Who can catch the ball?
Generally speaking we consider receivers to be wide receivers, slotbacks, and runningbacks. Quarterbacks can receive a pass but ONLY if they give the ball to someone behind them and then release out on a pattern to catch the pass. A tackle on the offensive line could be designated a receiver but only in an unbalanced line set where he becomes the widest player on the line.
The most common stance is a 2 point stance for wide receiver and slot. Tight end will use a 3 point stance like that most commonly associated with a lineman.
What can a receiver do before the snap, what types of motion help set up the pattern and the play?
Catching the ball
Eyes – on the ball – concentrate on the front of the ball, it’s cool to catch the last two inches but easier to catch the front. Keep Eyes on the ball until you have caught the ball AND secured it or “tucked” it away
Get your hands to the ball as early as possible (this varies on the pattern and angle of your body but even on the Jet, Streak, Go, Fade, or 9 you still want to get your hands on the ball as quickly as possible.
Keep your arms flexible – use your elbows to flex and take the speed out of the ball improving the chance for the catch – hands open thumbs and forefinger creating the end of a “tunnel” make and keep room for the ball.
Fingers and wrist need to move (along with arms in an appropriate way) to catch the ball – stiff wrist and hands will “slap” the ball and reduce the chance to successfully catch the ball. Work on reducing the sound, quiet hands are soft hands in receiver language.
Eyes all the way in…if you are playing catch at home consider painting the ends of your ball different colors and call out the color in the air, write a number on each “1/4 panel” of the ball and call out the number – even to yourself – as you tuck the ball away to complete the catch.
Mechanics of the Break
This link should take you to a playlist of 9 drills