Weeden to Blackmon: a look at the fade route

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The slant and fade. The top two route concepts you have to play for inside of the 10-yard line on Sundays in the pro game. Today, let’s take a quick look back at Oklahoma State-Arizona and breakdown Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon on the 1-step fade vs. press-coverage.

- Always start with the WR splits. Even with the ball on the far hash, Blackmon is aligned inside of the numbers (minus-4 split) to create room for the fade. For a basic rule, think slant with a split on or outside of the numbers and the fade with a reduced alignment.

- The release. I call this a “hop” release (usually see this inside at the slot position for the option or Hi-Lo concept). Blackmon can use this release as a technique to set up the route (forcing the CB to settle his feet).

- Go the Arizona CB and his initial alignment (inside shade). He is playing for the slant. If I were coaching the DBs here, I would put the CB almost head up with that reduced split and FS help in the middle of the field. A lot of room to cover outside of the numbers in this situation based off of pre-snap leverage.

- The CB technique. This is called a “taxi” technique (no jam—inch off with the release). Even with the quick false step to the line of scrimmage, the CB stays square and keeps his cushion. The issue? Check out the “bucket step” (step behind on the turn) when the CB open his hips. This creates separation and puts him in a trail position.

- A quick coaching point from the perspective of the CB. When you are in a trail position, turn into the WR, play up through “the pocket,” and attack the ball. When you turn back into the QB (and the ball), you will fall out of phase with the WR and allow him to either push off or fade back to the boundary (sideline).

- I like the ball placement from Weeden. Over the outside shoulder away from the CB. Pick a spot, get the ball out and let your WR go make the play. Clean execution here from both Blackmon and the Oklahoma State QB.

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