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I know this sounds pretty dumb, but can somebody please explain the essence of good route running? How can one tell if a player ran his route well or not?

Having only played sand-lot football, I must be over-simplifying it, but we drew up pass plays for a receiver to go so many steps forward then cut right in some other direction - basically to run a certain "pattern." He needed to be in a certain spot in a certain amount of time.

I keep hearing Ginn isn't running good routes, but frankly, I can't discern whether it is the route or the throw. During the NCSt game, it looked like Zwick was late on a number of crossing patterns.



Great 2 B A Buckeyes !!!
Generally running good routes means running any given route in the playbook as its drawn up. For example : (mind you this is only a general example)

> Post routes - This kind of pass goes to the middle of the field and usually is called when you have a guy like Santonio who can beat the single saftey and get seperation. Usually the WR is only allowed a single cut or studder to fake out the DB's and get seperation. WR should catch the ball in stride and be run the same way its drawn up. (ex. Holmes catch against Marshall - pretty sure it was a post .. haha will have to relook at that play). But WR makes a fast studder step every time... then BAM runs towards middle and while in stride in the middle QB throws a pass in the middle of the field . If you look at the play with the WR, he should generally be in the same area every single time he runs this route.
> Quick out routes - This is a timing route and the receiver cuts quickly towards the sidelines. QB throws the ball before WR even makes his cut. The WR has to run the route th same every time or the timing and the ball will not land there in the right spot. SO 2-4 steps and then BAM out ... catch ball. Should be run by all WR as in playbook and however many steps the playbook suggests.
> Corner Post routes- Usually this is only a 15 - 20 yard pass and the WR catches the ball at the end of the route (as opposed to in stride and still on the route ala Posts . See above). Getting the picture ??
> In routes- short pass (usually only 5 -10 yrds) WR makes a few steps and then fast turns in towards the middle and catches it fast in the middle of the field fast. So 2-4 steps and BAM run in and catch in the middle of the field.

Generally all plays should be run the same way the playbook was written. That way when the QB throws it , its like instinct and if he looks your way you should be in a certain spot at a certain time and a good QB knows his routes and where every WR should be on any given route. So if a WR runs good routes and in a split second the QB throws it ... you'll be in that spot.

Teddy Ginn is a great athelete but he is shortening his routes (or at least some of the routes he runs) . Thus the ball goes over his head or the ball is inside him when he is out near the sidelines. He'll get it and He'll be an absolute GREAT one !!! haha lil long but hope that helps ...
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The satanic soulless freight train that is Ohio St
Staff member
Tech Admin
  • To build on what Storm posted, simply put, pass routes are designed for WRs to be at a certain spot at a certain time, regardless of whether it's a slant, post, crossing, fly, curl, out, stop-and-go, etc. For example, a certain route may call for a WR to go 7 yards from the line of scrimmage and cut 45 degress inside and to continue the route regardless if he's the primary or fourth receiver. If Ginn is going 5 yards or 9 yards instead of the 7, and/or is not cutting at the correct angle, and/or is not finishing off his route, he'll be considerably out of position when the ball is thrown. The first two (yardage and angle) are obviously crucial in timing patterns, where Zwick is throwing the ball as, or even before, the WR makes his cut, while the third (continuing the route) is important when Zwick can't find anyone else open. Look at the 4th-and-14 in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl against Miami. Krenzel had the ball in the air as Jenkins made his cut...Craig was relying on Michael to be at the spot to where the ball was already traveling. They both knew they wanted 16 yards, not 14 or 18, and that's what they got...it was all because Jenkins ran a precise route to perfection.
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    out of chaos comes playoffs
    a big part of route running is how you get to where you need to be at the right time too. if you tip your hand by running a sloppy route the db could jump the route and maybe even bait the qb into throwing a pick.

    things like keeping your body square before making a cut are huge. david boston was an excellent route runner. he would stay square until the cut and could even kind of bluff the defensive back into thinking about another route by getting sloppy in the other direction before making his cut. just a simple thing as getting the db to twist for a half a second the wrong way is all that is needed to get open. good route running is what made a slow guy like steve largent a hall of famer (and politician).
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    Routes are designed to find the dead area's on the field, so both route running and timing are needed. Alot of the problem with some wr are they don't get the db to turn their hips. Lets say their playing man and you are running a 12 yard out with play action. Wr's explode of line of scrimmage the route may be a 12 yard out but wr will run 14 to 15 yards, head and shoulder fake inside which you hope causes the db to turn his hips inside to run with you, then you plant and cut outside and come back to the ball at the 12 yard mark. Its called seperation, this is all about turning the db hips in the opposite direction you intend to go. Watch when a db turns his hips on the fake then has to open back up to cut outside, man thats seperation. plus wr must go catch the ball don't wait for the ball to come to them.

    didn't mean for it to be this long but man I love these types of post.
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    Routes run against zone defenses can be designed to have the receiver settle in a opening between LBs and DBs. The QB gets the ball into the opening and to the receiver faster than the defender can react to the ball. If you see a QB miss a stationary receiver against a zone, it could be because the receiver didn't settle in the spot that allowed a throwing lane for the ball. The receiver and QB must reaad the defense the same way.

    Against man to man defenses the receiver is being thrown to on the move at a point where a feint or a cut creates separation between the receiver and defender. If a QB throws a fade route to the back pylon of the end zone and a CB in man to man knocks the receiver out of his route at the LOS, the receiver will not be able to get the back corner on time and the ball will appear to be overthrown.
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    Staff member
    Points to clarify:

    Option routes: Part of good route running is recognizing a coverage scheme and running the right route against the right defense. This includes running the route into the seam that you're given, whether or not the seam is in the "right" place. This brings us to the next point...

    Finding the seam: By way of example, the seam against a 3-deep is on the numbers (the field's numbers, not the player's) behind the linebackers. If the "center fielder" is cheating to the other side (or is looked off to the other side by the QB), then the sweet spot on the field moves a little to the inside.

    These first to points work best when used together, and when the QB and WR are totally in synch. When they're not, it's best to run routes the way the routes are drawn regardless of the defense, because this scheme is an interception machine with a stupid QB (Chris Rix).

    Knowing the Pass Rush: This is by far one of the most subtle points of route running, and is not even taught by a number of WR coaches, even at the IA level. Knowing where the spots on the field are where THE QB CAN FUCKING SEE YOU is a very important point, but it requires the WR to be savvy to the pass rush scheme, propensities and proclivities of the opposition. If you have an especially tall QB, or if your WRs are finding it hard enough to just learn coverages; then this subtle, albeit very important aspect of route running might be better left alone. Obviously this is more important on drag, hook and curl patterns.

    Even where this skill is taught, it is rarely done well. Receivers who are good at finding the places where the QB can see them (without a DL in his face) get so many receptions that message boards are filled with "Why can't QBx throw to someone other than WRy" threads.

    Sound familiar?
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