One of the most important positions on the football pitch is that of the wide receiver. He is the one who mostly stations himself in the 'wide' areas on the pitch, i.e., close to the sidelines or slightly behind the line of scrimmage. He receives the pass from one of his players, usually the quarterback, and takes the ball forward. He needs to be quick and agile, so that he can beat the players in the defense of the opposition. He has to be good at catching a football and passing it on.
The Nine Possible Routes
While most people think of wide receiver's routes as 0-10, in reality, there are only 1-9. They are numbered so that the player knows, by simply a show of a number just how he is supposed to run. The odd-numbered routes generally involve receiving the ball and then running down the sidelines, while the even-numbered routes involve receiving the ball and taking it down to the middle of the pitch. Each of these routes has its merits and a different one can be used against different teams, depending on their formation or their weak points.
Being an odd-numbered route, the receiver runs down mostly on the sidelines, before making a cut inside towards the end.
Being an even-numbered route, the receiver runs in a perfect slant for the first few steps, at a 45 degree angle towards the right or left, depending on whether he is on the right wide position or the left wide position.
The deep out is one of the basic paths, and is very similar to the quick out. The only difference is that the receiver makes the cut inside further (deeper) down the pitch.
This is where the receiver runs down the side line and then takes a 90 degree turn towards the center.
Flag Route/Corner Route
An odd numbered route, this route is taken closer to the sideline. When the receiver receives the ball here, he runs down the sideline, and then takes a sharp turn, away from the center, in the direction of the flag. There may be a runner backing him up, to whom the receiver may make the pass.
In a curl route, the receiver runs straight down the sideline, but then suddenly curls inside and passes the ball to the quarterback.
In the post route, the wide receiver runs down the sideline, about 10 yards from the line of scrimmage, and then makes a 45 degree turn towards the center.
This is one of those moves that make an interesting dummy. Here, the receiver runs pretending to run a post route, but then turns outside and runs towards the flag instead.
This is one of the simplest and basic routes. All the wide receiver has to do is receive the ball and run as fast as he can and beat as many people as he can (fly) down the flank.
For making successful offensive runs, there needs to be a good understanding between the quarterback and the wide receiver. With good coordination between the two, your team's attacking runs will be a force to reckon with!