ITP Glossary: Corner Route

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From drive concept to wall technique, 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.

Corner Route

A corner route is a pass pattern where the receiver runs upfield and then bends toward the sideline at a diagonal. This pattern is used at varying depths, with the quick corner route being executed after just a few steps and the deep corner route stretching downfield ten yards or more. The corner route is most effective against coverage using inside leverage, where the defense is attempting to push the receiver outside the numbers, away from the middle of the field. This route is also one part of the smash concept.CornerRoute

Here, Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper is lined up outside the numbers, running a corner route at the top of the screen:

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This angle gives us a better view of how the play ‒ and Cooper’s technique from head to toes ‒ adds up to a long touchdown connection. Watch how Cooper sets up the defender. The cornerback is in press alignment, but Cooper uses a quick stutter-step and angles inside, avoiding a jam. As Cooper nears the top of his stem, he gives a quick look back at the pocket, selling Smith on an inside cut. The receiver then breaks on the corner route, and the quarterback hits him in stride:

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In the following still, the corner route is being run by North Dakota State’s slot receiver:NDSUMontanaPlay7Still2

Finally, the Michigan State’s tight end will execute a corner from his in-line alignment:

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

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass, The Big Ten Network, and ESPN.

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