Simplified Cross

Tim Sparacino January 2008

Cross Rules
• The Cross concept locks receivers into an “over” or “under” combination. • Since this is a “full-field” route, normal backside rules to not apply. • Both names are used to give the coach ultimate control of not only who runs what route but also the QB progression.

Cross Rules- Over
• One of the receivers is tagged to go “over”- Post • The other receiver on that side also goes “over” by running the “high mesh” • The backside runs an “under” • Under = #1 Shallow (low mesh), #2 Dig/In • F- Protect, Check release, Swing, or Shoot to either side depending on situation, coaches preference, defense, etc.

X Over

40 50
X H Y F Z

X & H run the “over”

Z &Y run the “under”

Z Over

40 50
X H F Y Z

X & H run the “under.”

Z & Y run the “over.”

Cross Rules- Under
• One of the receivers is tagged to go “under” (shallow cross). • The other receiver on that side runs a Dig/In or Follow depending on alignment. • The opposite side runs a base “over” route (#1 Post, #2 Hi Mesh) • F- Protect, Check release, Swing, or Shoot to either side depending on situation, coaches preference, defense, etc.

Z Under

40 50
X H Y F Z

X & H run the “over”

Z &Y run the “under”

X Under

40 50
X H F Y Z

X & H run the “under.”

Z & Y run the “over.”

QB Progression
• A coach can dictate the progression from deep to short or short to deep according to which combination he uses. • If he wants a deep to short progression he uses the “over” tag. • If he wants a short to deep progression he uses the “under” tag.

Deep to Short Progression: X Over

40
1 2

50
X H

3

4
Z Y F

Short to Deep Progression: Z Under

40
Look here first for TD only & to “move” the defense.

2

50
X H

1

3
Z Y F

QB Progression Specifics
Deep to Short Read “Over” Call

Over Progression
• This read is basically the Norm Chow mesh read with the addition of a Dig/In route. • Chow’s read has been described as “peek at the post, watch the mesh occur…” • This read is “peek at the post, check the dig, watch the mesh…”

X Over- First Look

40
QB looks for the big play

50
X H F Y Z

X Over- Second Look

40
The big play isn’t available so the QB’s eyes drop to the Dig/In.

50
X H F Y Z

X Over- Third Look

40
The Post and the Dig are not open so the QB’s eyes drop to the Mesh.

50
X H F Y Z

QB Progression Specifics
Short to Deep Read “Under” Call

Z Under- First Look

40
QB is “alert” for the big play but knows that the coach wants to work from short to deep because of the “under” tag.

50
X H F Y Z

Z Under- Second Look

40
As the QB’s eyes drop from X, Z is working under two potential rubs into the QB’s vision.

50
X H F Y Z

Z Under- Third Look

40 50
X H Y F Z

Z isn’t available so the QB lifts his eyes and has the Dig/In moving into his vision.

Z Under- Fourth Look

40 50
X H F Y Z

As the QB finishes his progression his fourth option is moving toward the sideline helping to reduce the threat of an interception.

Tagging the “Follow” Backside
• The backside combination can simply be changed to a “follow” route. • This gives you #2 on the low mesh and #1 on the Dig/In. • Whenever a backside route is tagged the default progression becomes “short to deep.”

X Over Follow

40 50
X H F Y Z

Z & Y now execute the “follow” route.

Z Over Follow

40 50
X H Y F Z

X & H now execute the “follow” route.

QB Progression Specifics
“Follow” Tag Default Progression: Short to Deep Nothing changes for the QB except the receivers on each route.

X Over Follow

40
QB is “alert” for the big play but knows that the coach wants to work from short to deep with the “follow” combination.

50
X H F Y Z

X Over Follow- Second Look

40
As the QB’s eyes drop from X, Y is working under the defense into the QB’s vision.

50
X H F Y Z

X Over Follow- Third Look

40 50
X H Y F Z

Y isn’t available so the QB lifts his eyes and has the Follow moving into his vision.

X Over Follow- Fourth Look

40 50
X H F Y Z

As the QB finishes his progression his fourth option is moving toward the sideline helping to reduce the threat of an interception.

Sending Other Receivers To The Post
• By tagging #2 with the “over,” a coach has simply changed which receiver goes to the post.

H Over Follow

By rule, X now is on the high mesh.

40
TD? 2

50
1
X H F

3
Z Y

Y Over Follow

40
TD? 2

50
3
X H F Y

1
Z

By rule Z is now on the high mesh.

Adding the Pivot Tag
• “Pivot” tells the receivers that would normally be on the shallow cross to sell the drag route then pivot back to the flat. • Again, nothing changes for the QB except who is on each route.

X Over Pivot

40
TD? 2

50
1
X H Y F

3
Z

H & Z sell the mesh then pivot back to the flat.

Nothing changes for the QB.

Z Over Pivot

40
TD? 2

50
3
X H F Y

1
Z

X Over Follow Pivot

40
TD? 2

50
1
X H Y F

3
Z

Again, nothing changes for the QB’s progression.

Releasing F
• A coach can release F toward the Post pattern to give the QB a quick option vs. pressure and/or help clear out the area for the low mesh.

Z Over Follow With Free Release

40 50
X H F Y Z

Releasing F Backside
• Check releasing F to the backside would give the QB another safe option late in the progression. • F does not cross the line of scrimmage so that he does not interfere with the shallow route.

Z Over Follow With Check Release

40
2

TD?

50
X

3

1
Z

Late

H F

Y

Releasing F For The Big Play
• The coach can take a shot at the big play with F without major adjustments to the QB progression. • By sending F on a wheel route, the coach as given the QB another big play option in his initial field of vision.

Z Over Follow With F On A Wheel Route

40
2

TD?

TD?

50
X H

3

1
Z Y

F

Formation Variations

Clustered Formations
• The immediate advantage of clustered formations is that you accentuate the potential for natural rubs to occur. • The “mesh” happens quicker. • You may also force the defense into a coverage or match-up that you want.

The “Squeeze” Formation

40
Nothing has changed for the receivers or the QB but the compressed formation helps you dictate coverage, speeds up the “mesh,” and/or increases the potential for natural rubs to occur.

50
X H F Y Z

Squeeze X Under

40
The chance for an initial rub is increased. Because of the clustered formation, the mesh happens quicker.

50
X H F Y Z

Wide Squeeze

40
This formation puts the slot receivers outside of X and Z.

50
X H F Z Y

Wide Squeeze H Under

40
Now H can work off of another rub.

Y is now on the Post.

Because of the clustered formation, the mesh happens quicker.

50
X H F Z Y

Other Formation Variations
• Because of the multiplicity of this concept, a coach can use a variety of formations to create advantages and dictate the match-up he desires.

Getting H Under From the Backfield

40
Red Gun Z Over Follow TD? 2

50
X

3

1
Y Z H F

Again, nothing has to change for the QB progression.

The Cross Concept From An Empty Set

40
X Under Shoot 2 TD?

50
X

3

1
Z H F Y

Quick

The Cross Concept From An Empty Set

40
X Under Wheel 2 TD?

TD?

50
X

3

1
Z H F Y

5 Wide Squeeze- H Under Wheel

40
•F has two potential rubs for the wheel route. •Y is now on the post. •H has the benefit of another rub.

TD? 2

TD?

50

3
X H F

1
Z Y

Conclusion
• I hope that this helps in some way. • If you have more questions feel free to contact me. • Tim Sparacino (sparrow@paris.k12.ar.us)

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