A drag route (also known as an in route or a dig route) is a route run by a receiver in American football, where the receiver runs a few yards downfield, then turns 90° towards the center of the field and runs parallel to the line of scrimmage. This type of route is relatively safe and is thrown to an agile receiver who can make a play after the catch. Alternatively, a drag route may be used as a second option if the principal receiver on a play is covered.
The use of two crossing drag routes can also be used to try to create an open receiver by using the other receiver to block the path of a defensive back in a man coverage scheme. Out and in routes are the most difficult routes to cover in man-to-man coverage, but can be dangerous plays to run because, if the defender intercepts the pass, he will often have a clear path to the end zone.
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