ITP Glossary: Jumbo Sail

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From directional punting to smash concept, 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.

Jumbo Sail

The sail concept is a three-level passing scheme that overloads one side of the defense while stretching the coverage vertically. The jumbo sail uses a personnel group featuring multiple tight ends. The jumbo sail concept is a combination of a deep go route from the outside receiver, an intermediate out or crossing route, and a short flat route ‒ often a quick out or a swing route ‒ by the running back.  This sets up a three-level read for the quarterback, with a receiver at 25-, 15- and 5- yard depths vertically.

Washington also uses the jumbo sail route concept when throwing out of 12 personnel groups. Tight end Jordan Reed is on the left with Ryan Grant (#14) to the outside. Pierre Garcon lines up as the single receiver to the right, running the vertical route. Washington runs the jumbo sail off play action. With the secondary dropping into Cover 3, Cousins has a nice three-level read, with the routes working to high-low the defenders:


Garcon’s deep corner route occupies the playside cornerback. After executing the play fake, running back Pierre Thomas (#39) releases to the flat which occupies the flat defender, safety J.J. Wilcox (#27), and allows Reed to find space in the intermediate area of the field ‒ behind Wilcox but in front of cornerback Ayodeji Olatoye (#29):

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For his part, quarterback Kirk Cousins does a great job of keeping his eyes downfield in order to freeze the safety in the middle of the field, before finding Reed on the intermediate route.

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

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.

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