How nice would it be to give your quarterback a play with high percentage throws, five receivers attacking the defense, and just one defender to read who will be wrong, making your QB right, every time? That is exactly what the Snag, or “spacing” concept is – a great answer to some of the challenges defenses can present to a passing game.
I give credit to Coach Noel Mazzone for this concept. Coach Mazzone was Arizona State’s OC until 2012, and had great success with this concept before with Philip Rivers at NC State, and Coach Mazzone was gracious enough to give me all the nuances of this play to make it very tough to defend, and a concept I feel confident I can call to attack and frustrate a defense while creating opportunities for my QB to continue to produce completions, create offensive rhythm, and move the chains.
The Snag concept is essentially a 3-man quick passing play with a 2-man concept on the backside. Like all quick passing concepts the ball should be gone in less than 1.5 seconds, and the QB will use three step mechanics under center or one step footwork in the gun.
I like to run this play with the trips or three receiver side set to the field with the single receiver and offset back into the boundary.
The #1 receiver on the trips side runs a fade. (He will post skinny versus single high safety) though we rarely throw either of these.
The #2 receiver runs the snag route which is a straight path over the top of the #2 defender to sit inside of him in the open grass. Aim for 4 yards; work close to the inside ear of the key defender. This route is about finding grass.
The #3 receiver runs the bubble which we run flat, fast, and wide. I tell the receiver to align two yards off LOS, inside foot up. At snap, push straight back off LOS, loading inside leg to drive straight out to sideline as fast as possible keeping chin on shoulder looking for ball.
QB Reads number two defender aligning inside the number two receiver who is running the snag route.
On the single receiver boundary side the wide receiver aligns about 8 yards from tackle and runs snag inside the ear of the #2 defender.
The RB runs a three step swing wide and fast aiming to intersect the LOS and the sideline.
The QB reads the #2 defender.
We determine which side to read presnap by counting numbers on the single receiver side. If only two defenders, a corner and one LB are to that side from the midline of the center, we throw the boundary. If they have three, we throw trips side to the field.
If the safety starts sneaking up on your field side snag then QB takes three step drop from gun and hits the post on rhythm.
Easy to install, easy to read, impossible to sack, and hard to defend, I hope your game plan never goes without hitting a snag again.