What Is a Hard Count In American Football?
A “hard count” in football is when the quarterback intentionally tries to draw the defense offside with a quick, loud cadence. This can catch the defense napping effectively, especially if they expect a snap on the next play. Hard counts are also sometimes used to slow down the pass rush, giving the offensive linemen more time to set up their blocks.
Advantages & Disadvantages Of Using a Hard Count
One advantage of using a hard count is that it can draw defenders offside. If the quarterback yells the snap count loudly enough, defenders may think the ball has been snapped and jump early. This gives the offense free play, and they can often take advantage of it with a big gain. However, there are also some disadvantages to using a hard count.
First of all, it can be difficult to execute if the quarterback is not used to doing it. The timing has to be right, and the entire offense must be on the same page. Even if one player is not paying attention can ruin the play. Hard counts can also often lead to false start penalties, which can drive a team back and put them in a difficult situation.
How To Properly Execute On Offense
First, you must ensure that all your players are on the same page and know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. Without this essential element, the whole play can easily fall apart.
Once everyone is on the same page, the next thing to focus on is getting a good snap from your center. This will be the most important part of the play, as a poor snap can completely ruin everything. Make sure your center is aware of the situation and ready to make a perfect snap.
Finally, once the ball is snapped, it’s important to stay focused and execute your assignment perfectly. Remember, the hard count is designed to catch the defense off-guard, and if you’re not ready to take advantage of it, the whole play will be for nothing. Stay focused, execute your assignment, and hopefully, you’ll be able to pick up a big gain for your team.
How a Defense Can Avoid Falling For The Hard Count
The best way for a defense to avoid being drawn offside by the hard count is to remain disciplined and refrain from jumping before the snap. This can be difficult, as the offensive line often tries to bait defenders into jumping early.
Another way to counter the hard count is for defensive linemen to watch the ball rather than listen for the snap count. By keeping their eyes on the ball, they can better time their rush and avoid being fooled by the hard count.