How to Be a Better Defensive Back

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A good defensive back needs to be able to run and jump, but he also needs to understand the quarterback's mechanics so that he can get an idea of when the QB is going to release the football. Improve anticipation skills as a football defensive back with help from a former NFL football player in this free video on playing football and football techniques.

Part of the Video Series: How to Play Football
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Gary Reasons, former NFL linebacker. I'm going to show you in this clip talking a little bit about basics in football, of how you can be a better defensive back. Well, everyone needs to run, you need to be able to jump, you need to be able to have some basic coverage skills. But one of the things that's really going to make you a better defensive back is the ability to clue the quarterback. Well, what I mean by cluing the quarterback is actually understanding his mechanics of how and when he's going to release the football. So if you understand those things, you can become a better defensive back. And that creates anticipation. As the quarterback delivers the football, he's going to be in a posture. Both hands are probably going to be on the football. When he releases his front hand off of the ball, that's a clue. That's a clue to you that the ball is going to be thrown. So if you're in a coverage technique, and you see this hand come off, you're alert needs to go up that the ball is coming. Okay. Then you're going to watch his shoulders, from left to right if he's a right-handed quarterback. As he rotates his shoulders, that's going to give you an idea of where he's going to throw the football. Can I throw to my right side if my shoulders are square? Not very easily. So if I'm going to throw the ball to my right side, I'm going to rotate and throw it to the right side. Watch the shoulders, watch the hand, those are the clues you need to use to be a better defensive back.

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