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Thursday, September 21, 2023

US Sports Football: The Art of Running the Corner Route- Coaches and Players Prespectives


Today we look at receiver play, specifically route running, from two different perspectives. We first get some keys to being a great route runner from 

Tony Sorrentino, Assistant WR Coach for the Minnesota Vikings, and then from a player, Will Swinney, former WR, Clemson. 

You may recognize the last name. His father is Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, so I’m sure he’s picked up a ton from a coaching perspective along the way.

To illustrate the art of route running we will focus on the Corner today is how to win the space inside and create a window for the quarterback to throw into.

The Coach Perspective 

To begin, Coach Sorrentino believes there are three keys to route running:

Win at the line of scrimmage. Defenses will press until they believe you can beat press.

Create vertical pressure. Go up the field and make all routes look the same.

Develop the route at the top

Whether it’s for a job interview or in the classroom with his players, these are things that Coach Sorrentino is convicted about and will share in any situation he’s asked to talk receiver play.

Let’s focus on developing the top of the route, especially how it relates to the Corner route. 

Fundamental to any route is the Feet. Everything is about feet: Feet get you out of the break and create separation, especially by staying underneath the body.

Coach believes he can learn a lot about a receiver in preparing for the draft by studying and analyzing the top of the route. He explains the importance of developing the top of the route in this video:


Video: Develop Route At The Top

Let’s take a look at how this applies to the Corner route. In this example, he illustrates how Cooper Kupp wins the Corner route and the adjustments he makes along the way to win and create space for the throw:


Video: Cooper Kupp Corner

The Player Perspective

Will Swinney believes there is an art to running a Corner Route. He sees it as being a master of deception. You want to make him think you are doing something else. This is done by marrying routes up and make them look the same.

He wants to get in the defender's head and have a plan to win the route beforehand and then adjust after.

He goes through the specifics of running a Corner route in this video:


Video: Art of the Corner Route

The consistency between what Coach Sorrentino and Will Swinney emphasized is making everything look the same and having a plan. There is the ideal break that’s drawn on the diagram, then there's the technique and break necessary to get the route open and give the QB the window he needs. 

Receivers who are developed beyond running the route as drawn on the diagram will get a quarterback in trouble or at the very least force him to move on in the progression to another receiver. We know our guys want the ball, so they should be motivated to learn the art of route running.

As you get out on the field more in the spring and summer, developing the skill and savvy of your receivers will pay huge dividends in the fall.

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