After experimenting with the angle for low-cross pass routes from 1984-1989, we settled on one angle – 30-degrees. Not 25, not 45, nothing else in between. It has to be 30-degrees on the dot. The reason is that the 30-degree low cross has never been completely shut down, never been fully defended since 1984. Video evidence proved to us that, at our levels of competition, the 30-degree low-cross is undefendable versus man, zone, or any combination of coverage. The 30-dgeree low-cross is a man-buster, zone-buster, and coverage-buster in general because the 30-degrees gets the maximum separation regardless of coverage.
The 30-degree angle applies to every receiver position along the line of scrimmage, on-line or off-line, in our limitless formation SWAT system. But we’ve received our best results from the online tight-end position. The 30-degree low cross from the online tight-end position attacks the opposite flat at the perfect depth and width, regardless of the tight-end’s fatigued or unfatigued speed. Any angle beyond 30 degrees invites disaster – the big hit on the receiver or interception. Our video evidence repeatedly shows that 30 degrees separates the receiver better than any other angle.
The key is the first step. We teach a parallel 3-point stance and a 6-inch 30-degree step with the inside foot. This is the same technique used for a tight-end down block. This binds the defense, removing the tight-end’s first step as a positive read for the defense.
In our SWAT system, the 30-degree low-cross can be a primary route or hot pattern depending on or pre-snap read and pass-play calling SWAT formula that we use at the line of scrimmage to build pass plays in front of the defense in 8 seconds or less. There’s no such thing as using the 30-degree low-cross too much. Video evidence has shown that using it over and over again is not a detriment because what happens around the 30-degree route matters the most. We have limitless concepts that combine with the 30-degree low cross. When the 30-degree low-cross receiver catches the pass, the intelligence we gather from the other routes is the most significant scouting information elicited during games or during film study.
The 30-degree low-cross has been our most productive YAC route since 1984. No route in our SWAT system has produced more yards after the catch that the 30-degree low-cross. One of the main reasons for explosive YAC average is the high-speed no-huddle factor. No route in the SWAT system hurts the opposing defense in the 4th quarter like the 30-degree cross because of the distance that has to be traveled. We teach our QBs and receivers that the 30-degree low-cross is a horizontal fly pattern. Instead of going deep, the 30-degree route goes wide then deep.
In our reality of limitations, consistency of high-quality and high-quantity reps in the shortest period of time is the difference between winning big and getting wiped out. Every rep counts in our reality, where there’s a fine line between being competitive and non-competitive. The 30-degree low-cross has been a solution to extreme challenges including untalented receivers, small rosters/depth chart/two-way players, turnover of players, limited practice time, and shortage of assistant coaches.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 Nat’l Coaching Certification Program
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
head coach- Robert Bateman High School – GO WILD.
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: www.ginoarcaro.com
His books include: SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, 4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, X Fitness Workout System, and a 3 business book series called Soul of an Entrepreneur . He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks. A new 8-volume interrogation book series will be released in the spring of 2014. And just released, a new children’s book called “BE FIT – DON’T QUIT.” His latest book on human potential called “Hashtag Peace” is at the editing stage. He is currently writing “Lifter’s High.” Both will be released soon.
His books are available at: