Explosive Seam Throws Off Of Your Base Passes

By FirstDown PlayBook on Feb 1, 2022

Anyone who has watched the NFL playoffs and the BCS championships, for that matter, has seen a lot of explosive throws. Many of these throws have been right down the seam. The first thing that hits our mind when we see this is “How?” How in the heck did that happen?

Granted, we are as much of a fan as we are a coach when we watch games on TV. We don’t have the time or resources to go back and look at the “how” part. We know this though. The reason is that the explosive seam throw was likely set up for plays, if not weeks prior to this play.

If you were to go back and watch the tape, you would see a route concept that had been repeatedly run to set this up. This play might be off drop back action. It could be off of play action or the one we are going to show you today, which is off of a boot/waggle action.

The best defensive players study the game. They study their opponent intensely. It is not enough to just play your responsibility or to play your keys. The great ones play body language, they play splits and of course they study tendencies.

This is why the most detailed offensive coordinators spend almost as much time self scouting themselves as they do their opponent. In order to know how the defense will play, you have to know what they are seeing on tape.

Explosive Seam Throws Like This Are Often Created Based On Self Scouting

Once you can identify your own tendency, you can now begin to exploit the defense with it. This includes the down and distance, the formation and most importantly your personnel. A coordinator wants to make the shot play look the base play as much as possible. This may seem like common sense but it only goes so far. There is a good chance that your shot play will need a little subtle adjusting.

For example, on this explosive seam throw you can see that we really have a play coming off of a play that comes off of another play. The base run is the strong side run to the tight end. The Z is coming in motion to block the safety support. The play that comes off of this is the waggle throw that you see in the top diagram.

The explosive seam throw comes off of the waggle. Your Z runner is going to sell the over route before planting and attacking the seam on the seam throw. Here are some key points. Notice that there is 8 man protection on this play. Odds are you are going to need it.

Your Explosive Seam Throw Is Going To Require Protection

This play is going to take some time to sell and develop. It doesn’t matter if the seam runner is open if your QB is on his back. Also notice how the F is a natural outlet or even a hot throw if needed. You will also notice that the quarterback is setting up to ensure that he can get this ball down the field. An under thrown ball could be a pick.

So before this blog gets too long, we want to let you know this. All this week, FirstDown PlayBook will be installing explosive seam throws on your website. QB reads and coaching points will be installed like always. So be on the lookout for that in the New Plays & Installs section of FirstDown PlayBook.