A corner route in football is an intermediate/deep receiving pattern that has the receiver run straight upfield then cut on 45-degree angle towards the front corner of the endzone.
The corner route is given this name due to the corner of the endzone that is being targeted. The opposite route to corner is a post route which has the receiver cut 45 degrees towards the goal posts.
The route starts with the receiver running ten to fifteen yards downfield. Once hitting this point they will make their hard cut towards the sideline.
On corner routes, the ball is meant to be thrown after the player has made the cut towards the sideline. After running downfield to start the route the receiver will find himself fairly deep downfield.
Ideally, the quarterback is going to throw the ball right after the receiver makes his cut. Since this route is fairly deep downfield the quarterback is going to need some time for the play to develop.
This requires a certain level of pass protection from the offensive line.
That being said if the pass is completed the offense will have gained a fair number of yards due to the depth of the route.
What to know about corner routes
Now that you know what a corner route is in football it’s time to break down some of the key factors that go into this receiving pattern.
Double moves can be used when cutting
One interesting part about corner routes in football is that players can use double moves at the cut to beat the defender.
Hitting a quick shoulder fake to the left as you cut right can be an effective way to achieve separation. One reason this works is that it imitates a post route.
Corner routes and post routes usually make their cut at the same depth. This means when you pump left on the cut the cornerback may believe that you are running a route to the middle of the field.
Many coaches will prefer that the receiver simply cuts to the corner but others will allow for a little more creativity.
Toe taps are a must
Running a corner route in football is going to direct you towards the sideline. Since the ball is thrown after the cut is made the ball is often going to come into reach as the receiver reaches the sideline.
When catching these passes receivers need to be sure to keep their feet inbound. For this reason, receivers should be aware of where their feet are as they take their final steps toward the sideline.
This close proximity to the sideline also makes this route great in the two-minute drill. Catching a pass like this allows the offense to move downfield and will also stop the clock due to the receiver going out of bounds.
Corner routes in which the receiver drags his toes to stay in bounds are often referred to as toe-drag plays.
Post corner route
On top of the corner route this a variation which combines the corner route and the post route.
This route involves the receiver starting the play just like they would a regular corner route. The receiver will start by running in a straight line downfield.
Once they reach their intended depth they will cut towards the middle of the field as if they are running a post route. After running the post route for a step or two the receiver will then cut back to a corner route.
This double move will make it very difficult for the cornerback or safety to stay with the receiver.
That being said this route takes a long time to develop and can cause issues in pass protection.
That concludes our guide to corner routes in football read more about other receiving patterns such as the sluggo route or the short hitch route.