Setup: Twins Wide, Slot. Single Tight.
- Slot – Slant-Drag
- Wide – Slant-Corner
- Center – Deep Hook
- Tight – Comeback
This is a good play to run on the goal line or 3rd down.
The timing and mechanics of the comeback route can be difficult at younger ages and lower skill levels. However, through practice and repetition, kids can learn. We are starting to implement a few plays with this route for my 9-10 year old team.
What makes the comeback route difficult for kids is that the receiver sprints toward the sideline, angling toward the line of scrimmage. Instead of slowing down to catch the ball and stay inbounds, the receiver sprints through the catch and ends up out of bounds. When your goal is a touchdown or first down though, going out of bounds does not matter.
Back to the play, the first read is the Slot receiver running the Slant. Depending on yardage needed and defense, this may not be a viable first option.
The second option is the Wide receiver running the Slant-Corner route. The Corner portion of the route can be run two ways. First is the traditional route where in this case, the receiver has his right shoulder toward the line of scrimmage. The QB throws the ball over this shoulder. The other way is to turn and face the QB and pack peddle into the route. You’ll see this in college and the NFL with taller receivers where the goal is for receiver to face up and out jump the defense. Generally, you’ll have the receiver run the traditional route.
As the QB scans across the field, the Center is the third option, with the Slot receiver (the 1st option) as the fourth. Finally, the last option is the comeback route. If you run this play with the read in this order, you may to hold the receiver until the QB starts to look toward his side of the field. Then, the receiver can break toward the sideline.
Variation: One variation is have you best receiver run the comeback route and he becomes the first option. If you have a QB and Receiver that can work this work consistently, you’ll have an almost unstoppable play in short yardage situations.
If you’re looking at a long yardage situation and the defense is not blitzing, this is an excellent play but it does require some time to develop.