Use Switch Releases At The Line Of Scrimmage

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 30, 2021

Much of the success a receiver achieves is dependent on the work they get done at the line of scrimmage. One way you can help your players out is with switch releases. Switch releases are exactly what the name implies. The receivers are going to switch positions on the snap of the ball.

Switch releases are effective vs man coverage but can also present zone coverage with problems. It is not unusual for a zone defender drop a receiver in coverage because they play the original alignment. It just adds one more thing for the defensive players to think about and communicate to one another.

Another thing that switch releases give your receivers is a better chance to free release vs a jam corner. As your receivers release at a hard inside or outside angle this provides space to get this done. It is your job to always designate who is releasing first. This will obviously be closely wrapped up in who needs to get their route depth. The quarterback’s read progression should also be considered.

Today we drew up this 3×1 switch release with F and Z running double “In” or “Dig” routes. You will see that we have the Z inside releasing and going first. It is critical that after the release happens, both receivers straighten their stem. They must push the defenders vertically before breaking the routes inside.

One of the major coaching points a play action pass like this is to always remember your running back in the flat late. You are likely calling a play action pass in a run situation, so the dump down to the back is as good of a run call as you will make. Let’s look at the FirstDown PlayBook coaching points for this play.

FORMATION: 3X1 (GUN) (PISTOL)

PAP STRONG 844 SWITCH

COMES OFF OF THIS RUN PLAY: STRONG SIDE RUN ACTION

PROTECTION: 7 MAN SLIDE PLAY ACTION PROTECTION.

PAP Switch Release 844 Player Assignments

QUARTERBACK

SUGGESTED READ:

Z-F-H (ALERT X)

-SET UP IN THE PLAY SIDE A GAP.

DROP: FAKE THE RUN PLAY TO THE STRONG SIDE WITH 7 STEP TIMING.

-GET A PRE-SNAP READ FOR CLUES ON THE READ PROGRESSION.

-SELL THE STRONG SIDE RUN FAKE WITH BALL HANDLING AND PAD LEVEL.

-THE FAKE IS DESIGNED TO PUT THE STRONG SIDE COVERAGE IN CONFLICT OF ASSIGNMENT.

-ABORT THE FAKE AND THROW THE WEAK SIDE HOT TO X VS PRESSURE.

X: POST ROUTE

-BASE SPLIT

-BEST RELEASE AND GET VERTICAL QUICKLY.

-AT 12 YARDS NOD OUTSIDE AND THEN BREAK INSIDE.

-INITIAL AIMING POINT IS NEAR UPRIGHT.

-GET INSIDE ACROSS THE FACE OF THE CORNER OR SAFETY TO THAT SIDE.

-COVERT TO A SLANT FOR A HOT THROW VS WLB & FS PRESSURE.

Z: SEAM IN ROUTE

-BASE SPLIT

-HARD RELEASE INSIDE IN FRONT OF THE F.

-SELL THE SHALLOW ROUTE FIRST THEN GET INTO THE ROUTE.

-WORK VERTICAL TO 10-12 YARDS BEFORE CROSSING INSIDE.

-STAY ON THE MOVE AND GRAB THE SAFETY IF POSSIBLE.

F: DIG ROUTE

-HARD RELEASE OUTSIDE BEHIND THE Z AND THEN GET VERTICAL.

-PUSH TO SELL THE VERTICAL THREAT EARLY.

-SPEED CUT INSIDE AT 15 YARDS 0R ON THE 5TH OUTSIDE STEP.

-STAY ON THE MOVE FLAT AT 15 YARDS ACROSS THE MIDDLE.

-VS MAN COVERAGE WIN WITH SPEED.

-VS ZONE STAY ON THE MOVE BUT THROTTLE IN THE HOLE.

Y: PLAY-ACTION PASS PROTECTION

H: PAP FAKE

-EXECUTE A RUN FAKE THAT WILL AFFECT THE STRONG SIDE CURL DEFENDER & SAFETIES.

-USE RUN ACTION FOOTWORK INITIALLY.

-AFTER THE FAKE PROTECT TO THE FAKE SIDE.

-TRAVEL TO THE STRONG CURL/FLAT AREA AND MAKE BE AVAILABLE LATE FOR THE QB.

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