The term 'quick release' in football refers to a quarterback getting the ball out of his 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.
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.
|Quarterback||Team||Average Release Time Per Pass Attempt (Seconds)|
|Derek Carr||Oakland Raiders||2.55|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers||2.55|
|Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||2.59|
|Andy Dalton||Cincinnati Bengals||2.61|
|Tom Brady||New England Patriots||2.61|
*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