Vertical Pass Concepts Off Jet Motion

Jun 14, 2020 | Offense, Trades, Shifts and Motions, Pass Game, Vertical Pass Concepts

By Dan Hughes
Head Coach/OC
Sioux Valley High School (SD)
Twitter: @CossackFootball @SVGuybrarian



Jet motion forces the defense to react pre-snap, stress horizontally, and most importantly, force the DB’s to fit the run. In doing so it grabs the defensive backs’ attention as they play an integral role in defending the perimeter. In the following clips take special note to how the DB’s must honor the jet and flow to the ball.

It’s interesting to note the different fronts and looks the defense will utilize to defend the perimeter. In nearly every instance a defensive back must interpret run, defeat a block, and pursue the ball carrier. Stress is placed on DB’s because of the amount of open field, lack of numbers, and the speed of the play.  These factors make defensive backs vulnerable to the play-action pass, especially off jet motion.

The vertical passing game compliments the Jet sweep by putting defensive backs in conflict. You will see it only takes a peek or slight hesitation from a corner or safety to create a big-play opportunity. Whether your team’s identity is under center, shotgun, the zone or power running game, the Air Raid, or wing-t, a single vertical scheme combined with Jet motion can give your offense some much-needed explosiveness.

This strategy can be incorporated into any offense regardless of formation or personnel group. Simple verbiage or a hand signal is more than adequate to add this extra layer of deception to your offense. In our system we use the buzz words “Trump” and “Hillary” to communicate jet motion to the right/left respectively. Hand signals are great as well, but our DC is a very political guy and I feel like he appreciates it.

On each of the clips in this report, you will notice a defensive back looking at the backfield. The location of their eyes keeps them from adequately covering the WR. It communicated to the QB which DB we want to attack.  These clips show the QB completing vertical passes to each third of the field.


Jet Player & Quarterback Technique: Under Center

In our system, the motion is initiated by the cadence and the jet player is responsible for sending himself in motion; the target for the jet motion is a spot 20” behind the QB. This spacing gives the QB room to do a 180-degree pivot and execute a proximity fake to the jet motion player. The QB keeps the ball secured with two-hands in his belly while the jet player, using high-cradle position with his hands/arms, creates the fake.

  1. Pre-Snap Motion initiated by QB cadence.
  2. QB does a 180-degree pivot and executes proximity fake
  3. “Giant Step” straight back with plant foot
  4. On rhythm deliver the ball to the window above the #1 WR


Clip note: Notice how the DB is in press coverage, but our WR's role stays consistent, "get behind the defense." In this clip, you can clearly see the CB only peeks for a split second. This is all our receiver needed to get behind him.  This clip also shows how the receiver stayed on top of his landmark, which in this case is the numbers.  This game the QB an area to throw and prevented the free safety from being a factor in the play.