We are not talking about the jerk route here. This is in reference to the Angle route which is the same as a "Texas route" in Holmgren's WCO terminology, this is the complement to spacing and the main play to pair with it from trips Texas is the combo of routes and not just the angle.
The QB is to find the middle open if receivers are chased, if they settle into zones receivers settle open. 'Texas' is rather like the Colts' levels concept done on Deep Ins, one of those two outside routes finds a void off the middle/mike in two cover, under the safeties. In the so-called "jerk" route, where the shallow cross receiver fakes like he is going to settle in the zone hole but then continues. [This is probably a read for that receiver, but in any event you get the idea.]
crease the front side and post the backside. Instead they run two routes the same angle deep. From five wide(two TE, helps keep free air rushing ends a step further out).
Trips side the #1 runs the jag/jerk route inside and back out off the pivot. The two clears a corner or stays on the seam. The three cuts under everyone and has the quickest route outside.
Jag settles seeing zone, if someone from inside gets to him he takes it back out, but he should get the ball right off the crossing action from the give or go read with number three. For the interior routes a shallow from Z could be run and if the JAG route sees Z chased he is free to follow where they vacated. To keep up with the language and tags used for our normal mesh consistent we'll probably change the call signals.
The other combo does a 'follow,' outside man runs shallow. Two still runs corner or can get even get a MOFO tag. Three starts out like he's going flat again but starts a better initial angle to 45 track and makes a 45 cut and comes back trailing the shallow in a good void position, a bit higher. The plan Is to get Z on the ends' hands so they are down. This one the shallow is primary. If nobody lines up outside for the H/TE to check we get him going an angle route to pin any LB right now. Plus getting into his route fast creates a great rub for the shallow.
Cutting three right past shallow is a rub, running Z/H-back to angle is a rub. Shallow should get it quick unless they go full zone and that man crossing the faces of defenders opens all kinds of stuff for the corner and post guys behind them to flatten and settle. That's where you may see more of a drive concept at work with one clear our and end up with kind of a hitch post tree on top of it using the other clear route.
Often a play will pair mesh, withthe trips rubbing a mesh action, and players from trips working either the other interior player in name tags. That's often paired with more of a drive concept at work with one clear **OUT** and end up with kind of a hitch post tree on top of it,** using the other clear route above the FS.
Drawing from the "NWCO" if the defense played "tight," however, Price dialed up one of their "Option routes." The outside receivers were to run deep and try to get open deep and the inside receivers were to break upfield to eight to twelve yards depending on the call. Against man-to-man, they cut inside or outside depending on the defender's leverage; against zone they found a hole between defenders and settled in it.
- The receiver running the Shallow route runs through the heels of the defensive linemen.
- The receiver opposite the Shallow receiver always runs the Hunt/Dig route. At 10 yds vs. Zone, he runs a Hunt route and settle in the first open hole. Versus man coverage, he runs a Dig. If the defender over him blitzes, he runs a speed route as a Hot adjustment.
- The QB takes a 3-step drop from shotgun. He usually hits the Shallow crosser versus man or press coverage.
Running the H Shallow CrossWith the H receiver running the Shallow route, the Y receiver runs the Hunt/Dig route.Running the Y Shallow CrossWith the Y receiver running Shallow, the H receiver runs the Hunt/Dig route.Running the X Shallow CrossY runs Hunt/DigRunning the Z Shallow CrossH runs Hunt/DigYou can even go with an Empty set, and have F run the Shallow route.F Shallow EmptyThe H needs to be sure and give an outside release at the snap, so he doesn't lead his defender into F's Shallow route.Credit for inventing the Shallow Cross series is given to Denver coach Mike Shanahan. He will also make great use of the Mesh series. The Mesh series is also one of the base series of the Air Raid. It is not uncommon to see teams go back to the Mesh series during a game when they are struggling to execute. It can be an attempt to get "back to the basics", and execute the little things again.This is a simple cross series, where H and Y run crossing routes in the middle of the field. The mesh can cause DBs to run into each other, leaving one or both of the WRs free. H is responsible for the mesh, as Y runs under him. H and Y will run until they find grass, and settle to wait for the pass. Z will run a corner route, and is the first read on the play. His corner route will go between 18-23 yards, so if he is open, it is a big play.
Y MeshOne of the nice things about a simple series based offense like the Air Raid is you can change a play simply by tagging a route. For instance, if you call Y Mesh Z Post, Z will now run a post route and attack the deep middle of the field behind the mesh. This draws the safety help away from the mesh routes. They can also tag on a Curl route.Y Shallow Z CurlNotice how F runs the Swing route to fill the spot vacated by Z.Next is Y Stick. This is a very popular play among Spread and WCO mavens.Y StickY runs Stick route, turns to QB, and makes break outside. X runs a Slant-Out, H runs a Slant route. Z takes an outside release in the Fade route, and F has a free release.Next is Smash.
Smash: X runs a Hitch route. H goes 9-11 yards deep, then breaks into Corner route. F has check release, looking for blitz. If no blitz, he swings around for dump-off. Y runs a Wheel route. If zone, will break off and sit. If man coverage, he will press it deeper. Z-receiver has a Read route. If CB sinks, he will run a Curl or Dig. He will run Curl if he sees 2 Deep coverage, or Dig versus man or 3-deep coverage.Then there is the bane of the existence of any defensive coordinator, the WR Bubble Screen.WR Bubble ScreenSimply put, X blocks most dangerous defender, while H runs a short screen behind him. It is a very effective play if you have a nice deep threat, causing CBs to play off your receivers, giving them a nice cushion. It can be a nice play for 8-10 yds. If you run it too often however teams pick up on it.The various series the Air Raid uses allows it to appear very complex to defenses, while staying simple enough for the offense to learn quickly. By simply adding tags to various plays to change routes, the Air Raid can take 6-8 basic plays and make it into over 100 different plays.The Washington State one-back
Price employed a lot of formations that year, but they used the "double slot" the most: two receivers to either side of the quarterback along with one running back. Many now will recognize this as the basic spread formation (though Leaf was usually under center rather than in the shotgun), but back then it was somewhat of a novelty still. Price used it because of its then relative rarity, but also for practical reasons: Washington State's fourth wide receiver was better than its tight-end.
The basic theory behind the offense is the one that has been adopted by many teams: count the safeties, identify how many defenders are in the "box" to decide whether to run or pass, and call your bread and butter stuff until defenders get of of position, then when they do hit them with the constraint plays like bubble screens or play-action.
3. Maintain balance with the run and the pass. You have to be able to do both, who would argue that?
You can seem to present a complex offense to the defense by running the same concepts but changing personnel groupings, formations, motions, and by tagging a play (changing one route from the base concept). With all the possible permutations, an offense that features only a handful of passing concepts can appear to have hundreds of different plays.
You can expect a package of double slants and a horizontal and vertical stretch on the other side with a deep route, some kind of curl route to attack the LBs, and a flat route to widen out the flat defender. This can be run out of a few different looks and there are a few different ways that you they can accomplish the stretch to the trips side but they are all essentially doing the same thing.
They may also "tag" a receiver with a different route if they find the defense is getting jumpy and "cheating" to take away the base concept. For example, if they are jumping curl/flat (the top-left play) then thy'll tag the flat route into a wheel. More Shanahan staples:
Double slants is a very common and simple concept - you have two receivers who are both running slants and you are attacking the #2 defender inside. He can only defend one of the slant routes, and you throw to the other one. The inside man is attacking the inside shoulder of the #2 defender, who is the read key. If the inside WR is able to get inside and underneath the #2 defender, the ball goes to him. If the #2 defender jumps inside to take away the inside WR slant, then the outside slant should be open. You are not worrying about where the deep safety goes as he cannot hurt you - you are just reading #2 and throwing opposite of his break.
Sounds simple, but things get more confusing when the defense starts to anticipate this and play games, like dropping linemen into coverage to make it tough on the QB. This is when it's time to start playing games yourself and mixing things up. If they can anticipate double slants and drop a DE into the passing lane then you have to be able to mix it up and present that same look while instead running it right at him.
As Coach Shanahan said - you can't always look at the whole field and figure out everything the defense is doing. At tmes you''ll have to pick your portion of the field, figure out what they are doing there, and attack it. The QB's 1st job is to make the pre-snap read to decide which side of the field to throw to (usually based on whether it is 1-high or 2-high safeties), make a post-snap read to confirm, look at the read key, look out for defense doing anything screwy (this is the toughest part), and throw. It is part of the 3-step game to control the ball, a simple read for the QB, and a concept that only attacks a portion of the field.
As the offense Shanahan runs has 3 main sources of inspiration: its roots go back to the West Coast Offense, Norm Chow's offense at BYU and what I like to cal the Northwest Coast Offense." The 'One Back' Attack of Mike Price and Denis Ericson that they learned from Elway's high school coach Jack Neumeier. There are many variations the general concepts (high-low-oblique, etc.), and it definitely isn't unique to Shanahan. Here is a video of Ohio State running this same play during the Rose Bowl, known as a "snag" route. This appeared to be one of Ohio State's favorite plays against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. You are still attacking the defense in a similar fashion, a deep route to draw off coverage vertically and take the top off, a flat route to widen out the underneath defenders, and a WR running over the middle to find a hole in the zone and settle. There is a triangle on the right side of this play diagram as well. Just because you change the alignments and receivers doesn't mean you are doing something completely different.
This is a high percentage play and a fairly simple read for the QB - the MLB has to declare a side and the QB can throw opposite of him. Most defenses will cover the streak, so either the snag or the flat should be open. This play was a favorite of NC State QB Phillip Rivers, who Chow coached for one season. Rivers set all kinds of records throwing it. It's a simple read and a decisive throw, and something that you need to rep over and over to get down. Rivers put up some huge numbers running this and similar concepts at NC State. Likely we will see this kind of play from a Shanahan-coached Washington.
2. The player that runs the complementary route (Hunt/Dig) is always the 1st WR opposite the Shallow Cross. He must always outside release so he does not turn the LB back into the shallow cross. At 10 yards vs. Zone he runs a Hunt route and settles in the 1st open hole. Versus Man coverage he runs a ‘Dig’, versus a blitz by the defender over him he runs a speed out as a ‘Hot’ adjustment.
3. The QB takes a 3 step drop in the Shotgun. He usually hits the Shallow crosser vs. man or press coverage. In the shallow package Our Z runs the deep post route. The Y receiver runs a ‘Dig’ inside at 12 yards.
8 – F Shoot
66 – Outside hitches
92 – Mesh + tags
94 – Y Sail
95 – Y Cross
96 – All Curl
98 – Double Smash
Screens (one package)
617 H Shoot
618 Y Option
619 Y Flat