Smash: The Pass Play

15 Nov

We see a lot of Cover 2 pass defense at our level.  One pass play or “concept” that exploits the flat defender is the “Smash” scheme diagrammed below.  It is a classic Cover 2 beater and is in the playbook of every high school or college OC with a penchant for throwing the ball.

Smash Concept to the slot or TE side of a formation.

Smash is a 2-receiver, hi-lo combination scheme that has the outside receiver running a 6-yd hitch and the inside receiver executing a 12-yd corner route on top.  The idea is to put the CB or the flat defender to the 2-receiver side in conflict.  If he sinks to cover the Corner Route, the Hitch is open.  But if he sits to cover the Hitch, then the Corner is open.  He’s the defender the QB reads to determine where to go with the ball.

The play does more than attack a Cover 2 zone however. Versus man coverage, the corner route is a very good option — so long as the QB lays the ball to the receiver’s outside shoulder. The reason for this is because many defenses that play man coverage use inside leverage to take away the quick slant passes that can gash them for big yards and are easy throws.

The fact that it is the inside receiver rather than the outside one who runs the Corner route can create some favorable mismatches for the offense.  Most defenses put their CBs in man coverage on the outside receiver, while the inside receiver is then covered by either a Safety or a Linebacker.   At our level, it is usually a bumped LB.

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