Football Out Pattern

What Is an Out Route in Football?

An out pattern in football is a receiver route in which a receiver runs downfield, then turns and runs “out” towards the sideline away from the line of scrimmage. Out routes can be either five or 10 yards deep, with the former being referred to as a “quick out.”

Uses of Out Routes

Out routes are one of the more versatile single-move routes in the route tree, and arguably their most common use is in the “Ohio” combination. In this combination, the slot receiver runs an out route while the wide receiver runs a go route. This helps to create confusion in the secondary, especially when the defenders are playing zone defense. The Ohio route combo is also very similar to the flood play, the only difference being that the flood sports a third receiver running a flat route. Although out routes work well in combination with other routes, they are also effective in some scenarios when run by a lone receiver.

How to Defend Out Routes

The easiest way to cover an out route is to play man up, allowing the corner to stick close by and take away the outside edge. This starts before the ball is even snapped, with the corner shading the outside of the receiver. Once the play starts, the corner follows closely through the cut and plays over the receivers outside shoulder to prevent the reception or at least prevent yards after the catch.

Out routes can be covered by corners in a zone defense, but this can prove to be much more difficult, especially in circumstances like a flood play in Cover 3 zone, where the corner’s number one priority would be the go route. However, in the event that the out route is the deepest, the corner will cut at a sharp 45-degree angle when the receiver cuts out, aiming for the outside shoulder and following the same keys as they would in man defense. This can prove to be slightly more difficult than in man coverage because of the separation created. That small window can prove to be all the quarterback needs to complete a pass.