Handoff and Pop Drill


A quarterback and running back line up in their regular formation alignment for a particular run play.

A player or coach holding a blocking pad lines up near the location of where the handoff for the run play will take place.


Running backs must be aware that the offensive line is not going to be able to perfectly block and create a giant open hole every play. Sometimes, a defender will quickly sneak through the line of scrimmage and hit the running back as soon as he gets the handoff.

The Handoff and Pop Drill teaches running backs how to survive and react in this situation without fumbling the football.

Drill Description

The quarterback goes through the cadence, snaps the football, and hands it off to the running back.

The person holding the blocking pad attempts to time his hit on the running back for the moment after the running back receives the handoff. The impact should be firm but not so violent that the player falls to the ground.

The first priority for the running back is to gain a firm possession of the ball without fumbling it. After he has secured the ball, the running back lowers his shoulders into the blocking pad or attempts to spin around the contact in order to bypass the collision and get upfield.

This drill is the running back equivalent to the Catch and Pop Drill for wide receivers.

Drill Type:  
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