What are Patterns in Football?
A pattern in football is another term for a route run by a wide receiver in order to get open for a pass. There are many different patterns used by the offense throughout the course of a game designed for short, intermediate, and long passes.
Common Short Patterns
In a curl, the receiver runs forward for 8-10 yards before turning around and taking a few steps towards the quarterback.
A hook is a shorter variation of the curl in which the receiver only runs about 5 yards before moving back towards the line of scrimmage.
In a slant, the receiver runs forward for 3-5 yards, then angling towards the middle of the field.
Common Intermediate Patterns
In a comeback, the receiver runs forward for about 15 yards before stopping on a dime and turning to face the quarterback.
In a crossing route, two receivers on opposite sides of the field run forward for 10 yards, then break towards the middle of the field and cross paths, using a stutter step to fake out the defenders before moving towards one another.
Common Long Patterns
Streak (aka Fly or Go)
Similar to a post, a corner occurs with the receiver instead breaking towards the far corner where the endzone meets the sideline.