We get it, the game of football has tons of terminology which can leave even the most seasoned fans wondering what some of the slang means. This article is going to break down the term mesh point in football, so you will no longer have to pretend you know what your coach is talking about.
A mesh point in football is the area on the field where the running back and quarterback meet to hand off the ball.
On any given running play there is going to be a set number of steps the running back and quarterback will take to get to the mesh point.
It is crucial that the running back and quarterback have the location of the mesh point down as it is needed for a smooth handoff.
When a handoff goes smoothly the runningback will be able to secure the ball and maintain forward momentum as he does it.
Both the running back and quarterback should have this motion memorized to the point they can have the heads up looking downfield while the handoff takes place.
Additionally, the mesh point is an important factor in option plays in which the quarterback must make a decision at the point of the handoff.
Mesh Point For An Option Run
Mesh points play an important role in option run plays. Option run plays are plays in which the quarterback can decide to hand the ball off to the running back or carry it himself.
On these plays the quarterback and running back will meet at the mesh point. At this point, the quarterback will have to his head up to read the defense. In most cases, he will be reading a single defender.
These plays are designed to make a single player choose between tackling the running back or the quarterback. The mesh point will be put in a location that forces the defender to choose between going left or right in order to make the tackle.
The quarterback will read which way the defender moves and then make his decision based on that.
The mesh point plays a big role in this play because its location is what forces the defender to commit to stopping one player or the other.
The mesh point also plays a role in RPOs. The term RPO stands for run pass option as has become more and more popular in the NFL over the years.
On these plays, the quarterback will have the ability to hand the ball off or throw a pass. The location of the handoff on this play will be in a spot where the quarterback can easily throw from.
The quarterback will only have to read one route on this play. If the receiver is open the quarterback will make the throw if not he will hand off the ball.
It is important that the running back and quarterback are in sync on this play as the quarterback is going to have his head up watching his receiver throughout the play.
Mesh Point Vs Mesh Concept
One thing that can be confusing about this football term is that there is another very similar piece of football terminology.
The difference between these two terms is that a mesh concept is an offensive strategy that involves underneath routes that cause defenders to be separated from their receiver via picks and rubs.
While a mesh point refers to the location the running back and quarterback meet to complete a handoff.