Passing

 

The Air Raid Y-Cross Concept is one of the many great passing concepts within the Air Raid Offense.  I’m not alone with this feeling. Great coaches like Chip Kelly,   Mike Leach,   Hal Mumme, and Noel Mazzone feel the same way about this great Air Raid Concept.

Why?

Because it is one of the few Air Raid concepts that pairs up beautifully with play action.

Why Use Play-Action in the Air Raid?

Because you have to run the ball sometimes.Yes, I do love to throw the ball. A lot. Yet, I believe you have to keep the defense honest. Now, I know you can do that through quick screens to wide receivers, and slow screens to the running back. But the tried and true method of keeping a defense on its toes is good ‘

I know that is blasphemy to say in the Air Raid Offense, but it is true.  And yes, I know you can throw quick screens to wide receivers and slow screens to the running back, and say that’s your run game. But let’s be honest – that’s a cop out. Sometimes you are going to have to line up and run the ball down the defenses throat. Especially in high school

Which is great. Because now you can dial up the play action and really mess with the defense.

What is the Y-Cross Concept?

The Y-Cross concept is a weakside flood concept. It can be run from a million different formations, but the main two formations are the following:

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept out of a 2 x 2 Formation

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept Out Of 2 x 2

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept from a 2 x 2 set.

This is usually the first formation the Air Raid Y-Cross Concept is installed in.   The wide receiver routes are as followed:

L – 10-yard post. Your angle of departure is behind the safety. If the safety is bailing then you are still trying to get behind him.

F – 10 yard out.

Y – Crossing route 18-22 yards to the opposite hash. You must go under the Sam and over top the Mike. You can stop in grass and show hands after you go over the top of the Mike linebacker.

R – 15-yard dig. Sit in grass. Keep going if it is man.

Quarterback’s progression

Three step drop then it is L to F to Y to R.

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept out of a 3 x 1 Formation

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept out of Trips

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept from a 3×1 set.

The second way is out of 3 x 1. The wide receiver routes and quarterback’s progression change a bit:

L – 10-yard post. Your angle of departure is behind the safety. If the safety is bailing then you are still trying to get behind him.

Y – Crossing route 18-22 yards to the opposite hash. You must go under the Sam and over top the Mike. You can stop in grass and show hands after you go over the top of the Mike linebacker.

F – Bubble Screen. You are taking two steps forward then back pedaling towards the sideline.

R –  15-yard dig. Sit in grass. Keep going if it is man.

Quarterback’s progression

Three step drop then it is L to Y to R to F

That’s how most teams run the Air Raid Y-Cross Concept

Not me though. I don’t like to use this route as a straight drop back. I’m more of a fan of play-actioning this route. How do I do that?

By utilizing a two-back formation.

See, I think the Wing-T guys are on to something with utilizing motion in their offense. High school defenders can’t help to stare at the motion. Hell, I’m a coach and I sometimes get caught up in the motion.

So why not use motion in the Spread?

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept out of Two-Back Formation

 

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept from 2 x 1

Air Raid Y-Cross Concept Out of Two Back Formation

 

I put the F in the backfield in my two-back formation. The quarterback puts him in motion and hikes the ball. The offensive line will execute our play-action protection based on our Pin and Pull scheme.

I like this play-action blocking paired with the motion because it confuses the defense. The F is going to the right and the right guard is pulling to the left.This makes the linebackers’ heads spin. Which lets our guys get wide open for an easy pitch and catch opportunities.

Rules for the Wide Receiver

L – 10-yard post. Your angle of departure is behind the safety. If the safety is bailing then you are still trying to get behind him.

Y – Crossing route 18-22 yards to the opposite hash. You must go under the Sam and over top the Mike. You can stop in grass and show hands after you go over the top of the Mike linebacker.

R –  15-yard dig. Sit in grass. Keep going if it is man.

F – Swing Route. You are the ‘Oh Shit’ route. If no defender is around you and you can guarantee 10 yards then give a ‘Ball’ call.

Quarterback’s Progression

L to Y to R to F. Unless he hears a ‘Ball’ call from the F. Then that’s an automatic throw. If the ball gets picked off then it isn’t the quarterback’s fault. It’s the F’s fault.

There you go coaches. That’s how I utilize the Air Raid Y-Cross Concept within my offense. If you do anything different then please leave a comment below. And before you go, check out AirRaidDrills.com for a free eBook on three Air Raid drills you need to run in order to be successful in the Air Raid Offense.

Until next time coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun!

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The Air Raid Y-Stick Concept is one of the greatest quick game concepts every invented. No matter what the defense calls, the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept has the answer.However, most teams don’t do to get great at the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept, because they don’t do one simple thing during practice.

They don’t drill it.

Sure. Teams will install the play,  will run the play in 7 on 7, and will call it every now and then in the team portion of practice. But how many of them actually work on the route and drill the progressions for the Quarterback during practice?

Few.

But that’s okay. Because most teams don’t know how to drill the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept. That’s alright though. Because you are fixing to learn how to drill the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept and become great at it.

What is the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept?

The Air Raid Y-Stick concept is an old concept. It utilizes a horizontal and vertical stretch. This gives the quarterback a simple triangle read. Remember, we want to make things as simple as possible for our Quarterback.

We run our Air Raid Y-Stick concept out of our two main formations.

Air Raid Y-Stick Concept Out of 2 x 2

Air Raid Y Stick Concept from a 2 x 2 formation

Y-Stick Concept from a 2 x 2 formation

Here is the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept drawn up out of our 2 x 2 formation. Route rules are as followed:

L Receiver: You are running a three step hitch. You must drive off the line of scrimmage and make the corner think you are going vertical. Pump your arms – pounding the drums – and turn inside. Expect the ball when you turn.

F Receiver: You are running a three step hitch. If there is a Line Backer over you then you must work inside of him. Make the Linebacker put his hands on you. You are doing this so that you can create a larger window for the L Receiver’s hitch route.

Y Receiver: You are taking five steps and turning inside towards the Quarterback. Since you are on the right side, then you will be turning toward your left shoulder. If there is someone head up or slightly inside of you then you will work yourself inside of that defender. You are doing this because you are creating a larger window for the quarterback to throw the flat route. If there isn’t anyone inside of you then you are expecting the ball on your fifth step.

R Receiver: You are taking a mandatory outside release. That means you are taking three hard steps towards the sideline. You MUST MAKE THE CORNER HONOR YOU!!!! If you go inside the corner then you are going to get the flat runner killed.

Running Back: You are running a shoot route. You are sprinting to the spot the R Receiver was lined up at. You are working for width. Do not get more than one yard up the field.

Air Raid Y-Stick Concept Out of 3 x 1

Air Raid Y Stick Concept from a 3 x 1 formation

Y-Stick Concept from a 3 x 1 formation

Two things change when we run our Air Raid Y-Stick Concept out of our 3 x 1. The F is now running the shoot route and the running back has a swing.

L Receiver: You are running a three step hitch. You must drive off the line of scrimmage and make the corner think you are going vertical. Pump your arms – pounding the drums – and turn inside. Expect the ball when you turn.

F Receiver: You are running a shoot route. You are sprinting to the spot the R Receiver was lined up at. You are working for width. Do not get more than one yard up the field.

Y Receiver: You are taking five steps and turning inside towards the quarterback. Since you are on the right side, then you will be turning toward your left shoulder. If there is someone head up or slightly inside of you then you will work yourself inside of that defender. You are doing this because you are creating a larger window for the Quarterback to throw the flat route. If there isn’t anyone inside of you then you are expecting the ball on your fifth step.

R Receiver: You are taking a mandatory outside release. That means you are taking three hard steps towards the sideline. You MUST MAKE THE CORNER HONOR YOU!!!! If you go inside the corner then you are going to get the flat runner killed.

Running back: You are running the swing route towards the L Receiver. You will take three steps before whipping your head towards the quarterback. Expect the ball hot.

Quarterback’s Thought Process on the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept

Quarterbacking Air Raid Y-Stick Concept

The Quarterback’s thought process is simple.

The Quarterback first looks at the corner over the R Receiver. The Quarterback then asks himself these two questions:

  1. What is the depth of the corner?
  2. Where are the corner’s eyes at: on me or on the R Receiver?

These two questions are important because it tells the quarterback what to do with the ball. If the Quarterback sees that the corner is within five yards of the R Receiver and that the corner’s eyes are on the R Receiver, then the Quarterback knows the corner isn’t a threat.

On the other hand, if the corner is within five yards of the R Receiver and that the corner’s eyes on our the Quarterback, then the Quarterback knows he could have a holeshot down the field.

But for the sake of simplicity, let’s say the corner is back off the R Receiver. What does the Quarterback do?

Simple.

He locates the defender that is lined up head up or inside the Y Receiver. That’s the guy he is playing the game off of.

The game is really simple. The quarterback is thinking of this little rhyme:

  • Defender goes inside, then I go outside.
  • Defender goes outside, then I come inside.

What that means is if the defender takes the Y-Stick route that the Y Receiver runs, then the quarterback will throw the shoot route. If the defender takes the shoot route that the Running Back/F Receiver runs, then the quarterback will throw the Y-Stick route.

Drilling the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept

Drill Air Raid Y-Cross Concept

Get to the point man.

Now, I know you know how simple the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept is. But does your Quarterback? If he is like every other blue-blooded American male, then he has other things on his mind than a simple passing concept.

So how do we ensure success on this play? Easy. We set up a simple five-minute drill to run every day in practice.

Drilling Air Raid Y-Stick Concept

Air Raid Y Stick Drill out of a 2 x 2 formation

Y-Stick Drill from 2 x 2 formation

We run this drill two ways every day. The first way is out of our normal 2 x 2 formation. Quarterbacks, Running Backs, and Y and F Receivers are used in the first drill. The L and R Receivers go with their position coach to work on over the shoulder fades and getting off of a press footwork.

The drill is simple. A coach will line up head up or inside the Y or F Receiver. The Running Back will be in the backfield. The Quarterback will go through his cadence and receive the ball. He will take a rocker step – since we are in the gun – and put his eyes on the coach.

  • If the coach STEPS OUT towards the running back’s shoot route, then the Quarterback THROWS IN to the Y/F Receiver Stick route.
  • If the coach STEPS IN towards the Y/F’s Stick route, then the Quarterback THROWS OUT to the Running Back’s shoot route.

It is that simple. All the Quarterback has to do is remember the saying, “If the defender goes out, I throw in. If the defender goes in, then I throw out.”

Air Raid Y Stick Drill from a 3 x 1 formation

Y-Stick drill from a 3 x 1 formation

The Running Backs go with their position coach to work on ball security and ball handling once we start drilling our 3 x 1 Air Raid Y-Stick Concept.

The Y and F receiver will line up in 3 x 1 to the right. A coach will line head up or inside the Y Receiver. The Quarterback will go through his cadence and receive the ball. He will take a rocker step and put his eyes on the coach.

  • If the coach STEPS OUT towards the F receiver’s shoot route, then the Quarterback THROWS IN to the Y receiver’s Stick route.
  • If the coach STEPS IN towards the Y receiver’s Stick route, then the Quarterback THROWS OUT to the F receiver’s shoot route.

We get between twenty to thirty reps during this drill in five minutes. We go rapped fire and want to drill it into our Quarterback’s head that “He goes Out, I go In. He goes In, I go Out.”

I want those Quarterbacks to mumble the saying in their sleep.

Leave me a comment below if you run the Air Raid Y-Stick Concept. I want to know what formations and motions you use to be successful at this play. Make sure you download my FREE eBook on the One-Back Power RPO located at the top of the page.

Also, make sure you download my FREE eBook on the One-Back Power RPO located at the top of the page.

And until next week coach, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun!

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Shallow Cross Route Is Simple and Deadly

Greatest Passing Play Ever

I love the shallow cross play.  I’ve talked about how it’s one of the three simple passing plays for your tight end. But not many people run this simple concept.

Why?

Because they don’t know how to drill it.

But I’ve got that covered. I’m going to go over the main drill we use to increase our chances of success on the shallow cross concept.

Shallow Cross Drill for practice

You know you like the drawing

We set up our Fs – our fast slot type wide receiver – on the left and the Ys – our bigger, slower slot receiver – on the right side. The tailback will be behind whichever quarterback is closest to the wide receiver running the shallow route.

We use two sets of cones in this drill. The first set is placed at the three yard mark. This set is for the shallow runner. He is to run UNDER the cones. The second set is placed ten yards from the line of scrimmage. This is for the dig runner. He is to run his route BEHIND the cones.

The cones are the most important piece of equipment for this drill. You must use the cones, or something cone like, to train your receivers how to use space properly while running the route combination.

Now, the quarterbacks will all drop back at the same time. This is similar to the Air Raid’s Routes on Air drill. I make the quarterback who is throwing the shallow route call the cadence. When he goes through the cadence – Ready, Set, Go! – all three quarterbacks drop back as the F, Y, and tailback get into their pass route.

The first quarterback will take his three step drop and on the last step throw the ball to the Y running the shallow route. The second quarterback – who was also looking at the shallow route while he was dropping back – will hitch up after the first quarterback throws the ball, and throw the ball to the F. The third quarterback – who was staring down the shallow route, hitching, starting down the dig route – will hitch and throw the ball to the running back.

The wide receivers will catch the ball, tuck it, and SPRINT into the end zone. The quarterbacks will then rotate to the left. A new F, Y, and tailback will step into the drill and then you do the whole thing again.

 

That’s it.

That’s the drill. That’s the thing we do every day for ten minutes so that we are successful on this play. If you want to be successful on the Shallow Cross route then I believe you have to do this drill every day as well. It’s simple. It’s effective. And it will make you look like a brilliant coach.

So until next time, remember to never stop Mastering the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun!

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