This is a topic which has been covered extensively on the internet by various websites, most notably by Chris Brown on his SmartFootball.com website. There are different variations of these concepts coaches run with the shallow at four yards, the dig at twelve yards; with complimentary routes of streaks, posts, or comebacks. My contribution will show how I will run these plays as an offensive coordinator.
Here are a list of reasons of why you should consider adding the shallow cross pass concept to your pass game.
- Can be run from multiple formations.
- Easy throw and catch.
- Can result in explosive plays
- Attacks multiple coverage's.
- Defense can never key which receiver is running the shallow route.
I run the shallow route at two yards because of the pressure it puts on linebackers. They want to re-route receivers coming across the middle while in zone coverage; running the shallow at a four yard depth makes this easier for them to do. Receivers are affected in that either they get stopped coming across or to avoid contact will run the routes at the wrong depth. Running the shallow at two yards makes linebackers commit in their zone drop to either step up or not, which cleans up the read to throw the shallow or dig. By running at two yards, my shallow receiver doesn't sit vs zone, putting pressure on the linebackers even more against a receiver going full speed
I like the comeback as part of the read because I feel it helps attack a team that is playing zone coverage. It helps attack the flat defender. If a backer or safety doesn't widen enough and cheats on the dig, this allows the window to open and throw this route. It also fits with the fact that I don't like to just have a clear out route and make sure the defense has to cover all five potential receivers.
Here are some of the shallow cross plays I will run as OC.
|Ace Right Flex 60 H-Shallow Cross|
|Ace Right Flex 60 Z-Shallow Cross|
|Ace Right Flex 60 X-Shallow Cross|
Now one of the first things you may notice about my plays is I have my back stay on the same side. If the shallow route is coming towards him he will run a check circle instead of a check arrow. This is different than other versions that coaches run where the back flips sides and just runs the arrow when in a 2x2 formation. I personally feel that by flipping the back, it can give a key to the defense that if a shallow cross is being run it will come from the same side as the back. I could be totally wrong about that being a key, any feedback would be appreciated in the comments.
You also may have noticed that with the shallow routes being run from the outside receivers I have the slot player to their side running a corner route. A comeback isn't practical and a corner still attacks zone coverage while providing a read on the flat defender. A better option may be a choice route of either a corner or deep out based on safety looks, but that is something to look deeper into at a later time.
Here is how I would run the drive pass play from a 3x1 look.
|Right Trey 60 H-Shallow Drive.|
Pretty much the same that most coaches have. I have thought about flipping the back to the other side and having the X run a post with a F wheel and Z comeback. Any coaches had any experience running those route combo's?
And lastly I have already mentioned I like empty. I can even run the shallow crosser from an empty look.
|Empty Right 50 Y-Shallow Cross|
Hopefully I have made clear why I like running the crosser route concepts. As I mentioned at the top, this is how I will run these plays. There could be better ways to run these pass concepts and I would like to hear what other coaches think or do. Please leave your thoughts in the comment form below.