When lining up in the Twins formation (having the split end and the slot receiver to the same side of the field), a well-executed wheel route can frustrate the defense.
Wheel Route Basics
The wheel route - also known as the switch route - is a simple combination pass pattern involving the split end and the slot receiver.
When the ball is snapped, the split end explodes off the line of scrimmage as if running a short slant route. After slanting five yards, the split end turns up field to run a streak, or vertical, route.
The slot receiver will turn outside as if running a five-yard arrow (outside slant) route. He will then round the route, 'wheeling' around the split end's vacated area and running a vertical route down the sideline.
Aligned weak side, the tight end will take three steps toward the strong side and then run a vertical route up field.
3-Step/5-Step Quarterback Drop
This play can be part of the offense's three-step and five-step passing game. Much of it depends on how the defense is playing the Twins formation.
- The offensive line can block 'big-on-big' (straight man blocking), or a slide protection call can be made.
- The fullback is responsible for the defender coming off the weak side area vacated by the tight end.
- The tailback has strong side outside protection responsibility.
- The wheel route works best when the defense is in man-to-man coverage.
- Consider adding a tailback flat pass, especially if the defense tends to drop into deep zone coverage.
- Running the ball out of the Twins formation will provide better passing opportunities.