Now it is time to go through some real examples of some plays I have used over the years to help demonstrate my passing game as a whole. Hopefully, by the end of this post (and this series) you will have a basic understanding of how I view the passing game in NCAA 06.
Before we dive in, I want to explain some formation and personnel jargon I like to use. The vast majority of coaches in the football world identify personnel and formations this way and I will be using this for the rest of this blog.
It is a two digit number system. The first digit is the number of running backs in the formation. The second digit is the number of tight ends. Since there is always one QB and five OL on every play, there will always be five skill players remaining (1 + 5 + 5 = 11). For example:
- 10 personnel = 1 RB, 0 TE. This means there will be 4 WRs in a 10 formation
- 22 personnel = 2 RB, 2 TE. This means there will be 1 WR in a 22 formation
Clear as mud? Good, let’s get started!
Remember, we want to find plays that have at least one MAN route and one ZONE route. This helps with not having to rely heavily on audibles and hot routes, though they are optional.
Please read the following posts before reading any further:
The “Shotgun Trips HB Out” is a great example of a play that has everything we need to attack any coverage. With the ball on the right hash, we have the following options
- WR #17: a modified OUT route that is great against man, should get good separation here
- WR #14: with the GO as a decoy, this POST is great against Cover 2 and Cover 3 Zone, not a bad MAN route either
- WR #9: an IN route that we know is great against man, can also be used in case of holes open up against zone due to blitzing, etc.
- WR #2: the GO route is your Cover 0 route, can also be effective here against Cover 2 Zone between SS and CB, works best as a decoy for the POST route though and to the HB Out route
- HB #6: this HB OUT route is perfect for attacking underneath the CB, can also work against man since it is a modified OUT route
After you read the corners to identify MAN or ZONE coverage, then just focus on those particular routes that work against that coverage.
Here I identify that they are in Cover 2 MAN. Again, unless both safeties come up (Cover 0) I will hit my best MAN route which is the OUT route by #17. Technically most of the routes here work great against MAN but our OUT route on the left is our best bet since this route lets our WR gets good separation and has more grass to work with.
Our WR does indeed get good separation for a nice gain.
Here we see what happens when both safeties come up to you (Cover 0). This is when you can hit your GO route, with touch of course.
Here we see what happens when the defense in ZONE. Notice how the safeties are separating, this is Cover 2. Against Cover 2, the space between the safeties should open up for our POST route. If you are feeling the rush, throw it to the HB underneath the CB.
Here you will see there is enough of an opening for our POST route to make the play.
Here you will see out HB open underneath on the short side of the field. This area of the field should always be open against any ZONE coverage. You may not get many yards out of it, but it will be there for you, treat it as a security blanket.
Here you will see the defense in Cover 3. Notice the opening right at the hash mark for our POST route along with our trusted area underneath the right CB for our HB. Good options to use here.
Now let’s look at a pass play from an 11 formation. Here we have “Ace Slot Deep Outs”. You will notice we have two great MAN beaters with both OUT routes. We also have our handy dandy POST route from the slot to take on any ZONE coverage we may see. The TE is a great decoy here that can distract LBs from defending the POST.
Here you will notice the defense is in Cover 2 MAN. Both OUT routes are good here but since the one on the right has more grass to work with, we will throw it to him.
The 15 yard DEEP OUT is one of the few deep routes that works well against Cover 2 MAN. Notice how even thought the WR seems to be double-teamed, he gets enough separation just because it is a modified OUT route.
Here is an image of the defense in Cover 0. Technically, all three of your deep routes can work here as long as you have time to throw. The POST is probably your best bet though for a big gain. Remember to put a soft touch on these Cover 0 beaters.
Here we see the defense is in Cover 2 ZONE. You know what that means, hit the POST down the middle. Look how big that space is between the safeties.
Isn’t throwing against ZONE coverage fun?!
Here we see our opening on the hash right over the LB against Cover 3 ZONE. The TE can get open here as well depending on what the LBs are doing.
Grass-Side Safety Beater
Here is a great example of how to attack the weak point of Cover 2 ZONE that is between the CB and the Safety on the grass-side of the field. Shown here is “Ace Big Twins PA Flat Choice”, a 12 personnel formation. Against Cover 2 ZONE the FS should be distracted by our GO route while our CORNER route should be wide open.
Normally since the CB on the left has no one to cover he would cover my CORNER route, but he bites on the play-action leaving my WR a lot of grass to work with. Also notice how my TE in the flat is open as well in our trusted area underneath the short-side CB. If you are feeling pressure, fire it to him.
Man, I love NCAA 06!!!
Well I hope the handful of examples I have shown you help you give an idea of how I like to attack defenses through the air in 06.
There are tons, and I mean tons of routes and combos within the formations and plays that will last you a lifetime. Heck, just this week during practice I discovered that the backside POST route and its cousins can attack not only Cover 3 ZONE but Cover 2 as well. Oh the possibilities!
Over time I will hit other passing related concepts such as my screen game, better pocket presence, etc., but for now I think my three-part series on my passing game will give you a nice foundation to work with.
Remember: practice with plays that have at least one MAN route and one ZONE route. Don’t rely on GO routes as your chosen MAN route since it only works best against zero coverage or as a decoy against ZONE.
Please post your comments and questions below.