ITP Glossary: Spot Concept

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From punt gunner to scramble drill, 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.

Spot Concept

The spot concept is a common pass game scheme run from the high school level up to the NFL. It is known for its simplicity and ability to create both a horizontal and vertical stretch. Spot is a half field “triangle” read, and features a flat route as a horizontal stretch, a deep corner as a vertical stretch, and the quick hitch route coming underneath at about 5 yards and settling in an open zone coverage.

Against man coverage, the spot route should work back toward the sideline if it is initially covered. The spot concept is an easy completion, and chain mover, against zone coverage:Spot-concept-playart-Syed

The concept can be run from a variety of formations, and with or without motion. Additionally, offenses can change up which receiver will run each route; this dictates how a quarterback will read the play. Generally, the QB’s progression is flat to spot to corner:


Below, the New England Patriots run the spot concept from a bunch on the top of the screen, with Brandon LaFell wide, Julian Edelman on the line, and Rob Gronkowski tight to the line in trips formation:

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The spot concept can be executed in almost any type of offense from numerous formations and personnel groupings. This and the fact that it is a relatively easy progression triangle read makes the spot concept a staple in many offenses. Keep in mind that there is usually a single backside receiver opposite the spot concept who can run any route as well.

Finally, the spot concept is a great red zone play because of the dilemma it creates:

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Playing zone makes a defense more susceptible to the run but also creates an easy window to hit the spot route. On the other hand, man-to-man creates confusion, traffic, and natural screens. Big bodied receivers can also box out defenders on the spot route in short yardage situations.

Daniel Syed wrote this entry. Follow him on twitter and see his other work here.

Inside The Pylon covers the NFL and college football, reviewing the film, breaking down matchups, and looking at the issues, on and off the field.

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Rewind.

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