“All In” Wide Receiver: The Release

Jan 25, 2012 | Pass Game Mechanics, Position Groups, Wide Receivers

A good stance is essential, but it is wasted if the receiver does not fire out of that stance in a way that puts them in the best position to succeed.  We teach the release in the follow fashion:


For a receiver, speed or the illusion of speed is everything and it all starts with the first two steps of the route.  Receivers that know how to get off the line against different coverages and pressures will be maximize their impact in both the running game and passing game.

Five Release Concepts:

Different angles of release threaten the defense id different ways and allow us to get different the desire leverage for the play that we are running.  We use the same release concepts in both the running and passing game to ensure that the DB’s do not get a quick read on the type of play because of the way that we start the play.

Outside Release

  • Concept:  Mandatory outside release that forces the corner to widen and cover or let us continue past them into the "hole."

  • Used in: Vertical routes, clear routes, running off corners and safeties in the run game

  • Coaching Points: Press the outside shoulder, dip to pass the corner, work to stack him and get back on your line as fast as possible

Option Release

  • Concept:  Similar to outside in that we are attacking the outside shoulder of the corner, but this time we are reacting to his technique and taking the path of least resistance or that gives us the leverage desired for the play called.

  • Used in:  Play side blocking for 8 and 9 hole runs, inside vertical releases, breaking routes.

  • Coaching Points: Press the outside shoulder, try to force the corner to turn his hips, gain best possible  leverage

Angle Release

  • Concept:  Inside release off the line of scrimmage at roughly a 40 degree angle

  • Used in: Backside blocks of safeties, 1 step slant, smash route, sit route

  • Coaching Points: Take one hard step up the field, plant on your outside foot, angle at the heels of the nearest linebacker, adjust angle to meet the needs of the play, error on the side of cutting to sharp

Crack Release

  • Concept:  Release straight down the line of scrimmage

  • Used in: drag routes, crack blocks

  • Coaching Points: Step with the inside foot first, aim at the heels of the near DE, adjust angle for optimal execution

Tap Tap Release

  • Concept:  Creates different plans for release against press coverage

    • 1 tap and 3 taps for outside release

    • 2 taps for inside release

  • Used in:  All outside, option, and angle release plays off the line when presented with press coverage

  • Coaching Points: Have a plan!, move forward with each tap, use your hands to turn his shoulders, break his wrists, dip your shoulder and punch through, stack the defender as soon as possible

General Release Coaching Points:


  • Explode out of your stance and getvertical

  • Balance up with the defender and press vertically to threaten the defender with a two way go


  • First step must be forward.

  • Back foot steps forward to 8 to 10 inches past the front foot

  • Front foot steps forward on a 6 inch cheater step (helps if you take false steps)


  • Maintain a good body lean and leg drive

  • Decrease chest area to minimize disruptive defensive contact


  • Create the illusion that you’re moving faster than you actually are by speeding up elbow and arm speed Use to ensure that you release into an area of strategic advantage

  • Get violent on the DB w/ your hands

  • Push their  elbow inward to open up the side that you desire (w/ your release-side hand/the side you want to go to), this will turn your body making you "skinny" and "whip" you right by the DB

  • Next,  take your backside hand over the top and slap his backside to move you ahead


  • Establish eyecontact with the CB "scare him with your eyes" and make them think about what you are going to do.

  • Use your eyes to steer him as a QB steers a safety