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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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Sprint Pass – Flood Route (Video)

13 Jul

Here’s a video analysis of a flood concept from an empty set.  A little daring maybe for 12-14 year olds, but a solid concept nonetheless.  We share it because it shows you how to create and attack a void using layered routes and how to create a mismatch between a LB and a speedier receiver.  Good stuff.

Terminology: Selling the Nine

27 Jan

The nine is football’s most bsic and most important pass route and yet, it is nothing more than a race to the end zone — or at least as far as the Quarterback can throw.

Selling the nine is convincing a defensive back that he is in that race every time a receiver releases from the line of scrimmage.

The nine is basically is a straight line.  As such, it’s the stem for many of the other routes a receiver can run.  By stem, we refer to another straight line, the one a receiver runs when he escapes the line of scrimmage and races to the breakpoint of his assigned route.

If a receiver can fool a defensive back into thinking he’s going deep, the the underneath routes that work off the nine open up.  Separation — the goal of any receiver — becomes easier.

This example of a passing tree is fairly simple, but it shows how the “9” is strictly vertical and other routes break off it.  Note how even-numbered routes work to the inside while odd-numbered routes work to the outside.

(Sample Passing Tree)The deception succeeds because the nine is a defensive back’s worst nightmare.   “Don’t get beat deep” is the mantra he hears in his head each time a receiver lines up.The way, then, a receiver deceives a defensive back is by being consistent.  Each time he runs a route that comes off the nine, he mimics the actions of a nine which derives its name from the passing trees found in offensive playbooks.It’s also known as a Take-Off, Streak, Fly or Go Route.