Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Future Outlaw QB; Answers to Some Questions

I have too much to do with today's post.  Don't even know where to start.  

In the last post and one before that, I raised some questions.  This because I'm naturally shy and quiet.  I'll be wondering something but then I won't ask.  So I had three questions unasked and ergo unanswered.  But I did ask them in my blog and now I have the answers you've been waiting for.  And I'm going to share them with you below.

But first I want you to meet a future Outlaw's quarterback.  I don't know her name - I was too shy to ask.  Maybe I'll have her name by my next post. 

Before the game she was out tossing the ball around with some friends.  And I got to watching.  She was throwing a good long distance.  Nice spiral.  So I got some photos of her. 

Later I saw her helping some guy - I think this is her dad because he acts kind of proud of her the way a dad will - helping with the chains.  She's learning about the game up close and personal. 
Okay, now about those unanswered questions. 

First is about Deidra Holland.  I was intrigued at the way she was jumping just as the ball was snapped.  I notice this was only on plays where she was going to get the hand off and I wondered if this might be a mistake, tipping off the defense about who they'd have to block.  Or maybe - forgive me Deidra for this silly suggestion - all the abuse running backs receive had her jumpy.  She told me, nicely, "I am not worried about the hit.  It comes with the game."  
Then she explained the hop.  If you study football you know things happen fast.  Quarterback takes the ball from center and tucks it into the arms of a runner who is already running.  Runners tend to be fast, which is how they get the job.  What if the runner is too fast?  What if she runs so fast she gets to the quarterback before the quarterback is ready to make the hand off?  Fumble! 

Timing is something teams work at in practice.  It takes total awareness on both quarterback and running back of just how long - we're talking fractions of a second - it takes for the quarterback to get the ball from center, turn, transfer the ball to her right hand, and put it where the runner can wrap her arms around it; and long it takes the runner to move from her set position to where the quarterback will have the ball. 

Impressively Deidra has worked on the timing and has it down to a fine science.  Her little hop, her jump, is a timing adjustment.  It delays her launch toward the line just long enough to allow Cookie to turn with the ball. 

Impressive just how much goes into playing a violent game like football. 

The second question had to do with a funny photo of my friend Ereka Howard high in the air and also in the arms of a tackler.  It struck me as an odd position to occur in a football game and I wondered in my blog post what was happening.  Ereka caught up with me Saturday and said she was jumping.  Not the way Deidra was jumping to fix the timing.  Ereka had a theory.  Caught by a tackler, she thought that if she jumped on the tackler, her weight would be sufficient to knock the tackler down and she, Ereka, could land on her feet and run a few yards more.  That was her theory when she jumped.
I asked, "Did it work?"  She answered, "Nope."

A third question came from that amazing tackle by Charmeine Jackson in Saturday's game against Houston. 

I won't re-post that photo here.  You can just scroll down to the previous post to see it and the attending shots.  What struck me was the after-tackle photo, the one I am re-posting here.  I was intrigued by the expression on Maine's face.  She looked serious, almost angry.  I wondered what she was thinking right then. 
So I asked her, by facebook message if she was angry.  And she replied.  I like her answer enough to just post it here in her words: 

I think angry is a good word to use.  I've just learned to bottle all of my pain and frustration and release it during our games.  ... Right after the play I often ask myself what happened? I seem to go blank during the hit, the only thing I ever remember myself saying is go faster and hit harder and make sure that you use each player to be an example for the rest of their team. Even if they don't drop the ball I want them to know each time I'm going to come harder and faster than the time before. To me football is mental before the ball is snapped I need to get it in my head that I need to set the tone with players from the opposite side of the ball, because if I don't they will.

An earlier post in this blog was titled "Intensity."  One of the things I love about sports and love about photographing sports is the intensity.  I see individual digging deep within themselves to perform the very best they can.  I see players shaking off the pain of a severe hit and climbing back up to play again.  I see the months of practice, the conditioning, the working on timing, the studying of technique, the mental discipline. 

Sometimes I catch that with my camera.  As I did with Charmaine in Saturday's game.


No comments: