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The Smash Concept
The Smash Concept is a common passing
game concept at all levels of football from
the NFL to high school. It is often thought
of as a cover 2 beater but with a few
route adjustments can be effective against
almost any coverage. The Smash Concept
involves an outside receiver running a Stop
route (a.k.a. Hitch) with an inside receiver
running a Corner route (a.k.a. Smash or
Flag). The stop involves three big, driving,
hard up-field steps as if you are going deep followed by two short steps as you sink your hips to stop the
route. The fifth step sticks the outside foot in the ground and the Wr turns inside toward the ball
showing his numbers to the Qb. The primary purpose of this routes is to hold the Db, the corner, low so
we can throw the Smash and then to work
lateral to stay open or get open. The
Smash route involves a 12 yard stem up
the seam and an inside foot plant breaking
the route to the corner (on an angle to go
out of bounds at about 25 yards from the
line of scrimmage). This route combination
creates a vertical stretch of the Corner in
the outside third.
Sandbox
We teach Concept Passing. This means
that we teach our receivers and our quarterbacks to understand the spacing of the routes and how they
stress the defense. This allows us to run many variations and for our athletes to play multiple Wr
positions, as long as they know the concept being run. We teach Sandbox Rules. In any concept we
have two or three areas where we
expect/need a Wr to be for proper spacing
to create a vertical or horizontal stretch of
the defense. In the Smash Concept we
have a low Sandbox 5 to 6 yards deep at
the numbers. We have a deep Sandbox at
about 20 to 25 yards at the numbers. We
need a Wr in each of these Sandboxes at
the end of their routes. Understanding the
concept of the sandboxes allows us to run
variations such as Switch where the
The Smash Concept
Sandbox Rule
Switch - Sandbox Rule

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inside and outside Wrs switch routes. The
outside Wr running a Smash must them
inside (burst release) to 5 yards, then up
the seam before breaking to the corner
(and finding the sandbox). In order to get
to his sandbox, the inside Wr must run a
Zip (Speed Out) instead of a Stop since the
Stop route would not put him in his
sandbox.
Route Adjustments
Both the Smash and the Stop routes will adjust slightly based upon the defensive coverage.
-Versus 2 high safeties (Cover 2 or
Cover 4) the Smash route will adjust
its stem. The Smash receiver will
stem to 10 yards and then stick his
outside foot breaking to the post for
2 steps. On the second step he will
stick his inside foot and break to the
Corner. The Qb may throw the
Smash Wr open by delivering the
ball a little short and outside to
throw the ball away from the hash
safety. Cover 4 will not allow the Qb
to deliver the ball to the Smash Wr because of the drop of the corner. Cover 2 will hold the corner in the
flats allowing the Smash to be open.
-Versus a Cover 2 corner the Stop route will
adjust. A Cover 2 corner will play outside
leverage anywhere from press to 5 yards
deep. The corner will attempt to jam the Wr
and then play the flats. He will be in our sand
box, on our back. The Wr will execute a Stop
route but he will shorten the stem and run a
delayed slant after hitching up, running away
from the coverage behind the OLB toward
the hash looking for a window for the Qb to
deliver the ball through.


Route Adjustment vs. 2 High Safeties
Cover 4 (4 Deep)
Route Adjustment vs. Cover 2

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-Versus man coverage both Wrs will
adjust their routes. The Smash Wr will
work a move to get quick, clean outside
release. He will stack the ILB/Db covering
him and shorten his stem to 8-9 yards
sticking his inside foot and giving a good
head/shoulder fake when breaking to
the post. As with Cover 2, the Qb may
throw him open by throwing a little short
and outside. The Stop Wr will change his
route entirely. A Stop will not get open
against man coverage so we will run a route that will hold the corner low, out of the Smash route, while
also allowing the Stop Wr to get open
giving the Qb an option to throw the
ball to one of 2 Wrs on that side. The
Stop Wr a man-slant. Instead of
taking the usual 3 step stem, which
wont get us open versus man, the
Wr will square his feet and work an
outside fake as he works his hands
and feet to get an inside release and
cross the corners face. Look for the
ball as soon as you cross the corners
face and continue slanting toward
the hash running away from the coverage of the corner. Another good option versus man that may be
tagged by the coach is the Pivot route. For
the Pivot route the Wr will start with the
man-Slant to 5 yards and then pivot back
outside to his original sandbox.
Front-Side/Backside vs. Mirror
In all of the examples above the routes
were mirrored. Both sides run the Smash
Concept and get to their sandboxes. We
also run the concept as Front-side/Backside
plays. To the call side we will run the Smash
Concept exactly as described above
including all of the route adjustments. To the backside we run a complimentary route that will take
advantage of the defense when they over-play the Smash to the play-side. We can tag any number of
route combinations to the backside but our automatic is a Seam-read (a.k.a. Tube route) and a Dig
route.
Route Adjustment vs. Man-1
Route Adjustment vs. Man-2
Pivot tag vs. Man

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The inside Wr runs the Seam-read. He will
run up the hash to a depth of 10 yards. If
the hash is open (there is no safety on the
hash) he will continue up the hash. If the
hash is closed (there is a safety on the
hash) he will stick his outside foot and
break to the post. Out of trips, the third Wr
will execute the Seam-read from the play-
side.
The outside Wr will inside release to 5
yards then climb to a depth of 13-15 yards,
sink his hips and plant his outside foot to level off and flatten out across the field.
Qb Thought Process
The Qb will take a 5-step drop (3
from gun) and read the throwing
lane. If no defender compresses the
throwing lane from underneath (the
corner) nor from the inside (the
safety), he will deliver the ball to
the smash. Versus a hash safety he
will throw the Smash open throwing
the ball a little short and outside to
make it harder for the safety to play
the ball. If the corner drops deep under the Smash the Qb will hitch up and find the Hitch Wr who is
working to get open versus various coverage techniques described above. If the safety compresses the
throwing lane from the inside and
overplays the Smash, the Qb will hitch up
and throw the Seam-read/Dig
combinations. If the play-side safety
overplays the Smash, we have the backside
safety in a 2 on 1 situation.
Roll-Out
When we roll out to this concept we alter
the Stop route to improve timing. We will
have the Stop Wr run a Check route (a.k.a.
Comeback route) or the Pivot route
described above. The backside inside Wr will also change his route to a Drag. Sometimes we will tag the
Check route as a Dupe telling both outside Wrs in trips to run a Check. The Check route is run just like
Play-side/Backside

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a fade to a depth of 15 yards and which point the Wr throws up his outside hand as if the ball is coming
and then sinks his hips and sticks his
inside foot to open to the outside and
comeback toward the ball to about 13-
12 yards. The Qb will deliver the ball
short and outside forcing the Wr to
come to the ball so that the Db cant
make the play.



















Roll-Out, Check
Roll-Out, Pivot Tag
Roll-Out, Dupe Tag