Wide Receiver Routes – Everything you need to know!

Wide Receiver Routes

Wide receivers play a crucial role in football, constantly executing routes to create opportunities for passes. Their significance is heightened in NFL FLAG football, where running plays are restricted to minimize player contact.

Wide receiver routes are predetermined paths players follow to receive passes. Common routes include slant, post, and go routes, each serving strategic purposes in offensive plays.

Wide Receiver Routes – Briefly Discuss with us!

In football, wide receiver routes form an integral aspect of offensive strategies. These routes delineate the specific paths that wide receivers traverse on the field in an orchestrated attempt to create opportunities for receiving passes from the quarterback.

Wide Receiver Routes
source: shakinthesouthland

The choice of routes depends on the offensive play designed by the coaching staff and the specific situation on the field. Various wide receiver routes serve distinct purposes within offensive schemes.

For instance, the slant route involves a receiver making a diagonal run across the field, aiming to quickly gain inside leverage on the defender and create a passing window for the quarterback.

On the other hand, the post route entails a deeper, more vertical run toward the goalpost, often requiring precise timing between the quarterback and the receiver. Go routes involve the receiver sprinting straight down the field, aiming to outrun the defender and catch a long pass.

The effectiveness of wide receiver routes relies on factors such as the receiver’s speed, agility, and ability to read defensive coverages. Moreover, successful execution hinges on the quarterback’s accuracy, timing, and understanding of the receiver’s movements.

Seven Crucial Wide Receiver Routes – Complete Guidelines!

1. Slant Route:

The slant route is a quick diagonal run across the field. Wide receivers aim to gain inside leverage on defenders, creating a passing window for the quarterback. It’s effective for short to intermediate gains and requires precise timing.

2. Post Route:

The post route involves a deeper, vertical run towards the goalpost. It demands coordination between the quarterback and receiver, aiming for a well-timed connection for a potential big gain or touchdown.

3. Go Route:

A go route is a straight sprint down the field. Receivers aim to outrun defenders for a long pass. Speed and timing are crucial, making it a high-risk, high-reward option often seen in deep passing plays.

Go Route
source: gapersblock

4. Out Route:

Widening towards the sideline, the out route helps receivers create separation from defenders. It’s a common choice for converting short-yardage situations and provides an effective sideline target.

5. In Route:

Conversely, the in-route sees receivers moving towards the center of the field. It’s effective for exploiting zones in the defense, providing a reliable option for intermediate gains.

6. Curl Route:

In the curl route, receivers run a pattern before turning back towards the quarterback, presenting a target in the intermediate passing game. It’s valuable for gaining moderate yardage and maintaining possession.

7. Screen Pass:

While not a traditional route, the screen pass involves the receiver initially appearing to run a route before setting up behind blockers to receive a short pass. It’s a strategic play to capitalize on the defense’s aggressiveness.

These seven wide receiver routes showcase the diversity in offensive strategies, allowing teams to adapt to different situations and exploit defensive vulnerabilities.

Successful execution requires skill, timing, and coordination between quarterbacks and wide receivers. Each route serves a specific purpose in the dynamic chess match which is football strategy.

Advanced Wide Receiver Routes for Experienced Players – Let’s Explore!

Post Corner route
source: bleacherreport
  • Double Move Routes: Requires exceptional footwork and deception. Combine two different route actions to outsmart defenders. Effective in creating separation for deep passes.
  • Option Routes: Demand a strong understanding of defensive coverages. Receivers read the defense and adjust their route accordingly. Provide flexibility to exploit defensive weaknesses.
  • Whip Route: Involves a sudden change of direction at the stem of the route. Requires precise timing and agility to deceive defenders. Effective for creating separation in the short to intermediate range.
  • Post-Corner Route: Begins as a post route before breaking towards the corner. Demands precise route running and change of direction. Ideal for gaining separation on experienced cornerbacks
  • Deep Crossing Route: Requires high-end speed and endurance. Involves a horizontal sprint across the field at a deep level. Effective for stretching the defense and creating big-play opportunities.
  • Sluggo Route: Combines a slant with a deceptive go route. Requires exceptional speed and route running to sell the slant. Ideal for catching defenders off guard for a deep pass.
  • Back-Shoulder Fade: Involves a fade route with a precisely timed throw to the receiver’s back shoulder. Requires a strong rapport between quarterback and receiver. Effective for beating tight coverage.
  • Shallow Cross Route: Involves crossing the field at a shallow depth. Requires awareness of linebackers and defensive traffic. Effective for gaining yards after the catch.

Key Factors in Successful Route Running – A Deep Dive!

Route running is a nuanced and essential skill for wide receivers in football, influencing the effectiveness of the passing game.

Key Factors in Successful Route Running
source: coachup

Several key factors contribute to successful route running, each playing a crucial role in the receiver’s ability to create separation, make catches, and contribute to the overall offensive strategy.

  • Speed and Agility: Quick bursts of speed combined with agile movements allow receivers to outpace defenders and create the separation needed for successful receptions.
  • Precision and Timing: Precise execution of routes is vital. Timing is critical to ensure that the receiver is at the designated spot when the quarterback releases the ball, maximizing the chances of a successful connection.
  • Understanding Defensive Coverages: Knowledge of defensive coverages is crucial for receivers. The ability to read the defense allows them to make real-time adjustments to their routes, exploiting openings and finding the optimal space for a reception.
  • Body Control: Maintaining balance and control during route running is essential. A receiver with excellent body control can make quick cuts and direction changes, staying in position for potential catches.
  • Change of Direction: Sharp and unpredictable changes in direction, often referred to as cuts or breaks, are key elements of successful route running. These maneuvers keep defenders guessing and off balance.
  • Route Recognition: The ability to recognize defensive strategies enables receivers to adjust their routes on the fly. This adaptability is crucial for finding openings in the defense and making effective receptions.
  • Crisp Route Running: Precise and decisive movements contribute to crisp route running. Minimizing unnecessary steps and executing each movement with clarity reduce the likelihood of defenders anticipating the route.
  • Communication with the Quarterback: Establishing strong communication and rapport with the quarterback is fundamental. This understanding ensures that both players are on the same page regarding route adjustments, timing, and nuances of each play.
  • Film Study: A thorough analysis of game footage allows receivers to study opponents, identify weaknesses in coverage, and refine their route-running techniques based on specific defensive tendencies.
  • Situational Awareness: Being aware of down-and-distance situations, game clock, and field position is crucial for receivers. This awareness helps them make strategic decisions during routes, adapting their play to the game context.
  • Consistency: Consistent execution of routes at a high level builds trust between the receiver and the quarterback. It contributes to offensive stability and provides a reliable target in various game situations.

Successful route running is a multifaceted skill that demands a combination of physical prowess, mental acuity, and effective communication.

Mastering these key factors enables wide receivers to become dynamic playmakers, contributing significantly to the success of the passing game and the team as a whole.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Recent trends include the use of adaptive route concepts, positionless football, and the integration of concepts from other sports. Coaches are exploring innovative approaches to keep defenses guessing and to maximize the effectiveness of wide receiver routes.

2. What role does communication play in successful route running?

Communication between wide receivers and quarterbacks is crucial for successful route running.

3. How can wide receivers use pre-snap reads to their advantage?

Pre-snap reads involve analyzing the defensive alignment before the play begins. Wide receivers can identify potential openings or weaknesses in coverage, allowing them to make informed decisions about their routes and adjust accordingly.


Wide receiver routes are pre-established paths that players take to catch passes. These routes, such as slants, posts, and go routes, serve specific strategic roles in offensive plays.

I hope you will understand all the concepts of Wide Receiver Routes.

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