ITP Glossary: Z Receiver

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From coverage lanes to A Gap, commentators rarely get to explain everything you need to know before the next play. Inside The Pylon’s glossary was developed to give fans a deeper understanding of the game through clear explanations, as well as image and video examples. Please contact us with any terms or phrases you’d like to know more about.

Z Receiver

The Z receiver is a pass-catching position on offense whose alignment and responsibilities depend on the system or scheme in place. In many systems, the Z receiver sets up one to two yards behind the line of scrimmage several yards left or right of the offensive linemen. The Z receiver is also called a flanker.

Cleveland Browns receiver Andrew Hawkins is the outside, or Z receiver:


On this play below, the Oregon Ducks tight end and flanker, or Z receiver, run mirrored post routes on the shortside of the field:


Quarterback Marcus Mariota executes the run fake and checks the bubble screen to the left. The South Dakota Coyotes run Cover 0 on this play, with one of the safeties reading the screen action and converging on the slot receiver. Seeing this, the QB works his progressions to the backside from the tight end to the Z receiver, and opts for the receiver on his post route.

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Mark Schofield wrote this entry. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

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