Tight End Route Trees

By Charlie Coiner, FirstDown PlayBook

 Honestly, we have been a little surprised at how popular the FirstDown PlayBook pass game route trees have been. They are one of our most popular sections, especially during 7-on-7 season. Here is a little segment we did on the tight end route tree sections.

Having coached tight ends at the college and the NFL levels, we can tell you that it is one of — if not THE — most unique position on the football field. We can’t tell you the number of times we have been in discussions about a particular tight end’s role in the game plan with little to no regard about his ability as a blocker or as a route runner and pass catcher.

We have also sat in draft meetings in confusion as scouts and personnel decision-makers ranked the college tight ends based on their potential in the passing game while the coaches’ No. 1 criteria was if they could block in the running game. It is a common occurrence in the NFL where everyone is right, and in the end, everyone is wrong.

So, as we were working on the tight end route tree, we were pretty sensitive to the fact that this position and its routes lends itself to the ability of the player in a huge way. Add to this the fact that most people reading this don’t have the luxury of choosing their players, and you will understand why we have tried to initially keep our FirstDown PlayBook tight end route tree fairly basic for a starting point.

The FirstDown PlayBook tight end route tree is a nice mix of routes that can be used in the drop-back, play-action and boot passing game. For the sake of this route tree, the tight end is always either attached to the tackle, in a wing position, or lined up in a bunch formation. If you play your tight end flexed out, the FirstDown PlayBook slot receiver route tree should help you out.