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2021 NFL Draft: Ja’Marr Chase and the joys of the slant route

On its surface, there are few more elementary route concepts in football than the slant. There are different iterations, of course, but it’s an angular route designed to attack the leverage of a defense and have the receiver work in short areas to graze on any open space, and take advantage. There are receiver subtleties, as well. The receiver must attack the ball as it’s coming to him. He can’t be passive with the slant, because it’s an attack route from the receiver’s perspective. Not much is going to happen if that isn’t the case.

Against zone coverage, the slant target can sell a more vertical rote to make the defender less aggressive. Against man coverage, especially aggressive man coverage, one good sell against the defender is to fake an outside release on the route and then tuck back inside, having taken the defender off his feet.

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