Football Quick Release

Football Quick Release

One of the many important aspects of football is to make plays quickly, particularly when passing the ball. The longer a quarterback takes to pass the ball, the more time he has to be sacked or for the defense to disrupt the play. In many situations, quarterbacks and their coaches look for “quick release” plays to get the ball out fast. Read on to learn about quick release in football, including its benefits, drawbacks, and what the top quarterbacks in the NFL have for their fastest average release times.

What is Quick Release in Football?

The term ‘quick release’ in football refers to a quarterback getting the ball out of their hands and attempting a pass to a receiver in a short amount of time. While many casual observers assume that quick release refers to the speed of the ball as it comes out of the quarterback’s hand, this is actually a common misconception, as it pertains to time more so than speed.

Benefits/Drawbacks of a Quick Release

Quick release times help to keep the defense off-guard. By getting the ball out quickly, the quarterback prevents the defense from having time to make adjustments once they begin to recognize the route each receiver is running. In addition, a quick release helps the quarterback avoid being sacked (taken to the ground by members of the defense rushing off the line of scrimmage) so that the offense does not lose yards.

The only drawback to having a quick release is that sometimes quarterbacks become overanxious and release the ball too quickly. This often happens when a quarterback witnesses a receiver wide open and instantly throws the ball in the direction of the receiver, failing to realize that the defender is lurking nearby and waiting to intercept the ball. Throwing the ball too quickly can also upset a quarterback’s sequencing.

Fastest Average Release Times (2021)

QuarterbackTeamAverage Release Time Per Pass Attempt (Seconds)
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh Steelers2.38
Tom BradyTampa Bay Buccaneers2.5
Tua TagovailoaMiami Dolphins2.52
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay Packers2.63
Andy DaltonChicago Bears2.64

NOTE: Release time measures how long it takes for the ball to completely leave the quarterback’s hand on a pass attempt after the quarterback has received the ball from the center.


Who had the fastest release time in the NFL in 2021?

Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers had the fastest release time in the NFL in 2021, with an average release time of 2.38 seconds. The second closest quarterback, Tom Brady, had an average release of 2.5 seconds. As two veteran quarterbacks, both Brady and Roethisberger have spent years improving their release time as part of their journey to becoming legendary NFL quarterbacks.

What does release mean in football?

In football, release refers to the moment the ball leaves the quarterback’s hand when throwing the ball. Quarterbacks train to develop the fastest release possible to effectively move the ball down field before defensive players can get to them for a sack. Some of the best quarterbacks of all time, like Tom Brady and Dan Marino, made quick releases a staple of their dominance on the gridiron.

How does a quarterback do a quick release play?

To perform a successful quick release play, a quarterback must practice and employ various fundamentals of the play. First, a quarterback must train their eyes to always look downfield during a play so they can quickly scan the defense and look for openings. Secondly, the quarterback must not divert their eyes to the pass rush attempt, as this will throw off the aim of their release. Finally, the quarterback must know where their receivers will be running and have a plan for every eventuality of the play.