Comeback Route From Couple Formation

By FirstDown PlayBook on Feb 17, 2022

Let’s face it. Throwing a comeback route is hard for most high school quarterbacks. Heck, we have seen NFL quarterbacks struggle with it. It requires precision on the part of the receiver and the quarterback. It’s a long throw for starters. Also the depth and the timing all have to be in sync or it is normally an incompletion. Let that throw be left too far inside and the corner is going to undercut the comeback for the dreaded pick 6.

Let’s look at a changeup that may make this easier on your quarterback to throw and for you to call. We call this formation “Couple”. It is essentially a 2 man bunch look to both sides. Keep in mind that simple motion by the X or Z receivers and you are in a true Bunch formation. This means you are a serious run threat to the defense. This is why there is a decent chance you are going to get middle of the field closed. This is a good look for a comeback route to either side.

When the defensive coordinator is willing to inject that extra defender into the box, this play becomes viable. Defensive coordinators are not as worried about the threat of four verticals, although you can run that too from this couple formation. As long as your receivers get a clean release and push vertical you have this play to dial up.

Throwing The Comeback Route From Couple Gives Your QB More Field to Work With

Most defenses are going to be looking for crossing routes when you line up like this. This is to your advantage. The second thing they are used to seeing is some type of corner route from #1 or #2. For this reason, the corners are going to play with a little width as the ball is snapped. On this play coach the Z to “fall out’ of their release for width first. Remember, you have a lot of real estate over there for your comeback route because of the tight formation.

As soon as the Z gets width, they must now straighten the stem to get vertical. This does two things. Once again, it is going to threaten the corner vertically and horizontally. This will also give the quarterback a landmark of where the Z is going to come back down the stem for the ball. The Z will push to 18 yards and come directly back down the stem to the outside. This takes work and discipline on the part of your receiver.

This Ball Must Be Thrown Where Only One Person Can Catch It

The quarterback is going to anticipate the that the Z is “coming back” to the ball directly down the stem. The quarterbacks job is to pull the receiver outside to the sideline on the throw. This ball should be where the Z and only the Z can catch it. Quarterbacks all differ but a a 5 step drop with a hitch and this ball can be out of your quarterback’s hand. It must be thrown before the Z comes out of his break.

If the quarterback doesn’t like the Z on the comeback route then he has the X coming into his vision on the right side. He also has the H breaking back to the left. However, if the quarterback likes the Z pre-snap then read this Z-X-H. If the defensive coordinator stays with a cover 2 look or anything that the QB doesn’t like just read this Y-X-H. You have a nice little triangle backup plan there. There are also natural hot routes built in for pressure from either side with the X and Y providing hot targets

Find Route Combinations Instantly

Those of you who visit this blog a lot know that we are very protection conscious with our route concepts. This is no different. Obviously this is 6 man protection. The H will double read the Mike linebacker to the Sam linebacker. The offensive line will slide protect the four down defensive linemen back to the Will linebacker.

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