Introduce The Stick Nod Change Up

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jan 14, 2022

There is great merit in being repetitive with your play calling. Coaches who do this are normally more successful than the ones who are all over the place. When you do change up it’s good to have a reason for it. This is why we want to talk about the Stick Nod today.

You have read it here before. The Stick route and the Stick concept are a quarterback’s best friend. It’s a chance to get the ball out of his hand early and it is a high percentage throw. Although it is often thrown to a tight end, it is good to any receiver on the field. This is particularly true on 3rd and 5-6 yards for a first down.

The stick route is almost impossible to defend if it is run correctly. This is why good tight end and recover coaches like to drill it over and over. This isn’t the end of the world as the players need to learn how to win one on one battles with technique first. However, there are the traditional little change ups that can make an offensive player’s day.

The Stick Nod route or Stick Pump as it is sometimes called is one of those routes. Most coordinators have called the 3×1 Stick route a ton at some point during the season. This is because it’s a staple in the offense and quarterbacks love having that nice simple throw to their big target. Here’s the problem. Those linebackers aren’t dumb either though. As the season goes on they start hugging closer and closer until eventually they undercut a Stick route throw or at least gets a hand on it.

This Version Of The Stick Nod Offers Answers Vs Bracket Coverage Too

The Stick Nod is a nice bone to throw your receiver regardless of his speed. If he runs it right, it’s hard to cover him unless the defense brackets this route. We also like this version here because if the defense does bracket the tight end, then the quarterback has the F coming back inside on the under route right in front of him.

The motion also can create confusion on who is matching up with who or who is on the bracket. The TE must be patient with the stick part of this stick nod route. This will allow for the LB will buy what he is selling. He also must see if the middle of the field is open or closed. This will determine how to come out of the Stick route.  A good TE can win vs man coverage, but even if he struggles the F has a route that is built to beat man coverage.

Think About The Stick Nod As A Red Zone Answer

The stick nod is a good red zone call particularly if your TE is athletic enough to go up high in the back of the end zone for the ball or react to a back shoulder throw. Another good thing about this is that even if your tight end is not great at this it will keep that Mike linebacker honest as he begins to hug up too tightly on the stick route the next time you call it. This will keep one of your core pass plays in your game plan when you really need it. Your quarterbacks will appreciate that as well as your tight ends and receivers.

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