32 Pyramid

A nice crossing pattern in the middle of the field. But note when the pass happens: after the crossing receivers have crossed the middle of the field (that’s why they’re crosses and not just quick slants). Unless there’s immediate pressure, make sure QB stays in the middle of the pocket so he can hit either WR3 or WR2 on the left and right respectively. WR4’s go route may draw a safety (always nice), and if not–and/or if there’s too much traffic or your receivers get too close–air it out deep.

Timing: I like this play on the first play of the game, because it gets the defense thinking that they’re going to have to play tight all day while simultaneously having the flexibility to go deep. Later in the game, if you’ve been running 10+ yard passes all day, your receivers should have some good separation from their corners to be open on the crossing routes. It also helps if you’ve been running a lot of plays to the sidelines and keeping away from the middle of the field–which is very common, given the safety out there, who’s probably cheating deep and to the sides at this point. Confusing the defense makes them slow, and one lagging step can be all you need.

Personnel: Big man at WR1 for a drop-off dig, otherwise speed at WR2-3.

21 Muggles

“Muggles” is a nice way of saying “pick.” WR1 and WR2 run in tandem up the field, with WR2 breaking out to the outside just as WR1 makes his “in” move. If the safety picks up the pick by shifting to the outside, the middle of the field is open to either WR1 (if he’s able to regain his speed) or WR4, who’s just then cutting across the middle for a solid 10 yard gain.

The secondary play here is for the left side receivers to draw all the attention away from WR3, who, if everyone else is covered, is streaking across an empty field with room towards the sidelines. Not a huge yardage play, but can potentially break with some good blocking upfield.

Personnel: Try this one with your fastest guy at WR1; it might help enduce confusion when he suddenly stops his route to pick WR2’s man.

Pre-snap reads: drop down to WR3 on the blitz.

34 Pumpdog

 

This is straightforward play that goes for solid medium yardage against a man defense. The key is a QB pump-fake deep to WR4 to draw WR3’s corner (and probably the safety). WR3 ducks underneath the fake for the out pass, turns up past his man, and has WR4 in front as a downfield blocker. Otherwise, there’s a quick screen dump off to WR2 (the QB’s first read) in case of pressure, and if there’s too much movement down to cover him (by the safety and WR1’s corner), there’s open field to try the outside post pass to WR1.

Because of that second post option, this makes a decent red-zone play as well. If you’re doing that, you can add in a pump-fake into WR2’s slant route to pull coverage from WR1’s side of the field and toss it over into the corner

Personnel: Quickest wideout plays the WR1 position; best hands to WR3.

Pre-snap reads: Check if the safety’s cheating either way: if to the right, go for the post play, and if to the left, the underneath man can gain even more RAC yardage.