In this episode of Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room on Houston receiver Marquez Stevenson, Waldman shows how the difference between an open and covered fade route can come down to the turn of a receiver’s head.
Marquez Stevenson is a big-play slot receiver in the Houston offense. His speed and tracking of the football on vertical routes are assets. Although Houston won this game handily against South Florida, USF figured out at halftime that its defensive backs could slow Stevenson down with physical play at or near the line of scrimmage.
Stevenson only showed one move off the line during this game, and USF repeatedly foiled Stevenson’s move during the second half of the game. It’s a telling indicator of what Stevenson must address heading into the 2019 season if he wants to upgrade his standing as an NFL prospect.
In addition to developing a greater repertoire of moves with his hands and feet, a far simpler solution for the Cougars receiver on routes like this fade below is to simply keep his head down and continue running his stems with intensity. To the casual eye, this target may appear overthrown. However, the outcome is the product of the cornerback’s position and the receiver telegraphing his intentions way too early.
Stevenson is an NFL-caliber athlete. He must develop into a better technician if he wants to pursue a football career. Many receiver prospects could improve their execution of fade routes with this simple adjustment. There are several reasons that receivers work on late tracking of the ball over their shoulders and this route is one of them.
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