Inside the Play Book
September 17 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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In the second installment of Inside The Play Book, I take a look at ‘Quick Slant’ pass that was made famous by the West Coast Offense.
The quick slant pass can be one of the most effective plays in the 49ers offense. The pass has the receiver, slant across the middle of the field, he is usually thrown the ball as the quarterback hits his third step while dropping into the pocket.
The pass is effective for a number of reasons. Firstly, the close proximity between passer and receiver allows for enough precision for the receiver to catch the pass in stride and thus gain yardage after the catch.
It is also effective because the receiver running on an angle automatically shields the defender away from the ball with his body, thus contributing to a very high competition rate.
Finally the pass happens so quickly, defenses can rarely react in time to stop the player immediately. The receiver can usually break or out run the first tackler leading to a good gain.
The 49ers have gotten away from running the quick slant in the first two games of the season. This is particularly troublesome, considering that the Broncos left the field pretty open behind the defensive line - it could have been exploited.
The 49ers best use of the pass would be to Terrell Owens lined up out of the slot. The quick pass gives a big powerful player like Owens a real advantage. It’s high competition percentage would also help Owens get involved in the game early, and thus keep his head and focus throughout the game.