Hot? You Better Know How.

By FirstDown PlayBook on Nov 6, 2020

Empty formations can bring out interesting protection situations for an offensive coordinator. At the risk of over simplifying it, you have five offensive linemen to protect and that is it.

If the defense brings four you should be in great shape. When the defense brings five, you can be picked up if they bring the five you assign to your linemen. If not, then you have a hot situation.

If the defense brings a fifth rusher away from where you are protecting or if they bring six, your quarterback and receivers must get involved with protection with a hot throw.

Hot routes and sight adjustments are nothing new to offenses. They are a necessity unless you are going to max protect every time. Most of the time teaching your QB and receivers who they are hot off of is pretty basic.

However, there is more to it than that. Defensive coaches are smart too. Most of the time they know how to make you hot when you go empty. They even know who your hot receiver will be.

This is why it is important to not only study and teach what defenders make you hot, but also what type of hot throw will be executed. This very thing shows up in this empty set that the Rams used this past week against the Dolphins.

Goff and Cupp knew they were hot. The numbers clearly told both of them that. What was not clear was how the hot route would be run. This is a good example of how a lot of slot receivers and tight ends run themselves into trouble on hot throws.

This short video shows how, if they would just make themselves available on a “friendly” route right at the line of scrimmage, it would be a better throw for the quarterback.

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