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, […]

Best routes for rookie NFL wide receivers: Why CeeDee Lamb’s out, Brandon Aiyuk’s screen are unstoppable

The success of a rookie NFL receiver is predicated on not only his overall skill, but also what in particular he brings to his specific offense. So what will the heralded wide receiver group of the 2020 NFL draft bring? We looked at the 16 wideouts who were drafted in the first three rounds in April, identifying their best, […]

So long, goal-line fade: Why one of the NFL’s least efficient passing plays is disappearing

Calvin Johnson is appalled when he hears how rarely quarterbacks succeeded last season in throwing the goal-line fade, a pass he loved to catch during his playing days. Over the course of nine seasons with the Detroit Lions, the wideout mastered the art of hauling in lofty tosses to the back pylon, limbs outstretched as he leapt […]

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