One of the new hot routes that have been added to the game this year is the smoke screen. What we like about this pass route is it can be used a few different ways to be zone coverage. In this breakdown, we show we like to run it against a zone blitz and how to turn a HB Slip Screen into a flanker screen.
Note: this breakdown is taken from the Gridiron Guide 14. For more info about what’s in the guide, CLICK HERE
Use of the Smoke Screen Vs Zone Blitz
The offensive play we call in this breakdown is the Gun Doubles On – HB Circle. What it like about this play is the runningback’s angle route as it is effective against both man and zone coverage. When running this play, we also may use the smoke screen route to give us another option to throw to is we see our opponent likes to blitz.
The defensive play called is Dime Normal – Fox Fire Zone. This defense sends the linebacker and right defensive back (DB2) in a on a blitz. The right end drops back in a hook zone.
We are going to make two hot route adjustments. First, we hot route the flanker on a smoke screen.
We also hot route the split end on a smoke screen. Keep in mind, you don’t have to hot route both on smoke screens.
Here is what the play looks like once we hot route both the flanker and split end on smoke screens. Notice still have the runningback running the angle route. This gives us some nice options to throw to to attack for man and zone coverage.
Once the ball is snapped, we notice the MLB and DB2 both blitz.
We also see the RCB, FS, and LCB drop back in 3 deep coverage.
With no defenders covering the flats, we know we can throw to one of the receivers running the smoke screen routes.
In this case, we throw to the flanker.
Once the flanker makes the catch, we head up the field for positive yardage.
Turn HB Slip Screen into a Flanker Screen
The HB Slip Screen is good play to run against any type of blitz and it can be found in every playbook. On the hand the not every playbook has the a flanker or split end screen in it. By calling a the HB Slip Screen, we can easily convert into a flanker or split end screen.
The defensive coverage called is Cover 3. Notice the strong safety plays the flat to the right.
Gridiron Guide 14 Tip: If press coverage is called, consider audibing to another play.
To set the play up, we hot route the flanker on a smoke screen.
We also hot route the runningback to pass block.
Here is what the play looks like once we make our two hot routes.
Once the ball is snapped, left guard, center, and right guard pull towards the right to setup the blocking for the flanker.
The right tackle looks to block the strong safety.
We wait for the right tackle or one of other offensive linemen to block the strong safety. Once we see one of them make the block, we then throw the ball to the flanker.
The flanker makes the catch and heads up the field.
The smoke screen can be a very hot route in this year’s game to be zone coverage. These are just two examples where it can be used to pick up yardage.