Tight End Tips: Route Releases

Know the steps to take when releasing from the line of scrimmage.

A tight end is asked to assist the offense in a variety of ways. On one play you may be a run blocker and on the very next play you’re asked to release into a route and become a receiver. This means you need to be ready to play dual roles. You have to be able to sell the run block and still get into a route.

To do this, you need to engage the defender for a two count as you approach the line of scrimmage. Then you can rip off and get into your route. Take your inside arm and punch it through the space between you and the defender in an uppercut motion to create separation.

Another method is to engage the defender for a two count and then swim off and get into your route. With the swim move, take your inside arm and, using an overhead motion, “swim” your arm in between the defender and your body to create separation.

In either scenario, the biggest key is to engage with the defender before breaking away and becoming a receiver. By getting a defensive linemen or linebacker to commit to you as a blocker, you’re going to help your team be more successful in that play.