The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime on Monday to win the College Football National Championship yet again, and for those who missed it on social media, they did it on a play named “Seattle.”
Whether there is any significance to the nomenclature behind the play’s name, I am uncertain, as it is not uncommon for plays to be named after cities. However, the playbook pages do demonstrate a couple of items that have been asked about in the comments section over the past few months regarding regarding dynamic routes for receivers and hot routes.
First, however, here are the pages directly out of the Alabama playbook.
The two pages from the playbook give the route variations for the players running pass routes from several different personnel groupings, with a dynamic route assigned to the H or Y receiver. These dynamic routes are fairly basic, as they are determined based solely on reading the defense in terms of whether there is a single high safety or two safeties deep. The dynamic route appears designed to create an isolation on one side of the field where the QB would know that the receiver has one on one coverage with the probability of safety help being minimal.
This works against a single high safety as one of the interior receivers is to cross the face of the safety, likely for the purpose of getting the safety to drift just a tiny bit in the direction the crossing receiver is moving. That creates a situation for the outside receiver on the side opposite of the safety’s direction of movement where that receiver should be one on one, and any deep pass to the receiver should be a 50/50 in single coverage.
Against two high safeties, the receiver with the dynamic route is instructed to “attack far safety vs 2-high”, which should create enough of a distraction for the safety being attacked that the outside receiver is facing one on one coverage and there should be no safety help over the top.
In any case, what is also seen clearly in all of the route diagrams is which of the receivers is assigned a hot route. The hot route is designed to be where the quarterback goes with the ball if he is being blitzed. As such, throwing the hot route requires both the receiver and quarterback to recognize the same thing from the defense - a blitz - either on pre-snap reads or immediately after the snap.
These are a couple of very basic concepts, and while many of the readers here could certainly lecture me on these subjects in far greater detail than I have covered here, I simply wanted to bring this up since it is something I’ve seen asked about in the comments in the not too distant past.