Sunday, November 20, 2016

Major Roll in the Air Raid

Running Backs in the Air Raid
Over the years in college football, the air raid offense has produced great quarterbacks and elusive wide receivers that has generated a lot of yards through its pass game. But one valuable part of the air raid offense most people forget about is the running backs and how their route in the air raid offense makes the difference and helps with the success of the offense. When Hal Mumme put together the air raid offense; he made sure to have running backs play a vital part in the air raid offense because they gave the opportunity to create mismatches with different defenders throughout a ball game. The philosophy of the air raid offense is to get the ball to the person who can score as fast as possible. There are four routes that were created for the running backs in the air raid offense that became successful. The swing route, shoot route, angle route, and option route.
Swing Route:
Image result for swing route
The swing route by the running backs is ran to help stretch the defensive opponents and help create passing lanes for the wide receivers on the outside. The swing route is almost always a guaranteed completion for the quarterback. It is a high percentage pass that is almost like a sweep run to the running back to the outside.
            Key Points: When running the swing route, running back needs to focus on pushing off his inside foot, opening up at 3 o’clock and keeping his shoulders squared to the line of scrimmage but not giving up any ground. Running back should run five hard steps before looking for the ball from quarterback.
Shoot Route:
Just as the swing route, the shoot route is great to help stretch the defensive opponents and help create passing lanes for the wide receivers on the outside. The shoot route is also a great timing route that is used to get to the flats of the football field as quick as possible. The running backs in the shoot route should run in a straight line to the numbers as fast as possible.
            Key Points: In a straight line to the numbers, the running back should take three hard steps before snapping his head around to look for the pass from the quarterback. Once the running reaches the numbers, he should be at the depth of three yards. The first step in this route is with the outside foot of the running back. If the running back does not receive the ball, he should settle at the numbers.
Angle Route:
Image result for angle routeThroughout a football game, there are always adjustments having to be made. As a running back coach, when realizing a defensive player over playing the running backs in their routes; the best adjustment is running the angle and option routes. The angle route is in contrast of the shoot route. Running the shoot route a good number of times during the game can catch the defender starting to overplay that route, and will then turn it into an angle route underneath the defender and over the line of scrimmage.
            Key Points: When running the angle route, the first couple of steps need to look as if the running back is running the shoot route. Making it look the same for the defender to overplay the route. After the three hard steps as if you are running the shoot route, the running back should gather his steps on the fourth and fifth steps sticking his foot in the ground and breaking the route off at an angle underneath the defender. The route should be returned over the line of scrimmage.
Option Route:
The option route is a versatile route, giving the running back a lot of different ways of how to set up the defender based on how he plays him. The option route can be used against any coverage and it helps the running back get open quickly
            Key Points: Most important thing with the option route, is the running back understanding how to recognize zone or man coverage, the depth of defenders, and timing with the quarterback and the routes from the wide receivers in the play. Before the play, the running back should line up wider than usual behind the offensive tackle to help getting into the option route much faster. On the snap of the ball, running back will release outside of the offensive tackle and straight up field. If the defender is playing outside of the running back, he should release inside looking for the ball. If the defender is playing inside, the running should release outside looking for the ball. If its man coverage, running back should stay on the run, if its zone then he should throttle down looking for the ball from the quarterback.

American Football Monthly by Hal Mumme and Mason Miller 

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