Engineered Air Raid Offense (EARO), Install & Breakdown: Shallow

Install/And Breakdown 




Glossary of terms 

  • Open Grass Idea: If you have not watched any of my free videos, or bought any of my  other books, this will be new to you. We use this idea to the backside of any concept that  does not cross. It allows us to force the defense to defend the whole field, get the ball  out quick versus the blitz, and have a ton of options.  
  • Slow Process: This is the pre-snap process we use to train the eyes and brain. We force  the brain to set up a process oriented progression of visualization, that lead to the  reaction of the post snap play. The quarterback will walk through these steps with his  eyes and brain to cognitively trigger key elements of the defenses alignment.  
  • Fast Process: This is the post snap reaction based play of the quarterback.  PROGRESSION LANGUAGE 
  • Rhythm Read: Always the first read in a progression.  
  • 2/3 Read: In the EARO, we combine the 2nd and 3rd read in the concept, by using an  If/then principle.  
  • Drop Back: This indicates that this is a drop back passing scheme. This means the  lineman will be in a 4 step vertical set, and the quarterback will be in an open 2 drop 3  step pattern.  



The Shallow Concept is a staple in the Air Raid offense. We see it at every level at football,  and can be a very dynamic play for any team to establish. It makes the middle linebackers  decide to I bail for the dig, or cram for the shallow. It also places the safeties in a bind  because of the dig underneath or the post over the top. They have to give something and  cannot cover both. The Concept is also a strong horizontal stretch. They way we use our  back flashing across, it gives a mesh concept feel, and also a play action essence that really  puts the linebackers in a bind. It also makes the defense very vulnerable if they decide to  blitz. Too many of the zones are accounted for with routes, and they have to bring 7 to  have a chance to get home.  

In the Open Grass Concept we have simplified the reads for the quarterback without taking  away from the dynamic ability of the concept itself. We do run them both left and right, and  we do move the running back around to force the defense to declare strength. Take a look  inside this book to gain a deeper understanding into these concepts everyone needs on  their call sheet.  


Shallow concept 

This concept is unique because it attacks both the horizontal and vertical strain of the  defense. The shallow route works with the deep pass drop of the lineman and the over  eager pass rush. The shallow and the dig paired together puts the middle coverage at each  level in a bind. There is a route in front and behind across the middle of the field. The  linebackers and safeties are both threatened above and below. Do they drop, or do they  squeeze? Now we factor in the post attacking the “cap” of the coverage, and the “big play”  route built in this concept. The safety may want to take away the dig, but at the expense of  the post over the top? Most teams will settle with rallying to the shallow route. I am  particularly fine with this because it is a high percentage throw with a lot of room to attack  once the catch is made. When you have “crafty” guys at the slots, the shallow route can  provide a ton of Yards After Catch.  

The key is to be patient and take what the defense gives based on the reads we will talk  about.  


SHALLOW concept 

 The Shallow Concept is used in the open grass idea. Pre-snap the first player we identify is  the Dig Side linebacker. He will tell us the progression of our first read. The next pre-snap  identifier is the Safeties. How many? This will help visualize where the dig will be able to sit  and target areas to get eyes.  

The reason we read the dig side linebacker, he will tell us the nature of our progression to  go up or down.  

LB tells us to work down 

  • If the LB walls the stem and turns his back, our QB should immediately get eyes to  shallow route. Since the shallow route is attacking the area he just vacated and the  safety is getting a vertical stem threat we have occupied 2 defenders. If for some reason  the shallow route does not show or is covered, we would not get to the Running Back.  

***Due to the inside threat now of the shallow, it makes it hard for the linebacker to  recover to the shoot route, and many times the running back will be open. This horizontal  stretch also opens up many inside lanes of grass the throw the ball across the middle. 

LB tells us to work up 

  • If the LB walls and settles then, we would go dig/post/back. Since the LB settled we now  have 2 routes in his vertical area, and the dig will place him in a horizontal strain as well.  So as we work up for the safety then we can read if he is squatting on the dig or bailing  for the post.  


SHALLOW concept 

This is the “base” way to run the Shallow Concept.  

Open Grass Reads Progression: 

  • Z Rhythm Read 
  • Y/R 2/3 “if then” read 

This is a deep drop back so we will use a 5 step gun drop.  


Identify the “WALL” player on the  dig side. 

Single or 2 Safety?

Any Sign of blitz?


During the Drop back the QB  reads the “WILL.” If he turns to  Wall Dig, 

Peek the Safety on Post, and get  to Shallow

If the Shallow is covered work to  back out. 

**** Coaches do not push the deep vertical at first to your quarterbacks. Let them get  comfortable throwing the Dig/Shallow/Running Back. They will learn to throw that post off the  safety. 6

Why do WE change sides on the Post 

The reason we change what side we run the post on is simply safety play. I will look to see  how they play their safeties based on a high/low concept. This is an easy in game  adjustment, that allows you to get a shot play out of this.  

In Figure 1, you can see that we are posting the same side as the dig route. I like to use  this if we are getting a team that likes to “sit” the safety on the dig. It puts him in conflict  and forces a choice.  

In Figure 2, we are now posting away from the Dig. I like to use this as if the opponent is  going to let their safety sit and wait for the dig. It puts him in the same conflict.  7

The route structure of this concept is taught as follows: 

X/Z Receiver:  

  • Mandatory outside release fade. This receiver must push deep as fast as possible. He is  the first read of the concept, and must get out clean and force the defender to turn their  back to the concept. Get deep fast.  
  • Post route will be given to either side based on the defense.(I will explain later, why we  would flip the routes.) 

Y Receiver (Shallow) 

  • Turn and run flat now at a depth of 1 yard from the Line of Scrimmage. (We give the  aiming point as the feet of the defensive lineman stance. Keep running all the way across  the ball, never stop. Look for ball after crossing the center.  

A Receiver (Dig) 

  • Two step outside release. And get vertical push for 8 yards. Speed cut to inside, and get  flat at the 10 yard depth. We teach the receiver to SEE the Safety, and FEEL The WALL  player. On the Cut if Zone, The receiver should look for the first open hole to curl up in.  If versus man he is taught to keep running across the top.  

Running Back: 

  • Flash across and look for anything blitzing of backside edge. If nothing is showing  continue on your shoot route at a depth of 2 yards at the sideline 



This is one of our adjustments we run shallow in. I particularly love this play to the  boundary. It makes the defense decide if they are going to play the formation, or the  field. This alignment also is an indicator for me to see how they will play a formation to  the boundary with back away during the game.  

The quarterback key is the same person if we are in 2x2. The only difference now is  pre-snap (slow process) he can see if he likes his 1 on 1 with the Z to the field and if  they are going to bring an edge rusher he has the swing right now. This forces the  defense to widen to the field. The dig side linebacker will still tell us to work up or work  down. And this also puts a lot of stress on that safety with the dig/post really working to  him.  

If the inside linebackers cram down on the shallow and try to pass it opens up a huge  window to hit the dig in. We have made a lot of yards off this variation of one of our  staples. If the defense blitzes the middle, we know that they have to bring 6 to get  home, and that makes them very vulnerable to the shallow dig.  



Read Key 

SHALLOW post wheel

Ah… The Saban 4 over 3 coverage. Yes we see it. Teams try to really take away or trips  formations by giving us this look simply because Offensive Coordinators count numbers.  If you are also in a situation where your single receiver cannot win the 1 on 1 then this  

puts you in a bind. That is why we came up with this adjustment, when they lock the  single receiver. I like to take match ups with a running back and a linebacker. This also  poses problems for teams who wants to use that OSLB as the 4th rusher, because now  they have to have an ISLB who is out leveraged to cover a wheel. We should win this  match up every time if the ball is simply completed.  

Then only difference with this play is we are going to read Post/Wheel to Shallow/Dig.  We feel we have the numbers because we are essentially flooding that side of the field,  and forcing coverage to chase us. This is a great compliment to the play if we are  seeing a lot of this coverage.  


SHALLOW (motion 

I must admit I am a fan of Arena Football. I love their motions, and feel this is a huge  advantage for high school offenses. When we get a guy moving he instantly becomes  faster. This is an advantage for offenses because the modern defense depends  tremendously on what happens on the back end of a play. The motion man gets  defenders eyes on something else, and automatically are thinking of adjustments. This  is a key way for us to win the play mentally and physically.  

The simplicity is we can do this from either direction, and it allows us to take advantage  of how the defense sets their strength (field/boundary, to/away from back) etc. 


SHALLOW motion 2 

This is the other form of our motion. What this does is make the defense set, adjust,  and then adjust again. It creates a lot of quick communication that leads to confusion. I  like to use this when people have seen our motion on previous film, or when they have  seen the previous type of motion and seem ok adjusting to it.  

This also allows us to get match ups and create a change up for the defense. By using a  different receiver who may have a different skill set than our normal slot receivers. Also  if they are a man to man team that chases on the motion, it allows us to instantly move  

them across and go right back. The adjustments are simple for us, but complicated for  the defenders. 



I have included the link to my free online clinic for the shallow concept. It will show field  clips with breakdowns, and live clinic talk. This will diagram all of the plays that we went  over in this manual. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Please go and check  out my website, and also my for  other manuals and books.  



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