Possibly the easiest, highest-percentage throw available is the quick hitch. Theoretically, it’s a guaranteed five yards thrown to stationary location. However, it’s not the hitch that makes this combination so potent, but the inside seam route coupled with it.
The number one receiver runs a hard vertical three steps then punches a four, five in the ground while spilling his shoulders downfield then snapping and attacking back directly toward the QB. Running the route directly back down the flight path of the ball creates a nearly can’t miss route that continues to separate from any closing cornerback especially if the throw comes late.
For youth teams a three step square in is a great adaptation so the throw isn’t as long as well as it creates a single area for the the throw since the In route will fill the void created by the seam if the linebacker carries it.
The #2 receiver runs the seam route, or inside streak read. The seam’s rule is “beat him outside; slip if you have to. Bend over the LB and off the high player.” This means the receiver will attack the outside hip of the #2 defender, widening him, beat his hands, and bend back inside once he’s over him, looking for ball immediately. Versus a single-high safety, the seam will re-stack vertically, and then look to fade back out away from the FS. Versus two-high safeties, the seam will continue to bend into the vacated middle, to split the safeties with his run after catch. If the #2 defender bails out laterally to the flats, slip inside of him, and re-widen, chasing his inside hip, keeping away from the #3 defender who will be flying wide to wall off the route.
The QB will execute the throw in less than 1.5 seconds with a three-step drop, or one-step in shotgun. Read the #2 defender. If he stays square to LOS, and receiver is within one yard of his cushion, throw the seam. If the #2 defender walls the seam, disrupts the seam, or carries the seam vertically, throw the hitch. It is essential to throw the ball on time. The seam should never be caught past 16 yards. If you can hit it between 8 and 12 yards, it is virtually indefensible, and will net larger run after catch.
If in a trips set, the #3 receiver runs a turn route to hold the #3 defender. A great alternative is a vertical pipe route to hold the #3 inside, beat #3’s blitz if he goes, and hold the safety in the middle.
Against press corners, cover 2, we usually check the seams into quick corners and run a quick smash concept. The other alternative vs. press corner is to convert hitch to fade.