Air Raid Quick Game

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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