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

My name is Patrick Taylor, and I am currently the Offensive Coordinator at North Surry  High School, in Toast, North Carolina. In the past few years we have averaged 2,000 plus  passing and 2000 plus yards of offense per year, in the Air Raid Offense. Our Quarterback  Rating has been at least 120, and led our conference in every offensive category. By install ing the Open Grass Reads teaching to our quarterbacks, we have produced 2 Offensive  Player of the Year winners, in 2 seasons at Quarterback. These young men were both mak ing their first starts as quarterback in the offense.  

I have been studying the Air Raid Offense since the late 90’s. From it being brought to the  high level of the SEC, by Coach Hal Mumme at Kentucky. This offense has guided me to  countless records broken, and wins over the “giants” of our conference. I am currently the  Offensive Coordinator at North Surry High School in Toast, North Carolina. Where we have  just finished a season that led us to new heights. I currently write for, as well as run my own website at If  you have not signed up for my weekly newsletter, go to my site and do so. Also browse  through the articles posted to find more insight on coaching, offensive line play, defense,  game planning, and many other aspects of the game. If you have any questions feel free to  contact me at 



I have read many definitive pages on how to teach a quarterback. While I thing  all had their strong points, I like to strip logic down to the most vital parts. A  wise coach once told me to do nothing that makes your players slow to react. I  have employed this in every facet of teaching football, and this has led me to  Open Grass Reads.  

The most cognitively important position on the football field is the quarter back. Immediate recognition happens for any fan, if this position is not only in adequate, but also if he is slow with decision making. I have made my living by  throwing the ball around the field utilizing the Air Raid Offense, but I have  never had the luxury of coaching a quarterback who was groomed prior to transi tioning to the position. Although this may seem like a daunting task, I have al ways preferred a clean slate over correcting bad habits. While these situations  may not be ideal, I feel it has taught me just what I need to teach this position.  

I feel sometimes as coaches, we get caught up in the pedagogy of teaching  the quarterback like he is going to be a great philosopher. I do not want to belit tle the importance of the position, but I strictly believe the only way to get bet ter is by doing, not just by listening. I waste no time in “chalk talks” with my  quarterbacks. IF we are teaching, it is on the field accompanied with a football  and receivers. I wold love to have my quarterbacks pass paper tests on the dy namics of each defense we face, but this position is really about process and deci sions. This is only accomplished by training the eyes, brain, and muscular sys tem to make a decision in under 3 seconds. This is why I do not waste time  teaching him what I know, but continually working those systems with drills.  


Our progression to the quarterback is as follows: 

  1. Progression: what is the coverage 1 or 2 deep? Based on that, what is my  progression? 
  2. Rhythm: who is the first progression is the entire concept? We will still  peak that route, if it is taken pre-snap by coverage 
  3. Open Grass: Where is the “open grass,” and what route is running  through it? 

We are not a total progression team, but there is some progression of the  routes in our concepts. We are not a complete rhythm throw team, but we have  some rhythm throws in our concepts. We are an “open grass” read offense. Our  pre-snap progression tells the quarterback who to look at. He identifies the cov erage and then progresses to the person we need to look at based on the concept  of the coverage. It alerts the quarterback to look at the area that the concept can  beat. Then we look at the area that the concept can beat. Then we look at the  open grass and throw it.  

This is how we want our quarterback to process the offense for it to be suc cessful. What I want to present in this book is how coaches can understand how  to develop a quarterback, and what drills we use to get them there. In other  words you quarterback does not need to know all of the philosophy, and jargon  found in this but, but I use this as a lesson on how to get them to the point of  being successful. in this offense.  



I remember close to 20 years ago hearing Coach Hal Mumme speaking about  this play at a clinic. He diagrammed the numbers and went over the basics of the  play. Fast forward over 20 years and this play is still a staple in many offenses.  Some people call this Snag, we as Air Raid followers call it Y-Corner. In this  ebook we will go through the install and keys to execution of this play. 

In this presentation, I will cover the basic install of the play, the open grass  reads for the quarterback, and route instructions. We do trade the back if de fenses are placing strength to our back, we can bounce him from either side pre snap, to gain an advantage. So your imagination is limitless to taking advantage  of your opponent. We also cover the backside of the concept, and how we force  the defense to play the entire field equally.  

To start here is the route structure for the concept.  


Z: Foot Fire Slant. (Pre-Snap) Slow Process locate the flat player. He is the  one who will determine how to tempo the slant stem. We have to clear him be fore we can sit in the window versus zone.  

Y: 4 step stem to the landmark of the corner route. If outside the +20 the  aiming point is the front pylon. If at the +20 or closer to the end zone, it is the  back pylon of the end zone. This is important for the throw because this is the  target the quarterback will use for the throw.  

RB: 3 step swing, and look for the ball, work to the top of the numbers. We  marry the steps to the drop of the quarterback. This is a quick game concept so  we will use 3 steps to match the quarterbacks timing.  

A/X: Will run our “open grass” beater concept. Versus man, both back side  receivers will run a double slant. Versus zone, both back side receivers will run a  3 step stick. The quarterback will make his slow process (pre-snap) read and can  quickly work away from concept if the throw is better decision.  

QB: Goes through slow process (pre-snap) we will talk about versus man  and zone in this book. This is a quick game concept so it will be a catch settle  throw.  

We use our famous walk-through drill to teach our concepts. This allows us  to install the slow process (pre-snap) and coach the results of the fast process  post snap. If you have not seen my clinic series on this you can find them at, or you can find them at these links provided below.  

Clinic 1: 

Clinic 2: 

Clinic 3: 



In this chapter you will find the route structure of this infamous concept.  The Slant:  

We will first look at the zone slant used in this concept. The route starts as this: 

Foot fire release, and get inside. Sit in first window cleared from the flat player.  If the flat player is bailing hook to curl, stay on normal intended path and sit  when cleared. If the flat player is angling towards the swing route created by the  back out of the back field then look run behind as close to him as possible and  sit immediately after he clears.  


For the man adjustment:  

Foot fire release and work inside now. Do not allow the defender to get hands on  and push off the route. Continue to run the slant and look for the windows cre ated by the defenders chasing the routes. The first hole to look in would be  when passing the defender responsible for the swing route, just as we talked  about above in zone coverage.  

The Corner Route:  

We will first talk about the difference the Air Raid means by corner. The cor ner route is based on this:  

If we are at the +20 red zone the aiming point of this route is the back py lon. We want to run out of bounds, running through the pylon, in the back py lon of the end zone.  

If we are anywhere else on the field the routes aiming point is the front py lon of the end zone. To understand this I ask you to go on the field and see how  this changes the angle of the route, and at the same time makes this concept  very dangerous. If this play is called on the -20, then you can see this route  really looks like a wrong shoulder fade. It really puts stress on the safety, to play  


this route, because if he gets over the top the quarterback can throw him open  to the side line on the lower side. If he trials on the hip, he ball is thrown out in  front as a “go get it ball.” I will talk about the footwork of the stem with the pic tures below.  

If the Y receiver has inside leverage from the flat defender than we will take  a straight release and run through the wall of the defender. The stem of this  route is 4 steps and get to the landmark. This is the first read in our concept so  we must get to the break immediately. Plus the distance from the safety back  pedal allows us a lot of room to throw to grass, and makes him have to really  work his feet to read and play the route correctly. That is one of the greatest  parts of this route. We can throw it in a lot of space and make the coverage  wrong.  


If the Y receiver has head up leverage from the flat defender in man or zone,  we are going to foot fire and try to get an immediate inside stem, and win the  route. We have to get into the stem without disruption, because of the concept  working the stem of the corner with the crossing of the slant and swing route.  

The Swing Route: 


The swing route is paired with the drop of the concept, because this concept  is quick game, we tell the running back to take 3 steps and look for the ball and  settle at the top of the numbers. We teach the footworks as opening the outside  foot and driving the inside are like a runner would stealing second in baseball. at  the third step look back for the ball, and settle at top of numbers. We stress that  you run this route in a straight line, do not “banana” the route at all. This makes  for an easier throw, and maintains space from the original routes working in the  concept. 



This play we use versus zone or man and in this chapter, we talk about the  quarterback process facing zone. We can teach this in our walk through drill I ex plain in other clinics.  

The quarterback progression he will ask will in his head: 

Slow Process (pre-snap):  

  • Where is my first route going in the concept? (this is the corner route).  Identify who is in this area. If the corner off?  
  • Where is the flat player for my 2/3 read? How is it covered? What does backside look like? Is there grass to take? 

Fast process (post snap): 

  • Peek the corner route to make sure the picture has not changed. We do  this to be reactive to a defenses change in the picture we have in our mind. We  


can drill this in the walkthrough to make the quarterback very confident in  these situations. The corner route is our rhythm read, because it is at the base  of the drop and first read.  

  • Get to my flat player for the 2/3 read. Slant/Swing. This is our progression  read.  
  • If you like the backside snap and throw immediately after receiving the  ball. Take the open grass now.  

Here is some film on the concept. 



Due to man coverage we have to read 1-2/3 read. Air Raid teams that see  man coverage are anxious, because we know that this means a lot of space to  work in both vertically and horizontally. This play has both built in and one we  love to call in this situation. 

The slow process (pre-snap) progression the quarterback will ask in his  head: 

  • Where is my first route going in the concept? (this is the corner route). Is  it man free? where is the safety leverage?  
  • Where is the flat player for my 2/3 read? How is it covered? The Z receiver  will be running a full man slant versus man coverage. Is it man under, will first  inside linebacker be responsible for the back out? He will be able to see all this  through the natural viewing window of the play.  
  • What does backside look like? Is there grass to take? 

Fast process (post snap): 

  • Peek the corner route to make sure the picture has not changed. We do  this to be reactive to a defenses change in the picture we have in our mind. We  can drill this in the walkthrough to make the quarterback very confident in  these situations. The corner route is our rhythm read, because it is at the base  of the drop and first read.  
  • Get to my flat player for the 2/3 read. Slant/Swing. This is our progression  read.  


  • If you like the backside snap and throw immediately after receiving the  ball. Take the open grass now. The only difference we have for versus man cov erage is we now have to take into consideration there is a high probable chance  at taking a shot deep down the field with our rhythm read (the corner route).  



One thing we have implemented is the “open grass” mentality on the back side on all none crossing concepts from a 2x2 formation. We have basically in stalled a run ‘n’ shoot idea away from the call, that leads to big plays, and high  percentage throws. This very idea led us to an undefeated conference season,  and defeating a major opponent for the first time in school history. The play  came with just over a minute left in the game, and 80 yards to go. The play Y Corner, and our quarterback hit the backside double slants for a touchdown. It  proves this idea works and continues to force the defense to play the entire field,  not just strength of the formation.  

As I explained earlier built into our concepts by default my receivers has  two route options. If man run double slants, and if zone, double hitches. If the  quarterback likes this slow process (pre-snap), he can catch throw it now. I like  


this idea because many teams versus 2x2 send their passing strength to the  back. This gives us a clear advantage.  

The rule on double slants for the inside receiver is: if you do not get the ball  immediately out of your break, then turn up seam immediately. This allows us  not to have routes running into each other and allows for the second slant from  the outside receiver to clear and have more room.  

In other instance we can also tag quick game beaters, that we like and have  a menu that weak to work the weak side of coverage. If teams like to roll cover age, and this is there comfort zone, this is an easy way to beat them. In this ex ample here is a great way to run the seam versus single high safety like cover 3,  or man free. If they are consistent with playing the free safety to the field, then  you have them in a great concept and a beater to the backside of the concept. Let  the quarterback pick which one he wants, and manipulate the safety to free up  the deep ball. It is a great way to take advantage of an opponent who either has a  very aggressive safety, or they are better than you in one side of the coverage. It  gives you match up problems advantage.  


The other ideas we can work is simple backside concepts like curl/flat. This  is one of the best and oldest beaters around. This simple concept can be tagged  

to the backside of a cover 3 team, and it allows your quarterback to have choices  to split the defense and make them play both sides honest.  

The menu backside is only limited to what you want to install, but can  really stretch the back end of your opponent. It also gives your quarterback op tions to work in all phases of the offense.  


Video Edit Link 

Use the link below to go to the 30 minute video clinic. If you have any problems accessing  the clinic please email me or direct message me on twitter.  


twitter: @patrick_taylor4 

Video Clinic Link: 


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