There are a lot of misconceptions about Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo’s passing game. Fans incorrectly label his strategies as “predictable” or “contrived,” when in reality, there’s a level of creativity to many of them.
This week, let’s return to the offensive side of the ball and dispel the myths about Arroyo’s passing offense. Over the next handful of articles, I want to take a look at a few different concepts and try to show how Arroyo’s scheme isn’t lacking diversity.
The concept we’re focusing on today is the Slot Outs concept.
In the diagram above, you’ll see that the outside receivers both run go/streak routes, while both slots run out routes at five yards. The fact that the concept is mirrored to both sides of the formation gives the quarterback the opportunity to decide which side of the defense to attack, based on pre-snap reads. The running back will be tasked with scanning for any blitzes and then releasing to the center of the field on a check-down curl route.
Post-snap, the concept is a hi-low read for the quarterback. In the most simple explanation of what is going on, the QB will be reading the corner to see if he goes high or low. If he stays on top of the go route, the quick out should be open underneath. If he stays under the go route in zone, or gets beat over the top in man coverage, the QB is taking the go.
In the video above, the corner at the top of the screen doesn’t allow the outside receiver to get a clean release off of the line of scrimmage, and stays on top of the route. This opens up plenty of green grass for the slot receiver running the out. The QB hits him for an easy seven yards.
Whether it be a constraint (sequential) play, or an option route for the receiver, Arroyo also has a Double Outs concept that he incorporates into the offense. My gut tells me that this is an option route for the outside receiver when the Slot Outs is called, so I’m going to treat it as such and add it to this analysis.
The Double Outs concept (above) is exactly what it says it is. Both the outside and slot receivers are running an out route. Now because this isn’t so much a second play as it is an option route, you could have a mix of the two concepts at one time. Thus, you could see the Slot Out to one side, and on the other see the Double Outs. It’s all dependent on what the outside receiver sees from the defense.
The outside receiver is looking to see how far off the corner is playing him. If there’s enough of a cushion between him and the defender, he’s not even going to try to get over the top of the defender on the go route. Instead, he’ll simply run an out for easy yardage.
In the video above, you’ll notice that the corner is playing about eight yards off of the receiver. Because of all of this cushion, Juwan Johnson decides that the out route is the way to go. He pushes vertical for five yards, forcing the CB to bail in case of a go route, before breaking to the outside. The ball is delivered and it’s one of the easiest first downs you’ll ever see.
The Slot Outs concept is just one of a plethora of concepts that I’ve seen from Arroyo on tape. It’s a simple concept that attacks the defense at a couple of different levels, and different areas, of the field. Mix that with the option route afforded to the outside receivers, and it becomes a pretty effective play to run on game day.
Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio Top Photo Credit: Kevin Cline
Spencer Thomas, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, is an attorney for the Social Security Administration in Atlanta, Georgia, and coaches High School Football for Hillgrove HS in Powder Springs, GA.
Eric Boles was born and raised in Central Ohio, 25 minutes outside of the capital of Columbus. He was raised in a University of Michigan sports household, but at a young age, converted over to the Oregon Ducks. Eric has a degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University, and had started a second degree in Middle Childhood Education. He is also the author of one, soon to be more, children’s book.
Eric had served as an assistant wide receivers coach for the Central Ohio Technical College football program. Now he assists with the football camp provided by his local YMCA’s day camp.
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