flare route - football - albin web viewto throw a shovel pass the quarterback palms the football,...

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Football Definitions Offensive Positions Offensive Formations Offensive Passing Routes Defensive Positions Defensive Formations Defensive Coverage Shells Football Terminology

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Post on 05-Feb-2018




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Flare Route - Football

Football Definitions

Offensive Positions

Offensive Formations

Offensive Passing Routes

Defensive Positions

Defensive Formations

Defensive Coverage Shells

Football Terminology






Wide Receiver

Half Back

Full Back

Running Back

Tight End

Wide Out


I-formation The I formation is a traditional modern offensive formation that gets its name from the I-shaped alignment of the QB, FB and HB. Using 2 backs and, typically, 2 WRs and 1 TE, this formation is conducive to both running and passing plays. When the latter is chosen, the back without the ballusually the FBwill block for the back with the ball. The I Formation isnt all that common in the NFL today, as the pro set formation (#7 below) can accomplish pretty much the same thing. However, the I formation is still sometimes used for play-action passes or short yardage running situations.

Single-Back (also known as the "Lone Setback" or "Singleback" or "Ace" formation or "Oneback" or "Solo") requires only one running back (usually a halfback) lined up about five yards behind the quarterback. There are many variations on single back formations including two tight ends and two wide receivers, one tight end/three wide receivers, etc. The running back can line up directly behind the quarterback or offset either the weak side (away from the tight end) or the strong side (towards the tight end).

Split-back or Pro-set The pro set formation is another traditional modern offensive formation. Like the I formation, the pro set is a balanced formation that usually features 2 backs, 2 WRs, and a TE. The main difference between the pro set and the I is simply that the two backs are on either side of the quarterback. Thus there is a bit of a tradeoff when using the pro set: you lose the blocking of the FB in the I formation, but you gain some uncertainty, as the defense doesnt know which side of center the ball will go to.

Spread Formation The spread formation is a particularly aggressive variant of the single set back formation (which is just like the standard shotgun formation, only the QB lines up immediately behind the C). Where the spread formation differs from the standard single set back is in its use of 4 WRs and 0 TEs. The idea is that this formation spreads out the defense, creating more space. Though typically used for passing plays, the spread formation can also occasionally creates big holes in the DL for effective runs. Also, its more common in college than the NFL.

Shotgun You have a shotgun formation any time the QB lines up about 5 yards behind the center and receives a snap rather than a handoff from the C. Typically, this formation uses only 1 back with 3 WRs and 1 TE, although any variation of players in the backfield is possible. The advantage of the QBs position on this formation is that he can see the defensive alignment more clearly and has more time to throw the ball. Teams with excellent QBs and an aggressive passing gamelike Indianapolis and New Englandhave used the shotgun as their standard offensive formation in recent years.

Slot Receiver - The basic offensive formation has the tackle and tight end closely positioned and receivers positioned wide near the sidelines. That leaves a gap -- a slot -- between each receiver and the line. When a receiver lines up in that gap, he is called the slot receiver.



Flare Route - short pass thrown to a back who is running toward a sideline and is not beyond the line of scrimmage.

Screen Pass - a short forward pass in which the receiver is protected by a screen of blockers. During a screen pass, many things are going on at the same time in order to fool the defense into thinking a long pass is being thrown, when in fact the pass is merely a short one, just beyond the defensive linemen. Screens are usually deployed against aggressive defenses that rush the passer. Because screens invite the defense to rush the quarterback, they are designed to leave fewer defenders behind the rushers to stop the play.

A screen pass can be effective, but it also can be risky because it is rather easy for a defensive player, even a lineman, to intercept this short pass if a defender gets in between the quarterback and the intended receiver. If the pass is intercepted, there are often few offensive players in front of the intercepting player, thus making it much easier for the intercepting team to earn a large return or to score a touchdown.

Screens come in many forms. A screen to a running back to either the strong or short side of the field in the flats is often just called a screen. Screens to wide receivers come in four forms: the bubble screen, middle screen, slot screen, and slip screen.

The bubble screen involves a receiver taking a step forward, then darting toward the quarterback to receive the ball while the linemen release to clear a path for the receiver. The benefit of the bubble screen is it works against zone or man coverage. A downside is that it is dependent on proper timing; a zone blitz or defensive end dropping into coverage can disrupt the timing, and may result in the quarterback being sacked.

The middle screen is like the bubble screen, except instead of being executed to one side of the field or another, the receiver continues his route to the middle of the field. The linemen release up the middle of the field in front of the receiver.

A screen pass is sometimes executed using a shovel pass throwing motion. To throw a shovel pass the quarterback palms the football, and "shovels" the pass directly forward to the receiver, usually with a backhand, underhand or pushing motion. When a designed play calls for the quarterback to use a shovel pass forward to a receiver it is, by definition, also a screen pass. Many times, however, the quarterback will be scrambling or about to be sacked and will shovel pass the ball to a receiver who was not the intended target of the called play. A shovel pass is useful in this situation because of its smaller range of arm motion and quick release. In this instance the shovel pass is not a screen pass.

Wheel Route - run by a receiver or running back. When run by a receiver, the player will immediately run a quick out pattern, then proceed to turn upfield in a curved pattern. Typically this route is run from an inside receiver, with the number one receiver heading inside to exploit coverage in the defense. When run from the running back position the player will run towards the sideline while looking back at the quarterback as if he is about to receive a pass on a flare route. The running back will then turn upfield at the sideline and run straight down the field.

This route is useful when run from the wide receiver position because the defensive back will expect the ball to be thrown as the receiver makes his first turn and will bite (go for the fake) underneath the receiver (run between the quarterback and the receiver to try to prevent, block, or intercept the pass) to defend the pass and be unable to recover as the receiver turns upfield. In this respect the route is very similar to an Out-and-Up or Chair route, but without the vertical release that the Out-and-Up utilizes. The route is useful when run from the running back position because the defender will assume the ball is going to be thrown to the running back behind the line of scrimmage (the quarterback can use a pump fake to further "sell" this), and will bite underneath the running back only to have the running back turn upfield.

Bootleg - quarterback fakes a handoff to a running back, then sprints out in the opposite direction, looking to run or pass.

Post - Any pass-receiving route that is directed towards the goal posts is called a post pattern. For example, a receiver may run down a sideline before angling towards the middle of the field, which in the case of a post pattern is defined by a vertical swath (the width of the goal posts) running from the line of scrimmage to the attacking goal posts. In a skinny post, or a glance, the route is shorter in length and quicker than a deep post, which may cover 30 or 40 yards. A color announcer may refer to the skinny post as a "glance in" or a "bang eight."


The strong safety tends to be somewhat larger and stronger than the free safety. However, the word strong is used because he is assigned to cover the "strong side" of the offense, the side on which the big, powerful tight end lines up on offensive plays. The strong safety tends to play closer to the line and assist in stopping the run. He may also cover a player, such as a running back or fullback or H-back, who comes out of the backfield to receive a pass. A strong safety's duties are a hybrid of those belonging to a linebacker in a 46 or 34 defense and those of the other defensive backs, in that he both covers the pass and stops the run. Legendary strong safeties include John Lynch and Troy Polamalu.

The free safety tends to watch the play unfold and follow the ball. The free safety is typically assigned to the quarterback in man coverage, but as the quarterback usually remains in the pocket, the free safety is "free" to double cover another player. On pass plays, the free safety is expected to assist the cornerback on his side and to close the distance to the receiver by the time the ball reaches him. Offenses tend to use the play-action pass specifically to make the free safety expect a run play, which would draw him closer to the line of scrimmage, and reduce his effectiveness as a pass defender. Furthermore,