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Run And Shoot Terminology and Schemes

PASS PROTECTIONS

50/51 pro was for 3 step...


PST - Man onto outside. Can cut if having trouble.
PSG - Man on or off inside. if uncovered Bandit (bandit is to pull backside).
CEN - Block man on off. If uncovered bandit
BSG - Block man on near shade. If uncovered bandit
BST - Man on outside. Block 1st man onto outside
Back - Aim for the PSG, Base. never come backside if Bandit call
60/61 was for half roll, 5-7 step
PST - Man onto outside
PSG - Block man on or off you inside
CEN - Block man on or near shade.
BSG - Block man on or near shade
BST - Set to 'B" gap. Block 1 st man onto outside
Back - Aim for the PST, Block First man inside
JUNE JONES SMU TERMINOLOGY
3x1 (trips as frontside)
14/15
go
georgia (curl concept)
houston (flood concept)
9 (3 vertical concept)
divide (4 Vertical concept)
delay (Smash concept)
switch corner
army (r&s concept)
double post
1x3 (trips as backside)
choice
levels
nebraska
backside houston
2x2
streak
switch

switch corner
14/15
navy (2 man army)
texas (2 man houston)
nebraska
double post
true switch/streak (true vertical concept)
cross (shallow concept)
delay (smash concept)
main tags:
single receiver:
pivot (run it hitch at 8 yards)
slant (5 step)
14/15 (hitch/fade/back shoulder read)
turn (short comeback: 10 back to 8)
2 receiver:
h/y out (fade-speed out concept)
x/z quick out (double speed out concept)
h/y hook (option/comeback concept)
h/y sail (smash concept)
x/z fade (fade-flat concept)
3 receiver:
h/y corner (curl/flat/corner concept)
quick:
thunder (double qk outs)
lighting (triple slants/double slants)
PASS PROTECTION (HS COACH ON COACHHUEY)

We are pretty much 4 down plus a mike...1/2 slide to the shade side. BOB to 3 tech. back
responsible for everyone else. Hot off 2 to the back
Against 3 down we typically name 2 mikes. Skip a backer in between. So if I tagged them from
the boundary it would be Bandit, Will, Mike, and Spur. We would mike bandit/mike or spur/will.
This keeps us from hot against any traditional fire zones. For us to be hot it has to be a true
overload with a blitz pattern in which the rb is responsible for both backers the d brought...which
isn't common...or a lb and db the back is responsible for. Ex:bandit, corner or strong safety and
spur. If the line is responsible for the bandit in the bandit corner overload, we have it picked up
pending the back sees it.
CHRIS BROWNS RUN AND SHOOT SERIES (PT1)

The most famous game that involved a team running the run and shoot offense was one where
that team lost: the infamous "greatest playoff comeback of all-time," where the Buffalo Bills
came back from 35-3 down to beat the Houston Oilers in overtime. The storyline was, to many,
that the Oilers' four-wide offense couldn't control the clock and gave up the lead. Maybe so. But
something had to go right for them to get the 35-3 lead (and score 38 for the game to send it into
overtime). Maybe the offense failed to prepare the defense -- that was a common meme for
years, but seems to have receded when spread offense teams like the Florida Gators or the New
England Patriots comebine great offenses and defenses.
And it's true, no NFL team runs the pure 'shoot anymore (though some high school and small
colleges do, and of course June Jones does at SMU). But the concepts live on, and the "spread
'em and shred 'em" philosophy the 'shoot engendered has found more and more converts over the
last two decades. But the offense is not particularly well understood; it is still considered an
outlaw approach. And true, the dedication the offense requires to be run well also requires
something approaching exclusivity: not much time is left to devote to doing other things.
But, I am a big believer that the 'shoot both can be a very viable offense in and of itself (hello
June Jones!), and, even more than that, I think that understanding the offense is one of the best
ways to really understand passing offense generally. This is evidenced by the fact that the
offense's concepts live on in the playbooks of every NFL team and a great swath of college and
high school ones.
So, this offseason I am starting a multi-part series on a "Simple Approach to the Run and Shoot."
The series' purpose a few-fold: (1) to explain what makes the Run and Shoot distinct from the
larger umbrella of "spread offenses" (including Mike Leach's Airraid, with which it is often
compared and confused with); (2) to explain the offense's core tenets in a way could provide
insight into all passing offenses; and (3) to provide a possible real-world system that distills the
run and shoot's major points (and combines them with some of the best of the modern passing
game) into something that could be used at the high school or small college level.
In this introduction, I will begin with some of the offense's core philosophy. In future posts I will
address some of the specifics.
Philosophy and tenets
There are four major points that make the 'shoot the 'shoot, and then a few ancillary ones that
have come into play over the years.
Pass-first offense. Not all spread offenses are pass-first, and not all teams that use run and
shoot concepts are pass-first, but if you're going to commit to the offense, you begin with the
past (and often end there too). When the Hawai'i coaching staff under Junes Jones gave a clinic
talk to other coaches at the AFCA convention a few years back, they named their talk "For those
who like to throw the ball." One of the major reasons for this is just practice time: you can only
do so many things well. By specializing as pass-happy team they get an incredible amount of
repetitions doing the things they do over and over and doing them well.


Four wide-receiver commitment. Now there's much debate
within coaching circles if you can be a "run and shoot" team without being a four-wide receiver
team. (Ironically, the Bills who beat the Oilers in that game and helped drive out the pure shoot
were themselves a team that used primarily run and shoot concepts but with a tight-end, hence
their nickname, the "K-Gun.") Moreover, run and shoot teams are actually far less multiple by
formation than the typical spread team. They typically use a two-by-two spread look or a "trips"
spread look with a single backside receiver and three to the other side. And they rarely go fivewides. There are many reasons for this -- including specialization of players -- but a big
motivator is that their receivers and quarterback do so much reading after the snap they want to
keep it simple before it; they want to see where the defense lines up and attack that. If you have
fixed assignments, you are more concerned with moving the defense around to open those up; if
you can adjust on the fly, that doesn't matter as much.

Receivers read the defense on the fly. This is probably the


biggest difference between the modern "spread" and the 'shoot. Some of that distinction is a
matter of shades of gray, but in other cases it is quite dramatic. The point about formations was
made above, but the basic theory behind the offense goes back to the originator, Tiger Ellison.
As the story goes, he wanted an offense that emulated what was most natural, so he observed
playground and backyard football. He said you didn't see highly formalized lines and alignments
or wedge plays and all that. Instead you saw a kid, on the run, tossing passes to receivers who
would keep moving until they found open spots. To Ellison, if you didn't coach the kids too
much they began "run and shooting" on their own, so he thought this was how people really want
to play. Hence, his receivers would read and react on the fly to get open.
As Mouse Davis, who did as much to develop the modern 'shoot as any human could, has

explained: "We are always going to adjust on the run to the defensive coverage," he said. "If the
defense sets in one look, we are going to make one route adjustment. If the defense sets in
another look, we are going to make another route adjustment."
There are a few ancillary points that have been part of the offense, but to a varying degree. For
my purpose in this series they are important but not imperative.
Quarterback movement. In Ellison's original shoot and the versions used by Mouse Davis and
in the NFL, the quarterback always began with a "half-roll" or semi-"sprint out," where he
moved the pocket and attacked the corner. If you watch the video below of Portland State (now
coached by run and shoot veterans Jerry Glanville and Mouse Davis; Portland State is in white
and black), you'll clearly see what this looks like. This comported with Ellison's original vision
of the run and shoot, and the fact that pass defenders had to contend with the threat of the
quarterback running at them distorted the coverage. Nevertheless, some teams now have evolved
to more of a dropback look, and June Jones now at SMU uses something of a hybrid. Moreover,
what pass protection schemes you want to use will influence how you have your quarterback
drop back.
Motion. This is probably one of the bigger changes with the 'shoot. In the original days, the
idea was to have motion on every play, constantly moving from twins to balanced and back and
forth. Now, however, defenses are better at disguising their reactions to motion and not giving
away whether they are man or zone, so most teams have just disregarded it and just chosen to
play. Nevertheless it is still a good tool to reveal certain techniques, and never underestimate
how much it can affect a defense to change the strength of a formation.
Wrap-up
This is enough for now. In future parts of the series I will address topics like adjusting pass
patterns on the fly, the basic run and shoot concepts like "switch," "go," and "choice," pass
protection, marrying other pass concepts with the shoots, and quick passes and screens. Below
are a few more run and shoot clips.

CHRIS BROWNS RUN AND SHOOT SERIES (PT2)


John Jenkins, one of the run and shoot's pioneers and most prolific prophets, is a bit eccentric.
Jenkins became famous during his time at the University of Houston as offensive coordinator
and eventually head coach, where he coached Andre Ware to a Heisman trophy and David
Klinger to ridiculous statistics, including the outrageous (in several senses) eleven touchdown
passes Klingler threw against Division I-AA Eastern Washington. According to Sports
Illustrated, former Texas A&M Coach R.C. Slocum once said of Jenkins: "For somebody who is
really a pretty good guy, John has managed to piss off coaches all over the country."

And some of this brashness was intrinsically tied up with his role as run and shoot maven. As
discussed previously, Ellison and Mouse Davis (as well as Red Faught) innovated the offense,
but Jenkins was there at least from the time it took off. He coached quarterbacks under Jack
Pardee and Mouse Davis with the USFL's Houston Gamblers back in 1984 (their quarterback
was some guy named Jim Kelly), followed Pardee to the University of Houston, and stayed as
head coach after Pardee became head coach of the Houston Oilers. Of course, Jenkins's
personality wound up doing him in as much as anything (burning playbooks and refusing to
share ideas with other coaches, though to be fair some of these stories are anecdotal). But, when
it came to the run and shoot concepts, the man is an encyclopedia.
The Seam Read and Adjusting Pass Patterns
This part of the R&S series is intended to break down the "seam read" (or "middle read") route
as a way of introducing the offense's most fundamental principle: that receivers adjust their
routes on the fly. Jenkins explained this principle in the manual (maybe more of a manifesto) he
gave out to the USFL Houston Gamblers quarterbacks back in the mid-1980s (again, Jim Kelly):
"Any conversation on any type of offensive theory without the acknowledgment, consideration,
and complete understanding of defensive opposition is entirely useless. This statement certainly
applies to our situation more so than any other team in football today. For with our repeated
route altering and adjusting dependent upon the recognition of coverage categories, it is obvious
that we must be capable of reading and reacting to coverages properly. When reacting properly,
we place the defenses into an impossible state leaving them rendered helpless. In simpler terms,
whatever the defense throws up at us should be wrong. Naturally this is due to our own proper
decisions in reacting to the specific coverages revealed."

I will at once agree and break slightly with this approach. Again, the run and shoot is all about
adjusting pass patterns based on the defensive coverage. Yet these adjustments were largely
decided upon by fitting all defensive coverages into five categories and having everyone identify
which category the coverage fell into. As June Jones explained back when he was with the
Detroit Lions: "The defense may think it has many coverages, but we will fit them all into one of
our five categories." I don't think this particular approach can be done as effectively now as it
once was, particularly considering how much time that approach takes.
But I do agree that (a) offenses -- coaches, quarterbacks, receivers -- must understand defenses,
and (b) that converting and adjusting patterns based on coverage is important. The only
difference is a matter of degree: the receiver will adjust his pattern based on certain "keys" given
by one or two defenders, and the quarterback will similarly look for keys and "open grass" (the
empty spots in the defense), but will not get hung up in knowing exactly what the coverage is.
Does this mean he would not be able to explain the difference between Tampa Two and Cover 5
(Cover two man)? Of course not: he better know that. But it doesn't mean that, when dropping
back, the quarterback's first thought needs to be "Oh, they are in Cover 3 invert!"
To see what I mean, let's look at the seam read route itself, and then I will talk about the "Go"
pattern, one of the offense's (in my view) three or four most important concepts, and maybe the
most.

The inside vertical releasing receiver is the seam reader. He might run a seam route (release
straight up the field and catch the ball between 16-20 yards deep between the deep coverage), he
might break for the post (split the deep defenders and catch the ball between 18-22 yards
downfield), or curl or run a square-in (catch the ball about 12 yards deep underneath the deep
coverage).
There's been a number of ways to teach this route, and to many it appears intimidating. Indeed, a
number of times I have demonstrated on this site two-way choices, but so many? Here's how it is
easiest taught:
#1: Identify the safeties, which can be done pre-snap. How are they aligned? Going to be onehigh (single free safety down the middle)? Or two-high (Two deep down the middle)? Identify
the safety closest to you.
#2: Post-snap, release downfield, attacking the near safety (even if it is the strong safety rolled
up, as shown below). Make a decision at 8-10 yards on what you will do.
#2A: If there is a single high safety, can he get to you? If not, continue up the seam looking for
the ball between 16-20 yards.

If the single-high safety plays too deep and shaded to make the seam effective, come underneath
him on a square-in (keep running against man coverage, settle in the hole on a curl against zone).

If the single-safety overreacts to the formation or your route, cross him. (Sometimes this is
communicated in the run and shoot by having the quarterback do a pump-fake, which releases
receivers into their "secondary routes.")

#2B: If there are two-deep safeties, cross the near safety to attack the middle of the field. This
is not a "bomb" throw, expect it on a line between 18-20 or 22 yards deep.

But if the two safeties play so far deep that the receiver can't effectively split them, he must run a
square-in underneath them.

Against blitz man (no deep safeties) some run and shoot teams have the receiver break
immediately into a slant, while others treat it like two-deep and let him run a post. I prefer that
approach.
Synthesis
Okay, that seems like a lot to take in. A few points. First, the decision tree can be simplified as
"find the open spot between deep defenders, and if you can't get deep, run a square-in or curl
underneath them." In other words, you'll notice above that if the defense is in middle of the field
open ("MOFO" or a two-high), the receiver tries to get deep down the middle because that's
where the grass is. Conversely, against middle of the field closed ("MOFC" or 1-high with one
safety deep) the receiver tries to find the deep spot away from the deep free safety -- if he is
coming from the far side that opening should be right past the strong safety, or he might have to
cross under him if the safety overreacts. So it can be explained different ways.
Second, and most importantly: this is the foundation for the entire offense. The triple-option is
confusing and multifarious, but everyone knows you'll practice it all the time. That's how it is
with this. You install this route on the first day and everyone must master it because it will show
up -- in one form or another -- on almost every play. This will become obvious as I discuss the
route in the context of the "Go" (below), as well as "streak" and "switch" and the "choice," and
continue to show how it can be a backside combination for other routes like the smash pattern.
Third, even if the seam-read receiver doesn't get open or get the ball thrown to him, having a
player running such a dynamic route has its advantages for the offense. Most important of all is
that it essentially lets one player dominate and control almost the whole middle of the field, thus
further opening up the routes to the outside. That's why, in the 'shoot, the seam read is often the
second or third read on the play.
Finally, as an update, I've already gotten some questions on practicing this route. There's more to
say about it but here's two quick points. One, the way to begin by teaching it is just to take the
receiver and a coach and have the coach act as the single-key defender, usually the near safety.
The receiver will adjust his route based on what the coach does (or doesn't do). Once you've
practiced that you can move to team "routes on air" -- multiple quarterbacks each running the
same play and throwing to each of the receivers -- and use dummies where the defense will align,
but again with one coach or player giving the seam reader his key. The second point is that

during any team drills the quarterbacks are told not to throw the ball to the seam reader unless he
gives them a very clear read and route -- the QB must see what he's trying to do. This gives the
receiver lots of incentive to get it right and to be decisive.
Now, onto the "Go" concept.
The Run and Shoot "Go"
The Go is actually relatively simple, and is based all around the seam reader's route. Even
without it, it's a nice little hitter in the flat, but with it, it becomes the foundation from which you
can build an offense.
It is a "trips" formation play -- in the 'shoot, the concepts are typically designed around whether
you are in "doubles" (two receivers to each side) or trips, three to one side and a single receiver
on the other. The routes are fairly simple. The outside man to the trips side runs a mandatory
"go" or "streak" -- he releases outside and takes his man deep. (Update: A helpful reader points
out how important it is that the receiver take a "mandatory outside release" -- i.e. if the corner is
rolled up and tries to force the receiver inside, he still must do all he can to release outside and
get up the sideline. This is imperative for many reasons, among them to keep the near safety
stretched and to widen the defenders to open the flat route.)

The middle slot runs the seam read, outlined above. The inside receiver runs a quick flat or
"sweep" route: he takes a jab step upfield and then rolls his route to five yards in the flat. An
important coaching point is that this player must come right off the seam reader's hip; you're
looking for a rub against man to man.
On the backside, the receiver runs a streak but if he cannot beat the defender deep, he will stop at
15-16 yards and come back down the line of his route to the outside. The runningback is usually
in the protection, but if not needed, he will leak out to the weakside.
The quarterback's read begins with the near safety: where is he? Tied up in this is what kind of
coverage are they playing on the outside receiver? If there is no safety help on him, he can throw
the ball to that guy one on one deep. But that's considered a "peek" or "alert" (in Bill Walsh's

terminology): it's a deep route you will throw if it is there but otherwise immediately eliminate it
and work with the normal progression.
The quarterback's key of the near safety tells him what he's looking for. If he plays up he's
throwing off him: if he takes the seam receiver, he throws the flat, if he takes the flat, he throws
the seam. In any event, you usually tell the QB: "throw the seam, unless . . ."

If the near safety plays deep the QB looks for a two-high coverage (Cover 2), and will likely get
that. In that case he first wants to see whether the safeties "squeeze" the seam reader as he runs a
post. If they do, he knows that he likely has a two on one with the outside receiver on a go and
the receiver in the flat on the cornerback. If the QB ends up eliminating those routes he will look
backside.

In any event, the quarterback can always deliver the ball to the man in the flat, particularly
against man coverage. As Mouse Davis says, you want to keep hitting that flat route as long as
they give it to you, because eventually they are going to come up and that's when you'll kill them
with a big play.
And that's about it. It seems like a fair amount but basically the quarterback just wants to identify
the near safety and then work his seam reader to the flat: somebody is going to pop open.

Finally, below are a few variations on the Go. It should be noted that the most obvious ones just
switches the assignment of #2 and #3, the seam reader and the flat runner. Sometimes the
defense tries to wall a guy off and by switching assignments you suddenly get a free release
downfield and an easy path to the flat. It's all about breaking tendencies.
But below are a few others. One is "Go curl," which adds a curl route to the go concept creating
a kind of curl/flat read.

The other creates a kind of "vertical flood" concept by tagging the seam reader with a corner or
"sail" route.

Conclusion
So that's the seam read and the Go -- two foundations of the run and shoot. There's plenty more
to say, but in many ways it's all down hill from here: this is the tough stuff. The offense works
because this stuff is practiced over and over again to perfection, and it provides answers against
any coverage. And again, my "simplified" approach here does not require that the quarterback
and receivers identify all coverages and fit them into neat boxes because I do not think that is
tenable or productive anymore. (I also am ignoring certain other R&S principles like "secondary
routes" triggered when the quarterback makes a pump fake.) But you can get the same variable

effect -- and the same production -- without identifying fixed coverage categories; indeed, in
today's game I think that is asking too much. Instead, I think the best approach is to talk about
finding the open spots and running away from coverage. The rest is academic.
CHRIS BROWN RUN AND SHOOT SERIES (PT3)
The previous posts have cleared away much of the heavy lifting: we know about the basic
principles behind the offense, and we know about that most important of routes, the seam read.
But the route that maybe most exemplifies the offense's variable, adapting approach to attack
defenses, is probably the Choice route. And it is a concept that is used by many, many teams -- in
one form or another -- across the football spectrum.
It is another trips play, and is intended to be used as a counter to the Go when the defense
overplays to the three-receiver side. The "choice" in the route belongs to the singled up backside
receiver -- often the "X" receiver. The idea is that you put your stud there and make the defense
wrong every time, until they overshift to that side, thus opening up the three receiver side for
easy plays or big ones. The base form of the route is shown below.

To the three receiver side, it is simple and familiar to what was done with the Go: the outside
receiver runs a "streak read" (burst on a vertical route, but if you can't beat the defender, break
down at 14-15 yards and come back down towards the line of scrimmage); the middle slot runs
the seam read (attack the near safety and then have a multiple way go depending on the coverage
-- explained in depth here); and the inside slot runs a five-yard drag route (explode to five yards,
then drumroll the feet and head across the field; may settle down in a hole in the zone once on
the opposite side of the field).
The single-side "choice" receiver, typically, has three options: run an out at 10-12 yards (or a
comeback at 15); run a glance or skinny post (cut on the seventh step at a skinny angle, never
crossing the near hashmark); or run a vertical go route. How does he know what to run? And
how does the quarterback know what he's running?
The Choice Route Itself
So how do you handle the choice route itself? The R&S guys themselves -- Mouse Davis, Jones,

Jenkins, and all the rest -- typically taught this as a true "read" route: it was all done on the fly.
The QB and receiver simply had to be on the same page, and they were confident that they could
complete this pass whenever they wanted.
To run this route I don't think you have to commit to this; admittedly it takes a great deal of
practice time and young quarterbacks and receivers have plenty else to work on. But, in brief, the
R&S guys did this about how you'd expect:
The base route in the choice concept is the out -- the receiver wants to sell that he is going
deep and then to break to the sideline. If done correctly, it is difficult to defend this route. For the
speed out, the receiver would burst upfield for six steps and then roll on his seventh and eighth
steps to the sideline, driving his outside elbow to turn his body around. He then would flatten to
the sideline and expect the ball at about twelve yards. (The comeback works how you'd expect -sell deep then break down at fourteen to fifteen yards to the sideline to a depth of about twelve.)

But that's not the only option. If the receiver go to the top of his route and the defender pressed
him, he could either run a skinny post (glance) or go route. If the defender sat on the out or
generally tried to play any outside leverage, the receiver would break for the skinny post on his
seventh step.

If the defender pressed and took away the post with inside leverage then (and only then)
would the receiver continue to streak up the sideline.

Against Cover Two this worked a bit different, because the rolled up corner would play a type
of press coverage, but with outside leverage (trying to force the receiver into the safety) and
would release the receiver up to the safety. As a result neither the out or glance are good looks,
but the streak is good, because it is either open on the sideline before the safety can get over or
he has opened up the middle. This wasn't too difficult of a read because the receiver would
quickly realize that the corner wasn't playing him anymore, so his read became the near safety.

But, as observed above, the quarterback and receiver both had to read all this on the fly -- not
always easy, and it certainly requires a lot of practice. As a result, what most teams do (and I
recommend) is to handle all of these "choices" as a pre-snap adjustment between the quarterback
and receiver by hand-signal.
The rules basically work the same as before, though since it is predetermined you can expand the
options to include corner routes or anything else. Specifically (thanks to Ted Seay for these):
If the corner plays inside leverage, run a speed out at 10-12 yards;
if the corner presses, run the go/fade route; and
if the corner plays outside leverage, run the skinny post/glance route.

Voila. But how do they communicate this? Well, it ain't rocket surgery, but it can be done either
verbally or by hand signal. One way is to use very specific ones, just with the quarterback
making his signal behind his back. The other is to do something as follows:
The quarterback, before the snap, will hold his hands in the usual ready position, but with subtle
variations:
Outside hand slightly higher than inside hand = Speed out
Inside hand slightly higher = post glance (in breaking route)
Hands slightly higher than normal = go/fade

There's tons of other variations. If you (for some reason) keep the choice between one of two
routes, then the "signal" can just be eye contact between the quarterback and receiver pre-snap.
Finally, another twist is to let the receiver make the decision, and signal the route by switching
his feet in his stance and then back, or by where he places his hands -- the list goes on.
The obvious downside, however, with doing it all pre-snap is that the defense can sometimes
fake you out: the corner can play way off and then come up at the snap to play a press technique,
or vice versa. But those kinds of fears vary depending what level you're at. If you're in the pros,
where they do all that stuff on every play and Ed Reed will play the deep half of the field while
lining up in the guard-tackle gap faking a blitz, then you ought to be able to teach people to read
on the fly. If you're in high school (or college really too), then the pre-snap stuff should be more
than sufficient.
So that's the Choice. It's a great route, especially if you put your best receiver there, as most
teams do. Yet, if you're too much of a wuss to do even the pre-snap decisions, you can always
"lock" the route and just signal it in from the sideline. That's permissible too, because you still
get a one-on-one with great backside capabilities. Let's turn to the backside now.
Backside and variations

As we can see, the backside has lots of options. The two most important are the drag and the
seam-read.
First, if the weakside linebacker or flat defender tries to widen out to stop either the speed out or
glance, then the drag route should come wide open in that voided territory. See below.

Similarly, in the above diagram, if both the choice route and the drag are taken away, the
quarterback will look to the free safety -- he is probably cheating too far to the single receiver
side and therefore the backside seam should be open. As an example, see the below clip from
Mike Drake again, this time against Cover 3. The defense brings the ever popular "Magic Blitz"
or overload zone-blitz with three-deep behind it. They don't block it quite right, but the
quarterback moves his feet. (They also put their TE on a kind of "climb" route to help draw the
free-safety, which is exactly what he does below.)

To better clarify, here is a diagram of what the receivers were doing and the free-safety's
movement where his taking the tight-end opened up the seam reader.

Against a cover two, the calculus changes slightly but the basic progression and read is the same.
See below, and then watch the clip again just paying attention (as best you can) to the freesafety.

To stop both the go route by the single receiver and the drag by the slot, the linebackers, corner,
and safety have to overreact to the single-receiver side. As a result, the quarterback should be
able to work the deep hash safety to the three-receiver side, who has a two-on-one with the seamread (now running a post) and the backside streak. If the middle linebacker tries to retreat to take
away the post (common with the so-called "Tampa Two" defense) the quarterback still has both
the drag runner who has settled into an open spot and the running back that he can drop the ball
to underneath for a catch and run. (Keep throwing those check-downs until the defense comes up
for them; that's when you gash them for the big play.)
So that's the basic framework. Really, you can just teach the quarterback to read: (1) choice, (2)
drag, (3) seam-read, (4) backside streak-read, and (5) (outlet) the runningback on a "leak-out"
route.
Below are a few variations to the backside. The two most common just switch assignments. In
the first, we switch the two-slots so you can get a "rub" for the drag receiver's man.

In the next, the two outside receivers switch assignments. I will discuss the true run and shoot
"switch route" in a later part in this series, but this illustrates the basic gist. Again, all you're
doing is changing assignments.

The next is a slight variant on the traditional run and shoot formation because it uses the "bunch
formation," where the three receivers tighten their splits so that they line up no more than oneyard apart.

This set lets the receivers get more rubs against man coverage -- you can see from the image that
now the outside receiver runs the drag and any defender playing man to man on him will have a

difficult time covering. This is a great response to teams who think the way to play you on
choice is to go to man coverage. And if they stay in zone, well you have all the good zonestretches I outlined above.
The final variant is the most different, but also the one most increasingly popular: "levels." I
have described previously how the Indianapolis Colts use this concept, but June Jones has really
used this route ever since he got to Hawaii. (Note they will do all the same switching of receiver
assignments I outlined above in it.)

Here you get both a rub and a high/low type stretch on the inside defenders, typically
linebackers. Jones has liked this because it is easy for the quarterback to read, he really just must
progression sequentially from the single-receiver and scan across the field. It's not a perfect
visual, but below is a version of "levels" with from trips #1 running the deep-in and #2 and #3
running the quick ins.
Conclusion
And that's the choice concept. It highlights much of what drives the run and shoot: a welldesigned route intended to set up a receiver with many options, combined with a great basic
combination with equally as many options.
As a final note, the run and shoot is a four wide-receiver offense. That is how it was designed,
and how it is run when one commits to it fully. If you don't use four wides -- for example, by
substituting in a tight-end -- many of the purists would say you aren't a run and shoot team
anymore. I will leave that debate for a later day. I just want to point out that it wouldn't be too
difficult to imagine the Choice where the drag runner is actually a tight-end instead of a slot
receiver. Indeed, many pro teams would agree with you.

CHRIS BROWN RUN AND SHOOT SERIES (PT4)


It's been a bit since my last installment, but I'm not quite done, as there are two concepts left in
the fearsome foursome of the 'shoot. This foursome includes: go, choice, and now streak and
switch.
These two plays really do not involve any new learning, and although considered separate plays,
they really are two sides of the same coin: four verticals, which I analyzed recently with Dan
Gonzalez. I begin with "streak." The switch will come in the next installment.
Streak
At core, streak is just what the run and shoot guys call "four verticals." And four-verticals is a
very simple concept that is so powerful because well designed pass plays boil down to
elementary math: geometry and arithmetic. Four receivers bolt down the field, and if they keep
the proper spacing between them -- by staying on their "landmarks" -- the defense will be
outnumbered and can't properly defend the play. Against Cover Two, well, the defense only has
two deep (hence the name) while the offense has four receivers deep. With cover three, well the
offense still has a man advantage. And, again, if the spacing is correct, the offense can even
whittle it down so that they know who they are operating against, namely, the deep free safety.
But this doesn't mean that the defense is without options. They can disguise coverage, play
different techniques, or quite simple play four deep -- four on four gives the advantage to the
defense. (Contra Ron Jaworski, creating favorably one-on-one matchups lags far behind creating
favorable numbers advantages, i.e. two on one defend.) In response, the run and shoot, as usual,
gives them freedom. Hence, the "seam read" all over again.

As the diagram above shows, the four receivers all release vertically. But the coaching points are
critical:
The outside receivers will release on go routes. The "frontside" one (in the diagram, the one on
the offense's right) has a mandatory outside release: he will keep pushing to the defender's

outside hip. That said, he still wants to keep five yards between him and the sideline, to give the
quarterback a place to drop the ball into.
The slot receivers release up the seams. But they must be more precise than that: in college,
they must be two yards outside the hashes; in highschool (where the hashmarks are wider), they
must be on them. This spacing is the most critical element of the entire play: it is what makes it
geometrically difficult for the deep secondary to cover.
The runningback might be in the protection, but if he releases he will run either a drag across
the field or a little option route underneath. He looks for an open spot in the zones as an outlet if
the undercoverage releases for all the receivers, and against man he will cut in or out. He should
be working against a linebacker and can't let that guy cover him.
The outside receivers, if they can't get deep, will break the route down and "come down the
stem" -- retrace their steps -- to get open later. The QB, if the initial reads are not there, will hitch
up and throw them the ball on the outside.
But the key to this play, as it has been for all four of these "core" run and shoot plays, is the seam
read. I previously described this route in detail, but in sum: against a defense with the deep
middle of the field "open" (cover two), the receiver will split the two safeties on a post route;
against middle of the field closed (cover 3, cover 1), with a single deep middle safety, the
receiver will stay away from him and continue up the seam. In that sense the route is a lot like
the divide route I've discussed before. But the route is more dynamic: if the safeties stay very
deep, or any defender crosses the receiver's face, he will cut inside or underneath those defenders
to get open.

MANNY MATSAKIS TRIPLE SHOOT SERIES (PART 1) FROM SMART FOOTBALL


Part 1 - Historical Perspective
It all started with a fascination of the 3 distinctly different offenses the Wing-T, Run & Shoot and the
Georgia Southern Hambone. From there it evolved with specific influence and personal contact with the
following coaches, Ben Griffith (Inventor of the Hambone), Glenn Tiger Ellison, Darrell Mouse Davis
and Bill Walsh. As an additional note, Leo Dutch Meyers book, Spread Formation Football gave me an
idea on how to create an explosive rushing attack (albeit, it was not the purpose of his book). Having
started American Football Quarterly in 1993, while waiting to take a job at Kansas State University, gave
me access to all of the aforementioned individuals, except Coach Meyer.

In the early 1990s, I was working on my Ph.D. and while finishing my coursework I began a research
project, which evolved into the Triple Shoot Offense. The title of the dissertation project was, The
History and Evolution of the Run & Shoot Offense in American Football.

Development of the Offense


Researching the state of football and developing axioms and creating postulates based on those
axioms created this offense. My initial axioms of the game were as follows:

1. The game of football has freedoms, purposes and barriers that give spread formation
attacks a distinct advantage.

2. A systems approach to football has the greatest potential for success over a period of
time.

3. When players are more knowledgeable about their system than the opponent is theirs
they have the greatest potential for success.

4. A balanced approach to offensive strategy has the greatest potential for success over a
period of time.

5. A system that appears complex, yet is simple to execute will stand the test of time.

These following postulates were the results of analyzing the previous axioms:

1. Spreading the field with offensive personnel creates mis-matches and distinct angles to
attack the defense.

2. Utilizing a no-huddle attack enables an offense to control the clock and give the
players a better understanding of the defense they are attacking.

3. A 2-point stance by offensive linemen gives them better recognition and a lower
center of gravity at the point of attack.

4. A protection based on the principle of firm: front-side & soft: backside enables an
offense to take advantage of any defensive front by keeping them off balance.

5. Run blocking schemes that combine Veer, Zone and Trap blocking enables an offense
to run the ball versus any defensive front.

6. Pass schemes that adjust routes based on coverage on the run will open up holes in the
secondary.

7. Quarterback decisions based on looks & reads give the offense the ability to release the
ball anywhere from 1 to 5 steps. This will minimize the amount of time necessary for
pass protection.

Triple Shoot Offense Defined


The Triple Shoot Offense is a systems oriented, no-huddle, four receiver, one back attack that is
balanced in its ability to run or pass the ball at any time during a game. It is predicated on
spreading the field and attacking a pre-ordered defense with blocking and route adjustments after
the play begins.
Ordering Up The Defense
The concept of ordering up the defense is one that I learned from Tiger Ellison. His concept
was to place a label on each defensive man (numbering), and from that to designate a specific
defender that would tell his players what to do, either by the place he lined up before the ball was
snapped or by his movement after the snap.
The Triple Shoot Offense took that information and decided to look at defensive alignments
based on the way they matched up to a 4 receiver, one-back formation and designated defenses
as either Nickel, Dime, Blitz or they were considered unsound. Nickel looks are based on six
men in the box with one free safety, Dime looks have five men in the box with two safeties and
Blitz is recognized when there are seven defenders in the box and no safety over the top.
Anything else is an unsound defense that we hope a team is willing to attempt.
In order to keep defenses in these alignments we utilize a variety of concepts, from widening our
inside receivers to calling specific plays that put a bind on any defender that tries to play both the
front and the coverage. When we get to the point where we can do this, the offense is at its most
optimum in production.

MANNY MATSAKISS TRIPLE SHOOT OFFENSE (PT2)


Part 2 - Run Game and Play passes
The general makeup of the offense includes a run game, play passes, drop-back passing attack and
exotics. The following is an overview of each area of the offense:
Run Game
This aspect of the offense is broken up into the Belly series, Trap series and Dive series. Our linemen
work daily on their zone, veer, trap and double team blocks in order to maximize our consistency in
rushing the ball.
The primary series of the offense is the Belly series, which is influenced by triple option (Hambone) and
zone blocking. This was also complimented by a backfield action that I was able to glean from Dutch
Meyers book, Spread Formation Football (albeit, he did this out of the shotgun) and some basic Wing-T
concepts. The Belly series consists of the Pop Out (I have heard it also called the Jet or Fly Sweep) and
the following dive plays, Veer and Zone as well as the change-up plays of the Option and Reverse. The
key in executing each of these aspects of the Belly series is in the actual ride of the motion receiver by
the QB and the subsequent fake or hand-off to the Superback, in order to draw attention to the
potential Pop Out around the edge or the dive play to the back. Ideally, our Pop Out and dive plays will
look the same for the first 3 steps and then become the actual play called prior to the snap of the ball.
The change-up plays of Option and Reverse are designed to take advantage of fast flowing linebackers
and defensive line slants.
Pop Out

Zone

Veer

Option

Reverse

Play Passes
The key to the play pass is that for the first three steps of the run series associated with it, the backfield
and blocking must stay consistent (Bill Walsh). I know we are coming along when we stop the video at
this point and we are not be able to tell if it is a run or a pass. Play Passes are called when the secondary
is rolling or linebackers are so keyed-in to the run series that they disregard the potential of a pass over
the top.

Our base play passes are executed off of our top run series, the Belly series. We practice two primary
play passes, one to the front side (Wheel) and one to the backside (Switch). Regarding play pass
protection, we put the Superback on the front side linebacker as we fake the Pop Out play and all the
other linemen are aggressive in their execution of selling the run play.
Even Wheel
The Wheel is run out of our Even (balanced) formation and this play is good versus Nickel or Dime
coverage. The play begins with the inside receiver coming in motion, the QB will then ride the receiver
on a Pop Out fake as he turns to the oncoming receiver. The action will continue with a fake to the
Superback. The QB will then set up just outside the play-side Guard and throw the Wheel combination.
The QB will look to throw the ball to the Post first, then to the Wheel up the boundary. Often times the
Wheel is thrown to the back shoulder of the receiver.
Receivers will take their first 3 steps (as if stalk blocking) and then break into their routes. The outside
play-side receiver will break on a Post (5th Step) while the inside receiver will run through the
breakpoint of the Post route.

Load Switch
The Switch route is run out of one of our trips formations (Rip or Load) and this play is also good versus
Nickel or Dime coverage. The play begins with the number 3 receiver backside coming in motion for the
Pop Out fake. The QB will simulate the same action as he did in Wheel. This time he will look backside to
the Stretch route, which is running up inside the backside hash mark.
The two backside receivers will run the Switch combination on the backside in the following manner.
The outside receiver backside will come first and get inside the hash mark at a point 7 yards up field

while the number 2 receiver will run through the point where the outside receiver crossed his face and
he will continue up the sideline. The outside receiver is responsible to read the deep zone defender over
him. If that man is a Cover 3 safety, that defender may run downhill to tackle the Pop Out and if he does
that, the receiver will continue on a thin post. If he stays high over the top, then the receiver will break
his route flat at a depth of 12 yards to get open underneath the free safety. The Cover 2 conversion is
predicated on the action of the backside safety. If he rolls to Cover 3, then the receiver will apply his
Cover 3 rules. If he stays on the hash mark, the receiver will break it flat at 12 yards.
The QB will look to the backside Stretch route adjustment first and then to the route up the boundary.
The boundary route is often times a back shoulder throw.

Play passes are often adjusted as we get through the season to take advantage of how defenses are
geared up to slow down our Belly series.

MANNY MATSAKIS TRIPLE SHOOT OFFENSE (PART 3)


The drop-back passing game is initiated by our QB taking his drop to the inside hip of the play side
Tackle (6 yards deep) while receivers are running route adjustments based on the coverage they are
going against. We throw the ball out of a normal snap formation or a shotgun alignment. Throws are
made to the receivers based either on looks or reads. A look is a progression from one receiver to
the next, based on who should be open in sequential order. A read is the process of a QB reading the
reaction of a specific defensive player (depending on the scheme that has been called), which in turn he
will throw off of that defenders movement.
Our drop back passes are all scheme-based as opposed to receivers running a passing tree. When a
scheme is in synchronicity receivers will break on their adjustments as they are moving on the stem of
their routes. Our receivers are trained to know what coverage they are facing by the time they are into
the third step of their route. In the past, we would make a pre-snap determination of the type of
coverage and execute routes accordingly. The benefit of our current system is that it is impossible to
disguise coverage this late into the play. Regarding coverage recognition, this is taught by quickly
assessing which family of coverage the defense is playing and then feeling our way to the appropriate
breakpoint. This sounds much more difficult than it really is and we have developed specific drills that
make this as easy as playing sandlot football.
Pass Schemes
There are six primary passing schemes which all route adjust based on the coverage we are facing. We
can run many of these out of Even or Trips formations and we can even motion to Trips to change up the
look we give defenses. The base schemes are called, Slide, Scat, Choice, Hook, Curl and Outside. Each
scheme is named after the route run by the outside play side receiver. In every practice, we work on
every scheme versus all coverage adjustments. Tiger Ellison once told me, If you cant practice the
whole offense in a single session, you are doing too much. Since the day he told me this in 1989 I have
followed his advice to never add something without taking something away.
To write about all these schemes and adjustments would take a book or an instructional video. To give
you a taste of the offense, let me share with you the top two schemes we most enjoy running, Slide &
Choice! Slide has evolved from what Tiger Ellison called the Frontside Gangster and Choice comes
from what was originally called the Backside Gangster.
Slide
The Slide scheme is the basis for all the passing game, in that we use this as a drill to teach 80% of our
passing attack. The reason for this is that the route adjustments in Slide are executed at some point in
the other schemes to a great degree as the QB rolls to the three-receiver side of the formation.

It all begins with the Slide route (In trips) versus a Nickel look (Cover 3 or Man-free). This route starts off
with an outside release for 3 steps and from that point the receiver will read the coverage of the
defender over him (Cornerback). If the defender bails out, the receiver will execute a Post on his 7th
step. If he is playing a man look, the receiver will proceed to run a fade on this man to beat his man
deep.
The #2 receiver will run a bubble route around the numbers on the field, making sure to look inside at
the QB at a distance of 1 yard behind the line of scrimmage. The #3 receiver then executes a Pick route.
The Pick route is designed to get over top of the outside linebacker that is covering the inside receiver.
As he gets over the top of that linebacker, the receiver gets to a depth of 12-14 yards before he applies
his downfield zone rule. The downfield zone rule is applied on the free safety in the following
manner, if the man in the zone is high over the top, the receiver will raise his outside arm and set it
down to find the passing lane to the QB. If the man in the zone crosses the face of the receiver, the
receiver will then run a thin post and expect to score.
The QB will read the Slide route and throw it if it is open, if not, he can then check to the bubble and
finally look to the Pick route, which has had the time to get open.
Choice
The Choice scheme is the way that we attack the single receiver side of the formation. The QB starts a
roll toward the single receiver and the key to this route is that the stepping pattern of the QB must
match up precisely with that of the receiver. The single receiver will release off the line of scrimmage
and read the man over him (Cornerback) on the receivers 5th step. On that 5th step, if the man over
him has bailed out he will run a speed cut Out on his 7th step. If the receiver has closed the cushion
and the cornerback is outside leverage on the receiver, he will run a post and if he is inside leverage he
will adjust his route to a fade.

On the backside of Choice, the three receivers will spread the backside of the field. We run a Go route
by the #1 receiver (up the sideline) the #2 receiver will run a backside stretch inside the hash mark and
the #3 receiver will run a control route at a depth of 5 yards to find a passing lane to the QB.
The QB will read the front side of Choice and throw it if his man is open, if not, he will look backside to
the Stretch, then the Go and finally to the Control.
The Choice scheme is a great way to spread the field with our receivers and get the ball into the open
seams on the backside, especially if the front side is cloudy.

[Ed. Note: For more on the "choice" concept, see here.]


Exotics
The Exotic plays are of two types, either a Screen to the Superback or a Convoy to one of our receivers.
They are both set up with a pass protection simulation and we generally leak out three offensive
linemen to block up field as the QB will influence the defense with his pass-action roll before throwing
the ball to the back or the receiver.
Super Screen
This screen is a pass thrown to the back out of the backfield. Our line blocking is as follows: The front
side tackle will influence the Defensive End for a 2-count before coming up field to block the first
linebacker he sees inside. The play side guard will step to the direction of the screen and then release to
block the support player while the Center will snap the ball and go down the line to block the first threat
he sees, if there is no threat, he will turn around and block any defender that may be chasing down the
screen.

The Superback must really sell this play by engaging the Defensive End momentarily before settling up in
a passing lane behind the line of scrimmage. Our QB will either shovel the ball to him or pop it over the
top of a defender depending on the rush of the defensive line.

Convoy
Our Convoy has been successful because the action of the QB is rolling away from the direction that he
ultimately throws towards. The blocking scheme for Convoy works in the following manner: Our
backside tackle will use a draw technique on the Defensive End and stay on him all the way in order to
clear out a passing lane backside. The backside Guard will step to the direction of the QB roll and then
release backside to block the support player. Our Center steps to the side of the QBs roll and then
releases backside to block the first linebacker he sees on the backside. The front side Guard will step to
the QB roll before releasing backside to get the first man he sees, if there is no threat, he will turn in to
block anyone that may be chasing down the receiver carrying the ball.

A convoy receiver will take two steps up field before coming behind the line of scrimmage and down the
line into the passing lane for the QB. He will catch the ball and get up field to gain yardage through his
linemens blocks.
MANNY MATSAKISS TRIPLE SHOOT OFFENSE (PT 4)
The Triple Shoot Offense started out as a pass-happy offense at Hofstra University (NY) in an attempt to
compete versus scholarship schools during our Division III to I-AA transition. We were able to put up
some gaudy numbers (42 ppg and 405 ypg passing) and a rather impressive winning percentage. At
Emporia State University (KS) we realized that putting up the big numbers was not that big of a deal,
what was more important was winning games. In order to do so, we researched and developed an
explosive running game (Belly Series) to compliment the pass attack. The results speak for themselves,
as we led the competitive MIAA in Rushing, Passing and scoring during the same season and were able
to get our Superback to rush for nearly 2,000 yards or more three years in a row (Brian Shay broke
Johnny Baileys all-time collegiate rushing record in this offense). Not only were our players able to
achieve this in a team-oriented setting but our two inside receivers (Pobolish & Vito combined with Shay
to garner over 15,000 yards during their careers together, the NCAA doesnt keep records like that but
we have yet to see career production like that in college football).
After making a go of it at the small college ranks, we tested the concept at the Division I level at the
University of Wyoming. In a single season, we were able to go from last to first in total offense in the
Mountain West Conference versus conference opponents. As my good friend Tony Demeo (University of
Charleston, WV Head Coach) said, You put the Ferrari in the garage after that year. I got out of running
this offense for 3 years as I spent some quality time with Mike Leach (Texas Tech University).
After the stint with the Red Raiders, I took the head coaching position at Texas State University to once
again coach this system. In a single season, we were able to go from one of the worst offenses in the
Southland Conference to a single season finish of #1 in total offense and were ranked #7 in the nation
with this balanced attack. I was relieved of my duties after that season for not taking full responsibility
of all aspects of my program and at that point chose to leave the coaching profession.
For the next four years I went into private business to develop regional football magazines. During this
time, I also spent time reflecting on my career and the Triple Shoot Offense while consulting with
coaches from high school to the professional ranks. On one visit to see my friend Hal Mumme, he made
a statement that I should at least start to clinic the offense again and see if it would inspire me to coach
again, I did and it worked. I am excited to coach the offense again (Capital University in Columbus, Ohio)
and look forward to taking the next step with the Triple Shoot. The offense has since been simplified,
codified and developed to a point whereby I really feel that the system can be replicated by underdog
teams anywhere in the country.
At this point, I have put together an online coaching clinic to help coaches throughout the country in
implementing this system. All the video is in there, the teaching progressions, cut-ups, drills and even

archived game clips. If you have any interest in this system, check out the promotional website
http://tripleshootfootball.com/ or the actual online seminar website http://tripleshootonline.com/to
get started. There is even a blog that chronicles issues relating to the offense
http://tripleshoot.blogspot.com/.
I have enjoyed taking the time to share with you and clarify some areas of the Triple Shoot Offense.
Good luck this season and if you want to reach me, please feel free to contact me at
tripleshoot@gmail.com.

CHRIS BROWN ON HAWAIIS SWITCH CONCEPT

While the Run & Shoot is over twenty-years old and I have even discussed its demise from most
levels of football, the obvious recent R&S success story has been the Hawaii Warriors under
lifelong 'Shooter, June Jones. With Colt Brennan (and seemingly anyone else they put back
there), they have lit up opposing teams and broken a few scoreboards along the way. It's a great
offense.
But let it be known that Jones has adapted some aspects of the traditional Mouse Davis Run and
Shoot to his liking, discarding some concepts, adapting others, and overhauling the pass
protection. (Hence why my "What Killed the Run and Shoot" thread doesn't keep Jones up
awake at night - they simply do different things now.)
In the traditional shoot, there were only a few pass packages, but each had multifarious
adjustments for each receiver. They did this by requiring each receiver to identify the defense
and each would adjust his route on the fly. The QB would synthesize this information and hit the
proper man. As June Jones said when he was still in the NFL: "When our receivers run up the
field, they are going to look for one of five coverages. A team may use 50 defenses, but to us it
will be one of those five."
Those five coverages were: "(1) Three Deep Zone; (2) Two Deep Zone, (3) Two Deep Man
Under; (4) Man Free [One safety deep with man-to-man underneath]; (5) Four Across Man
(Blitz)."
Now, this was quite successful for many years. Without overemphasizing the impact, the rise of
the zone blitz muddied the waters for many of these reads and hastened the R&S's retreat. I say I
don't want to emphasize this too much, because the zone blitz has been around for at least as long
as the Shoot, so it wasn't just that.
But there has been a definite trend among Shooters to reduce the number of reads that receivers
must make. Even Jones has reduced the amount of reading in his offense and appears to have
discarded a few of the concepts completely, while only adjusting others. And yet, the "reading"
is what makes the Shoot the Shoot. So that is my topic today.
I have said many times that regardless of whether you see teams run the "Run and Shoot" per se
(and I am talking about the "Run and Shoot" as a distinct system, not just a generic term for any
ol' spread team), you will constantly see the R&S concepts and you will continue to see them for
a long time. So in this post I want to discuss one of the most common and successful concepts,
the Switch.
The Switch
The Switch is one of the Shoot mainstays, but the concept has transcended the offense and now
chunks of NFL and College playbooks are dedicated to the "switch" - often from coaches who
would otherwise show nothing but disdain for the now supposedly discredited offense. But to
many coaches, players, and fans, the play is still shrouded in mystery.

The concept is, at core, a two man concept. Two receivers release and "switch": The outside guys
angle inside for 5-6 yards before pushing vertical, while the inside guy runs a "wheel route"
under the outside guy, rubs right off of his hip, and then turns up the sideline. That's when they
play gets interesting.
In the original R&S, each receiver had the five delineated options depending on what coverage
he saw. They could break it quick on slants, run vertical routes, post routes, curls or in cuts.
When it worked it was beautiful. But sometimes, to borrow Yeats's phrase, "things fall apart." Or
simply it took immense practice time for receivers to get good at running the play.
Indeed, it is simpler to teach this kind of thinking when all of your routes adjust. But it's not quite
so simple if you run curl-flat as your bread and butter play, with no reading, as many teams do.
And yet. the play thrives.
The Reads
Some coaches have installed the switch and simply eliminated the reads entirely. This is a sound
approach, and it captures the initial beauty of the play: the "rub" the two switching receivers
create against man. And it still works as a kind of "vertical stretch" where the two receivers can
put deep defenders in a bind with one down the sideline and another in the seam, especially if a
backside receiver runs in the seam as well.
But the play's potency is in its variance. And you can be variant without overly complex reads.
How? Here is how I suggest running the play, as dithered from the best College, Pro, and High
School minds who use this concept.
The Routes
Below is a basic diagram of the route.

The reads are as follows:


Inside Receiver: The inside receiver will come under the outside guy on his route, and wheel up
the sideline. All he is looking for is whether there is someone deeper than him in the deep onethird of the field. Or, if the guy on him is playing him in man, he just asks: "He's even? I'm
leaving! (Running deep) He goin? I'm stayin." It's as simple as deciding whether you could get
open deep or not. If the defender stays deep, the receiver will stop at 10-12 yards and settle and
curl back to the Quarterback.
Outside Receiver: The outside guy will stem his route inside and then push up the seam. His read
is simple:
- Middle of the Field Closed (I.e. Is there a single deep safety in the middle of the field, like in
Cover 3?) - Run a seam.
- Middle of the Field Open (I.e. Are there two deep safeties with no one deep down the middle?)
- Run a square in at 12 yards.
I have previously described the nuances of this MOFO/MOFC read. Now, this might sound a bit
tricky, but this is the one, core "reading" principle that any receiver can quickly identify both
before and after the snap, and in most cases it is quite intuitive: don't run into coverage.
Below is the route against a few coverages to show how it would play out.
Cover 3

And Cover 2

QB Read:
The QB's read is not difficult. It is a pure progression read, though pre-snap and post-snap he
will identify 2-high and 1-high so he knows what he's looking for. Against 1-high he will look at
the F/S (deep middle safety's) movement. He will peek for the backside seam but read (1) inside
switcher, (2) outside switcher, and (3) outlet to running back.
Final Concerns
One of the purposes of this article was to show that this concept, native to the Run and Shoot,
can be run in many offenses. I have shown it so far in a very Shoot friendly formation. But do
not be fooled: this route can be run by any two line of scrimmage receivers, in nearly any
offense. See the diagram below with the Switch with play-action from the I formation. Again,
you can run this from any formation you like.

And finally, if one did adopt to their offense (or you begin to notice it on television), there are
further adjustments you can make. One of the long-time best has been the "Switch-Smash,"
shown below.

On this route the outside receiver stems inside and then pushes to 12 yards before running a
corner route, while the inside receiver "wheels" out and pushes to 5-6 and then hitches back. He
then delays briefly, and if the QB does not immediately deliver the ball, he will work to find the
opposite spot or burst and lose his man to man defender. This is a great change up, particular
against a team that runs Cover 2.

Grab-Bag

As a final parting shot, I will show you a few more variations with what you can do with this
play. The concept is simple, so you can build on it or combo it as you like.

DISCUSSION OF JOHN JENKINS AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE RUN AND


SHOOT
Okay, so lets try to have a productive thread. Rather than just babble, I think it would be best if
people put forth specific questions.
In order to dispense with the most basic things I will make the following prefatory comments:
Jenkins offense was derived from the offense he learned from Mouse. The basics of the offense
are the same. He used all the same packages as Mouse.
If you watch UH film from Jenkins' tenure, especially the later years, the first thing that will
strike you are the splits. Jenkins was the first to recognize that the tight splits that Mouse
employed were going to become problematic in the long run, especially in terms of protection,
front identification, leverage identification, and basic coverage recognition.
So the wide splits signaled that he from the very beginning wanted to stretch the field

horizontally in order to turn zone coverage into man coverage by stretching each zone to the
point that it really was a one on one situation
Because of this, the 90 2x2 packages in his version of the offense were much more developed
than they were in Mouse's. Streak, Read, Switch, and Swap all had secondary and tertiary
variations. He also like running Choice and Slide more from 2x2 as well.
So, this is a start. Lets have a good talk.

This is a good start. I will respond in more detail tonight. But I want to head one thing off at the
pass before we get started. No offense to belebuch, but the more refined the question the better. I
have no interest in talking in generalities, especially about this topic, because the devil is in the
details.
Just a brief word in response to tog and mclaine: If you watch UH tape from the period what you
will notice is a much greater commitment to 2x2, even when on the hash. You would think
because of the hashes that UH would run primarily out of 3x1, but not so. Clearly much of this is
because of the major role that Switch played in Jenkins offense. But Jenkins wanted to make the
field side of Switch live as well. If you recall, the front side in Switch is generally dead in terms
of read unless there is a botch in alignment.
So, to cut to the chase, they ran Streak on the front side, but a keen eye for leverage, as well as
the ability to tag certain receivers. This is what Jones started to do at Hawai'i. Jenkins was not as
much into coverage recognition as leverage recognition; he realized that shells were deceptive
and that it was more important to teach receivers how to attack individual leverage as played
within overall shell.

Post by rip60zgo on Apr 24, 2011 at 11:19pm


2x2 Choice -- "Choice Even" -- keeps the same route structure as base Choice from 3x1. Instead
of backside #3 running the drag/cross, he will run a whip as the frontside #2. Puts him in roughly
the same position he would be if he was coming across the field from 3x1. You must control the
interior short defender so you get a true 1-v-1 vs. the CB.
In terms of adjusting routes, Jenkins started teaching reading leverage, and Jones has continued
that trend, rather than identifying and categorizing coverage. Essentially, you are teaching each
guy to read their portion of the coverage. Yes, you still get indicators from shells and rotation,
but I can make a much faster decision if I am only concerned about my portion of the coverage
rather than the entire coverage structure. A side benefit to this is the ability to correctly diagnose
split-field coverages (i.e., TCU) and attack them correctly.

Post by hemlock on Apr 25, 2011 at 7:29am


Great job rip60zgo! That's exactly the point and why John was so far ahead of everybody else at
the time. It also explains his move away from motion. Jenkins at an early point recognized that

motion could lead to problems and that it would not necessarily give you a true key as to what
the coverage was, be it man or zone, two, three, 0, what have you. It was better to attack
leverage.
I'll talk about seam read later today as it pertains to Streak.
Good stuff. One question I'm interested in was how Jenkins practiced all of this. One
disadvantage of the shoot seems to me how much time you have to spend walking through
specific looks and correcting bad receiver/QB reads on adjusting routes, rather than getting to the
next play. Also seems like you have to spend lots of that time in full skelly rather than individual
drills, etc.
That said, I could see something like routes on Air but with coaches/scout teamers giving the
look and moving around as being useful.
Can't speak to how Jenkins does it but heard Dan Morrison from SMU talk about it. Basically JJ
stands at about the free safety, they have a QB throwing for every receiver and they rep it on air,
with 2 wrinkles: JJ calls out a look and each receiver has to make his proper adjustment picturing
the coverage, and they try to get the balls in the air every 10-15 seconds for up to an hour.
Mostly we used cones and i would be the FS so i could change the read.
ok
it sounds rather expensive---for someone not truly interested in as dg1694 puts it---making it the
one thing we master
what would be the "cheap" way to do this, and with what concept?
someone was gonna ask anyhow
might as well be me
lol
Tog,
It's expensive early... Think spring/two a days. But honestly we don't spend more than 20
minutes. We use it in place of a traditional 7 on 7 period. Then we go 7 on 7 for 10/12 plays.

Post by dg1694 on Apr 26, 2011 at 5:13pm


I have heard a lot of Run and Shoot guys (or those who claim to be) read the leverage (inside or
outside) of the corner to determine the choice receiver's read. But I know (from sitting in
meetings) the Gibride had the receiver going off of the DEPTH of the corner -- if he was bailing

the out was run; if the cushion was eaten up he ran the skinny post.
How did Jenkins teach it? Why?

Post by hemlock on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:43pm


dq's point about how Gilbride taught leverage is correct. And this still holds true today. But this
is really just the beginning. If you listen to how Kevin taught (at least back then) it was not an
agressive technique. It was basically he do me do. What Houston did, and what Franklin today
teaches, is to attack the leverage of the defender; that is to say, to attack his alignment and then
to make your move based on his reaction. It may sound like nothing, but its really a significant
change in technique, because what you as a receiver are now, in effect, doing is treating
everything like man. This is what allowed Houston to become so vertical in their approach. The
point was not to accept the cushion, but rather to break it down, if possible, by attacking the
defenders technique and posting off of that. And this is essentially how SMU deals with match
zone teams today, such as TCU. When SMU played TCU this year they approached they like a
man team; they were not concerned with the overall coverage they were playing, because it was
all about attacking technique and turning everything into man. And for what it's worth, Jenkins
explicitly states this in his QB manual, which, by the way, is mandatory reading for anybody
who is seriously interested in attacking coverage.
Yeah, that manual is one of the best things about offense I've ever read and it's not exactly
recent.
My question is how this applies to how they teach that middle read/seam read route, which I look
at as the key to the whole offense (someone tell me if I'm wrong about this). I feel like you could
run some pretty serious R&S stuff if the only route you converted was this one, but included it in
most of your pass plays.

Post by belebuch1 on Apr 27, 2011 at 2:27pm


I told my guys something similiar. If the FS is inside of you,widen and go past him into a post.If
he is outside of you throttle down and dig inside.
So tog, I'll let the experts talk but I feel like if I wanted to run the "John Jenkins R&S principles"
but bring it up to date and maybe focus on one or two things, I'd basically build my pass game
around that route (four verts, switch, choice, maybe curl/flat/seam read, smash with the seam
read or switch backside, etc) and then kind of go from there.
I could imagine a pretty solid offense with only like 5-8 pass plays where you had the seam read
built into every play.
Last question, has anyone ever run the seam read from a single receiver backside? I.e. he stems

inside like switch and runs the seam read. I'm thinking of say running a trips combo like flood to
one side and have the single receiver run the seam read. Curious of thoughts.
The inside seam read is, for all intent purposes, the guts of the offense. And spreadattack
correctly noted that the offense is premised off of these six plays: Streak; Read; Switch; Smash
(Swap in UH's terminology); Choice; Slide. And if you take the time to doodle a bit you will see
that at the center of each concept is a vertical inside read that begins either from inside, as in
Streak, Smash, and Choice, or from the outside, as in Switch and Slide. And from these base
concepts, other secondary concepts evolved, such as Sucker, Rails, and Switch Corner, all of
which could be taught off the stems of the core packages.
The other thing to keep in mind, and this is clearly something that June is doing today, is tags.
Don Coryell was a big influence on Jenkins; from the very beginning he wanted to push to ball
down the field. Jenkins began to tag routes, especially during the last two years. Streak lends
itself to tagging quite nicely, for obvious reasons. Tagging enabled them to isolate and pick on a
particular defender. Similar to Jones, Jenkins has uncanny field vision. This did not mean that
they were not reading, just that they had the ability to tag a receiver if and when they wanted to,
or by gameplan.
In respons to morris' question, Mouse, up until he got back into the college game, had his slots
pretty much a yard off the hip of the tackle. What he had was really a double wing offense rather
than a spread, four hot look. This was the residue left over from the Tiger Ellison stuff, as well as
early run game, which used a lot of Delaware principles. Jenkins had no real interest in this stuff;
especially after he scrapped motion. He boiled the run game down to trap, draw, and zone. And
to run more effectively, he kicked his receivers out so as to displace defenders. But that really
was not the main thrust behind his thinking on this matter. As I've written earlier, his aim was to
stretch defenses to the point that defenders were, regardless of call, playing man one way or
another.
Here is my question(mostly for Hemlock)...With all this talk about Jenkin's version, why is there
no Go Concept. I have watched cutups of Houston from this era and his favorite 3x1 concept is
slide. Jenkins never runs much 60 Go. Mouse Davis and June Jones make a living off this
concept. Jones has recently tweaked it into more of a flood route. Anyways, is there a reason for
this?
Well, I would say that Jones only runs Go in the traditional sense inside the the 5, or on short
yardage, and many times, especially down by the goal line, it's usually with a sucker tag. What
he runs now, which you correctly identified, is what used to be called Go Flag.
The reason for the change, and this will help with my explanation of Jenkins, is that the Go is a
downhill route. For the go to really effective it needs to be run with a hard half role by the QB
from under-center. The role is what put the flat defender in a real bind. Without the role its not
nearly as effective.
Jenkins got away from GO because he pretty had the QB setting up behind the tackle. The role
was taken out. Also, Slide, from trips, especially the way he ran it, created two viable vertical

threats to the field that were much viable that the seam and go route from the old Go package.
Remember, Jenkins Slide is more of skinny read post that really climbes the void between the
hash and the numbers. Combined with the seam read it really stresses the crease between the
numbers and the hash.
Jones started to run more Slide at SMU. Slide is a great concept for attacking match zone.
Also, its worth noting that in many ways, the secondary Go Packages, such as Go Switch, are in
effect, better today than the original Go. If I was coaching still, Go would be a short yardage or
goal-line package.
belebuch, yes that is accurate. One of the major differences between John's and Mouse's
respective versions of the offense is that John is always thinking deep whereas Mouse is more
than happy with a more ball control approach.
I wasn't very clear when I mentioned splits before. I was refering to the OL and I am still very
interested in what Jenkins was doing in pass protection. I know protection tends to be one of the
things shoot guys wont talk about.
Spliting the slots further I get. A couple of years ago I went to Capitol Unversity when Manny
was there. He was teaching his slots to keep moving out to force a displacement.
So Jenkins was no longer doing the traditional R&S roll but more of a just set up behind the OT?
What was the footwork on this? I know of the type that is almost like a 3 step drop that turns into
a roll on the last few steps.

Post by morris on May 2, 2011 at 10:32pm


I know the superback screen use to be a big part of it and super nasty. Teams HATED that play. I
am sure R&S teams run some WR screens and such but I don't recall seeing them that much
(past Capitol I am not sure I ever did see it). With the built in adjustments and throwing
uncovered they force your had in a way I don't think other teams do.
On one of the TDs in Spreadattack's clip it is an uncovered pass I believe. It is the one where
Klingler is almost coming straight down the LOS and throws it like on his 2nd step. Almost
looks like a short stop throwing to first.
hemlock: can you explain that footwork for throwing it out there like that to the left and right? I
know I have heard Manny explain it but I forgot the coaching points and such.

Post by hemlock on May 2, 2011 at 11:16pm


Interesting that you mention Martz. Martz is on record as stating that Jenkins had a profound
influence on his thinking about the passing game.

It's all about how you teach technique. Just because the guy over you is better does not mean you
cannot beat him with technique. Have you ever seen Troy during the Tony Franklin years play
SEC teams? Nobody teaches technique these days better than TF. They played Georgia one year
and absolutely torched them; their kids one all the time at the line. Do you think Troy's kids were
better than Georgia's? No.
Offensive football todayis blitzkrieg. You do not attack along broad fronts (i.e. coverage
structure) but rather by way of concentrated spear heads. Split coverage teams and match
techniques make coverage structure in the pure sense moot.
I'll write more later, but by 92 UH was running a lot of gun. But, in the beginning, the gun was
not popular because of the hard roll action the offense employed initially. That is no longer an
active component of the offense. Jenkins got away from the roll. Basically started setting up
behind the tackle.

Post by hemlock on May 6, 2011 at 9:54pm


Let's get something straight: Run-n-Shoot guys are not opposed to running the ball. If you've got
a good back, like both UH and SMU had this year, then clearly it behooves you to run if you can.
What you need to understand, however, is that regardless of the back's quality, it's still not your
bread and butter. In other words, your ceiling in the run game is never going to be that high
simply because its not something you practice a lot. I can assure you that just because both teams
had great back does not mean that they spent more time practicing the run game.
Now, did the pistol help with the run game? Well, I'm not so sure. SMU did not use the pistol,
but UH did. Yet both had great backs who put up lots of numbers. I would say that the pistol
helped UH more with protection than anything else. The pistol gets you back to the under-center
look, which means that the defense can no longer set their blitzes and other pressure packages
based off of where the back aligns.
I dont disagree with anything you said. I do know from talking to Lber coaches that the pistol
look for a predominantly passing teams really d!cks with the lbers. Hawaii's best running play
this year was draw along with stretch and trap respectively. All three of these plays had
playaction plays off of them that were homerun plays. The running back attacking down hill like
he does holds lbers. Watch the USC game, you'll see what I mean.
i don't think hawaii ran stretch. i think it was inside zone, and the pistol certainly helped that.
they ran it with the bubble as a check at the line.
smu did run pistol this year, especially when they had one of their tight ends in the game. they
ran stretch and naked boot from it.
it also seems like jones has played with the depth of the back. even offset, he's still deeper than
he used to be.
i think the pistol has allowed the shoot to come full circle. as hemlock says, it disguises the roll

side, which limits the defense's pressure calls. it also allows for some playaction that previously
was a part of the offense.
as a sidenote, why have the run and shoot teams not used draw-action passing more? seems like a
logical extension: pass, draw, draw-action...sucks to be a lb or safety.

Post by hemlock on May 7, 2011 at 3:43pm


Jones' quarterbacks always go back and forth between him and the huddle. It enables him to call
the play and make a coaching point if necessary at the same time.
Coachdubyah, I agree with everything you wrote. I'm just saying that from what the folks told
me that what they were thinking, at least initially, was protection. That said, I have no doubt that
Gordon Shaw, the line coach, formerly the line coach at Minnesota under Glen Mason, had a big
role in its implemtation, especially in the run game.

Post by hemlock on May 8, 2011 at 7:15pm


Coachdubyah:
The Slide is sensitive route, but I think its upside is tremendous if you can teach it correctly. As
originally conceived, the Slide route was run as a type of read slant that sought to exploit the
void created by the bubble. Jenkins kept the basic structure in place, but added another
possibility. Think of the Slide as an exaggerated skinny post by either X or Z that aims for the
divider between the number and the hash, hence the name, slide, as in "sliding" into the void.
So, this is how the route is run:
X or Z: Three burst steps inside. This is the hot part of the ball; need to be ready to catch the ball
if the window opens up immediately. No ball, plant hard on your inside foot and get vertical.
Now it turns into a seam type read for X or Z. Verse one high you pretty much are taking it all
the way up since the safety will be occupied by the true seam read by number 3. Versus a two hi
look, key the half field safety. He will have three options: 1) Sit and throw your hand up and
filter; 2) Stay vertical, especially versus robber; 3) Flag.
Does this help?
Last question, has anyone ever run the seam read from a single receiver backside? I.e. he stems
inside like switch and runs the seam read. I'm thinking of say running a trips combo like flood to
one side and have the single receiver run the seam read. Curious of thoughts.

Yes. This is good in a couple of situations. The first one is when the defense wants to borrow the
safety and sugar the trips side of the field. Now, you typically get a 1v1 with an outside
leveraged CB trying to play an inside adjusting route. He cannot win. The other situation where
this is valuable is to isolate the trips-side safety with the trips receivers while you occupy the
single receiver safety with this route. Regardless of whether he is a quarter or half field safety, he
has to retreat with the vertical stem of this route in his tube, or risk being run by. The advantage
of running it from the typical #1 alignment is that it is far less likely to be collisioned by the
seam/SCiF player, who is typically more concerned with being in the ball lane of the quick game
to the single receiver side.
I have seen UH run speed option w/ Brennan on the Goal line is that just a goal line play or have
RnS teams had speed option as part of there base run game? I think it is an excellent way to get
the ball on the perimeter as a compliment to bubble, which I view as the offenses version of the
toss sweep.
Mouse has featured speed on the goal line for a LOT of years. Typically, they will go trips and
check for your adjustment and run it to the numerical advantage. At the high school level, it's a
GREAT play anywhere on the field. This is one of the few "spread" run plays that you can run
well against a blitz look.
Bubble is not as big a part of the RnS offense as it is for other spread offenses. They don't use it
like other teams. They aren't attempting to even the box numbers because they aren't necessarily
trying to run the football. I know that the common thinking in the 4-wide environment is that you
have to have this, but if you look at it from the flip side of the balance sheet, if they don't cover
down, they are at a coverage disadvantage. There are better opportunities down the field if they
don't align to your formations correctly (i.e., seam read gets a free run on the safety).

hemlock, does the slide route alter the seam read? as i've had it explained, the inside streak read
is on the high school hash versus one high, but working the safety versus 2 high. Does the 2 deep
adjustment of the slide also change the seam read?

could you run the same concept with a flat route that converts to a wheel late if there is no roll
corner? of what benefit is the bubble?
No, the seam read is run off the face of the safety while the slide attacks the space between the
hash and the numbers.
I believe that Jenkins taught the slide to adjust number one to an out vs. roll corner. This gives
you your hi-lo on the CB and allows the seam-read to divide the 1/2 field safety with the out
route. It's been a while since I've look at the Jenkins stuff, I could be mistaken.

Post by hemlock on May 10, 2011 at 8:06am


Oh, and one final point to buttress Rip's remarks about the bubble. Indeed, the bubble is not a
huge part of the offense. To be a good bubble team you need to practice it a lot. The bubble is
not an easy throw and to block it well requires time that Run-n-Shoot guys cannot afford to
sacrifice.
But Rip's point sheds light on Spreadattack's earlier comments concerning the slightly lower
completion percentages of Shoot teams. The lack of bubbles and other such routes in the offense
robs QBs of the throws many have in other offenses that inflate their numbers.

Instead of running bubble do they throw quick to uncovered Recs? I know Manny is not Jenkins
but he is one of the few shooters I have gotten the chance to talk to and see practice. For them if
the underneath coverage did not expand enough on the slot or there was a huge cushion on the
outside they would throw it very quickly out to the rec almost coming straight down the LOS.
In the clips posted Klingler hits a TD pass to the outside Rec using this footwork and the OSR
just goes right up the sideline for a score.
In a way what Manny was doing reminds me of what has been talked about stretching the zone to
turn it into man. If that guys does not expand enough to the slot throw it now and force him to
expand out. Then again I could and most likely am completely wrong on that.
Morris: You're right, they used to raise up and throw to any receiver that was uncovered.
However, one of the downsides of the gun is that you really can't throw uncovered like that
anymore.
You are missing what Hemlock is trying to tell you. Stated another way, "why would you CALL
THIS TAG versus MOFC"? Tags in the offense are intended to combat specific defensive
tactics, and are not called randomly.

Post by hemlock on May 13, 2011 at 9:32pm


The thing to remember about Slide as a 3x1 package is that it's tailored to attack MOFC, which,
even in the era of split coverages ala TCU, is still how most teams are going to adjust to trips.
Teams will either do what Saban does and Mable it by shoving the coverage over to the trips and
going one on one on the backside or by playing the trips side from a split look with MOFC
principles. This is one of the reasons why the Slide has experienced a rebirth in recent years. For
a while the package was hardly used, but following Jones move to SMU the route started to
come back and I would say that what TCU does had an impact on their thinking.
And for what its worth, many teams run versions of the Slide. Slide was a major part of Kansas'
passing game during the Mangino years. What makes the route so effective is its clarity, a result
of the bubble which will either stretch the hook curl area or really get the corner to suck on his
route and get him to declare his responsibility.

After having gone to the pure Run and Shoot 2 years ago, and having a 21-4 record the last 2
years, and having a quarterback be named the state player of the year, 4,000 yards passing and 45
touchdowns in one season...here are some basic observations of the shoot that I have :
1. If coached correctly and practiced correctly, it is virtually unstoppable.
2. The simpler the better...you will not run all the shoot cuts exactly to the same level of
proficiency...find the packages you and your team can run, then pound the devil out of them
running it. For example, we were great at running choice, switch...but ABSOLUTLEY could not
run "GO"...so "GO" was not a big part of our shoot package......run what you can run....
3. You must have ways to get to the "choice" we had to shuffle our running back from strong to
weak, show no backs and motion the back into the backfield, use the pistol, but in order for the
choice to be effective, you must have ways to get into it...you simply cannot line up in trips right
with the back weak and think your gonna run choice 15 times a game...not gonna happen.
4. You MUST have a plan for the blitz...because this is the first thing that teams will do to you....
5. Run CHOICE to your slot recievers out of 2x2....they are your best athletes and are matched
up on linebackers....this was a great package for us...
6. Be efficient in how you practice the Shoot.....very expensive early on....but cheap later....they
must understand NO HIGH, 1 HIGH , or 2 HIGH and understand the Seam Read concept.....
7. You quarterback should NEVER force a throw.....SOMEONE will ALWAYS be open !
8. If run with a NO-HUDDLE concept, you are virtually guaranteed very simple covers which
will increase the efficiency of your passing game, because you won't see real exotic coverages....
In short, I think the R/S if taught correctly, ran correctly, is honestly , virtually
unstoppable.....because you are putting the game in the hands of the kids....we don't have to have
cover 0 beaters, cover1 beaters, cover 2 beaters..etc....All the ROUTES convert......we just find
the packages WE can throw efficiently and get it done......hope this helped ! Just my observations
on the Shoot !
Sort of off topic but related to receiver's reading defenses. I was speaking to a current NFL pro
bowl receiver the other day about what reads his coaches give him (he said his first team was
very basic and didn't give him much flexibility, and unsurprisingly he wasn't much of a factor
then). But he said that, as an outside receiver, he doesn't read the corner nearly at all, but almost
all of his routes could or would be adjusted depending on what the safeties did -- MOFO,
MOFC, roll towards him or roll away from. Might have a corner that converts to a curl or dig,
skinny that converts to a go (again, purely based on the safety), or multiple options.
Anyway I thought it was interesting as I agree that, other than the pure choice type route,
reading the corner can present difficulties. Anyone doing anything like this with the outside
receivers reading the safeties as well as the inside receivers?
Chris, from a RnS point of view, you almost have to do some level of reading safeties for
Choice. It doesn't make sense to run a skinny post into a safety. The Choice WR and the QB
have to recognize, presnap, if the skinny is even an option.

Post by airraid414 on Jun 25, 2011 at 7:07pm

One thing I wanted to get hemlock to chime in on is Jenkins in 92 started using more no back. To
me this is the one element of the run and shoot that you dont see as much and as a guy who ran it
I am surprised.

I know June at Hawaii would use more 5 wide looks at the end of the year but does it shock you
that you dont see it more?
Hey guys, i'll try to answer some of the questions posted above :
1. No back - we use a ton of it and its been very very good for us...how do we call it?? let's say
for example we are in a 3x2 formation.(Trips right, twins left) we would simply call...60 Z GoSwitch ( switch tells the men on the backside they are running switch)...we could tag it with a
Levels, or with a streak call as well.....it also gives us great mismatch opportunities to te two man
side....for example....70 (QB Left) X Streak - Levels....frontside runs streak, backside runs
levels.....it really is very simple to put it together...
2. Running choice to a slot receiver? really becomes a Scat out of the backfield for the running
back and we run it offf the flat defender....Rip - 60 Y Choice ...QB goes Y 1, F2, and then looks
backside...once again, we often tag this with a "Switch" on the backside....
3. DRIVE Concept - 2x2 or 3x1 set.....Rip 60 Z Drive ---- the inside slot runs the seam read, the
Z runs a 3 step dig, and th F Back runs deep swing....we go seam read 1, Drive 2, F 3....this is
one of our best plays.....once again, you got switch or slide on the backside.....
Also...in regard to when to call what package....that deals with alot of variables...
1. Get the ball to your best player has to be the first consideration...set the formations that let you
get the ball to him.
2. What coverage are you seeing, do you think you'll see....maybe you want to run against cover
4, but when you go trips they will check 0 and your line and back can't pick up the blitz.......you
gotta exploit your strengths and minimize your weaknesses....
3. which packages do we as a team run better???? this is a huge consideration....
you have to understand that according to shoot principles, all the packages can convert to the
base 6 covers...but its what YOU do best is what you should be running.....especially on the high
school level....don't run a package if you can't protect, can't throw it, and can't catch it.....

RUN AND SHOOT STREAKS OUT OF TRIPS DISCUSSION

Post by coachyellowhammer on Jul 3, 2011 at 1:15pm


We used to make that our default backside (trips-side) rule on our version of choice. We never
did the Cover 4 conversion with our slot guys though. It looks promising, we just never did it.

One thing we did was give the #2 & #3 receivers the latitude to decide who ran the "cross-seam"
and who ran the seam-read or "pipe" as we call it. They did this by virtue of a simple "you-me"
call. All the QB had to know was that someone would be at both landmarks if he came off the
initial choice route. The kids liked having the freedom to make the call and seemed to run those
routes a little harder, despite being "backside" routes. Also, if we did get man or aggressive rerouters over the slots, it allowed for rubs to get them past the LBs.
If I understand your intent on running this package, it should look something like this:

In that illustration, the Y should be running up the near hash, but I forgot to fix that. Y is reading
leverage on his deep defender (reading the seam).
My question was whether or not you're concerned with having both player attack the deep
middle (and crossing the middle while going deep is, in my mind, attacking the deep middle). I
realize that you're landmarking the far hash.
This looks a lot like what a fair number of college teams run from trips (maybe without the seam
read); I can recall Ohio State running this a few times without reading the seam, and I'm more
than positive that a lot of teams have a package like this.
I think there are a lot of variations that you could use on this. Rather than landmarking the routes,
you could have the wing and Y read the leverage of the deep defender nearest the hash and split

him deep, like this (against Cover 3 Sky):

You could also have the wing run a slide-type route, reading the leverage of the defender on the
opposite hash and just run the Y up the hash. I've never tried any of these things, but they (more
or less) just repurpose other RnS routes in new packages.
Another thing to consider is how you'll convert your routes vs zone and man under coverage.

Post by td on Jul 5, 2011 at 11:24pm


The way SMU taught it was #3 reads the middle of the field, If it is open he makes a post break.
If it is closed and he cannot win over the top he will break it off under the deep middle defender.
If he can win over the top he will take it over the top of the defender. #2 will break off a skinny
post once he has passed the level of the deep defender inside of him. They teach #2 to create a
window for himself vs cover 2 by horizontally stretching the half field defender on his side of the
field with his vertical stem before he makes any break back to the post. They also teach #2 that if
#3 wins over the top and he cannot he should break it underneath back to the middle of the field (
like a deep dig). They teach the #1's they are running a grab route which is a go/comeback read
route on the outside.
You have two choices when you run four verticals/R&S streak from trips: Who is your
reader/bender, is it #2 or #3? The other guy needs to be on a locked seam.

I think it works better with #2 as the reader/bender and #3 on a locked seam to the far hash, but I
know teams that prefer to have #3 be the reader and against MOFO take it right up the middle.
My problem with that is that it basically eliminates the locked seam by #2 from the play (not in
theory when you draw it up but it gets pretty congested) and it's more about reading the backside
hash safety to the single receiver on the go. With #3 on a locked seam and #2 as the
reader/bender, you still can work either side. If the far safety takes the go the locked seam can
still be wide open against Cover 2 so long as your QB throws to the open grass, but more
particularly you should get a fantastic stretch on the three receiver side hash safety. Remember,
the bender only needs to post as much as is necessary as to be inside the hash safety (so he
doesn't run into the seam guy crossing the field), so he should be in a bind with your go route.
Against Cover 3 both guys run seams and it doesn't matter what your read is.
Lastly, I don't think it's worth teaching the seam guy to run a square in or true curl against Cover
4, though what I always say is that the window for getting the ball is 16-20 yards (18-22 if you're
more of a college/pro guy), and if you're in that range you should be throttling down. The QB's
rule is to throw receivers open so I've seen guys throw almost a back shoulder seam against a
Cover 4 or Cover 2 safety playing extremely deep.
That said, if the other team is in Cover 4 the QB is thinking checkdown to the RB against the
Mike. Finally, I think the best thing you can do on four verts is to either tag the outside guys or
give them some kind of "stop" read if they can't beat the defender deep. At the HS level you can
make a killing just tagging one receiver or the other on a comeback or what I call "stem," which
is kind of between a curl and an out -- receiver bursts to 15 yards and then comes straight back
down his stem towards the LOS of scrimmage. The QB is looking to put the ball on his outside
shoulder, usually catching it at around 12 or sometimes 10 depending on the players and the
timing. If you get Cover 4 it's a one-on-one deal on the outside -- I don't want to throw inside
with all of those safeties and linebackers unless it's underneath. I also think it's an easier throw
than a true comeback on the outside. (You can also tag one of those guys on a speed out but if
you do that I think the speed out needs to become the first read against any single-high
coverage.)
The more advanced way is to give the receivers the option to run the go but throttle it down if
they haven't beaten the defender deep by the time they hit 15 yards.
HEMLOCK ON SMUS PASS PROTECTIONS
There is really no wizardry to SMU's protections. If anyone wishes to discuss them in greater
detail, please PM me. For now, I will just say that their protections are very simple. They are still
working with the core ideas of the 90s schemes. What makes their approach to protection today
different from the earlier stuff is that its less systematic; they do not sit in a protection and expect
it to have an answer for everything they face. In a sense, Jones approach to protection is very
similar to Saban's approach to coverage as recently outlined by Brophy on Cripes. By this I mean
that it is a pro approach to protection that manipulates and tweeks base rules within their base

scheme according to the specific characteristics and challenges a defense presents on a weekly
basis. This is why they spend the vast majority of their time every week addressing protection. In
a word, they do a lot of maintenance every week on their schemes. In comparison to the AirRaid
stuff, what they do is much more gameplan intensive. This reflects Jones' pro experiences, as
well as the fact that their packages do not lend themselves to what the AirRaid guys do in terms
of protection.
HEMLOCK ON RNS MECHANICS

Post by hemlock on Jun 27, 2008 at 9:11am


I agree with liberalhater's comments. That said, his comments as well as those by other posters
brings up a very good topic. I have spent a lot of time at different levels coaching the Run-NShoot and since getting out of football have kept up with it by visiting outposts such as Hawa'i.
Although the mechanics of the offense remain the same, Jones has significantly tweaked the
offense. Yes, when he spiels on ESPN and at clinics he usually goes through the "GO" package
and a couple other base routes. He basically says that they are reading on the fly just like they did
back in the day. While this true, they are doing a lot of tagging. The truth of the matter is that
they don't read nearly as much as they once did. There are a number of reasons for this, but some
discussions that I had with a friend at a Big12 school shed some light on why they have gotten
away from reading. Sure, the knock on the offense from the past that it had too many moving
parts is certainly valid, to an extent. What my former colleague said to me and what I thought
made a lot of sense is that many of the old coverage keys that they used to group coverages are
either simply misleading or just not applicable. Moreover, most teams simply sit in a shell and
play a variety of sub-coverages from that base look. While a number of base routes are still great,
the fact that fixed concepts with tags such as the Levels package are used so much suggests that
they are trying even at the highest levels to take some of the guess work out of the equation.
RNS WITH MESH

Post by ripper on Aug 20, 2006 at 11:07am


From your basic R&S formation after motioning to Trips can you run the Mesh route?
I am wondering if you can have: #1 Cross, #2 Corner and #3 Flair. My biggest cocern is can the
Playside Slot flair from his usal position and not have to adjust his positioning and thus tipping
the defense.

Post by airman on Aug 20, 2006 at 12:35pm


personally I would do the following
from outside in,
#1 (wr) inside release and run a corner route
#2(none motion slot) runs a the shoot

#3(slot which motions) runs the shallow on the mesh. he would motion to the middle of 1 and 2
and then run the mesh.
the mesh route is about creating multiple meshes. this way you have a mesh to the trips side and
also a mesh over the middle between the motion slot and #4(backside wr. )
just my opinion
GEORGIA ROUTE DISCUSSION

Post by ware89 on Nov 18, 2007 at 9:12pm


I had the same question a few months back. Spreadattack was kind enough to answer my
question. Here is his answer.
From trips the outside receiver runs a curl/in (depending how you teach it), #3 runs a flat/quick
out as on "Go," and the #2 receiver runs a middle-read. The middle read depends on MOFO or
MOFC.
MOFO # 2 runs a Post. MOFC # 2 run a corner.
I have coached in the Run and Shoot offense for the last 8 years now. We have run this concept
from the beginning. However I obviously did not know that this concept was known as
"Georgia".
By the way do you or anyone else know what the "Nebraska" concept is? June Jones mentions it
along with the "Georgia" concept in the Nike Clinic Manual for 2006.

Post by dg1694 on Nov 21, 2007 at 2:13pm


Nebraska - is basically an IN/ Curl by #1, Hook over the ball by #2, ans swinging the back to that
side with a free release. It's only run from 2x2.
West Coast people call it 22 Z In

Post by airman on Nov 21, 2007 at 2:30pm


I thought georgia was different then what discribed. I thought geogria was a trips set but run the
following
# 1(outside rec) runs a curl
#2 (next rec outside in) runs a flat or speedout
#3 (inside most slot) runs a drag to flat backside.
#4(backside wr) runs a curl
what you get is a double curl route with flat routes on front side and backside froma trips set.

what has been discribed is what I was told is Utah route.


"Georgia" as described by airman was first introduced by Jones when he was with the Falcons.
He does run it at UH, but not as much as in past years. He ran it much more when he first got
there. There are certain packages in the offense that he seems to run less with Brennan. The route
described by ware89 has long been a staple of the Run-N-Shoot and as he intimated it does
indeed come from the "Go" concept family tree.

In principle "Georgia" is five step concept. I teach it as a curl concept, which essentially means
that the QB will read opposite the drop of the Mike versus C3. Versus 2 the curls convert to
shake routes.
GUNSLINGER ON RNS
I ran the Run-and-Shoot for a while when I was coaching so I can give a little insight.
However, nothing can replace studying the works of Tiger Ellison, Al Black, Mouse Davis, June
Jones, etc. and researching the wealth of knowledge found on this board.
Here are my two cents...
The basic Run-and-Shoot passing game consists of a trips package and a balanced package.
The trips routes are Choice, Go, Slide, and Hook.
The balanced routes are Streak/Switch, Smash, and Read.
That is seven concepts that can be "taught" in a limited amount of time.
The "multiplicity" of the offense is the fact that each route may look different against each type
of coverage because receivers are allowed to run to open space (within the confines of the
concept) while other receivers compliment the primary receiver by stretching the defense and
giving the QB secondary options.
Examples of the Trips Package:
Choice- Isolated receiver is free to "get open" against the coverage.
Note: Some coaches (especially at the high school level and below) will simplify this concept by
limiting the receiver to a few options that can be signaled to the QB pre-snap.
Or, run this vs. soft coverage, run this vs. press, etc.
Also, note that the isolated receiver's route could be called and the QB would go with that route
if he liked the pre-snap look or work the backside.

Choice Backside: Hawaii (June Jones/Mouse Davis) is primarily running a "levels" concept on
the backside of the Choice route.
#3- short drag
#2- 10-yard dig
#1- 5-yard in
Tags can be added to have the receivers exchange routes and add to the different looks of the
play.
Example: A "special" call has #2 & #3 exchange routes.
The Go Route:
#1- runs a takeoff or "go" route. He is a viable option against man-to-man mismatches; Cover 2
Zone; etc.
#2- while in motion reads the defense. If he sees man, he stops his motion just outside of #3 and
creates a natural "rub" for #3 on the shoot route.
#2 then breaks inside (the depth depends on the number of safeties) and becomes an option for
the QB after the "rub" occurs.
If #2 reads zone during his motion, he splits the difference between #3 and #1 and attacks the
outside shoulder of the strong safety before stemming inside on a seam route.
If the SS jumps the shoot route by #3, #2 usually comes clean on the seam route.
#2's secondary route vs. zone is to beat the deep coverage.
#3- runs a shoot route and looks for the ball quickly.
Example of the Balanced Package:
The Read Route:
#1- Go or Skinny Post depending on coverage
#2- Shoot route
Simple #1 to #2 read for the QB.
Coaches vary on the way they handle the rules for the backside receivers.
I like to have any isolated receiver always run the Choice route and be an automatic option for
the QB.

For sets with more than one receiver backside, I would use the "levels" rules described above.
RED FAUGHT ON THE PASSING GAME
Advantages
Can play pitch and catch year round
Fewer injuries / little gang tackling
Spreads the defense
Easy to gain yards / easy to score
Pass defenses are weakest part of the defense
Never out of the game / can match up with anyone
Fun football
Brings in the fans
Strategy
1st Quarter = scout the defense
2nd Quarter = play football
3rd Quarter = scout the defense
4th Quarter = win
Time remaining = speed up / slow down
Score
Vertical field position (Where is your 4th down area?)
Horizontal field position wide side vs. short side
Down and distance = succeed on 1st down
Use high percentage passes: Standing target with no defender between the QB and the receiver
Ball Grip
Thumb and Middle finger are opposite each other (the only way to hold the ball!)
Frozen Rope = little finger over the laces and nose down
Softie = little finger off the laces and nose higher
Quarterbacks Feet
Should have a pigeon toed stance with weight on the ball of the foot
Must take a BIG first step!!!
Throwing Motion
Keep the ball above the head and b\the elbow above the shoulder
Take a SHORT step with the lead foot, keeping the chin over the feet
Step behind the front foot with the back foot when throwing the long ball!!!
Plays By Field Position
Goal to -5
Defense will pressure (blitz)
Probably man coverage (hit SEs)

Use play action (no runs)


-5 to -20
Dont be conservative!
Good time to quick screen
-20 to +10
Be bold!
Use Dash
Use screens
+10 to +5
Fade
Play action with max blocking
Throwback (into the boundary)
Flood and Crossing patterns
SE screen
+5 to Goal Line
Slip Out pass
Play action
Flood
Receivers
Mental
Knowledge and Awareness
Read the defense zone or man
Know where the openings are in zone
Run away from the defender in man
Toughness = take hits and come back
Concentration
Confidence
Dedication
Physical
Head = Get the head around
Eyes = use BOTH eyes to see the ball
Hands = make a noose
Feet = get to the ball
Quickness and agility = form running and rope jumping
Technical
Read defenses
React to defensive read
Mechanics = splits and releases

RED FAUGHT ON QUARTERBACKING


Qualities
Must be a good person
Must be a winner
Must be mentally and physically tough
Must have confidence
Must possess skill and judgment
Must master the essentials of the position
1. keep the ball up (elbow above the shoulder, ball above the head when passing)
2. have a short throwing step
3. have a good and proper grip
4. take a speedy drop (4 steps and bounce = 1.7 seconds)
Common Faults of the Passer
Technique
1. throws off balance
2. doesnt step
3. steps too big (over stride)
4. releases ball too low
Judgment
1. lack of anticipation
2. failure to disguise intent
3. predetermines target
4. leaves unprotected area unnecessarily
5. gripes about protection breakdowns
Developing Accuracy
must master principles of good technique
must utilize high percentage passes (standing QB throwing to a standing target with no one in
between them)
must possess a thorough knowledge of defenses, their weaknesses
must be able to attack defensive weaknesses

UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION THE GO PACKAGE

The Go Package is often the first passing concept installed by Run and Shoot teams and is the
base on which the entire trips passing game is built off of. In describing this package in his
excellent book Coaching Run-and-Shoot Football Al Black says that the Go play is designed
to place a quick stretch on the strong safety in a zone defense or break a receiver open for the big
gain when attacking a man-for-man defense.(pg 25).
Most simply the Go Package can be thought of as creating a versatile deep stretch against zone
defenses with a flat route as a check down and creating rubs and a crossing route against man
coverage. In being able to create both of these concepts after the snap the Go package can
ensure that the defense is always wrong.
In order to best explain the Go package I have taken the reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights
playbook and provided play diagrams. At the bottom of the document I have provided a link to
some game footage of the Go Package.
Rip 60 Z GO
The play call can be understood as follows:
Rip: this refers to the motion of the A receiver from the left of the formation to the #2 slot
position on the opposite side of the field. The opposite motion (motioning the Y receiver to the
#2 slot position on the opposite side of the field) is referred to as Liz. This play can be run with
either motion call.

60: this refers to the pass blocking on this certain set of plays. The Run and Shoot offense
typical will have a 50 series (quick passes), 60 series (5 step passes), and a 90 series (7 step
passes) along with a few play passes.
Z Go: this refers to the fact that the Z receiver is on the trips side of the formation,
the deceleration of a certain receiver is not as essential for the base Go package as it is for other
passing concepts.

Quarterback Reads:
Against 3 Deep

-You are making your read off from the play of the Strong Safety. If the Strong Safety stays back
on the A receiver, then you look for the Y receiver running the sweep route. If the Strong Safety
runs to the flat, then you will look for the A receiver running the seam route. *You will be
throwing the ball on your 3rd to 5th step.*
Against 2 Deep

-You are making your read from the play of the Cornerback. If the Cornerback sits in the flat,
then you will look to hit the X-Back up the field. If the Cornerback takes off up field the X-Back,
then you will look to hit the A-Back running the sweep route.
Against Man Free

-Your first look is the Y-back on the sweep route. Your second look is the A-Back running the
crossing route.*If you get press coverage from the Cornerback on the Z-Back, then your read
progression will change to looking to the Z-Back first, the Y-Back second and the A-Back third.
Against Blitz Coverage

-Your reads are the same as against man free coverage. The Y-Back is your 1st look, and the ABack is your 2nd look. If you get press coverage by the Cornerback on the Z-Back, then your
read progression will change to looking to the Z-Back 1st, the Y-Back 2nd, and the A-Back 3rd.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-Your reads are the same as man free coverage. You are looking to the Y-Back 1st and then the
A-Back 2nd. When looking to the A-Back, you have to make sure you check for the backside
Linebacker getting into the passing lane. You also have a great opportunity to run the football for
a good gain due to a lack of pass rush by the defense.
Y-Back:
Against 3 Deep Coverage
-You are using a jab step to the inside and then you will run the sweep route at a depth of 3 to 5
yards. If you start running out of field or you see a pump fake by the quarterback, then you will
break to your secondary route up the field.
Against 2 Deep Coverage
-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out
of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.
Against Man Free
-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out
of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.
Against Blitz Coverage
-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out
of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight
coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage
-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out
of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight
coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.

A-Back:
Against 3 Deep Coverage
-You are going to get 3 to 5 yards outside the Y receiver getting ready to plant your right foot
and drive up field. You want to drive up field on the outside shoulder of the Strong Safety. If the
Strong Safety sits down to make contact with you, avoid the contact and keep going up the field
on your route. If the Strong Safety starts sliding to the flat, then you keep on his outside shoulder
until he slides to the flat and keep on your route up the field. If the quarterback has not gotten the
ball off and the Free Safety is coming over to pick you up, then you run your secondary route
across the face of the Free Safety.
Against 2 Deep Coverage
-You are running up the seam looking for the half field safety. You are making the same reads as
if you were running a Choice Special route and breaking down and finding the opening window
back to the Quarterback or the skinny post route.
Against Man Free
-You want to be about 1 yard from the Y receiver. As you are coming off teh line, you want to
turn the man covering you out and get in his face. As you break him down, you want to cut
across his face to the inside at Linebacker depth. If teh defender is playing off you, then you still
break across his face to the inside.
Against Blitz Coverage
-You are one yard off the butt of the Y receiver and then you are breaking up the field on the
seam route. If the defender on you is play tight coverage, then you will break over the top of him
and go to the middle of the field. If the defender is playing high on you, then you will get the
defender to turn his hips to the outside and then break across his face to the middle of the field.
There should not be a defender in this area.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage
-You are one yard off the butt of the Y-Back. You are then working up field on the outside
shoulder of the defender once you get him to turn his hips to the outside. You then will break
across the defenders face to the middle of the field under the two half field safeties.
Z-Back:
Against 3 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free-You are running the wheel route.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field out of the
play.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field
out of the play.
X-Back:
Against 3 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free-You are running the wheel route.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field
out of the play.
Rip 60 Go Swap
*Swap Tag: Whenever any play has the slot tag the #2 slot receiver (the A receiver) and the
Frontside End (Z receiver) switch routes.
Quarterback Reads:
Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are making your reads off of the play of teh Strong Safety. If the Strong Safety is going to
cover the flat, then you will look to hit the Z-Back running up the seam. If the Strong Safety
drops back to cover the seam area, then you will look to hit the Y-Back running the sweep route.
Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are making your read from the play of the Cornerback. If the Cornerback sits in the flat,
then you will look to hit the X-Back up the field. If the Cornerback takes off up field the X-Back,
then you will look to hit the Z-Back running the sweep route.
Against Man Free Coverage

-Your first look is the Y-back on the sweep route. Your second look is the Z-Back running the
crossing route.*If you get press coverage from the Cornberack on the Z-Back, then your read
progression will change to looking to the A-Back first, the Y-Back second and the Z-Back third.
Against Blitz Coverage

-Your reads are the same as Against Man Free Coverage The Y-Back is your 1st look, and the ZBack is your 2nd look. If you get press coverage by the Cornerback on the A-Back, then your
read progression will change to looking to the A-Back 1st, the Y-Back 2nd, and the Z-Back 3rd.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage

-Your reads are the same as with man free coverage. You are looking to the Y-Back 1st and then
the Z-Back 2nd. When looking to the Z-Back, you have to make sure you check for the backside
Linebacker getting into the passing lane. You also have a great opportunity to run the football for
a good gain due to a lack of pass rush by the defense.
Y-Back (1 Slot):
Against 3 Deep Coverage
-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out
of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight
coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.
Against 2 Deep Coverage

-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out
of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.
Against Man Free Coverage
-You are using a jab step to the inside and then running the sweep route. If you start running out
of field or the Quarterback gives a pumpfake, then you run your secondary route up the field.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage
-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out
of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight
coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage
-You are taking a jab step to the inside, then breaking to the sweep route. If you start running out
of field, there is a pump fake by the Quarterback, or the defender on you is trying to play tight
coverage on you, then you will break to your secondary route.
A-Back (2 Slot):
Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the
sideline.
Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Z-Back(Frontside End):
Against 3 Deep Coverage
-You are running a route to the inside to find the open area of the zone and then up the seam.
During your route, you have to pick up where the Strong Safety is and get him to throttle down.
If there is a pump fake by the Quarterback or he breaks the plane of the Tackle, then you will go
to your secondary route, the skinny post.
Against 2 Deep Coverage
-You are running up the seam looking for the half field safety. You are making the same reads as
if you were running a Choice Special route and breaking down and finding the opening window
back to the Quarterback or the skinny post route.
Against Man Free Coverage

-You want to be about 1 yard from the Y receiver. As you are coming off teh line, you want to
turn the man covering you out and get in his face. As you break him down, you want to cut
across his face to the inside at Linebacker depth. If teh defender is playing off you, then you still
break across his face to the inside.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage
-You are one yard off the butt of the Y receiver and then you are breaking up the field on the
seam route. If the defender on you is play tight coverage, then you will break over the top of him
and go to the middle of the field. If the defender is playing high on you, then you will get the
defender to turn his hips to the outside and then break across his face to the middle of the field.
There should not be a defender in this area.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage
-You are one yard off the butt of the Y-Back. You are then working up field on the outside
shoulder of the defender once you get him to turn his hips to the outside. You then will break
across the defenders face to the middle of the field under the two half field safeties.
X-Back:
Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Against 2 Deep Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route, taking your man up the field
out of the play.

UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION CHOICE PACKAGE

The Choice Package is designed to complement the Go Package. While the Go Package is
designed to attack the defense on the trips side the Choice Package instead attacks the Backside
end. This prevents defenses from selling out to defend the Go Package by rolling their coverages
over to the trips receivers.
While the Backside end is definitely the focus of the Choice Package the trips side should not
be neglected. The Trips Side presents a solid deep vertical stretch against zone defenses with a
crossing route to pull down the linebackers and to act as a checkdown and against man it
presents a shallow cross read.
Below I will go over the 1992 NJ-NY Knights reads for this play along with play diagrams.
Rip 61 X Choice
The playcall can be understood the same way as the Rip 60 Z Go could be understood bellow
with the exception that the X Choice is now very significant and designates which receiver is
running the Choice Route, the X receiver.
Quarterback Reads:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:

-You will be rolling to the left, reading the drop of the cornerback. If you are setting up to
throw, then step and shuffle step and set on your 5th step. If you are throwing the ball on the
role, then you are throwing the ball off from your 6th step. If the x-back is not open by your 5th
step, then you will shuffle step, set and look backside to your secondary routes. The 2 Slot is
your 2nd look, the 3 slot is your 3rd look and the 1 slot is your 4th look.
Against 2 Deep Coverage:

-Same reads as 3 Deep


Against Man Free Coverage:

-Read playside to backside crossing routes. The Z Receiver is not a factor in your read
progression, he is just taking his defender up field.
Against Blitz Coverage:

-Get the ball off as fast as possible. If you cannot throw it to the playside receiver, then shuffle
and set your feet and look to your two backside routes (The Z Receiver is not a factor in your
read progression, he is just taking his defender up field). It does not which backside read you
pick up first.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

-If you see clearance between the playside receiver and the defensive back, get the ball to him as

quick as possible. If he is not open, then look backside to your two crossing routes (The Z
Receiver is not a factor in your read progression, he is just taking his defender up field).
X Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
-run 7 steps at the outside shoulder of the cornerback
1.) If the receiver gets to the outside shoulder of the cornerback, on his seventh step, he makes a
speed cut, to the out route.
2.) If there is still a 5 yard or deeper cushion on your 7th step you break to the out route.
3.) If the cornerback stays to the outside and the receiver breaks down the cushion to 3 yards or
less, then the receiver on his seventh step breaks down to the skinny post. (Needs to be a skinny
post so that it does not run into the free safety.)
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
You want to attack the weak part of the zone, which is behind the cornerback. When coming off
the line, we always want an outside release, but sometimes you get a a cornerback that is trying
to funnel everything to the inside. If this is the case, then you will have to use some type of tech.
to get around the cornerback (ex. swim, rip) and get back to the outside.
Against Man Free Coverage:
1.) If the cornerback is playing an outside tech. (this means that the front of his body is facing the
inside) and stays this way in his backpeddle. Then you work up the field on his face to his
outside shoulder and on your 7th step, you break the out route off his butt.
2.) If the cornerback is playing an inside tech. (this means that the front of his body is to the
outside) and stays this way in his backpeddle. Then you have to work upfield on the cornerback
nose to nose and when you get to your 7th step, you will break to the skinny post off his butt.
3.) If you get to the body of the cornerback, then you break your route straight up the field on the
fly.
Against Blitz Coverage Coverage:
1.) If the cornerback is playing back then either on your 1st or 3rd step, break to the slant route.
2.) If the cornerback is playing in press posistion, then you get a quick release and run the fade
route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Same as Two Deep Coverage
Y Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
Breaks across the middle at a depth of 5 to 7 yards (linebacker depth) avoid contact with the
crossing linebackers in their drops.
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
Same as Against 3 Deep Coverage.

Against Man Free Coverage:


Same route, but since this is man coverage you are checking to replace a blitzing inside
linebacker in your route. If you find that a linebacker is blitzing, you call out Hot, which is a
call to tell the quarterback that he is the hot receiver and is replacing a linebacker in his
area. Calling Hot also alert the quarterback a blitz is coming.
Against Blitz Coverage:
Same as Man Free
*If you see that the X Receiver is getting the ball, then you break it up the field to take the player
defending you away from the X receiver.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Go over top of the defender and then break your route to the inside under the two safeties.
A Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
After being sent in motion you should be 3 to 5 yards outside the Y Receiver. At the snap, you
are running up the field and avoiding contact from the second level defenders (LB & SS). After
clearing the second level defenders, you are now reading the positioning of the free safety.
1.) If the free safety rotates playside (were the X receiver is running his route), you keep going
up the seam to the endzone.
2.) If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, you then throw your outside hand up and
hook up in the 15 to 20 yard area and find the open window back to, the quarterback.
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
You are reading the drop of the half field safety. When running your route up the seam, you
want to get into the face of the half field safety.
1.) If you break down the cushion of the half field safety (that is 3 yards or less), then you break
off to the skinny post.
2.) If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then you will throw
up your outside hand, hook up and find the open window back to the quarterback.
Against Man Free Coverage:
You are reading the drop of the defensive player on you. As you are going up field, you are
checking for man tech.
1.) If you read man tech, then you work up field on his outside shoulder. When you get to about
a 10 to 12 yard area, throw up your outside hand and break off the butt of the defender to the
inside.
*Make sure your route is flat enough that the free safety does not become a factor.
2.) If you read zone tech (that means that his shoulders are square in his backpeddle) you just
break it upfield vertically.
Against Blitz Coverage:
1.) If the defender is playing off from you, then you are working up on the outside shoulder of
the defender and then breaking to the post route.

2.) If the defender is playing press coverage, then you release up field and then make a slight
bend to the inside.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Cut underneath the Y receiver and break to the inside.
Z Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
Read the drop of the cornerback, you are driving up the field on the outside shoulder of the
cornerback.
1.) If the cornerback turns his hips and goes to the inside, at the depth of 8 to 10 yards you
automatically throw up your outside hand and hook up.
2.) If the cornerback turns his hips to the outside, then you just take him up the field.
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
Same Route as the X Receiver.
Against Man Free Coverage:
You are getting an outside release and going vertically up field.
*Not much of a factor against man coverage, just pulling the defender upfield.
Against Blitz Coverage:
Same as man free.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Same as Man Free.
Rip 60 X Choice Drag
Quarterback Reads:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:

X,Y,A,Z
Against 2 Deep Coverage:

Same as against any zone coverage


Against Man Free Coverage:

X,Y,Z
Against Blitz Coverage:

Same as usual
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Same as Usual

X Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
Same as X Choice
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
You are running up to the 5 to 7 yard range and then break to the square in route. When you get
to the area of the A receiver, then you will break down and find the open window back to the
quarterback.
Against Man Free Coverage:
Same Man Route
Against Blitz Coverage:
Same as against everything
Against 2 Deep Coverage Man under:
Same as man coverage
Y Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
You have the seam read. You are reading the free safety. If the free safety over rotates to the
playside, then you keep going straight up field. If the free safety stays in the middle of the field,
then throw up your outside hand, break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
You are running the wheel route. If the cornerback stays high on you, then you will throw up
your outside hand, break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.
Against Man Free Coverage:
You want first to get your man turned
1.)if the defender is playing you high or is running with you, then you break across his face to
the inside under the free safety.
2.) If the defender tries to play some type of press coverage

a.) If the free safety rotates playside then you will run straight up field
b.) If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then break under the free safety
Against Blitz Coverage:
Same as Against Man Free Coverage
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Same as Man Free
A Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
You are runnning the wheel route. If the cornerback goes to the inside, then you will throw up
your outside hand, break down and find the open window back to the quarterback.
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
You are reading the drop of the half field safety. When running your route up the seam, you
want to get into the face of the half field safety.
1.) If you break down the cushion of the half field safety (that is 3 yards or less), then you break
off to the skinny post.
2.) If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then you will throw
up your outside hand, hook up and find the open window back to the quarterback.
Against Man Free Coverage:
You want to line up at the same distance between the two receievers as how deep off the Z
Receiver. Yow want to first break to the inside before breaking to your outside route. When you
are on the inside part of the route, you want to run it at the rate of speed so that the Z receiver can
break off your butt. This will create a pick like action with the defensive players that are
covering you. Then you just break it outside and up the field.
Against Blitz Coverage:
You are working up field on the outside shoulder of the defender to get him to turn his hips out,
then you are going to break off his butt to the post route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Same as 2 Deep Coverage

Z Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:
You are driving up field to the 5 to 7 yard area and break to the square in route. Then when you
get to the area of the Y receiver, you then break down and find the open window back to the
quarterback.
Against 2 Deep Coverage:
Same Route vs 2 Deep Coverage
Against Man Free Coverage:
You are running up to the 5 to 7 yard area and then breaking to the square in route looking for
the open window back to the quarterback.
Against Blitz Coverage:
1.) If the cornerback is playing back then either on your 1st or 3rd step, break to the slant route.
2.) If the cornerback is playing in press posistion, then you get a quick release and run the fade
route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Jab step to the inside to turn the cornerback to the inside, then break across his face and go up
field on an outside release.
Load 60 Z Choice Special
*The special tag means that the two inside receivers will change routes. All other routes are the
same.
Quarterback Reads:
Against 3 Deep Coverage:

Same as any other zone coverage


Against 2 Deep Coverage:

Same as X Choice
Against Man Free Coverage:

Same as any man coverage.


Against Blitz Coverage:

Same as against any Blitz Coverage


Against 2 Man Under Coverage:

Same as X Choice

Z Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:
Same route as X Receiver if play were called to other side of the field
Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:
Same route as X Receiver if play were called to other side of the field
Against Man Free Coverage:
Same route as X Receiver if play were called to other side of the field
Against Blitz Coverage:
Same
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Stick and run the fade up the field.
A Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:
Same route as the 2 slot if it was called X Choice
Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:
Same route as the 2 slot if it was called X Choice
Against Man Free Coverage:

Same route as the 2 slot if it was called X Choice


Against Blitz Coverage:
Same
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Stick, over the top and then break to the inside. Sometimes the half field safety will jump you, if
this happens, you then break it to the skinny post route.
Y Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:
You are running a 5 to 7 yard curl route.
Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:
Run the 5 to 7 yard curl route, if the linebacker jumps in your face, then you will have to work
inside to the open windown back to the quarterback.
Against Man Free Coverage:
Same route as the 1 slot if it was called X Choice
Against Blitz Coverage:
Same
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
You are going up the field and working on the outside shoulder of the defender. Get the
defender to turn, then cut off his butt to the inside.
X Receiver:
Against 3 Deep Coverage Coverage:
You are running the same route as the Z receiver if it was called to the other side.
Against 2 Deep Coverage Coverage:
Run the fade route route to stretch the half field safety.
Against Man Free Coverage:

Same route as the Z Receiver if it was called to the other side.


Against Blitz Coverage:
Same
Against 2 Man Under Coverage:
Same
UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION THE HOOK PACKAGE

The Run & Shoot Hook Package is a simple combination of the ubiquitous Smash concept and a
seam read. Against zone defenses the Smash concept places a vertical strain on the defense near
the sideline while the seam read forces the defense to respect the middle of the field and not
overplay the smash concept. While against man the Smash concept begins to vaguely resemble
the levels concept with two routes crossing directly in front of the quarterback.
Again I will be providing the play description and reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights playbook
along with diagrams.
Hook
Quarterback Reads:
3 Deep Coverage

-You are reading the play of the Cornerback. If the Cornerback plays off from the hook route,
then you will hit the Z-Back. If the Cornerback plays the hook route, then you will hit the ABack running the skinny flag route behind the Cornerback. If you cannot get the ball to either
receiver, then your 3rd look is to the Y-Back going back across the middle of the field. This is a
role and set technique like the Choice Route.

2 Deep Coverage

-You are reading the play of the Cornerback. If the Cornerback plays off from the hook route,
then you will hit the Z-Back. If the Cornerback plays the hook route, then you will hit the ABack running the skinny flag route behind the Cornerback. If you cannot get the ball to either
receiver, then your 3rd look is to the Y-Back going back across the middle of the field. This is a
role and set technique like the Choice Route.
2 Man Under Coverage

-You read progression is the same as against Man Free Coverage.


Man Free Coverage

-Your 1st look is to the A-Back, your 2nd is to the Y-Back and your 3rd is to the Z-Back. If you
get a blitzing linebacker, then your read progression will change to the A-Back as your 1st look
and the Z-Back is your 2nd look.
Blitz Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Y-Back on the Post and your 2nd look is to the Z-Back on the quick In.

Y-Back (1 Slot):
3 Deep Coverage
-You are running straight up field and picking up the Free Safety. You will then break across the
face of the Free Safety. If the Free Safety comes out of the hold towards you, then you need to
break it more like a skinny post. If the Free Safety stays in the hole, then break your more flat
across the middle.
2 Deep Coverage

-You are running up field reading the half field Safety. You will be making the same seam read
as in the Choice route, either the skinny post or the crossing pattern.
2 Man Under Coverage
-You are first defeating the man covering you and then you are using the seam read as in Choice
Special.
Man Free Coverage
-You are going up field and defeating the defender who is covering you, and then you are going
to make a speed cut to the inside of the Free Safety.
Blitz Coverage
-You are running a quick Post pattern at the depth of the player defending you.
A-Back (2 Slot):
3 Deep Coverage
-You are running up field and avoiding contact from the Strong Safety. After avoiding the
Strong Safety, you are going to make your break to a skinny flag pattern at the depth of the
Cornerback. This could happen at any time during the play.
2 Deep Coverage
-You are making your read off from the play of the Cornerback. You will then break to the
skinny flag at the depth of the Cornerback. If the half field Safety tries to come over to help the
Cornerback, then you must flatten out your route a little bit. You also have to contend with the
Linebacker as you are in the beginning of your route.
2 Man Under Coverage
-You are first defeating the man covering you and then you are breaking to the Flag route to the
open area of the coverage.
Man Free Coverage
-You are going upfield to the depth of 10 to 12 yards, and then you are going to break to the flag
route. If the defender is playing high on you, then you will break to the Out route at the depth of
10 to 12 yards. If the defender is playing you very tight, then you will use a stick & go move to
freeze the defender and then break to the flag.
Blitz Coverage

-You are running a quick Flag pattern at the depth of the player defending you.

Z-Back (3 Slot):
3 Deep Coverage
-You are running a hook route to the inside at the depth of 8 to 10 yards. Then you will be
working back to the Quarterback, this could be to the inside or the outside.
2 Deep Coverage
-You are running the Hook route at a depth of 8 to 10 yards. If the Cornerback comes up to play
press coverage on you, then make contact with him. This will make it easier for the Y-Back to
get to the weak area of the zone.
2 Man Under Coverage
-You are using a jab step to the inside, then to an outside release up field to the depth of 6 to 8
yards and then you will break to the In route.
Man Free Coverage
-You are going up field to the depth of 6 to 8 yards and then breaking to the In route.
Blitz Coverage
-You are running a quick In pattern at the depth of the player defending you.
X-Back:
3 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route to stretch the half field safety.
2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route.
Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route.

UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION THE STREAK PACKAGE


The Streak Package is the Run & Shoots 4 Verticals package. However, against defenses that
dont allow deep throws by either having multiple deep defenders or by rushing the quarterback
the Streak Package converts into the Levels concept with front or backside double streaks.
Since the Streak Package is run out of a balanced formation the route concepts can be flipped
and the play will remain equally effective. The specific Streak Package I have described below
is 90 Streaks. The tens digit (the 9) refers to the fact that the quarterback rolls and sets while the
ones digit (the 0) refers to the fact that the focus routes are on the backside of the formation
rather than the frontside.
Again I will be providing the play description and reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights playbook
along with diagrams.
Quarterback Reads:
Against Three Deep Coverage

-You are making your read off from the free safety. If the free safety rotates to the frontside, then
you will look to throw backside to the A-Back running the streak route. If the free safety plays
the backside, then you will look to throw frontside to the Y-Back running the streak route. If you
cannot get the ball to either player, then the X-Back is your 3rd route.
Against Two Deep Coverage

-Your 1st read is the frontside half field safety. If the safety stays with the Y-Back, then your 1st
look is to the Z-Back. Your 2nd look is backside to the A-Back and your 3rd look is the X-Back.
Against Man Free Coverage

-You are going to read the free safety first, and then you will give a look to the frontside. If you
see that the cornerback is playing press coverage, then you may want to give the Z-Back a look.
If that is not open, then you will look backside to the A-Back 1st and the X-Back 2nd.
Against Blitz Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Y-Back, and then you will look backside to the A-Back and then the XBack.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-You are looking to the Z-Back 1st, and then you will look backside to the A-Back 1st and then
the X-Back.
Z-Back:
Against Three Deep Coverage
-Runs a streak up the field.
Against Two Deep Coverage
-Runs a streak to the open area in the zone.
Against Man Free Coverage
-Runs a streak up the field.
Against Blitz Coverage
-Runs a streak up the field.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage
-Runs a streak up the field.
Y-Back:
Against Three Deep Coverage

-Runs a streak up the field.


Against Two Deep Coverage
-Run a streak up the hashmark occupying the half-field safety.
Against Man Free Coverage
-Runs a streak up the field.
Against Blitz Coverage
-You are running up field to a depth of 6 yards and then breaking to the out route. If you get
press coverage, then you could keep on going straight up field.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage
-You are running up the hash mark at the half field safety. The only time you will get the ball is
if the half field safety moves out of position to help the cornerback.
A-Back:
Against Three Deep Coverage
-You are running up the field making a streak read on the Free Safety. If the Free Safety over
rotates to the frontside streak route, then you keep running straight up the field. If the Free
Safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will throw up your outside hand, break down and
work your way to the open window back to the quarterback.
Against Two Deep Coverage
-You are going up the field making a seam read off the half field safety. If the safety is playing
tight on you, then you will break to the skinny post. If the safety plays you high, then you will
throw up your hand outside and break across the middle of the field.
Against Man Free Coverage
-Your first job is to defeat the defender covering you. You will start up field with an outside
release to try to get the defender to turn his hips out, and then you will break across his face to
the middle of the field.
*There could be a chance that the free safety rotates over; if that happens then you will keep
going straight up the field. If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will still
break across the middle of the field.
Against Blitz Coverage

-You are taking an outside release up field to get the defender to turn his hips to the outside, then
you are going to break across the defenders face to the skinny post. If you get press coverage,
then you could keep on going straight up field.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage
-You are using an outside release up field to get the defender to turn his hips out, then you are
either breaking across the middle of the field or going over the top of the defender.
X-Back:
Against Three Deep Coverage
-You are running up field making your read off from the cornerback. If the cornerback stays
with you up the field, then keep going up the field. If the cornerback goes over to help the free
safety, then you throw up your outside hand, break down and work your way back to the
quarterback.
Against Two Deep Coverage
-You will be running a streak route to the dead area of the zone.
Against Man Free Coverage
-Your first job is to defeat the defender covering you. You will start up field with an outside
release to try to get the defender to turn his hips out, and then you will break across his face to
the middle of the field.
*There could be a chance that the free safety rotates over; if that happens then you will keep
going straight up the field. If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will still
break across the middle of the field.
Against Blitz Coverage
-You are running up field to a depth of 6 yards and then break to an in route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage
-You are using an outside release up field to get the defender to turn his hips out, then you are
either breaking across the middle of the field or going over the top of the defender.

UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION THE SWITCH PACKAGE

The Switch Package presents the same 4 verticals threat to the defense as the Streak Package
does. However, the rub between the switching receivers makes it even more difficult to
defend in the intermediate area of the field. The switch prevents the receivers running quick
routes and by the time the receivers are deep down field the defenders have sorted out their
assignments.
The Switch Pacakge is called in the same way as the Streaks package out of a balanced set. The
tens digit (the 9) refers to the fact that the quarterback rolls and sets while the ones digit (the 1)
refers to the fact that the focus routes are on the frontside of the formation rather than the
backside.
Again I will be providing the play description and reads from the 1992 NJ-NY Knights playbook
along with diagrams.
Quarterback Reads:
Against 3 Deep Coverage

-You are making your 1st read on the free safety. Your 1st look is the A-Back, and then you are
looking backside to the Z-Back 1st, then to the Y-Back.
Against 2 Deep Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Z-Back and your 2nd look is to the Y-Back.
Against Man Free Coverage

-Your 1st look is the A-Back on the frontside. Then your 2nd look is to the Z-Back and your 3rd
look is to the Y-Back.
Against Blitz Coverage

-Your 1st look is to the Y-Back on the frontside and your 2nd look is to the X-Back.

Against 2 Man Under Coverage

-Your 1st look is the Z-Back on the frontside. Then you are looking 2 to 3 with A-Back and the
X-Back depending on the coverage of the routes.
X-Back:
Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.
Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.
Against Man Free Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running a streak route up field.
A-Back:
Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark.
Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark at the half field
safety.
Against Man Free Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark at the half field
safety.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running a 6 yard out route. If the defender plays up on you,
then you have the option to go up field on the streak route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running a streak route up the hash mark at the half
field safety.
Y-Back:

Against 3 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the
sideline. As you are running up the field, you are reading the play of the cornerback. If the
cornerback goes to the inside to help cover the Z-Back, then you keep running up field. If the
cornerback stays in position, then you will throw up your outside hand, breakdown and find the
open window back to the quarterback.
Against 2 Deep Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the
sideline.
Against Man Free Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the
sideline.
Against Blitz Coverage-You are running the wheel route between the numbers and the sideline.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage-You are running the wheel route upfield between the numbers
and the sideline. If the defender is able to stay with you, then you will throw up your outside
hand and break to the in route.
Z-Back:
Against 3 Deep Coverage
-You are taking three steps up field, and then breaking on a slant route to the hash mark. As you
start going up the hash, you will read the play of the free safety. If the free safety rotates to the
frontside, then you keep running up the hash mark. If the free safety stays in the middle of the
field, then you will throw up your outside hand, breakdown and find the open window back to
the quarterback.
Against 2 Deep Coverage
-You are running the same route as if it was against a 3 deep coverage. When you are running
up the hash mark, you are making a seam read on the half field safety. If you break down the
cushion of the safety 5 yards or less, then you will break to the skinny post. If the free safety
rotates to the frontside, then you keep running up the hash mark. If the free safety stays in the
middle of the field, then you will throw up your outside hand, breakdown and find the open
window back to the quarterback.
Against Man Free Coverage
-You are taking three steps up field, and then breaking on a slant route to the hash mark. You
want to get the cornerback in an up-right chase position. As you are running up the hash, you are
making your read off from the free safety. If the free safety rotates to the frontside, then you
keep running up the hash mark. If the free safety stays in the middle of the field, then you will
throw up your outside hand and break to the middle of the field under the free safety.
Against Blitz Coverage

-You are running a quick angle in, then straight up the field. This will get the cornerback up the
field on you. As soon as this happens, then you break to the in route.
Against 2 Man Under Coverage
-You are trying to get around the cornerback and vertical as soon as possible. As you get
vertically up the field, then you will throw up your outside hand and break to the in route under
the half field safety.
UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION RUN AND SHOOT ROUTES

All of the reads for the routes described below I pulled from various playbooks, lectures, and
other sources. However, my main sources were Mouse Davis 1992 NJ-NY playbook and Chris
Browns Run and Shoot series(
http://smartfootball.blogspot.com/search/label/run%20and%20shoot%20series ).
I have only detailed the routes bellow which require specific coverage based variations.

Seam Read:

(All the diagrams bellow assume that the seam read player is lined up on the strong side of the
field and not the weak side. If the receiver is lined up on the weak side just flip all of the
diagrams.)
The Seam Read revolves around a simple M.O.F.O. (Middle of Field Open) and M.O.F.C.
(Middle of Field Closed) read by the receiver and will always be run off of the safety nearest to
the receiver. This means that the receiver will always read the nearest safety even if he is not a
deep safety(as is the case in Cover 4 Invert when the nearest safety drops down to cover the flat
zone). So, before the ball is snapped the receiver must identify which of the safeties will be
deep, with this information the receiver can identify which safety will be nearest to him once the
ball is snapped.
In all cases (except for against Man Blitz) the receiver will need to have made his read of the
safety by the time he is 8 or 10 yards downfield.

***Occasionally, (when running the Hook package) the Seam Read will be flipped. That is
instead of deciding between a Streak, Skinny Post, or Dig route the receiver will decide between
a Streak, Corner Route, or Out route. In these cases the reads are the same as the ones detailed
below except that the receiver is reading sideline deep defender. That is he will read the
cornerback playing the deep zone in Cover 4 invert instead of the free safety. This is different
than the regular seam read where the receiver reads the nearest deep defender in most cases.***
Against Cover 3:
Cover 3 presents the largest number of possible safety alignments and therefore presents the
most difficult options for the Seam Read of all possible coverages. Further, there are two main
ways of teaching the Seam Read against Cover 3, the first is a timing approach and the other is
more of a read. The timing approach is most commonly used in the Go package while the read
approach is more commonly used with the Choice package. The first option is the only option
used with the timing approach and all three options are used in the read approach.

1.) If the safety rotates away from the receiver or cannot get over top of the receiver than the
receiver will run a Streak route straight up the seam expecting the ball somewhere between 1620 yards. This 16-20 yard depth is where there is a natural hole in zone coverage beneath the
underneath deep defenders and over the underneath defenders. This throw is made when
the nearest safety has dropped down into coverage. If the receiver did not get the ball in the
seam between 16 and 20 yards he will break into a Skinny Post.

2.) If the safety ends up between the receiver and the near sideline (this will often happen in
trips formations where the safety can overreact to the formation alignment and slide to far over to
the sideline) then receiver will run right past him and will run a Skinny Post.

3.) If the safety stays in the middle of the field then the receiver will throw his outside hand up
and run a Dig route somewhere between 16 and 20 yards downfield. The receiver is given
enough leeway with this route that he should attempt to stop his route once he has found the open
window back to the quarterback.

Against Cover 2:
The receiver is reading the drop of the nearest half field safety. When running his route up the
seam, the receiver will want to get into the face of the half field safety. By getting into the face
of the safety the receiver forces the safety to really declare his actions. The safety should not be
allowed to stay deep and break down on the route after the receiver makes his cut. Instead, the
safety should be forced to make a clear decision so that the receiver can then put him into a bad

position.
1.) If the receiver breaks down the cushion of the half field safety so that there is 3 yards or less
between the safety and the receiver, then the receiver will break off his route and run the Skinny
Post. The quarterback should not lob this throw deep because either of the two safeties should
attempt to fill this void in the middle of the field. Instead, the quarterback should deliver the ball

so that the receiver catches it about 20 yards downfield. Even though the ball is not a lob the
receiver should have plenty of space to turn upfield and get a lot of yards after the catch.
2.) If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then the receiver
will throw up his outside hand and cut into a Dig route. The receiver should continue running
this route until he has found the open window back to the quarterback and then the receiver
should stop for the easy catch.
Against Man Free:
There are two different ways to teach this route against Man Free coverage. In one case the
receiver just runs one route once he realizes he is facing Man Free coverage, this option is more
frequently used when the Seam Read is used in the Go package. In the other case the receiver
will read the defensive technique of the defender who is matched up with him in man coverage
this is most commonly used in the Choice package.
If the receiver does not read the coverage of the defensive player then he just tries to get in the
face of the defender covering him. As soon as the receiver has broken down the defenders
cushion the receiver will cut across the field at linebacker depth and continue his route until he
gets the ball. By breaking down the cushion of the defender before breaking on his route the
receiver forces the defender into a trialing position.
If the receiver is reading the drop of the defensive player on him he checks the man coverage

technique of the defender as he heads upfield.


1.) If you read man tech, then the receiver will run up the field aiming for the cornerbacks
outside shoulder. When the receiver gets about 10 to 12 yards downfield he will throw up his
outside hand and break off the butt of the defender to the inside of the field running a Dig route.
2.) If the receiver reads zone tech (when the cornerbacks shoulders are square in his back
pedal) then the receiver will just continue upfield running a streak. Since the cornerback has
squared his shoulders he will eventually be forced to turn his back to the cornerback or the
receiver will just blow right by him. As soon as the cornerback turns his shoulders he has lost.
Against Man Blitz:
Against a Man Blitz coverage the Seam Read provides an opportunity for a large gain. The
receiver should be breaking down the defender in order to gain leverage and provide the

opportunity for a large gain. If the receiver correctly read the coverage then there will not be any
deep defender to stop the receiver from reaching the endzone once he beats his defender.

1.) If the defender is playing off from the receiver then the receiver should take advantage of
the space to attack the defenders outside shoulder. Once the receiver has broken down the
defenders cushion and reached the defenders outside should then the receiver should begin
running a Skinny Post.
2.) If the defender is playing press coverage, then the receiver will release up field and make a
slight bend to the inside and continue upfield. Since the defender is in press coverage he will be
forced to turn his hips once the receiver has passed him. By curving the route towards the inside
of the field the receiver is preventing the possibility of other defenders being around once he has
caught the ball.
Against 5 Under:
As with attacking any other man coverage in this case the receiver will attempt to break down
the cushion between him and the defender. The receiver will then cut across the defenders face
and where he runs next is determined by the passing concept

package.

With the Go package the receiver will run at angle up the field aiming between the two deep
safeties. If the safeties are respecting the deep routes on the sidelines the receiver should be open

for a large gain.


With the Choice Package the receiver will run a Shallow Dig underneath the inside receivers
route. These double Digs create a simple read for the quarterback.

Choice Route:
Against Cover 3:
-The receiver will run 7 steps aiming at the outside shoulder of the cornerback and then will
choose from three different patterns to finish his route, the Speed Out, the Skinny Post, and the
Streak. Each one of these routes attacks the cornerbacks leverage and fills a void in the Cover 3

coverage.
1.) If the receiver gets to the outside shoulder of the cornerback then on his seventh and eighth
steps he will roll towards the sideline running a Speed Out expecting to get the ball at about 12
yards deep
2.) If there is still a 5 yard or more of cushion: on the receivers 7th step he will again break to
the Speed Out

3.) If the cornerback stays to the outside and the receiver breaks down the cushion to 3 yards or
less, then the receiver breaks down to the skinny post on his seventh step. *Needs to be a skinny
post so that it does not run into the free safety.*
4.) If the cornerback played press and took away the skinny post by playing an inside technique
then the receiver will run the Streak route

Against Cover 2:
Since the cornerback is playing a press technique and releasing the receiver to the safety the
cornerback eliminates the Skinny Post and Speed Out as options for the Choice Route. The
receiver wants to attack the weak part of the zone, which is behind the cornerback and
underneath the safety. The Streak route allows the receiver to attack this weak part and will be
open over top of the cornerback before the safety can reach the sideline (if the safety cheats to
the sideline he leaves the deep middle wide open). Since the receiver always release to the
outside when coming off the line the cornerback cannot funnel him into the middle of the field
(this should prevent any linebackers in underneath coverage from getting in the passing lane).
Sometimes the defense will have a cornerback that is insisting on funneling the receiver to the
inside. If this is the case, then the receiver will have to use some type of technique to get around
the cornerback (ex. swim, rip) and get back to the outside and continue his route along the
sideline.
Against Man Free:
-Again the receiver will run 7 steps aiming at the outside shoulder of the cornerback and then
will choose from three different patterns to finish his route, the Speed Out, the Skinny Post, and
the Streak. Each one of these routes is chosen in such a way that the cornerback will either be
completely turned around or out of position; therefore, the route is decided based on the

cornerbacks leverage as the play progresses.


1.) If the cornerback is playing an outside tech. (this means that the front of his body is facing
the inside): Then the receiver will run straight at the cornerbacks outside shoulder and on his
7th step the receiver will break the Speed Out route off the cornerbacks butt.

2.) If the cornerback is playing an inside tech. (this means that the front of his body is to the
outside): Then the receiver will have to work upfield on the cornerback nose to nose and when
the receiver gets to his 7th step, he will break to the Skinny Post off the cornerbacks butt.
3.) If the receiver gets to the body of the cornerback, then the receiver break his route straight
up the field on a Streak forcing the cornerback to turn around and leaving the cornerback in a
trailing position.
Against Man Blitz:
-Unlike against the previous three coverages the receiver will now break his route before his 7th
step. When facing a blitz the offense has less time to run their play, but will have better leverage
against the defense and should have the receiver running the choice route in an isolated
coverage. The receiver will either break under the cornerback will a Quick Slant or will run

around and over him with a Fade.


1.) If the cornerback is playing back then either on your 1st or 3rd step, break to the Slant
route.
2.) If the cornerback is playing in press position, then you get a quick release and run the Fade
route.
Against 5 Under:
The receiver will face the same difficulties with this route against 5 Under coverage as he would
against Cover 2. Therefore, the receiver will run the Streak against 5 Under just as he would
against Cover 2.
Switch:
The Switch route is necessarily run by two receivers who run past each other in order to switch
their routes. Therefore, there are two distinct and different routes which I will refer to as the
Switch route. One of these is the Switch route which breaks inside the other is the Switch route
which breaks outside. In most cases the inside breaking Switch route receiver will make the
same reads as a receiver running the Seam Read route.

Inside Breaking Switch Route


Against Cover 3:
The receiver takes three steps up field, and then breaks on a slant route to the hash mark (or
wherever the hole is between the deep defenders). As the receiver starts going up the hash, he
will read the play of the deep safety (this should be done somewhere between 8 and 10 yards
down the field). From this point the receiver will make the same reads as he would with the
Seam Read against Cover 3. Just as when the receiver is running the Seam Read against the
Cover 3 there are two ways that that the Switch route is taught one is timing and one is a read
route. With the timing approach only the first step listed below is needed. With the read
approach all of the steps below are used.
1.) If the safety rotates away from the receiver or cannot get over top of the receiver than the
receiver will run a Streak route between the deep defenders. This is the default route run for the
Switch route. However, if the quarterback pump fakes or breaks the tackle box then the receiver

will break into the secondary route a Skinny Post.


2.) If the safety has favored one side of the field in order to prevent the Streak route being
completed along the hash mark then he is leaving the middle of the field open. So, if the receiver
sees the safety rotating towards the hash mark the receiver will run right underneath him and run

the Skinny Post.

3.) If the safety stays deep in the middle of the field so that he can take away both the Streak
and the Skinny Post then the receiver will throw his outside hand up and run a Dig route
somewhere between 16 and 20 yards downfield. The receiver is given enough leeway with this
route that he should attempt to stop his route once he has found the open window back to the
quarterback. This route should cut underneath the safeties for an easy gain.

Against Cover 2:
Again the receiver will take three steps up field, and then break on a slant route to the hash mark
(or wherever the hole is between the deep defenders). As the receiver starts getting up to about 8
to 10 yards up the hash marks he will read the near deep safety. From there the receiver will
make the same reads that the Seam Read made against Cover 2 with one additional read.

1.) If the receiver breaks down the cushion of the half field safety so that there is 3 yards or less
between the safety and the receiver, then the receiver will break off his route and run the Skinny
Post. The quarterback should not lob this throw deep because either of the two safeties should
attempt to fill this void in the middle of the field. Instead, the quarterback should deliver the ball
so that the receiver catches it about 20 yards downfield. Even though the ball is not a lob the
receiver should have plenty of space to turn upfield and get a lot of yards after the catch.
2.) If the safety is playing to the outside and has a 5 yard cushion or more, then the receiver
will throw up his outside hand and cut into a Dig route. The receiver should continue running
this route until he has found the open window back to the quarterback and then the receiver
should stop for the easy catch.
3.) If the safety has rotated over towards the sideline then the receiver will run a Streak
route. This read is essentially the same as the Skinny Post read and will be made in almost
identical situations. However, running a Streak instead of a Skinny Post saves the receiver time
since he does not have to break his route and therefore the receiver can get open faster.

Against Man Free:


Because of the design of the Switch route the defender should be trailing the receiver in man
coverage. This means that the receiver has already won and is in great position. Therefore, the
receiver can make a simple read. Can the cornerback be beat deed or not? If the receiver can
beat the defender up the field, then he should just keep on going up the field. If the defender
cant be beat up field then the receiver will throw up his outside hand and break into a Dig
route. Since the defender is trailing he should be out of position giving the receiver superior
leverage on the Dig.
Against Man Blitz:

Again against man coverage the receiver is charging the defender in order to break down the
defenders cushion forcing him to declare where he will go. As soon as the receiver breaks down
the cushion and gets into the defenders face he will break into a Dig.

Against 5 Under:
Here the receiver is just trying to get deep fast. With only two deep defenders one of the two
Switch route defenders will be uncovered or at the very least will pull a defender out of position.

Outside Breaking Switch Route:


Cover 3
The outside breaking Switch route receiver is running a wheel route between the numbers and
the sideline. As he is running up the field he is reading the play of the nearest deep defender (the
vast majority of the time this player is a cornerback).
1.) If the near deep defender slides towards the inside of the field to defend the inside breaking
Switch route he is leaving the sideline open. The receiver will then just continue upfield running

a Streak route and expecting a deep pass to his outside shoulder along the sideline.

2.) If the near deep defender stays in position and stays directly over the receiver the receiver
will treat him just as a deep defender is treated with the Seam Read. The receiver will throw up
his outside hand, breakdown and find the open window back to the quarterback running a Dig

route towards the inside of the field.

Cover 2:
The receiver will just try to exploit the fact there are only two deep defenders and will continue
his wheel route straight up the sideline. The combination of the Switch routes should absolutely
destroy Cover 2. The two deep defenders are each forced to cover 26 yards against two separate
receivers.

Man Free, Man Blitz, and 5 Under:


The receiver will take three steps up field and then break on a slant to the hash mark. The
receiver will want to get the cornerback into a trailing position. The receiver will then attempt to
pull the nearest deep defender towards the sideline removing the defender from the play allowing
the inside breaking Switch route receiver to make a big play because he does not have to deal
with a deep zone defender. However, if the near deep defender is staying inside to defend the
inside breaking Switch route and the defender following the receiver cannot be beat deep the
receiver can break his route inside and run a Dig route.

Streak Read/Sideline Wheel Route


This route is typically run just to influence deep defenders and does not usually involve making
any reads. However, after going 12 yards upfield the receiver needs to decide if he can beat his
defender. This decision is just a simple run where the defense isnt. If the receiver can beat his
defender deep the receiver should continue upfield. If the receiver cannot beat his defender deep
he should break off his route expecting to get the ball about 12 yards deep.

UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION DEFENSIVE COVERAGES AS IT


PERTAINS TO THE RUN AND SHOOT

Now that we have covered the basic Run& Shoot offensive philosophy and specifically how
it relates to coverages we can focus more on the details of each coverage type. All of the
text in quotes was pulled from John Jenkins 1985 QB Manual.
During each offensive play the receivers and the quarterback will need to be able to
identify and react to the defensive coverage. This is not a passive offensive system. In the
previous post I discussed how the Run & Shoot limits the possible number of defensive
coverages that can be employed and also forces the defense to make those coverages
simpler. However, even with simpler coverages it can be difficult and impossible for even
the coaching staff to truly identify the defensive coverages being used. Therefore, the Run
& Shoot, breaks all possible defensive coverages into five basic and easy to differentiate
categories:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Cover 4 (3 Deep or 4 Deep Zone)


Cover 2 (2 Deep Zone)
5 Under (2 Deep Zone Man Under)
Man Free (Cover 1 Man)
Man Blitz (Pure Man)

Each of these categories of course had their own subcategories, but this is how they broke
up all the possible coverages they would see. As I said earlier breaking these coverages up
into these simple categories provides the offense with five easily distinguished categories
making it very easy for both the quarterback and receivers to identify the coverage both
pre and post snap. Therefore, it will be easy for the receivers to adjust their routes to beat
the coverages after the snap and for the quarterback to then shred the defense.
1.) Cover 4
Cover 4 is what we acknowledge as a three deep zone coverage. From an underneath
standpoint, we have seen a balanced 4 man underneath combined with a 4 man rush and also
have been confronted with a 5 man underneath attempted coordinated with a 3 man rush from a
3-4 front structure.
1.) 4 Coverage is not and has not ever been designed to handle the short passing game.
a.) With their constant philosophy of forcing the offense to drop the ball off to the short
defender, drive up and make a sure tackle for a minimal gain sounds acceptable and
theoretically sound but yet our offense will patiently take the short GOs, slides, and the 3rd
Choice from the Choice and settle for the 4 yard continual gains. What back in a strong running
offense is assured of a constant 4 yard gain? And with this principle applied, when we break a
tackle from one of these short routes, it turns into a big chunk of yardage. This obviously is
true of any zone coverage.

Each defensive coverage must give something up. Cover 4 with its three deep zone
defenders (and occasionally four) is designed to protect against the deep pass. Therefore,
Cover 4 is going to routinely give up the short pass. Each one of the major Run & Shoot
passing concepts has a short rout (typically a flat route) which will be open for an
automatic short gain. This automatic short gain is putting the defensive back up against
the wide receiver all alone in the open field. So, not only is this short gain almost automatic
if the receiver breaks the tackle of the defensive back he is guaranteed a big gain. After all,
if the defense keys in on these short routes the offense can just take a big gain deep down
the field.
2.) The balanced zones can be repeatedly ripped by our own flooding routesMotion Back Flag,
Wing Post or Flag, Y Flag, S Flag, etc.
Cover 4, like most any zone coverage must cover the entire field equally. Zone coverage,
unlike man coverage, relies on anticipating where the offense will throw the
ball. In anticipating where the offense will throw the ball the defense must cover all
potential options equally, if the defense does not do this the offense will simply throw where
the defense isnt. However, if the defense covers all areas of the field equally before the
snap they cannot match up against the offense if the offense only attacks one area of the
field. Flooding routes will do just that, attack one area of the field.
3.) 4 Coverage is beaten deep by our own design in stretching the vertical areas and hitting the
deep overlap seams.
EXAMPLE: The Switch, the under coverage clearance of the motion back on Z or X GO
Route, the deep breakback of Y or Wing on the Slide variation and the natural deep breakback of
the motion back on Z or X Go. And certainly working the 2nd receiver up the college hash area
in the CHOICE has provided an opportunity for a big gain in yardage.
Rather than write about this I will let the diagrams speak for themselves. Notice how in
each diagram the defensive players are outnumbered in their respective defensive zones.
4.) Rotation coverage in Cover 4 certainly leaves the defense hanging out as we work the
corner over in his corner roll attempt on the GO and hit those overlap seam areas that I listed
previously.
If the defense attempts to overcompensate for a particular route by rolling coverage over in
that direction they must leave a hole somewhere in their coverage. Think of it this way the
defense only has so many great athletes (those defenders capable of matching up with the
offenses wide receivers) and it must choose where to position these defenders. If the
defense moves these defenders to favor a certain area of the field they cannot be in another
spot. That is, for each area the defense adequately covers they leave another open.
4 Variations of Cover 4

-4 Invert (Sky Safety)


-4 Cleo (Corner roll 2 look with safety over the top into the outside one-third deep

area.)
-4 Buzz (Backer outside into the curl-flat underneath area with the safety setting

up camp in the curl).


-4 Across (Corners and safeties playing deep one-fourth responsibilities working
deep down the boundaries and college hashs. Generally this is associated with the 3
man rush scheme in order to also keep a balanced cover scheme underneath).

4 Invert

All 4 major routes are extremely effective vs. 4 Invert with the switch possessing the highest
degree of potential damage. The Go and the Slide exhibit an extremely high percentage rate
against it, as well as the Choice (Special) when checking down to the third choice. And the
intermediate and long gains are presented in working vertical stretch of 4 Invert.

Cover 4 Invert is the basic Cover 4 coverage and therefore the most frequently seen of all
Cover 4 varieties. Therefore, all of four major Run & Shoot concepts are extremely
effective against it. The defense will pull out all other major Cover 4 packages in order to
shut down certain routes and passing concepts. All other Cover 4 packages are more
complicated for the quarterback. When the defense is finally forced into 4 Invert (as they
inevitably will be) they are playing right into the offenses hands. This is exactly what the
offense has been looking for this entire time. Because this is the coverage the offense has
been trying to force the defense into the offense is designed to shred the defense when it
finally ends up in this coverage.
Switch vs. Cover 4 Invert
This is without a doubt the most deadly weapon in our arsenal vs. 4 Invert in addition to the
Cleo and Buzz variations. Any way you wish to slice it we possess the threat of 4 deep receivers,
all having equal distribution of 18 yards of one another with deep stretches downfield. From a
defensive standpoint, the 3 deep cover guys must in turn be able to overlap this amount of
territory which basically starting from the center portion of this 18 yard chunk of grass. And
also considering the fact that they are running like hell backwards with you (QB) looking them
off with your eyes then theoretically it is possible to either score every time vs. this coverage or

at least scorn them for big dirt.


Cover 4 Invert, Buzz, and Cleo are referred to as Cover 3 defenses in most systems. This is
because these defensive coverages only have three deep zone defenders. Therefore, if the
offense sends four receivers into these deep zones one of the deep zone defenders will be
forced into defending two receivers, this is impossible. Each time a play with four deep

threats is called versus a defense with only three defenders the offense has the potential to
complete a throw in the deep zone for a large chunk of yards.

Cover 4 Cleo

Here a great possibility exists in hitting the wide out quick as we create a Fronting &
Backing read for the corner, who has flat responsibility. As you deliver the ball to the wideout
the corner will often jump the slot in the flat as it sails over the slot and himself.
The Primary Precaution to take in your read (QB) is to be sure and get a read or a peripheral
view of the safety moving over the top into the outside third just before the snap. You do not
want to allow the wideout to get too far a stretch down the rail in 4 Cleo as he will run into the
safeties overlapIf the corner continues to sink or if he is playing a soft technique deep
merely bring your read on to the underneath defender in the curl and hit the season or the flat.

Cover 4 Cleo is a fundamentally unsound defensive coverage. Not only does the possibility
exists to hit the one of four deep receivers downfield as described above, but this coverage
also creates a hole immediately behind the right cornerback. Unlike Cover 4 Invert where
the cornerback drops straight back into a deep zone the right cornerback instead covers a
flat zone and the free safety must scramble over into the deep zone on the sideline. This
coverage is forcing the safety to cover 18 yards of grass which he is out of position to
cover. If the receiver lined up directly across from the right cornerback just runs straight
downfield he should be open immediately behind the cornerback and in front of the safety.

Cover 4 Buzz (safety in hook Zone)

Go just read the linebacker but otherwise the same, Slide same reads as usual, Choice with a
deeper safety the wideout must hold the corner longer, and the same for Switch
Cover 4 Buzz provides pretty simple reads for each one of the four major Run & Shoot
concepts. For the Go concept the linebacker is read instead of the strong safety as would be
read in Cover 4 Invert. For both the Choice and Switch concepts the same reads are
employed as would be for Cover 4 Invert except that the wideouts must make sure they are
holding the cornerbacks deep down the field so that they are not interfering with the
intermediate routes. The reads are not changed in anyway for the Slide concept.

Cover 4 4 Across

The look does require a little different thinking as the deep vertical stretch theory is nonexistent although the seams are so high the underneath that our receivers can force a cushion
deep throw the hand up and hit anything in the deep intermediate area. And with a 3 man rush
we have the capability of getting a double on all of the rushmen so the shooting gallery
sensations would be back.
Cover 4 4 Across, unlike the other Cover 4 Coverages has four deep defenders. Because of
the four deep defenders the four on three deep attack described earlier will not
work. Instead of attacking the deep zones the offense will instead attack the shallow and
intermediate zones. With four deep defenders the defense only has three defenders to
cover both flat zones and all of the intermediate areas of the field (11 total defender-4 deep
defenders + 4 rushers= 3 defenders). This should allow the wideouts to just run to the open
areas of the field for an easy completion. If the defense only rushes three defenders in
order to get an extra defender in zone coverage they have only made the offenses job
easier. With only three rushers each rusher can be doubled by the offenses pass blockers
giving the offense an almost unlimited amount of time to complete a pass.

2.) Cover 2
Cover 2 is what we regard as a 5 underneath zone coverage backed up by 2 deep half-field
zones. We acknowledge the strength of 2 coverage to be that of having a potentially tighter
underneath coverage with 5 zones. And the glaring weakness is that of the amount of ground
that each safety must cover deep (27 yards). To compensate for this deficiency generally teams
will divide up one of the backers to run deep with any deep middle vertical threat.
It has never nor will never be regarded as a strong pass coverage because of the catastrophic
deep zone problem. Majoring in this coverage has sent many a secondary coach to the
psychiatric and convalescent home for old coaches at a youthful age.

As mentioned above the vast majority of Cover 4 coverages only have three defenders
covering deep zones. These coverages can be easily and consistently beaten for a large gain
by sending four receivers deep. Cover 2 defenses, while covering the underneath zones
exceptionally well, provide an even greater opportunity to attack the defense deep. With
only two deep defenders the defense is exposing itself to the same four deep attack as Cover
4 defenses, but to an even greater effect (notice how the deep zone defenders are
outnumbered in the red boxes).
Same read between corner and safety as Cover 4 Cleo

To make matters worse for the Cover 2 it provides the same coverage vacancy behind the
cornerback as Cover 4 Cleo allowing for an easy completing behind the cornerback and
underneath the safety (this is the ole circled in red).
Pattern reads are quite frequent as the jam corners will continue to run deep with their deep
fade threat so long as their flat area doesnt get threatened. This enables the safeties to squeeze

deep inside routes without being stretched.


The one real saving grace of the Cover 2 is in pattern matching. Pattern matching allows
the cornerbacks to go into a deep coverage with the receivers preventing the same flaws in
deep coverage as other Cover 2 coverages. However, these cornerbacks will go deep with
the receiver if their flat coverage is not threatened. Therefore, if an offensive play
threatens both the flat zone and the deep coverage of a defense the pattern matching of
Cover 2 has lost most of its effectiveness. Even if the cornerbacks follow the receivers they
are essentially in man coverage which can be beaten just as easily as any zone coverage as
is described below.

3.) 5 Under Coverage


From a very broad, general standpoint Cover 5 is simply 2 deep zone combined with man
underneath. Various man techniques are applied to our 5 eligible receivers with 2 deep help
defenders up top in the halves.
As conventional offenses continued to break the huddle with 2 backs, at least one tight end and
no more than 2 wide receivers, this became the solid trend in progressive pass
defense. Throughout the NFL, teams found it to be difficult to continually make consistent plays
on the outside to the wide-outs. So, these vanilla type offenses became reliant on working to
their tight ends and runningbacks on the linebackers.

In contrast to the 2 back, tight end type of attack, I feel that we currently reveal the most
productive offense in the game in successfully attacking Cover 5. There are numerous reasons
for the success that we have had, as this following list indicates some of these.
1.) Our offensive structure, which reveals 4 speed receivers and one back in an often spread
like formation, gives us matchups and necessary room to execute 1 on 1 underneath.
2.) The knowledge and awareness of the coverage from a pre snap read of the receivers and
the quarterback, will enable us to isolate any 1 on 1 situation underneath and beat it with our
quick separation principles.
3.) The recognition of Cover 5 on a presnap read permits us to make special calls allowing us
to change our routes to a specific arrangement of routes especially designed to smash into the
weakest ling of this coverage. (this unique capability, beyond any other, keeps us ahead of the
defense)
4.) Our sophisticated type of audibiling will allow us to select a particular play or select from
a group of plays that will give us exactly what we want against a certain team using this
coverage.
We can obviously go on and on about our confidence in attacking Cover 5, but lets examine
further what this coverage entails. From our offensive perspective lets be a little more specific
about what is provided for us against Cover 5.
1.) 5 man under with 2 deep is still 2 deep, and 2 deep certainly reveals a lot of open area to
run to and catch deep balls on the go. These man-to-man defenders do assume that they have
got deep help deep help that may not always show up on time. Therefore, if we can stick or
shake the underneath man techniques off of us, separate away in a vertical stretch, this coverage
will give us the same big plays that Cover 2 would.

Again only providing two deep zone defenders presents a considerable defect for the
offense to attack. If a receiver can shake his defender before hitting the deep zones he
should be wide open for an easy gain deep down field so long as the offense is sending at
least three players deep (notice how the deep defenders are out numbered in the red boxes).

2.) As far as the possession passing game is concerned pick routes in the short and
intermediate are extremely effective as well as separation moves from man under technique.

Unlike zone coverage if a receiver beats his defender there is no other defender waiting to
pick him up in coverage. If the receiver can shake his defender with simple shake routes or
with a pick with another receiver the receiver will be open with absolutely no one is sight
(notice how the defenders will be in one-on-one coverage with the receivers once they enter
the red box).
3.) Continuing on with more advantages schemes vs 5 coverage are certain ground schemes
wthat we will apply. Generally Cover 5 is related to a tight press-bump and run. As a result our
receivers now become great blockers by merely running these cover guys downfield.
Because each defender has been given a man to cover he must follow that man anywhere on
the field or he will be surrendering leverage to the receiver. If the defender does not follow
the receiver the receiver will be open in the quick game again and again. However, if the
defense follows the receivers the offense can pull defenders anywhere they want on the
field. The offense will then pull defenders in such a way that they can always guarantee a
favorable matchup in the running game.
4.) Some other advantages include:
a.) Being able to isolate personnel to get a big mismatch in coverage/
1.) Linebacker on a receiver
2.) A lesser D.B. vs. one of our little guys
b.) Across field routes and deep cross patterns
c.) Play action combined with receiver block influence
Firstly, just as the offense can pull defenders to influence the running game they can do
so to influence the passing game. The offense can pull defenders so that they isolate their
best player on the defenses worst player (or at least an inferior player). This creates a
simple game of catch for the quarterback and receiver. Secondly, almost no defensive back
can keep up with a receiver on a crossing route. The defender must follow the wideout,

allowing for the possibility of the wideout breaking upfield, for almost 50 yards, this is
almost impossible. Lastly, the with the offense pulling defenders not only can they
remove defenders from the running game they can put their receivers in favorable blocking
situations.
4.) Man Free

Cover 1
First of all, lets fully clarify what Cover 1 is and which coverage looks fall into this major
category. Generally speaking, Cover 1 is man under with one free on top. Realizing that there
are 5 eligible receivers, a defense may afford to use one or two normal defenders in a special
way. In other words, one defender may come on the rush (5 man rush) as another defender frees
himself up as a robber or zone player underneath. Or there may be a 6 man rush
employed. Or 2 inside backers may double up on our S Backs while the others single up and go
one free up on top. At QB, this is a concern because we cant have this guy cluttering up a
passing lane with a double man look to our intended receiver.
From a general standpoint, it is logical to assume that our intention will be focused on
attacking the weakest 1 on 1 defender underneath. This assumption is true although we are also
looking to operate in the corners and down the rail. This effort will exist as long as the free
safety is in true center field. The shots in the corners, down the rail, deep outside and
intermediate outside, give us big play possibility with very low risk. However, we will also apply
some methods of going to the middle provided we are able to influence the free safety.
With this basic understanding of Cover 1 we can list the three main goals of an offense
which is attacking this coverage.
1.) Isolate a good receiver on an underneath defender that can easily be beaten.

Since the defense is in man coverage the assignments of the defenders can easily be
manipulated to give the offensive personnel a matchup advantage. Therefore, the offense
can pick and choose which receivers are matched up against which defenders and from
there the offense can assign routes to these receivers that allow them to easily beat their
defender. If the defense either double covers the receiver who is trying to beat his defender
or covers the middle of the field they are leaving themselves open to the next possibility of
attack (the SS can only defend one of the receivers entering the red box leaving the other
receiver in one-on-one coverage, if the FS enters the red box he leaves the sidelines open as
shown below).
2.) Throw a deep sideline pass away from the free safety.

The deep zone defender (typically a free safety) is the sole extra deep defender. If the
offense can run routes down the sideline the free safety will be forced to choose which
sideline to defend. So, if the offense runs at least two deep sideline routes they can be
guaranteed single coverage deep down the field and this is a matchup the offense should
take every time (the receivers running deep routes are boxed in red, the free safety rotated
to cover the weakside streak, both strongside routes in the right red box are in one-on-one
coverage).
3.) Occupy the onside corner with an inside pattern that opens up sidelines.

This step is necessary to allow the previous form of attack. However, this concept can also
be used on the centerfield. The offense can running a clearing route ahead of their best
receiver. The clearing route should pull the extra shallow defender out of the way of the
offenses best receiver allowing the easy completion (in this case the free safety is respecting
the strongside deep routes, but he is still out numbered on in the red box, both outside
receivers will be facing one-on-one coverage while running deep down the sidelines).

Wing-Combo Coverage
Wing Combo is a general term that we use for an unending and multitudinous number of
existing double coverage possibilitiesThere may be many forms of this double coverage in
which inside-outside techniques are applied or over-under techniques may existFor
further clarification, I must say, if any of our 4 spread receivers are doubled up for man in any
fashion, then we will place this defensive attempt in this Wing Combo category. Should the SBack be the only one doubled, then it is not necessarily applied to Wing Combo coverage.
To a large degree Wing Combo is brought on by defensive teams who apply pattern-reading
into their attempt in stopping us (or any offensive system). They take the group of pass routes
from their scouting breakdown and attempt to place two defenders on a particular receiver who
will enter into a specific section of the field on his release. At this point, they will lock up for
man coverage in a specific type of double coverage application.
The inside-outside coordination is generally constructed by allowing a deep route receiver to
push up the field. As he enters into a short intermediate area the two defenders will build an
inside-outside position on him. Their rule is defined by stating if the receiver makes an outside
cut then the outside defender will lock on for man with the inside defender either closing in from
inside out or being freed to help elsewhere. Should the receiver declare with an inside break, the
obviously the inside defender will have the responsibility of covering him for man. The outside
defender will then be freed up to help elsewhere or he may close on the same receiver from
outside-inAs far as handling the receiver on a deep ball, they both are instructed to naturally
keep relative distance in protecting on the deep route and not to get beat deep.

When being opposed by a deep inside-outside double coverage will basically react 1 of 2
ways. First, they will treat the Wing Combo coverage as a 4 coverage where the safety
overplays inside against their route. In this case either the receiver has a breakback
possibility where he will cut his route short and breakback underneath the defender and

find the passing window to the quarterback (this possibility is shown in the red
box). Second the receiver may be in a position where the defenders overplay their
roles. The inside defender may play to far inside and the outside defender may play to far
outside. If the defenders allow this extra distance the receiver can just split them and run
straight upfield (this possibility is shown in the yellow box, notice how their is not a
defender lined up directly across from the receiver).
The over-under combination is easier to play defensively and can even be performed by the use
of regular defensive people (true linebackers). In this instance, as the routes develop, the backer
(or under coverage guy) will run underneath the pattern in a loose or tight trail attitude. The
upfield defender will obviously keep his relative cushion and play his man technique on the

receiver from on top.


If the wing defenders give too much depth to the receiver he can just throw up his outside
hand and cut down his route looking for an underneath passing lane (this is shown in the
red box, notice how the SS is over top of the Y receiver and out of position to guard against
the red Curl route).
You can beat the double coverage by one of three methods. Or you will eliminate the doubled
receiver (or receivers) and merely progress on to a singled receiver. After all, what more could

we ask for than 1 on 1.

5.) Man Blitz

Within our regular Little-People offense, we will define a blitz read as a defensive look
containing these qualities listed below:
1.) Only 4 cover guys dispersed in a one-on-one coverage position on our 4 spread receivers.
2.) 7 defenders on or near the L.O.S. in a position to rush the QB.
Many times a pre motion read will exist well enough to declare the blitz intention. If not, our
use of varied motions will uncover the blitz better than any other indicator. The blitz read can
come from a variety of different front looks although we see the rush out of a 3-4 or 4-3
generally. Reasons for the balanced front and balanced blitz? Defenses are reluctant to
overload us because of our quick-striking capability back to the short side by use of audibiling.
At quarterback and receiver and throughout our protection unit, our chief priority, in this
defense of ours, is to handle the blitz whenever it comes up. We must continue to improve and
continue to maintain an extremely high confidence factor vs the blitz.
Over the year, Ive witnessed passing attacks so inept and literally brought down to their knees
because of their inability to handle the blitz. When this happens to any offensive system, they
had just better buckle up and hang on their ass, because it is not going to stop until something is
done about it.
Being that our entire passing game is directed to adjusting and reacting to all of the major
coverage categories, we can exclaim with great confidence that our attack against the man blitz
is the best in all of footballall our basic routes are built in to handle the blitz. As a result, we
will never be locked into a bad lay due to play section.
Really not much needs to be said here. All of the offensive routes are designed to either
break early or pull defenders out of the play against the blitz. So, if the quarterback just
sticks to his reads and correctly diagnoses the play he should be able to shred the blitz.
UNDERSTANDING THE TRICKERATION INTRO TO DEFENSIVE COVERAGES
Any conversation of offensive football without the consideration and complete understanding of
the defensive confrontation is completely useless. This statement certainly applies to our
situation more so than any other team in football today. For with our sight reads and
coordinated option adjustments on the move the defense is virtually placed in a helpless
state. And this is merely due to our own proper decision decisions and has nothing to do with
the defensive strength or weaknesses.

Introduction to Understanding Coverages

1.) Excluding our short yardage & goal line attack, we present an offensive threat, with 4 wide
receivers inserted, that will never be confronted by a pure Eight Man FrontHowever, with our
obvious receiver threats, even a base Eight Man Front team must adjust personnel to a nickel
or dime situational substitution constantly against us to avoid glaring mismatches.
-Any Eight Man Front is going to be unsound both in structure and personnel when facing the
four wide receiver doubles and trips formations of the Run & Shoot offense. As Chris Brown
states in a great article on the Virginia Tech defense you could successfully argue that the
spread offense, both in its run-first and pass-first incarnations, was invented to counter the
aggressive, eight-man front defense Virginia Tech made famous.(
http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Deconstructing-How-the-Hokie-Dbecomes-deadlier?urn=ncaaf-178348) The Eight Man Front will almost certainly leave the slot
receivers uncovered. With the defense giving leverage to the slot receives the offense just has to
audible to a quick pass and take the easy gain. The personnel of an Eight Man Front can be
modified by shifting into nickel and dime personnel (this is in effect what Virginia Tech has
done by converting the rover into a full-time defensive back). However, as soon as the
personnel has shifted the defense is forced into playing backup players against the offenses
starting players (the offense is always using four wide receivers) and the Eight Man Front is still
structurally unsound.
2.) Any coverage can be easily recognized by our receivers and quarterback due to constant
motioning and sight reads upon the snap.
a.) Coverages will obviously reveal a pre-snap disguise and even attempt to cover
themselves up to a degree with motion being presented.
b.) But upon the snap the true picture unfolds and we merely take what we want from a
particular coverage by our own reads and proper reactions.
-All coverages have weaknesses and defensive coordinators know this so they will attempt to
hide what coverage they are running from the offense. This very difficult if not impossible to do
when faced with the constant motioning and audibling of the Run & Shoot offense. When an
offense motions a receiver the defense has two options they can either respond to the motioned
player or ignore him. If the defense responds to the motioned player they will most likely reveal
their defensive coverage. If the defense does not reveal their coverage it is because the defenders
passed off the receiver. Passing off a receiver requires almost every defender making a new
decision without the help of their coaches and this can easily result in blown coverages. If the
defense does not honor the motioned receiver they are placing themselves at a huge disadvantage
by ceding leverage to the offense. However, no matter how well the defense hides its coverage
pre-snap it is impossible to hide it after the snap. As soon as the ball is snapped the defenders
will fall into their coverage and the offense will react. Since the offense is reacting after the snap
and after the defense has revealed its coverage the offensive players should always be in a
position to take advantage of the defense.
3.) Defenses must stay honest in staying balanced whenever we reveal a doubles formation
to them.

a.) Any front or coverage overshift would obviously constitute a mere opposite check
audible or whatever we wish to select will leave them short-handed.
-Not only is this true with a doubles formation it is also true with a trips formation (it is true in
the except the opposite way, but still true). Football is essentially a game of numbers and angles
(leverage). The offense and defense and offense are always seeking to outnumber each other at
the point of attack. On a passing play the offense wants to have more receivers in a location than
defenders. Obviously having one receiver to no defenders is best, but having two receivers to
one defender forces the defender to guard only one receiver which essentially creates a situation
where there is one receiver and no defender. Therefore, the defense needs to matchup with the
offense. So, if the offense lines up in a balanced formation* (doubles being the perfect example)
the defense needs to line up in a balanced defense in return. If the defense does not line up in
response to the offense they are giving the offense a numbers advantage. *This is also true of an
unbalanced formation (trips formations are the perfect example) the defense will be covering
empty grass on one side of the field and be outnumbered on the other if they line up in a
balanced defense. In his article on the New Orleans Saints and the Four Verticals Concept
Chris Brown gives a perfect example of
this(http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/25/drew-brees-and-the-four-verticals/).
4.) From the standpoint of coverages, zone coverages offer vertical and horizontal lanes of
completion at our disposal. Whereas vs. any type of man coverage would constitute our
separation from them with break backs and hot reads.
-Most simply understood zone coverage struggles with numbers while man coverage struggles
with leverage. A zone defense places defenders in the places where it expects the balls to
go. However, the defensive coordinator does not have enough defenders to cover all the grass on
the field so there are going to be certain areas that are defended better than others. The open
areas on the field can easily be attack if the offense sends its receivers on routes that are evenly
spaced across the field. This spacing can either be horizontal forcing the defense to cover the
field from sideline to sideline or the spacing can be vertical forcing the defense to cover the field
from the line of scrimmage to the endzone either form of spacing is valuable and will create
holes in the defense. A man defense, unlike a zone defense, guards the receivers rather than
areas on the field. The disadvantage to this approach is that if the receiver can shake the
defender he is wide open and no one else on the defense is anywhere near him.

SMU PRACTICE PLAN