With the offseason upon us I want to bring to you some passing concepts that the Jets will use to help Zach Wilson become more successful as a QB. This is not ground breaking stuff. In fact these are some basic elements hat give a young QB some easy throws to get some quick completions. These are some one or two read plays that you can incorporate to prevent a defense from getting a definitive read on the play.
These are concepts that are used in many if not most NFL playbooks. The idea is to isolate one defender (depending on the defensive call) that will allow one of two players to come open quickly. These are excellent first down plays that get the offensive moving with quality gains.
The first concept I will highlight is called the snag concept.
The snag concept is run off many different formations so it’s very popular.
The concept can be run against man or zone defenses and usually contains a corner or post route along with a short and flat route. In this play the “snag” read is the Z receiver who breaks in then back towards the strongside sideline. This scheme looks to stress the defense vertically as well as horizontally.
The QB needs to determine which defense he is running this play against. If it’s a man to man coverage he is probably going to look for the “Y” receiver on the corner route first. If he can gain a step on his coverage the pass should be open to the outside which would give the offense a chance at a big play without the possibility of an interception since he can lead the receiver toward the sideline and away from coverage.
If this is a zone coverage he will look at the outside most coverage man to determine where to go with the ball. If the outside CB stays and pushes towards the flat receiver the QB will look to throw the ball inside to the Snag receiver (the Z). This is because the inside LB will never be able to get over in time to stop that throw. Here is how it looks in real action.
Once the outside CB steps out to the flat, even slightly, he allows the TE to be uncovered so the Lions pick up a quick 8 yards on a bang bang play. Matt Stafford is even a little late reading and delivering the ball, but the play is still successful. In this play with the safety playing outside leverage the Y receiver runs the post pattern. He is bracketed by two defenders so he was not a viable target.
Here the Saints run a two man snag concept with a motion man as the flat component. You can see the the motion man bellies out wide to force the outside defender to make a choice in coverage. Since he had the flat receiver, he had to come up and outside which vacated his zone and allowed the snag receiver more room.
The Saints actually ran snag concepts to both sides of the line so Drew Brees had multiple players open. He had his choice. You can see this is a quick read so the ability to take a couple of steps back the find a wide open target was the ideal choice. If the down and distance was much farther the linebackers might have made deeper drops so the gain might have been more extensive. Since this was a first and 10 play it gave the Saints a positive play with the playbook open on 2nd down.
Again this is a quick read of the defense, in this instance the outside defender was the read to tell the QB where to go with the ball.
The second concept here is the drive concept.
The drive concept is a horizontal passing scheme that works against the inside linebackers to make them cover in space while making a decision on where to locate in zone coverage. It works two in breaking routes with a 5 yard “dig” route in front of the dropping linebacker and a 12-15 yard “in” behind the underneath defender. This puts that defender in a situation that either makes him come up or drop back which in turn allows one of the crossing routes to be open. Here is the diagram.
Running a couple of vertical routes off this motion keeps the safeties from coming up in coverage and helping the inside linebackers. There are numerous variations of this play with a wide variety of alternate routes, but the core concept is the high low action against the linebacker (or nickel-dime defenders) that gives the QB another easy read against man or zone coverage.
Here are a couple of examples of this scheme.
On this play you can see how the vertical route takes the outside defender deep but also holds the safety to that side until the throw. The right inside LB runs with the shallow cross while the left inside LB is lost in coverage. When the shallow cross is covered it gives an easy read to the QB and a wide open receiver for a big gain on the play.
On this next play the linebackers are replaced with nickel and dime defenders, but the concept works just as well against man coverage. With the slot receiver facing a defender who is playing outside coverage he has an easy release into an open area.
In this instance both the short and deep routes come open, but because the short route came open so quickly with room to run the QB had little choice but lay the ball off to him. The play yielded an easy 1st down off a fairly simple but effective concept.
These again are simple concepts that allow for quick reads and would be ideal for a young QB looking to gain confidence. They provide simple reads against any defense.
I will be bringing you more route concepts in the near future that are most likely in the Jets playbook since these are fairly basic West Coast scheme plays. You should be able to see these plays in the fall as this will give you a better understanding of what the idea of the play is and what Zach Wilson should be looking for.