The Slant Arrow Passing Concept is a very simple passing concept that is great against multiple coverage. The natural rub that is created makes it an excellent route combination against man coverage and the horizontal stretch it places on the flat defender makes it a great choice for Cover 3 looks. When you add the versatility and the simple route and throw it makes for a great concept from youth levels all the way up to the NFL.
Slant Arrow Passing Concept
The heart of the Slant Arrow passing concept is the slant route. The traditional way to run the slant route is to have the receiver attack the outside hip of the defender for three steps in an attempt to make the defender believe that he is going to get beat deep to the outside. On the third step he will plant on his outside foot and make a 45 degree cut in towards the Quarterback.
The key to this cut is the ability to get between the defender and the Quarterback. If the defender is playing soft coverage and is not in the defender’s face the initial cut is easy but the receiver needs to be aware that as the ball is thrown the defender will be breaking on the route and attempting to make a play on the ball through the receiver. To defend this the receiver should do his best to get his body between the defender and the ball and reach out and catch the ball early. By extending his arms he is keeping and extending his positioning advantage over the defender.
The Slant is a favorite route of receivers in the Red Zone so the receiver must be able to run it against press coverage. If the defender is pressing the receiver and up in his face the initial burst becomes even more important. It’s critical that the receiver sells the defender that his is going to beat him deep. As the receiver plants to make his cut he wants to throw the defender by and cut behind his back. If the ball is delivered on time and the receiver sells the deep route, the slant is almost impossible to defend.
The second part of the passing concept is the arrow route. The aim of this route is to get to the sideline as quickly as possible. This route, when run in combination with the slant, can serve two main purposes depending on the defense. Against a man defense these player will run close enough that they can slap hands. The effect of these close breaking routes is that if the defenders are playing a jam coverage they will run into either each other or the player running the arrow route. This leaves the slant wide open for an easy completion. If the defense is in a Cover 3 look with one flat defender than the arrow and slant will create a stretch and force him to make a choice. All the Quarterback has to do is throw the ball to the man the flat defender didn’t cover.
A major strength of this route is the ability to run it from a variety of different formations. The concept is simple enough that regardless of the formation there can be two players creating a horizontal stretch.
The slant arrow concept from a trips set is particularly troublesome to defend. Out of the trips set the first receiver will keep his same route but the #2 receiver will now run a 1 step slant. This will get him inside quicker and create two different targets for the Quarterback. The #3 will now run the arrow. This is particularly difficult to defend on the goal line where players must make quick choices. If the CB decides to take #3 on the arrow more often than not the #1 receiver will be wide open.
A way to add to the versatility of the concept is to add players from multiple positions running the arrow. This makes for a great concept to the backside of a trips formation. On the frontside there is still the 2 slants and an arrow concept that the defense must defend. Many time they will move the linebackers over toward the trips side. When they do this now the Quarterback can look to the backside of the trips where the Slant Arrow concept can be run by the #1 receiver and the RB. They will be running the concept against a Cornerback and a linebacker who has been moved over to help defend against the trips formation. The effect is an advantage for the offense and a chance to get an easy completion.
The different ways to run the Slant Arrow Concept are almost endless. In addition to being a simple, effective route that is difficult to defend, the variety makes this concept one of the go to red zone concepts of teams at all levels.
(See Also) Curl Flat Passing Concept
(See Also) Go-Out Passing Concept