A two-minute drill in football is a type of hurry-up offense that is generally run in the final two minutes of either half. The two minute drill earned its name due to its association with the two minute warning.
In football, the play clock will be stopped when the clock reaches two minutes remaining in either half. When the two-minute warning comes into effect game clock is stopped until the next play begins.
If the two-minute warning occurs during a play the clock will continue to run and will pause once the play is concluded.
This stoppage can be very beneficial to teams looking to score as time in between plays can burn up to forty seconds off the game clock.
Once the two-minute warning has passed there will be no more stoppages of the clock outside of incomplete passes, ball carriers travelling out of bounds and timeouts being called.
Since teams cannot call a timeout each play the offense must look to gain a large number of yards by passing the ball. This is where the two-minute drill comes in.
The Drill Itself
Offenses will practice these two minute scenarios throughout the week, this is where the name two-minute drill came from.
During this drill, the offense will look to gain yards while burning as little time as possible. This usually means routes towards the sidelines that will easily allow the player to step out once they have the ball.
Instead, the quarterback will get the play through the speaker in his helmet and will then relay that play to the rest of the players on the field.
The players must then run to their positions and get set so that they can start the next play.
Spiking the ball is also a big part of the two-minute drill. When a player does get tackled in bounds the game clock is going to continue to run.
If this player is far down the field it can take a fair amount of time for the offensive player to get to the new line of scrimmage.
In order to stop the clock as quickly as possible teams will spike the football. Spiking the football involves getting at the players on the offense set for the play only to immediately throw the ball into the ground in order to stop the clock.
By doing this the clock will be stopped because spiking the ball is considered an incomplete pass. Spiking the ball is going to save time on the clock because the offense will not have to spend a few extra seconds of the game clock communicating the next play they have to run.
Instead, the ball can be thrown incomplete to stop the clock. This also allows the offense to get set quicker as they do not have to be ready to run an actual play they only need to be in the proper position on the field to have the ball snapped.
The spiking of the ball also gives the offense a chance to catch their breath. At this point, the players will get a breather and the coaching staff will have more time to select a play.