Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shallow Cross- Best concept ever

Its been way too long since my last post. I apologize to anyone who cares. Luckily our season didnt end until December 17th, and I since went into a long state of slothful slumber. But I have awoken.

In this post we'll be diving into the pass game for the first time.
It's the Shallow Cross concept. Fun fact- its about 50-60% of my passing game in NCAA football 2012 for xbox. The more you know. Its impossible to call something "The best passing concept ever" but Shallow Cross comes close. Love it. Its a concept that works against all coverages and is one of the best dropback and PA concepts. It can be tailored and find its place in almost any scheme. Ambiguity is a beautiful thing.
So lets talk about it.

The Shallow Cross Concept
In short, Shallow Cross involves a deep Post, 10-12 yd Dig (Air Raid teams usually have the Dig settle vs zone), and a 3-4 yd Drag. The Dig and Drag must come from opposite sides. Those are the 3 routes you need but a wheel or vertical provides a great 4th route.

With only these 3 routes it is very easy from pro set formations, and again as a PAP.

This is what it would look like for an I team off of an ISO action-

Here is what it would look like from a more spread formation, with a wheel as the 4th route

The Reads

If youre doing a simple progression, it would be like this-
1. Wheel/Vertical (obviously this step is skipped in a 3 man concept)
2. Post
3. Dig
4. Drag

But if youre looking to read defenders, it'll look more like this-
Vs. 1 high-
  1. Free Safety. If the safety even thinks about the dig, throw the Post over his head for a touchdown. If he plays the post (as he should) go to read #2.
  2. 1st PS linebacker. If he drops to the Dig, throw the drag. If he comes up for the drag, play action, or blitzes, throw the dig. The dig is what ends up open most of the time.

    By adding the wheel, you throw the corner into the mix and he becomes the first read. If he does not cover the wheel, check the safety. The safety cant cover both the wheel and the post. Throw to where he is not covering.

    Reads vs. 2 high-
    1. Post Side Safety.
    2. Middle linebacker (or first PS in a 3-4). 
    note- If a team rolls into 3 a lot from a 2 high look, it will really turn into a read of both safeties to identify the coverage. 

    With a 2 high look, the wheel becomes a progression read since both the corner and the safety could be responsible for his route. If someone drops to the wheel, Qb moves on to his primary read (BS safety).

    Against man- whether from 1 high look or 2 high look, the reads should help the qb ID man and the safeties will tell him where NOT to throw. As long as the qb puts the ball in a spot where he leads our route runners, it is up to our receivers to run a good route and to get the ball.

    In a run first offense, the concept is easy as shown and does not need to be expanded on much. But there are several variations of Shallow Cross if you look to make it a mainstay in your offense. All the reads remain the same. The only thing that changes is who runs whaich routes, which can mess up a defense who is trying to cheat on route or concept identification. That is what makes Air Raid offenses so good- the run 4 Verts, Shallow Cross, Mesh, and a couple variations off of each with clockwork precision. Easy for a qb since the reads remain the same, but difficult for a defense because they see different routes.

    One effective variations is running the Post and the Dig from the same side. By doing this you put the drag and the vertical on the same side. The Vertical goes first, as shown.

    You can even switch the Dig and Post, having the slot run a skinny post while the Dig comes underneath him.

    From trips-
    Since the Dig and the drag have to be on opposite sides, the single side receiver has to run a dig or a drag. Both are shown below.

    And just as was done before, you can have a slot run the post as shown below/

    Another variation is putting the Drag and Dig on the same side, with the Dig coming from a receiver inside the Drag. To make things simpler, I call it a different concept- "Drive". But the read remains the same, and it can also be done without the wheel.

    Here is how it looks-
    And one way to run it from trips-

    Thats about all I got. Glad I could actually get something done. Hope you enjoyed it. feel free to ask any questions. I plan on having my next post relatively soon. It'll be on either 4 verts or the flash/flow jet and option series. You'll just have to check back again later and find out. Thanks for your time.