ITP Glossary: Double Move

Football is littered with specialized terminology. From 14 personnel to seam route, 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.

Double Move

A double move is a pass-catching route where a receiver executes two cuts in one route to fool the pass defense. Such a move requires skillful footwork and technique by the receiver to “sell” the initial route to the cornerback. A man-to-man defender sometimes overplays the initial cut and finds himself off-balance on the second movement, leading to holding penalties or long completions.  The offensive line must hold up in pass protection long enough for the route to develop.

Michigan Wolverines wideout Amara Darboh (#82) is on the right (bottom of the frame), matched up with Indiana Hoosiers cornerback Rashard Fant (#16). The WR runs a double-move on this play, showing the CB a curl route at a depth of eight yards off the line of scrimmage by turning inside, but then cutting back on the vertical stem toward the end zone:CFBReview10UMStill3

The receiver is wide-open, and the throw is right on target, giving the Wolverines the lead. Here’s a look at how Darboh’s route got Fant to bite, freeing up his vertical release:

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New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan has had his share of struggles with the double move.  Here, he’s victimized by Green Bay Packers wideout Davante Adams on an out-and-up or “chair” route:Logan-Ryan-burned-by-Davante-Adams-for-45-yard-catch

The Packers deploy a stack to the left side, with Adams (#17) on the outside. Ryan (#26) picks him up in man coverage, but plays off to avoid a rub or pick from the stack. Adams runs right at Ryan and the breaks to the sideline. When he cuts to the outside, Ryan jumps the route, only to see the wideout cut upfield and blow past him.

Cornerbacks must stay disciplined and not commit too early to defending cuts, or they run the risk of being beaten deep. Teams can also combat double moves by deploying defenses that provide safety help over the top, such as Cover 2 Man. A strong pass rush can also serve as an effective counter, denying opposing offenses the necessary time to run long-developing double moves.

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Dave Archibald and Mark Schofield wrote this entry. Follow Dave on Twitter @davearchie. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.

All video and images courtesy NFL Game Pass.

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