This week, we’re going to look at one of the plays from Air Raid lore, four verticals.
If you would like to look at the play diagram, just look at the cover photo for this post (just change adjust the formation a bit).
The offense is set with trips to the wide side of the field, to Mahomes’ left. Washington and Davis are to the Mahomes’ right. The receivers, outside to the inside on the left are Tony Brown, Jakeem Grant and Zach Austin.
Right after the snap, it’s pretty apparent this is four verts. None of the receviers are making any kinds of moves other than getting downfield.
The outside receivers are getting outside of their defenders. And with the alignment of the defensive backs, it looks like all receivers are working to the outside. Grant is dipping his head and shoulders to get around the defensive back. Austin’s defender was set up so far inside that all he has to do is run straight to get his outside release.
Mahomes is looking to the left and identifies Brown as his target. And with the defender staying even with Brown, Mahomes makes a veteran throw to a freshman receiver and throws a back shoulder fade.
The ball is right in the middle of the frame. Brown is on the goal line, spinning to the outside to block out the defender on the play. The key to this play is putting the ball to the back and outside of the receiver, using the receiver’s body to block out the defender, much like a post player blocking out for a rebound.
You can see the ball was placed perfectly, with the receiver between the defender and the ball. The defender made a decent play on the ball and had at least one of his hands between Brown’s body and the ball. Brown was able to get the ball away from the defender and score the touchdown here.
We’re starting to see the player and athlete that Eric Morris has seen in practice and evaluation. His future is bright and I look forward to seeing him develop some rapport with Mahomes.