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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The Inside Zone RPO is your favorite play.  This week’s Defensive coordinator knows this. So he will spend all week devising ways to take away the Inside Zone RPO. He will drill his players on how to stop the Inside Zone RPO. And his defense will stop it for a drive.

It will happen. Trust me. It’s football. But what will you do when it happens? Will you stop running the play?

Hell no.

You will run this amazing variation off of the Inside Zone RPO and have the defensive coordinator quit on the spot.

The Inside Zone RPO Blocking Scheme.

Blocking Inside Zone against an Under Front

Blocking Inside Zone Against a Shade.

The blocking scheme is the same as before. And that is what makes the Inside Zone RPO blocking scheme so amazing. It keeps things simple upfront for your offensive linemen. This lets your offensive linemen play hard, fast, and be successful

Left Tackle – You block anyone head up to outside of you.

Left Guard – You will check the play side B-gap. If there is someone there then you will block them. If there is no one there then you will check the backside A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block them. If you do not have anyone in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help out the center.

Center – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in the gap then you will block that person. If no one is in that gap then you will check the back side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If there is no one in either gap then that means you are covered and you will block the person over you.

Right Guard – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If you don’t have anyone in the play side A-gap then you will check the back side B-gap. If there is someone in that gap then you will BASE BLOCK HIM, because you are now apart of the BASE tag. If no one is in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help him.

Right Tackle – You will block anyone head up to outside of you because you are tagged with the BASE tag.

The Wide Receivers Routes in Inside Zone RPO

Spread 3 x 1 formation with the inside receivers stacked on top of each other.

Defenses will put a man right over the stack receiver.

This is where the variation comes from. If you gash the defense a couple of times with the Stick route off of the Inside Zone RPO, then the defense will put a guy on top of the Y receiver and press him at the line of scrimmage.

That’s fine. Because that will help free up the F receiver.

The Y receiver runs the flat route and the F receiver runs the stick route.

Run F Stick and have the defensive coordinator quit during the game.

 

L Receiver – You are running a hitch/fade read route. If the corner is five yards off of you then you will run a three step hitch. Expect the ball when you turn around. If the corner is in your face then you will take a mandatory outside release and run to the end zone.

Y Receiver – You are going to attack the outside shoulder of the man over you. Your job is for the man to place his hands on you. Make him turn his shoulders and chase you. If you can, grab his jersey a little bit and force him to come with you.

F Receiver – You are running five hard steps towards the inside shoulder of the defender over the Y receiver. If the Y does his job right then there shouldn’t be a defender there. Doesn’t matter. Take a mental imagine and attack the shoulder. Hitch up and look for the ball on your inside shoulder after the fifth step. The ball will be coming fast so don’t be surprise.

R Receiver – You are running a mandatory outside release vertical. You will take your man to the end zone. If you stop running and let the corner into the play then you can expect to sit the bench for the rest of the game.

Running Back Steps in the Inside Zone RPO

Running Back’s foot work is the same as before. You are taking a six inch search step with the foot closest to the quarterback. This is called a Search Step.

You will cross over with your opposite foot and point your toes towards the center’s butt on your second step. This is called a Cross Over Step.

You will come downhill towards the center’s butt on your third step. This is called the Go step.

If the quarterback pulls the ball from you then you will attack the backside linebacker.

This is a cheap way of turning the run blocking into a form of pass blocking.

Quarterback’s Read in the Inside Zone RPO

The quarterback is asking himself this question when you call the Inside Zone RPO: How many people are in the box?

Quarterback sees it is a six man box so he will throw the ball.

Quarterback’s read in the Inside Zone RPO.

If the quarterback sees six men in the box then he knows the offense doesn’t have the advantage in the run game. So he will move his read to the linebacker over the Y receiver.

If the linebacker follows the Y receiver then the quarterback will throw the ball to the F receiver. If the linebacker chases the F receiver then the quarterback will throw the ball to the Y receiver.

Quarterback sees it is a five man box so he will run the ball.

Hand the ball off against a five man box.

If the quarterback sees five defenders in the box then he knows the offense has run advantage. He will hand the ball off to the running back and FAKE A THROW to hold the secondary. This gives the running back an advantage.

That’s it

All you have to do to confuse the defense and have the defensive coordinator sweating at night is change up the wide receiver’s routes. Nothing changes for the offensive linemen or the quarterback’s read. That’s the beauty of this offense. We keep things simple so the kids can play fast and be successful.

Leave a comment below if you do anything different with your Inside Zone RPOs. I love to hear from ya’ll. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already. I put out a new video every Saturday morning. Please download my FREE One Back Power RPO eBook. The sign up is at the top of the page.

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

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Why is it that the defenses have an America blitz, but the offense doesn’t have an America Inside Zone RPO? I don’t think that’s fair. Offensive guys aren’t less American than their defensive counter parts. So today I’m going to introduce to you all the American Inside Zone RPO.

What’s the America Inside Zone RPO? It’s the Inside Zone paired with the Y-Stick quick game passing concept.

BOOM!

What now Defensive Coordinators?

What makes the Inside Zone RPO so great?

This play puts the defense in a bind. Do they cover the greatest quick game concept ever made, or do they defend the greatest running scheme ever?

Defensive coordinators will look like Dana Hogorsen  after the game because they won’t know what to do.

What formation do you run the Inside Zone RPO Out Of?

How to Screw with defensive coordinators

Trio Rt Special

I love this formation. It puts the defense in a bind. They are outnumbered at the point of attack by the two stacked wide receivers. If they want to even out the numbers they will have to do one of two things: 1) Bump a line backer out of the box, or 2) Roll down a safety.

Either way, YOU are making the defense do something. YOU are forcing their hand. YOU are taking charge of the situation and the ball game.

Isn’t that great?

The Inside Zone RPO Play.

The play is your typical Inside Zone Blocking Scheme, but with a Base Tag. In this example we will be running it to the left.

Normally, the right offensive guard will secure the B-gap and then climb to the backside linebacker if no one crosses his face in the B-gap. But he isn’t doing that on this play because of the Base Tag.

The Base Tag doesn’t change the play for the rest of the linemen. Only the backside tackle and  guard. Everyone else blocks the play normal.

Offensive Line Blocking the Inside Zone RPO

Blocking Inside Zone RPO with backside 3 Tech.

Blocking for the Inside Zone RPO is simple. Here are the rules:

Left Tackle – You block anyone head up to outside of you.

Left Guard – You will check the play side B-gap. If there is someone there then you will block them. If there is no one there then you will check the backside A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block them. If you do not have anyone in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help out the center.

Center – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in the gap then you will block that person. If no one is in that gap then you will check the back side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If there is no one in either gap then that means you are covered and you will block the person over you.

Right Guard – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If you don’t have anyone in the play side A-gap then you will check the back side B-gap. If there is someone in that gap then you will BASE BLOCK HIM, because you are now apart of the BASE tag. If no one is in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help him.

Right Tackle – You will block anyone head up to outside of you because you are tagged with the BASE tag.

Wide Receiver Routes for the Inside Zone RPO

Routes for Inside Zone RPO

The Wide Receivers are running the Air Raid Y-Stick route. Here are their rules:

R Receiver – You are running a mandatory outside release vertical. Your job is to take the corner with you. If the corner squats while you run past him then you let the coach know on the sideline. Because that corner is fixing to get burnt.

Y ReceiverYou are running the stick route. You will push off hard for three steps, aiming for the outside shoulder of the man over you. On third step you will plant on your outside foot and find grass inside the man over you.

F Receiver  – You are running the shoot route. You are looking to replace the R receiver. Get there fast. Force the man over the Y to make a decision – cover you or cover the Y.

L Receiver – You are running a three step hitch. Expect the ball if the corner is five yards off of you. Spin towards the sideline if you are thrown the ball.

Running Back Steps in the Inside Zone RPO

You are taking a six inch search step with the foot closest to the quarterback. This is called a Search Step.

You will cross over with your opposite foot and point your toes towards the center’s butt on your second step. This is called a Cross Over Step.

You will come downhill towards the center’s butt on your third step. This is called the Go step.

If the quarterback pulls the ball from you then you will attack the backside linebacker.

This is a cheap way of turning the run blocking into a form of pass blocking.

Quarterback’s Read in the Inside Zone RPO

The quarterback is looking at the number of players in the box. How many are there? Five or more then you will hand the ball off. Six or more then you are throwing the ball.

Hand the Ball Off.

In the example above the quarterback sees there are only five defenders in the box so he will hand the ball off. He will FAKE A THROW once he hands the ball off. It is very important he does this because it will freeze the defenders – giving the running back an opportunity for more yards.

Read the Outside Linebacker.

What does the quarterback do when he sees six defenders in the box?

He changes the read to the defender over the Y receiver. The quarterback still puts the ball in the running back’s stomach, but he’s reading the outside linebacker:

The outside linebacker jams the Y receiver then the quarterback will throw it to the F.

The outside linebacker takes the F on the shoot route then he will throw the ball to the Y.

It’s that simple.

That’s how we teach the Inside Zone RPO.

Leave a comment below if you do anything different with your Inside Zone RPOs. I love to hear from ya’ll. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already. I put out a new video every Saturday morning. Please download my FREE One Back Power RPO eBook. The sign up is at the top of the page.

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

 

 

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