(Taken from Blitzsports)

'There are two sorts of mentalities in passing in football, according to "Football for Dummies," by Joe Theismann.' The Timing Pass
jasontudor 10.19

     One of the greatest weapons you have when putting together an offensive arsenal has nothing to do with smash-mouthed, run-it-up-the-gut football.  It has more to do with making your receivers run to a spot on the field and catch a football flung by your quarterback.

     Now, I'm talking about the timing pass and, more specifically, those timing passes that are legal.  I won't address anything that goes past the 15-yard mark or violates the games artificial intelligence.

     First, you need to understand how a timing pass works.  The Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers use them.  Yes, they are a component of the West Coast offense, but they are used other ways, too.  Let's break it down further.

     There are two sorts of mentalities in passing in football, according to "Football for Dummies," by Joe Theismann (yes, that Joe Theismann).   It's a pretty good book for amateurs and experts on the fundamentals of the game.   Joe says you can throw a football one of two ways: you can throw at a receiver, that is, right at him wherever he is on the field or you can throw to a spot on the field where you are expecting the receiver to meet the ball.  The QB generally throws it out of the way of the defender and the pass gets caught.

     Now, it's never quite that simple.  In real life, Troy Aikman makes it look easy when he hits Michael Irvin (yes, that Michael Irvin) on an out.   That's a timing pass.  In FBPro, the same theories apply but you have to make some adjustments.

     Let's look a moment at a timing pass form the lot formation, one of my favorite formations to throw from:

     I'll normally pass to one of the outside receivers in this formation, which I call 'timer.'  The goal is to get the majority of defenders to go to the strong side while I throw the ball to the weak side receiver.  Remember, you can judge strong and weak by which hash mark the ball sits on.

     Here is an example of the routes:

     I send the 'C' guy on a down and out route; the 'Y' guy goes on a skinny post.  One running back trails to the strong side, picks up any incoming blocker at the same time leading his defender out of the area of attack (if he's M2M covered, which I count on in these situations.  My 'X', the receiver in this play, runs about 12-yards, looks for the pass, turns around and runs back about four yards.   The blocking scheme is a standard pass blocking scheme.

     The QB has the most critical role on this play.  When you build a play like this, it should be exact.  So, have your QB pump fake once to the 'Y' receiver, take a step or two back and fire the ball to the spot on the field where your 'X' receiver will end up.  The whole sequence lasts about five seconds.   The timing is the key, of course.  Be sure to set the "timing pass" time accordingly.  The amount of time will depend on the speed of your receiver.   I like to have the receiver make finger tip grabs versus rather than have him waiting on the ball.

     Now, your receiver will not always catch the ball.  If he does, you'll end up with a pretty good gain.  Here are a few tips to ensure your receiver makes the catch and even breaks it for a few extra yards:

     -- Use a receiver with good agility and strength. In this case, speed really isn't a factor, as long his agility and strength are sound.   This will allow him to make a sharp cut AND break the tackle once the reception is made.
     -- Watch out for the zone defense.  If someone knows you are coming with these timing passes, he'll shift his defense accordingly and add spot zones or zones specifically to kill timing passes.  If that's the case, you'll end up with a lot of incomplete passes and he'll get a lot of interceptions run back for touchdowns.  Scout your opponent and be ready.
     -- Know your receivers' endurance. After running this play two or three times, your receiver will tire and not get to the spot where the ball will be.  Don't overuse the play.
     -- Watch the bump. No, don't cue up "Saturday Night Fever" for dance tips.  Beware the M2M defense where a defender bumps your receiver first.  If your receiver is weak, he'll get knocked down and you'll get rung up for intentional grounding.

     Key to all of this is making it a part of a balanced offense.   Like that balanced breakfast we're encouraged but never eat, it's a part of the sum.  It's not the beginning and the end.  It's more like a piece that makes the whole puzzle come together.

     It can be a fantastic weapon, too.  Good luck with it.