What Is a Post Route in Football

What Is a Post Route in Football: Understanding the Basics

Football, one of the most popular sports in the world, is a game of strategy, skill, and precise execution. Among the various offensive plays, the post route holds a significant position. But what exactly is a post route in football? In this article, we will delve into the basics of this play, its purpose on the field, and explore some interesting facts about it.

A post route, also known as a deep crossing route, is a passing play where the wide receiver runs diagonally towards the goalpost. This route is designed to create separation from the defender and give the quarterback an opportunity to throw the ball deep down the field. The receiver’s path is typically shaped like a “J,” as they start running a few steps towards the middle of the field before sharply cutting and sprinting towards the goalpost.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what a post route entails, let’s explore five interesting facts about this play:

1. Origin: The post route was first popularized legendary wide receiver Lance Alworth. During his time with the San Diego Chargers in the 1960s, Alworth’s exceptional speed and precise route-running skills made him a master of the post route. His success in running this play prompted other teams to incorporate it into their offensive strategies.

2. Timing and Precision: The post route heavily relies on timing and precision between the quarterback and the receiver. Both players must be in sync to ensure the pass is delivered accurately and at the right moment. This requires countless hours of practice to develop the chemistry necessary for a successful connection.

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3. Risk vs. Reward: The post route is considered a high-risk, high-reward play. Due to its deep nature, it exposes the quarterback to potential interceptions if the pass is not thrown accurately or if the receiver fails to create separation from the defender. However, if executed correctly, it can result in significant gains or even touchdowns, making it a thrilling play for both players and fans.

4. Adjustments: Successful execution of the post route often requires adjustments based on the defensive coverage. Depending on the positioning of the defensive back, the receiver may need to alter the angle or depth of their cut to gain an advantage. These adjustments are made on the fly, highlighting the importance of communication and awareness between the quarterback and receiver.

5. Variations: While the traditional post route focuses on running towards the goalpost, there are variations that incorporate additional elements. For example, the “post-corner” route adds a fake towards the post before the receiver cuts towards the corner of the end zone. These variations aim to confuse defenders and create opportunities for big plays.

Now, let’s address some common questions about the post route:

Q1. What is the purpose of the post route?
The post route is designed to create separation between the receiver and the defender, allowing the quarterback to throw the ball deep downfield for a potential big gain or touchdown.

Q2. Who typically runs the post route?
Wide receivers are commonly assigned the post route, thanks to their speed and ability to create separation from defenders.

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Q3. Can a tight end run a post route?
Yes, tight ends can be assigned a post route, especially if they possess speed and agility comparable to wide receivers.

Q4. How is the post route different from a fly route?
While both the post route and the fly route involve the receiver running deep downfield, the post route includes a sharp cut towards the goalpost, while the fly route is a straight sprint down the field.

Q5. Are there any risks associated with the post route?
Yes, the post route can be risky as it exposes the quarterback to potential interceptions if the pass is not thrown accurately. It also requires the receiver to create separation from the defender, which may not always be successful.

Q6. Is the post route effective against any defensive coverage?
The post route can be effective against various defensive coverages, but adjustments may be required based on the positioning of the defensive back.

Q7. How can the quarterback improve their accuracy while throwing post routes?
Quarterbacks can improve their accuracy practicing their timing and footwork, as well as developing a strong understanding of their receiver’s speed and route-running abilities.

Q8. Can the post route be used in short-yardage situations?
While the post route is primarily used for deep passes, variations of this route can be adapted for shorter distances to create quick gains.

Q9. What is the role of the offensive line during a post route?
The offensive line must provide adequate pass protection for the quarterback to allow enough time for the post route to develop.

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Q10. Are there any other famous wide receivers known for running post routes?
Yes, apart from Lance Alworth, many legendary wide receivers, such as Randy Moss, Jerry Rice, and Terrell Owens, were known for their exceptional post route execution.

Q11. Can a post route be used in combination with other routes?
Absolutely! The post route can be combined with other routes, such as slants or curls, to create more complex offensive plays and confuse the defense.

Q12. How can the defense defend against the post route?
Defending against the post route often requires tight coverage the defensive back, as well as effective communication and coordination among the defensive players.

Q13. Can a post route be successful without a strong arm quarterback?
While a strong arm can certainly benefit the execution of the post route, it is not a strict requirement. Precise timing, accuracy, and the receiver’s ability to create separation are equally crucial.

Q14. Are there any other routes similar to the post route?
The corner route and the dig route share some similarities with the post route, as they also involve the receiver running towards specific areas of the field to create opportunities for the quarterback.

In conclusion, the post route is a dynamic and exciting play in football. Its deep nature, risk-reward balance, and the chemistry required between the quarterback and receiver make it a fascinating aspect of the game. By understanding the basics of the post route, football enthusiasts can appreciate the strategic intricacies behind this play and its impact on the field.

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