The sluggo route is a type of double move that is used to make the receiver look like he is running a slant, and then cutting straight up field in an attempt to get behind the defense. The term “sluggo” comes from a combination of “slant” and “go”, which are the two pieces of the route. The sluggo route is a versatile route that can be a fun tool for offensive coordinators when drawing up schemes or to try and test a defense to see if they will bite on the double move. While the sluggo is often run vertically off the fake slant, receivers will often cut vertically and back to the outside towards the back pylon of the end zone. This adjustment often depends on the coverage, with receivers going down the seam vs coverages like Cover 2 and Cover 4 where the middle of the field is open while cutting towards the outside against middle of the field closed coverages like Cover 1 and Cover 3.
Here are a couple examples of the sluggo route in action.
Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (#9) is playing the slot receiver in a 21 personnel set with two receivers split out to the weak side of the formation. Lamb runs a sluggo route out of the slot while Marquise Brown (#5) runs a dig from the outside receiver position. This threatens the deep middle safety with a high-low concept where he must decide what route to take. Before Lamb even allows the safety a chance to decide, he’s screaming up the middle of the field, makes a great catch on an accurate ball for a big play.
New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr (#13) is at the bottom of the screen of an 11 personnel set with two receivers on the strong side of the formation. Beckham and teammate Sterling Shepard (#87) are both assigned double move routes that are intended to appear as a double slant combination. Shepard breaks back towards the sideline on a whip route and Beckham turns up field towards the corner of the end zone on his sluggo. The cornerback begins to come down hill to cover the slant stem and gets caught looking in the backfield anticipating a throw underneath. Beckham is an elite wide receiver with elite route running ability. While running full speed he is able to drop his hips, break towards the pylon and make a spectacular grab for six.
As seen above there are multiple ways to run a sluggo route across formations, route combinations, and schemes. It’s a double move route with a slant and go component that can be effective against both man and zone coverages.