Once the receiver makes his break, the key to a successful slant pattern is establishing quick separation from the defender. To do this, he must avoid revealing that he is running a slant too soon. A well-executed slant requires both receivers to get vertical quickly and start breaking away from their defenders. If either player delays his break, it can cause problems for the receiver behind him. The quarterback should never have to worry about where his receivers are on a slant because they will be where they are supposed to be at the right time.
Also important in executing a good slant route is maintaining proper depth. There should always be space between the first downline defender and the nearest sideline marker when the ball is being thrown. This gives the receiver room to work against defensive backs who may be playing back toward the center of the field. If there isn't enough space, then the receiver has no choice but to go upfield prematurely, which could result in a breakup or even a touchdown.
Finally, keep your head up while running routes. You don't want to be looking at the ground while you are receiving, so make sure that you are seeing everything that is happening around you. It's easy to miss what is going on behind you or in front of you if you aren't paying attention.
The slant is particularly effective because it makes use of the receiver's body to get him open. When the receiver slants toward the middle of the field, he is putting his body between the football and the defender. This gives him an advantage because it makes him a harder target to hit. A defender can't just go after the receiver any which way because he has slanted toward him. He first has to adjust his course to face the new direction the receiver has taken.
The receiver starts with the ball in his hands at the 15-yard line. His next move is to either break away for big yardage or find a hole in the defense to get into the end zone. Either way, he's using his body to create angles for himself so that defenders have trouble keeping up.
This play is used throughout football because it's easy to understand and allows receivers to make a difference. They don't need to be great players to do well because the slant gives them an edge over defenders. Even if the quarterback throws an interception, the receiver can still score because there's no one else who can cover him up.
The goal is to create space between the receiver and the defender, putting the receiver's body between the defender and the quarterback. Slant paths can be followed from any location, along any alignment, and at any depth. On the field, slants can be run at short, medium, or deep depths. The advantage of the route is that it opens up room for the receiver downfield.
When you see a player running a slant route, you're looking at an attempt by the offense to get the receiver away from his defender and open up space for more downfield plays. The defense can adjust its coverage to stop this type of play, so offensive coordinators often use different options to take away the ability of their opponents to defend these passes.
Often times, receivers will start their breaks toward the sideline when they receive the ball, even if there isn't anyone there. This is called taking the sideline out. If a defender follows them, they won't be able to return to the middle of the field where they would be needed for another down. Instead, they'll have to stay on the sidelines until the next play.
In addition to opening up space for more downfield throws, slant routes are also effective ways for quarterbacks to move the chains early in games.
A slant route, like a flat route, is a quick-hitting football route. The receiver will take a few strides ahead before slanting diagonally across the field with an inside break. They are usually used to force defenses to commit extra defenders to the area behind the line of scrimmage.
In addition to being one of the most popular routes in football, the slant route is also very effective. A team that wants to move downfield quickly but doesn't have the time or resources for a long pass play can use this route as a way to get the ball into the end zone. Because it's such a simple route, coaches expect their receivers to make every effort to get open during slant patterns.
The quarterback starts by reading the defense downfield. If there are no safeties playing close to the line of scrimmage, he'll keep the ball and try to find an open man. But if all three linebackers are in position, then he'll drop back and look to throw the slant.
On this play from last season against Tennessee, Peyton Manning looks to hit Demaryius Thomas over the middle of the field on the first snap of the game. But Thomas gets jammed at the line and comes off the pattern toward the sideline. This gives the Vols' defense room to rotate over and stop the pass.