When watching football games you may have heard announcers refer to receivers as X, Y, Or Z.
These are all distinctions used by football coaches to identify their receivers. The trouble is the vast majority of casual football fans have no idea what these letters mean. This article is going to break down what an X reciever is in football.
An X receiver is typically your team’s number one receiver and lines up outside the formation close to the sideline. These receivers often have a large frame and have the ability to beat man coverage.
These receivers line up on the line of scrimmage and often must face press coverage. The X receiver should be your quarterback’s go-to option traditionally followed by the Z receiver and then the Y receiver.
What Is The Role Of An X Receiver
The role of the x receiver is to be the receiver you can trust on the offense. If the x, y, or z receivers are given one on one coverage the X receiver is the one you would ideally target.
X receivers are also known for their big play ability. Top end speed is a not a necessity but these types of receivers should be able to beat defenders either with their strength, speed, or route running.
These receivers line up on the line of scrimmage so that the tight end can be an eligible receiver.
On any given play a certain number of players must be on the line of scrimmage. This receiver position is one that almost always stays on the line of scrimmage.
Having this type of receiver can make a massive difference in the passing game. A great example of this would be the Bills adding Stefon Diggs as an X receiver and their passing offense seeing great improvement.
What Are The Traits Of An X Reciever?
To play the position of X receiver there are several traits you are going to need. This position requires the most talent of the X, y, and z positions.
An X receiver first of all needs to be able to beat man coverage. These receivers face man coverage more than any other receiver on the field.
They are relied on as the team’s number one target which means they are going to have to find a way to get catches consistently.
Whether this is through speed like Tyreek Hill or through great ability to catch contested balls like DJ Moore it does not particularly matter. All that matters is that as the X receiver the team can rely on you to consistently beat defenders.
Another trait that an x receiver should have is strength. Due to these receivers lining up on the line of scrimmage they are much more likely to be jammed. These receivers will need a certain level of strength in order to consistently beat these jams.
And finally, an X receiver needs to have consistent hands when catching the ball.
This receiver role is reserved for the receiver that is going to be looked at during the most crucial points of the game.
Whether it’s an endzone fade or a deep pass when down by a score this receiver needs to be trusted with catching the ball.
All in all, an X receiver should be able to beat their coverage, have enough strength to get through jams, and have consistency when catching the ball.