rusher. Your sacks will increase and the quarterback will not be nearly as accurate.

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Of course the offense will quickly understand what you are doing but who really cares? Anyone who has coached young quarterbacks knows that if they try to sprint out away from the quarterbacks throwing arm they are playing left handed. Pun totally intended…

If you think this is some sophisticated strategy that doesn’t affect you as a youth flag football coach, think again. It may be more important to you than anyone. See what we mean here.

Angellica Grayson