By James Anderson

What has happened to the timing pattern in the NFL?

It seems more and more professional football teams are going for it on fourth down, because on third down they are going deep or running the run/pass option. What has happened to the five-step drop, and a throw to the sideline or the 15-yard curl timing pattern?

These patterns are easy to throw, and can get a quarterback in rhythm, and an offense in motion down the field. It does not mean a quick score, but what’s wrong with a little patience?

Let me explain. From my college playing days (at Springfield College) as a wide-out. I would use an outside release sprint up field 10 yards, plant my right foot take two steps to the post, and then drift back to the quarterback between the linebackers, in front of the safties, The QB Jack Levy would take a five-step drop and let the ball go before I completed my pass route.

We worked hard in practice on the timing in practice. If the timing was right it was an automatic 11- to 12-yard gain.

When I looked back to the quarterback, I would see over the big lineman a brown dot which was the ball coming my way. Jack threw darts with a tight spin.

After the catch I would do my best to juke and get up field, but even if I could not run for much after the catch we would have good yardage already on the completion.

Jack’s tight spiral was so forceful that if you made a hands catch the strings on the football would cut your fingers.

Time for a quick story: I was watching a snow football game at winter time. Jack of course was playing QB. One of Jack’s players ran a quick hook, and was open. Jack fired the frozen plastic football in his direction. The receiver put his hands up in front of his face yo make the catch. All I could think was Noooooooooooooo. The ball made it’s way right through the reciever’s hands and hit him square in the nose. His nose exploded, and there was blood everywhere, Off to the hospital he went.

Anyway, I think if the pros would use the timing pattern, instead of the run/pass option they would pick up more first downs on third down than they do now. For a guy like Cam Newton it might be the rhythm that he needs to get the Patriots moving, It would take some pressure off the offensive line, because of the quick release. Just one fan’s opinion.

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