Playbook For Receivers
In the 6-man Metro Toronto Touch Football League
Don't go until the ball is snapped.
After your first couple of steps, you should have an idea of whether they're in a 2-3 zone, a 3-2 zone, or man coverage. Yes, defences will try to disguise what they're doing, but they will give it away by the third steamboat. Just read your defender.
The quarterback sees the whole defence, so he'll know who's going to be open even before you do. Make your cuts on time. In some cases, this means not too soon. You don't have to scream through a square pattern; just run up, slow down, plant your foot and make it a nice crisp 90 degrees.
On the other hand, don't dawdle if your job is to beat your defender to an area. Sometimes this is because you'll be open if you do, and sometimes it's to clear the area by forcing your defender to go with you.
Right Side Out Corner
The name of the play is "Right Side Out Corner." This says we're attacking the right side, with an out by the outside receiver, and a corner (away from the center of the field) by the inside receiver.
The centre hooks at 15, and the backside receivers square right, attacking the right side, the area vacated by the right side out and corner. It is important for this second wave not to come across too soon (the entire defence might shift over), and to have good separation when you do.
The primary read is on the outside defender. If he plays back, as in a 2-3 defence, then the out is open. Remember, as receivers, you have to read the defenders, and anticipate who's going to be open.
If the square pattern isn't square, though, the outside defender gets a free early read, and can jump the route. After all, not all 2-3 defences start out looking like a 2-3. Run the square crisply.
The inside receiver running the corner against tight coverage has to go hard. If you beat your guy, you might be open, depending on whether the outside defender moves up. Against the 2-3 he's laying back, so watch for him to move up to cover the out, and go behind him. If he stays back, the out is open, and you can run right at him.
If the outside defender is playing up tight, as in a 3-2 defence, the out might still be open, but now it's even more important that the square is square.
One, it's easier to beat tight coverage with a crisp cut. Two, you're making the outside defender remain up tight. The open area is in behind him.
The inside receiver shouldn't give away the corner pattern, either. Your only job is to get away from the inside defender. In a 3-2 the inside defender is playing back, so you have to get open behind the out.
Left Side Out Corner
This is the same play, but to the left side. Try to imagine who's going to be open against a 2-3 defence, as compared to a 3-2 defence. See above if necessary, using a mirror.
The rule of thumb for the backside receivers is to square into the area we're attacking.
On this play, we're attacking the inside of the defence.
The "Inside X" is particularly effective against man coverage. One of the two inside receivers should be open. The key to success here is to line up with a wide spread. You don't want either of the outside defenders to drop back and cover the X.
Again, the backside receivers, in this case the outside receivers, will square into the area we're attacking, the inside. No, you won't hit each other, because you started far enough to the outside that if the X isn't open, the ball will come out to one of you before you've reached each other. Don't square in too soon.
Right Side Corner Out
Okay, no picture for this one. You have to see it in your head.
We're attacking the right side. The outside receiver runs a corner, and the inside receiver runs an out, into the right side area that the outside receiver just ran through. As before, the centre hooks at 15, and the backside receivers run shallow square ins across centre and into the right side.
Who's open against a 3-2 defence? The outside receiver, assuming he beats his man to the corner. If the outside defender stays home, the inside square out is running into coverage, but this is okay because you want to prevent the outside defender from dropping back with the corner, and one way is to run the inside square out a bit early.
Who's open against a 2-3 defence? The outside corner is running into coverage, so go hard and deep, to prevent the outside defender from moving up on the inside square out. The inside square out has to be crisp.