Mario Manningham is now a 49er, but before he departed, he did do something pretty memorable:
Now, that’s pretty. But what happened? Enter Matt Bowen:
So Manningham is the “X’ Receiver. Cruz and Nicks are on the left side. Manningham has to beat the corner, and then has the safety to worry about. The play happens, in large part, because of a perfect pass from Eli and a mis-read by safety Patrick Chung. But Manningham has to get there and make the catch and stay in bounds.
For all intents and purposes, Reuben Randle is replacing Mario Manningham. Of course, Randle is not going to do everything Manningham did; they’re not the same player. But the basis is going to be the same.
So one route Randle is going to have to run is the “9″, or “fade” route, against Cover 2. But that’s not the only route he’s going to run.
Here, Randle is running an “8″ or “post” route against Cover 4:
As Bowen notes, Randle isn’t without flaws. On this play, Randle makes it look easy, but it’s going to be harder on Sundays. As Bowen says:
- Straight route stem from Randle because of his pre-snap alignment (bottom of the numbers). That sells at the college level when you have this matchup outside of the numbers and the inside leverage on the CB, but Randle will have to use more than the slight “head fake” to the outside vs. NFL DBs.