The Mesh Passing Concept gained popularity during when the Air Raid offenses started to score massive amounts of points. While the Mesh Concept is a difficult concept to master, it’s multiple reads and ways of attacking the defense pay off for the time that is required to maximize the routes effectiveness.
Mesh Passing Concept for Youth Football
The Mesh Concept is made up of four distinct routes that can be ran by any receiver. The routes at the heart of the concept are the crossing routes. These are ran from opposite side of the formation with the player that is tagged setting the depth of the crossing route and while most inside receiver on the opposite side of the ball runs underneath. The most underrated route of the concept is the Win route which will come from the receiver that is on the same side as the player who is setting the mesh. The final route is the Post which will come from the remaining receiver.
The crossing section of the route is the part that requires the most time and reps to master. The player who is tagged is going to set the depth of the route which should be about 6 yards downfield and the other crosser will run underneath. These receivers want to be close enough that they can high five each other as they go by. The best way to practice this is by having them actually touch hands as they cross by each other.
As your receivers get better at this route they can start to read the coverage to maximize the effectiveness of the route. If the defense is running a man coverage the crossers will keep going and run away from the defender but if the defense is running a zone coverage they will find green grass and sit. This is the part of the concept that takes the most amount of reps to master. The simplest way to teach it is by having them look and see if there is someone running with the opposite crosser. If a defender is chasing the opposite crosser, it’s safe to assume that there will be a defender chasing them as well so they will keep going. If they don’t see a defender chasing the crosser the defense is probably in a zone concept so the receivers need to find the first pocket after they get past each other and settle to the QB.
The most underrated, and under coached, route is the Win route. This is the primary read for the QB and should be your best receiver. The concept is that if the defense is in single coverage this receiver should be able to win the route and get a first down. The actual route can vary depending on the strengths of your players. Many teams use a Corner route that has the ability to be run from a deep breaking corner all the way to a 90 degree out based on the leverage of the defender. The other popular option is a Vertical, Back Shoulder Fade or Comeback route depending on how the defense is covering the receiver. All of these reads take lots of reps and time but can be used in many different passing concepts. The end result is that this route guarantees that the defense is putting two defenders on your best receiver and giving you a numbers advantage for the crossers to exploit.
The final route comes from the remaining receiver. This Post route is designed to Split the two safeties. By splitting these Safeties the Post route stops any players from being able to come down and make a play on the crossing routes. This route will rarely be open but is a critical route to expanding the passing zone and giving the crossers room to get open.
The Quarterback’s read on this route must be practiced and developed. His first read is always the Win route. If the defense is single covering this receiver he must be able to exploit this and get an easy first down. This will force the defense to put more defender out and open space. After the Quarterback has seen that the Win route isn’t an option he will look down to the crossing routes. These crossing routes take longer to clear so by looking at the Win route he will come to the crossing routes as they come open.
(See Also) Youth Football Passing Concepts
(See Also) Youth Football Plays