Yellow – Quick Smash Concept

Yellow – Quick Smash Concept


Hey guys, thanks again for reading and for being a subscriber. I really appreciate it. In the Air Raid Course, I take you through video and cutups of every single route, but not everyone has seen the course and I haven’t written about every single route in the playbook, so for the next couple of weeks we are going to look at a few of the routes that we haven’t yet explored on the blog.

Today, we are going to look at Yellow – the Quick Smash Concept. Let’s get into it.

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Ok first of all, if you haven’t yet downloaded the free air raid playbook, click here to download it now.

I have written about SMASH in the past. It’s a route that everyone should have in their playbook. Yellow is the quick version of this route.

As you look at the playbook, you will see that we can run yellow out of Ace or Trips. But, today we are going to talk about the trips version because I almost never call Ace Yellow. I’m not saying it’s not a good route. But, it’s a little redundant if you also have Ace Smash in the gameplan.


As always, let’s start with QB mindset. On trips yellow, the QB will walk to the line and immediately decide which side of the field he is going to work. Here’s what I tell my QB. If, the defense is 3 on 3 on the trips side, we throw Yellow. If, they are 4 on 3 we can still throw Yellow or we can look to throw the backside slant if we like pre-snap leverage.

Yellow is a 0 step drop. He is going to take the snap , drop step with his right foot and immediately get his feet hot. (I teach my QBs to be like a typewriter with their feet. It helps with balance). His read is Corner, Slant Stop, Swing. And, as always, his job is to throw it the first open guy in the progression.

Now, here is where we need to teach a little nuance. If our timing is good, we are going to throw the corner route right on the break. That means, we can’t wait for him to be open. We have to read the grass to where the corner is breaking. For example, if the defense is playing cover 3, the CB will be dropping right into the window where the corner route breaks. The point is that the QB’s eyes have to go to that patch of grass. He can’t stare at the Y and watch him run the corner route. If a defender is in his grass, he will come off his first read and come down to the slant-stop. The quick smash concept is exactly that. It hits quick. Teach your QB to use his eyes and throw it to the first open guy.


Next let’s talk about some WR coaching points. The most important and nuanced route in this progression is the Y. We tell him to speed cut at 6 yards. But, this is really more of a guideline. Really, it depends upon the type of coverage. If the Y is getting re-routed by a LB, he he has to clear the first line of defense before he breaks. This may take him more than 6 yards. If it is press man, he just has to get of the jam and he will break closer to 6 yards. The point is that we tell him 6 yards, but it might end up closer to 8 depending upon the coverage. Either way it’s ok because the QB is going to throw the ball when he breaks. That’s really important. You can’t throw the corner before he breaks. The delivery should coincide with the Y’s speed cut. The aiming point is also really important. We tell the Y to aim for the back pylon. The QB can always bend him flatter toward open space. This may be necessary against a cover 2 safety or in man coverage.

The Slant-Stop is a really simple route. You do everything that you do on a 3 step slant route (If you need more tips on the slant route, click here) And then you just stop and sit in open space. Again, where you sit will depend upon the type of coverage you are facing. But, try not to overcomplicate it. Run a slant and then just stop in the open space vacated by the Y. Once you stop, make yourself big and show your numbers to the QB.

I teach the swing route a little different than most coaches. I teach the H to never turn his back to the QB. By keeping his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, it will be easier for him to get up field after the catch and if the QB has to get him the ball early, he will be ready for it. If the H gets to the numbers and doesn’t get the ball, he should stop. Don’t let him turn up field because he will bring his defender with him. This could mess with the corner route if you are running the route into the boundary.


I love to call Yellow against Cover 1 and Cover 2.

The cool thing about the short corner route is that it can be equally effective with little quick guys and big slow guys. If you have a big Y and they are playing man, all he has to do is get his man on his hip and your QB can throw the ball up in the air and let him jump for it. If you have a quick guy, he should be able to separate from a LB. The other thing about this route vs Cover 1 is that the guy man playing the H, will have to run through the slant-stop. This creates a natural pick and the H should clear in the flat before his man gets around the Z.

Against Cover 2, you are really working to out leverage the playside safety. The QB will probably bend the Y a little flatter away from the safety. But, if the safety does a good job and takes away the corner route the slant-stop should be open because the CB will release the Z and stay in the flat to cover the swing route. There should be a window between the OLB and the CB where the Z can sit down and get himself open.

The quick smash concept can also be effective against cover 3 and cover 4. You aren’t likely to hit the corner route, but you are still out leveraging the flat defender. He can’t be right. He either has to cover the swing route or the slant-stop.


I love Yellow inside of the 10 yard line and it’s always at the top of my 2-point play sheet. Most teams are going to go to some type of man coverage in goal line situations so Yellow is a perfect route. If they stack the box to stop the run, you will get 3 on 3 man coverage and you should get the corner route every time. If the Z is big and strong, he can just sit down, post up, and you can jam it in to him. Plus, even if the defense sends 6 or 7 guys on a blitz, you will get rid of the ball before pressure gets there. It’s a fantastic route inside the 10. So, in if you don’t run it a lot, I would recommend putting it in at least as a part of your goal line package.

Thanks again for reading! Have a great week and keep chucking it!