Not All Mesh Concepts Are Created Equally

By FirstDown PlayBook on Aug 9, 2020

When we are on social media we see the word “mesh” thrown around a lot as coaches tag a play concept. These are crossing route concepts are a great way to pop an underneath receiver open, particularly vs man coverage.

It is important, however, to understand the difference in a Shallow Cross concept and a Drive concept. It is not only important because the two plays are read entirely different. What you call the play also dictates who sets the concept depth.

Essentially, the Drive concept has the shallow cross and the basic cross route heading the same direction. The receivers both read man or zone coverage and react accordingly. If done correctly, you end up with a triangle read or a variation off of that.

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The Shallow Cross concept has the shallow runner going in the opposite direction from the basic cross. The triangle read sill is the goal. The receivers just get there differently. The thing that confuses a lot of folks is that there is often window dressing attached too these plays.

You will often see two shallow routes under the basic cross on the same play. This provides a rub opportunity vs man coverage. It also creates deception for the defense as they try to cover the “drive’ and the “shallow cross” concept on the same play.

Without the finer details of these two plays getting coached they are likely to result in incompletions if not interceptions. Today’s short video explains how we differentiate and teach these two “mesh” concepts.