Eliminating False Start Penalties


Yep, every offensive football coach deals with false start penalties. Every coach tries to deal with it after they notice the problem. Coaches, here’s your issue, it’s too late if it’s already a problem. Sure, you may help the issue. But if your offensive line coach AND the quarterbacks coach didn’t start planning it from day 1, you’re going to have issues.

Why do I say the quarterback’s coach as well? Because the Quarterbacks have to change their cadence on every snap in team as well so the whole offense gets used to it.

Changing The Cadence in Practice – Offensive Line

I feel like this year, our freshmen squad is tremendous at going on multiple counts. Why? We addressed it right away. If they jump, it’s up downs for everyone. I gave them a free-bee or two on the first couple of days, but after that I’ve been very strict on it.

Every time we did any drill, I would give them a count. When I don’t give them one, they ask. That’s when you know they respect the importance of going on a different snap count, even in practice.

Changing The Cadence in Practice – Quarterbacks

Quarterback coaches should make sure their QB’s change the snap count. When a play is given in the huddle early on, tell the QB what snap count to go on. If you can’t remember to do this, build it into your script. Next to the play, write “on 2″. Quarterbacks should change the play count they’re directly calling a play. Working on timing with the backs? Have the QB dictate the snap count. Working inside with just the line or in 7 on 7? Have a different snap count.

Understand that certain plays probably should go on certain snap counts, especially with younger players. Running jet sweep? Go on one or on set. Running a play with jet motion across the formation, go on two. Defenses will start to tee off on jet sweep or other plays like this if you don’t do these things. So drill it in practice with those specific plays.

If quarterbacks aren’t drilled on changing the snap count, they’ll constantly use the same snap counts in team drills or in games. Then your team will get used to it. Teach the importance of why you change the snap count. Let’s remember how it can be important.

  • Keep the defense from jumping the count
  • Disguise a play call (like jet sweep)
  • It can get us free yards or a free play
  • Identify a blitz/coverage

Teaching the players to understand the importance of changing the snap count will hold them more accountable across the board. When importance is placed on an element, it also earns focus from the players. A lot of coaches say a snap count is imporant, but don’t really explain the full depth of it’s importance. Don’t make this mistake.

Conclusion on Snap Counts

Make sure you start every season by emphasizing their importance by personally changing them up in your drills. Don’t accept failure in this regard, and make sure you emphasize the importance overall.Also, make sure you check out ChiefPigskin.com.