I watch a lot of football. Hours of it. And there’s one route that I continue to see in every game, on a weekly basis, more than ever.
It’s the deep crosser, or “over” route, and offensive coordinators are using it to attack defenses like crazy in today’s wide-open era of football.
In the latest edition of the Yahoo Sports original web series “Check the Tape” — which is displayed in the video above and is expertly stitched together by my main man Ron Schiltz — I spoke with Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo about how this route works, why it’s so popular, and most important, how you stop it.
Again, please watch the video, but a little bonus info here: I also asked Tennessee Titans secondary coach Anthony Midget about this route, which the Buffalo Bills ran into oblivion in their Week 2 win over the Miami Dolphins. He’s noticed it, too.
“It’s a big part of teams’ play-action game, a way to get the linebackers sunk in and try to get the deep over routes behind them,” Midget said. “It varies from week to week, team to team, but schematically there’s different things you can do. But it puts conflict on guys, especially when teams can run the ball and be able to insert the play-action pass off that, so that is a big part of teams’ playbooks.”
So yeah, watch the video and enjoy. The next time an offense hits your favorite team’s defense with this route, you’ll know why it happened, and who to blame.
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