From Headset to Helmet: Coaching the R4 Expert System from Coach Dub Maddox and Coach Darin Slack. Quite simply, this book made our offense exponentially more explosive, starting with the Shallow Cross Series.
No matter what offense you coach, I would highly recommend this book. It helped me see the passing game in an entirely different light, and gave my QBs a decision-making process to follow that is consistent and easy-to-understand. (Note: If you are an opponent of ours, don't waste your time... It really won't help you much.)
When I speak with other Air Raid coaches about the Shallow series, they struggle with how to coach or teach the deep throws to the fade or post. I was in the same boat until a year ago. I told my QB to "peek" at the fade, but warned him that "he better be open if he is going to throw it!" I had very little confidence in our QBs making that throw, which of course meant the QB was never going to go deep. The R4 system has simplified the decision-making process, and it allows us to take downfield shots when the defense is giving it to us.
Why we like the Shallow Cross:
- Vertical and horizontal stretch on the defense: We want to make the defense cover the entire field, and the Shallow forces the defense to defend sideline-to-sideline, and vertically downfield.
- Versatility: It is good play versus any coverage, man or zone. It is also good on virtually any down and distance.
- Big play capabilities: A year ago before I read the R4 book, we had only five "explosive" plays of 30 yards or more. This year, after reading the book, we had 25. That is a huge improvement, and many of those explosive plays came on the Shallow Cross.
- Easy throws to our playmakers in space: You don't have to have a huge arm to throw this concept if you know what the defense is doing and how to attack it.
Note about the film: We were fortunate to have a 6'10 receiver at Z that will play basketball at Kentucky next year. That helped. However, you can see that our QB was confident in taking deep shots because of the "Capped/Uncapped" principle. In fact, we only threw to the Shallow route once all year.
What other wrinkles do you have that help you make the Shallow a successful route? Feel free to ask any questions below.