A handoff in football occurs on rushing plays in which the ball is handed directly from one player to another. Generally, handoffs are going to be from the quarterback to the running back.
Why Do Football Teams use Handoffs?
Fans new to the game of football often wonder why handoffs are used at all. After all, isn’t it just easier if the quarterback runs with the football?
The reason that handoffs are used in football is that this is the easiest way to get the ball into the hands of skilled runners.
When getting the ball to the skill positions on offense teams will pass or handoff of the ball.
Passing the football in the air will generally gain more yards but it comes with risks. When passing the ball it can be intercepted by the other team, or the quarterback himself can get sacked before he throws it.
Rushing the ball, on the other hand, will not gain you as many yards on average but it is a much safer play. The handoff will get the running back the ball before any defender can get into the backfield.
Additionally handing off the ball to the running back will allow the offensive lineman in front of him to block out defenders. This will allow the ball carrier to make his way downfield.
What Positions Receiver Handoffs?
The position that receives the most handoffs from the quarterback is the running back. Though there are a number of other positions that can receive the ball from the quarterback as well.
The fullback is one position that also can receive handoffs from the quarterback. This position has become less popular in the NFL in recent years though they still receive handoffs from time to time.
Wide receiver is another position that can receive handoffs from the quarterback. Wide receivers typically line up near the sideline. This means they are not usually in a position to receive a handoff from the qb.
In order to get a handoff receivers will usually come in motion across the field and receiver the ball as they cross the quarterback’s face. These plays are relatively rare but will typically happen a few times a game in the NFL.
How To Receive A Handoff In Football?
Finding the mesh point is the first step to receiving a handoff in football. A mesh point refers to the area where the quarterback and runningback meet when the ball is handed off.
Getting to the right spot on the field to receive the handoff is a step you cannot mess up as a running back.
Next, you must be sure to give your quarterback a big pocket to place the ball into. The pocket can be made by turning both your arms ninety degrees so that your forearms are going across your body.
The arm closest to the quarterback should be higher with your palm facing down. The other arm should be significantly lower with your palm facing up to the sky. The area between your two arms is the pocket.
Once the quarterback sticks the ball into this area you can secure it with your arms and hands.
Once the ball is secured you can take off downfield.