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No Comfy QBs - Tracing the Ball

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

The No Comfy QBs is an important concept and phrase for our players. It refers to quarterbacks in the NFL and that we like to imagine any quarterback, even the bad ones, with a clean pocket and all day to throw can slice up an opposing defense. But if that QB has pressure and a messy pocket there world is a whole lot different.

The same is true for team defense in basketball. If a passer has all day to survey the defense with no pressure, they will be able to throw a perfect pass, on time and on target, to anyone on the court. It is the job of the on-ball defender to make a difference on the ball: to impact the ball handler.

The most common teaching point in this regard is to trace the ball. And we believe in that fully. Getting a hand near the ball or a hand in the vision; either way, we want to make the ball handler have to scan and move instead of survey. If the offensive player is impacted and needs to move his vision around and the ball, perhaps we can make those passes a split second or more late or off target. And if we accomplish that, maybe that open backdoor passes becomes a deflection, maybe that open stagger screen shooter has to reach for the pass out of rhythm, etc.

And if NBA players can be impacted by active hands on the ball then we are sure it can make a difference at every level.

Finally, we don’t want our on-ball defenders to sacrifice their ability to contain the ball by over-emphasizing disrupting the passer (at least not every offensive player). Instead we want our defenders to understand ball placement; pressure a passer and defend a driver. So that when the offensive player has their eyes up and ball above their waist, we can crowd their space more and trace the ball. But if the offensive player drops the ball to their waist and/or their eyes, we know an attack is most likely and must pop back in anticipation.

And that includes if the ball-handler is dribbling as well: No Comfy QBs. The use of on-ball stunts is needed: a stab and retreat. Make the ball handler know you exist.

Too many times defenders feel like they are doing their job when their man doesn’t score or doesn’t attack. But we need them to start understanding the value of No Comfy QBs and the impact they can make for our team defense.

See you next time.

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