Below, you'll find a diagram of a basic route tree. It shows the most common routes that receivers run.
For NFL receivers, each route has a number to identify what the player's assignment will be on that particular play. Every offense at every level has a route tree at its core allowing for multiple complex passing concepts and combinations in the extensive game plan.
The distance that each of these routes is run from the line of scrimmage can vary greatly from a just a couple yards to 20 or 30. For our purposes, we'll maintain a basic break of 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Screen: Screens can be run a number of different ways, the two most common coming are run by receiver or running backs. The receiver catches the ball behind the line of scrimmage, with blockers in front of him, on a quick pass. It is an effective weapon against the blitz.
Slant: This play can be run very quickly right after the snap, or take time to develop so the receiver catches the pass when he nears the middle of the field. The receiver take a few steps then breaks at a 45-degree angle to gain leverage. A combination of size and speed is perfect for this route to create separation.
More routes will come soon in our next round of Chalk Talk.