keys to precise route...

What are the keys to running a crisp and precise route?

What are the things to remember?

What could one do to become a great route runner?

“He’s a great route runner” is an overused term for someone who knows how to get open. With so many of the NFL/D-1 teams using some variation of the Walsh/West Coast System running routes with exacting cuts and angles are not as important as being able to read coverage and create the proper separation. These systems really eliminate the intermediate routes, the ones that more require angular body control (the 4, 5, 6, and 7-routes).

So with that said learn which routes work for which coverages, how do adapt them based on the coverage and where you need to be relative to where everyone else in the route is. This is how these offenses work, the two man game. This will be most important in terms of getting open. And you will be credited for being a great route runner.

Now if you have a QB with a stronger arm (and a good OL for 5, 7-step drops) and you can run the intermediate routes in that offense, remember the body follows the head. Snap your head back to the ball. But not too soon. You will be amazed how much this will help. Watch film on pro receivers running 4, 5, 6 and 7 routes. Indianapolis, Minnesota, Carolina, Tennessee, Buffalo and St. Louis run a good percentage of these routes.

Great post. All the things I would have liked to have said if I would’ve taken the time.

Thanks very much for such a great response!

Especially the tip about snapping my head back towards the ball. I wish that I could watch game film…trust me i’d be watching it all day and all night.

Right now all i have is the agility DVD and the deceleration DVD from the Parisi speed school. Although they dont run routes they are pretty good for teaching how to break down. I guess.

I wish there was a strictly football video…that taught releases off the line, breaking in and out of routes…all the stuff a reciever needs to know. either that a good reciever coach for hire…


I tell this to every aspiring wide reciever I meet. Go to the field or back yard or wherever you play and run routes all by yourself. Run every one you know, half speed, three quarter full speed. Work on them over and over until it feels like second nature, and then when you think you are good, do even more. You can work on starts, you can work on breaks become a student of what you are doing. Then get some one to throw to you and run routes. Carry a ball around while you are at home, throw it up in the air and catch 100 times before bed at night. do this every week for a few months and see where it takes you. Start working on your speed and strength. Sprint, lift weights, multijumps, run bleachers. read all the great info on this site and you will become better.

Cool Thread!
What are the 4, 5, 6 and 7 routes to you guys?
Over here in Australia my teams are an Out, Hitch or Stack whatever you wanna call it, Corner and a Comeback.

this is our passing tree…

  1. 5 and out

  2. quick slant

  3. 10 and out

  4. 10 and in

  5. comeback

  6. hook

  7. post corner

  8. post

  9. fly

thanks again for the quality responses…i will take all of ur advice…it is much appreciated…and when i make it i will thank God first…and all of you guys at!

  1. Curl/Hook run- 12 and come back to the ball

  2. Comeback- 17 yds. back to 15/sideline

  3. Dig/Square-in- square cut or speed cut depending on zone or man

  4. Post-corner- 2 ways to run this, either stem it off the line or hit the post at 12 and then turn the corner route at 17.

…frit17 I know you meant well. But running routes at half and 3/4 speed and without catching the ball will prepare you well for running routes @ 1/2 & 3/4 speed and without catching the ball in the route, that’s it, not really too useful for playing the game. Repetition is a good thing but only in the context that the skill you are repeating has some translation to the sport. Find someone to throw you the ball while you run routes. If they can’t throw a football, have them throw a tennis ball heck your Grandmother can throw a tennis ball, something, just running the routes is somewhat pointless. The most important skill is being able to locate and catch the ball while maintaining your speed.

no running routes alone is not pointless!!! First not everyone will have someone to throw to them all the time. 2. It’s specific agility work, rather than just going to the field and running around cones and trying to look cool. 3. He wanted to be a good route runner, he didnt mention catching the bell yet and when you feel like you can run your routes right then you can add catching the ball. Break down the job of a wide reciever into parts and work on those parts, 1. running crisp routes. 2 catching the football. 3. learning how to block etc. then put them all together in practice and game like situations. Trust me, i know what i am talking about!!!

First i would like to say thank u again for much information…

And i don’t see how running my routes w/o someone throwing the ball wouldnt transfer over to the game…i wouldnt do it ALL the time w/o a passer…jus when one is not available…it also lets me focus on the route itself…i like the idea…wat are the negatives???

Trust you? Who are you? Who do you think you are? You want respect but have no idea who you’re talking to? Based on what you have written and the fact you can’t even spell receiver correctly in your email, it is apparent that you probably know very little about the game and in most likelyhood haven’t played at a high level (D-1 or professional). Don’t take things personally be a professional, wrap your head around the fact that a) there is much more to being a good receiver than running ‘crisp’ routes, catching the ball and blocking; b) agility work is agility work, running routes at 1/2 and 3/4 speed over and over is not agility work, it does not translate to being a better receiver, agility work has it’s place so does lifting, will they help you be better athletes? definitely, and while that may help it is a hell of a lot different when the defense is sending 7 and you’re facing press coverage with a safety rolled up, see how much practicing your ‘crisp’ routes helps then. See how crisp your route is. Find someone/teammates to throw the ball with or get a pass skel with, that’s how you get better. “Not everyone has people to throw them the ball” and life’s not fair, so get over yourself. Find a way.

This means that while running routes at 1/2 and 3/4 speed without a passer may not be a negative are there many other things you can do training-wise/recovery-wise in it’s place that will have an greater impact on your success. Additionally I believe teaching the routes slow has little carryover, the game is played fast, while you may see receivers come off of the line of scrimmage slow or throttle down over the middle to sit in a zone, you will never see a slow or half-speed change of direction, at least not from anyone playing on Sundays.

like what?? training wise/recovery wise?? to get better…must get better!!!

You made a great post earlier, but don’t ruin it by taking things personally because another coach (and a good coach at that) is giving some advice that you may not agree with. You’re new to the site and frit17 has an excellent reputation and perhaps you should relax a little bit when advice differs from your own. It is a fact that doing things fast is different than doing things slow, but there is benefit to slowing things down at times. Let’s just keep this civil and try to help the kid. If you don’t agree, fine, but let’s not make it I’m right and f#@% everyone else.

Thanks speed for the back up!!! I love it when you get into the mix.


if I came off as a know it all, I defintally apologize, that was not my intention!! I do have expierience as both a player and coach. As all your points are definitally valid regarding how to become a better reciever, remember there are many ways to get to the mountain top. The original post to this thread was "how do i run better routes? Practicing your routes alone is a way to work on that aspect of bieng a reciever, especially if you are young and need to slow things down to learn start, footwork etc. As CF says: First do it right and then speed it up!!! As an aside, when you first learn a power clean you dont just clean the weight, you learn all the steps in parts and then put them all together later on. This is also my aproach to teaching sprinting, position drills as well.

pass skel, 1 on 1 and the many other drills are also great drills and I have done them many times in my career as a player and with my athletes as a coach. But i have spent many days alone because I didnt have someone to throw to me and just to do something i did routes on my own. first slow the right way then fast. When a player gets to the point where he can run proper routes fast, this can be a great specific agility workout, much better than running around cones where the athlete is looking down all the time.

as for my spelling, i never did win that spelling contest in middle school, we were all too busy outside playing ball!!!

Since you’re fond of going slow (1/2 speed) we’ll go through this again.

  1. To reiterate, why would one want to run better routes, most likely to be a better receiver/player. So what is really important? What question really needs to be answered?

  2. Is route running the most central skill to being a receiver? let’s look at the top receivers coming into the draft
    now this guys steals most of his information based on what Gil Brandt writes, so it’s fairly reliable, so how many great route runners in that group? 0 why is that? the personnel development people in the NFL don’t seem to mind. So if the NFL is the mountain top then how important is running ‘crisp routes’ in getting you there? So how important is running routes at 1/2 and 3/4 speed at getting you there, there being the mountain top of course? How many great route runners in the past five years coming into the league? 10 years? 15 years? It’s been a long time if you have watched alot of film you would know that. And please don’t tell me Jerry Rice was a great route runner, he was so many other amazing things that was not one of them and simply because he didn’t have to be, not that he couldn’t have been. You have to go back a long time probably film of Paul Warfield and Charlie Taylor to find routes that look like the way they were drawn up, crisp as it has been said.

  3. Speedkills, relax. No one is saying anyone isn’t a good coach. Most of the people on the site know a great deal. Sure frit does as well, but does that mean he isn’t advising something that may not be a great deal of help to geneticfreak? And while you are a good friend to come to his rescue, you’d be a better friend is you told him when he may be a bit off. If the site is for learning then people need to be a little quicker to realize what they don’t know as well as what they do. While it may be thrilling to be an expert, it takes a long time and a lot of effort to be an expert. So no one can be an expert in everything, there are always people who know better ways to do things. Be open enough to recognize them, not closed because someone is relatively new to the forum.

  4. Spelling correctly = attention to detail. Hit the damn spell check.


I give up, you didnt even read my last post. I even told you that everything you said was correct, and that I was just adding a little more. How often can a reciever play 7 on 7 or have a qb throw to him all the time. I sure didnt and had to find other ways to get better, hence running routes alone, lifting weights, jumps Etc. (again just to reiterate, everything you mentioned about developing to be a reciever is correct and i did almost all those things as a player and a coach as well as the other things I mentioned!!!)

Next you are trying to school me on athlete development on wide outs in the NFL. Trust me i am strength coach and I know how amazing these guys are athletically.

Finally I make a joke about my spelling and you have to be a jerkoff about it, you can tell you are new to this forum!!!