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Thread: Backside routes off 3 Step

  1. #1

    Default Backside routes off 3 Step

    Looking for pros and cons of the different things you can do on the back of 3 step passing. In the past we have 1. Run mirrored routes 2. Out/Aarow with TE/WB 3. Some boot away flood concept. 4. MAX protect and if its not there, just threw it away.

    We have some QBs with a bit of the escape factor and are developing throwers who are pretty smart and will compete. Will have multiple formations that will not all have TE/WB on the backside.

    Just picking thoughts.
    "If it is allowed, it is encouraged."

  2. #2


    Using your terminology for the 3 Step Quick game add the tag "B" which tells backside receivers the pattern you designate. I.e. B Slant, B Hitch, B Quick Out or B Fade. Hope this helps.

  3. #3


    We have our backside routes built in by formation.

    If the BS of 3 step is a TE/WB formation they run a Flat/Flag as a BS Boot option.

    If the BS of 3 step is a SE/WB formation it is an automatic mirror.

  4. #4


    I've been running the 3 step drop since 1978 and learned it from Howard Schnellenberger. I always felt it difficult to have routes both ways since this is so much of a timing principle based on steps and break points. That's why I believe the backside boot principle to be the best. Our QB's know how to reverse pivot and boot so it's no new teaching and now you have the entire field to attack and force the D to cover.

    Back in the early 90's we started to let the SE's call the route they wanted to run via hand signals. I would get very frustrated when the corner would be at 10 for the first 5 plays and when I called for a 3 step hitch he aligned @6. Now we had to sight adjust or throw it away if the inside receiver was also covered. By allowing the SE to signal the pattern we were almost always assured of a good read. Believe me they wanted the ball so almost never screwed up. Our signals were very simple and the QB and slot receiver had to pay attention as well.
    Shake inside hand= SE- Skinny Post...Slot- arrow to flat.
    Shake outside hand= SE- Speed Out...Slot- seam
    Tap face mask= SE- hitch...Slot- seam
    Tap chest= Fade...Slot- seam to speed out replace SE

    Hand signal something every play. Let's say SE is going to run a Waggle pattern, he might signal hitch or a dummy signal...tap his head. We might be running Jet Sweep away...signal speed out etc.

    Rich Erdelyi

  5. #5


    Coach Erdelyi, using the hand signals did you just call "Blue 90" and let the SE decide the route combo?

  6. #6


    That's exactly what we did. He was in the best position to see the defense and if they were 10 yards off... were they at 6 with outside leverage allowing for a skinny post...whatever. Those kids wanted the ball and they would get open. Like anything, if you coach it enough and practice it enough it will be good.

    Every day when we were running our routes during Indi period with the QB's and SE's they'd hand signal. It just became routine. When we brought the slots over for our combo period we did the same thing with 2 QB's throwing so everyone had to concentrate.

    Rich Erdelyi

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