Quarterback Target Practice: Windows Drill

To be successful, quarterbacks need to make accurate passes. Use this drill to help improve your ability to throw between defenders.

When a quarterback drops back to pass, there are times when they will need to try and thread the needle between a pair of defenders to hit a receiver.

A great quarterback drill that can help break down a zone defense is the Windows Drill.

“The Windows Drill teaches our quarterbacks the ability to throw a football between two defenders,” says Chris Merritt, a veteran football coach and founding member of Heads Up Football. “It also teaches our quarterback to train their eyes on defenders and not the receiver in order to anticipate the receiver coming open versus a zone defense.”


To run this quarterback drill, set up two or three dummies or defensive players in the formation you want the QB to pass against. The quarterback and receiver will line up as normal.

On the hike, the quarterback will drop back and allow the receiver to run a route against the defense you’ve set up.

“We are going to match up our routes versus the coverage that we expect to see on Friday night,” Merritt says. “We’ll change the angles of these dummies and the windows we anticipate to be open so the quarterback gets all kinds of mental repetition versus what he sees on Friday night.”

This drill is great for quarterbacks at any age level and can be particularly useful to help young quarterbacks learn to anticipate receivers’ routes with their throws.

By working through the Windows Drill regularly, a quarterback can be ready to find holes in a zone defense all the way to the end zone.

In addition to accuracy, a quarterback needs to make sure they get the ball out of their hands quickly. To help train that skill, try the Target Net Drill, which can help quarterbacks reduce the time the ball is in their hands from the snap to the throw.