Smart Football does a great job explaining the reads in the link. In youth football, I run a similar play with a roll out to avoid the backside blitz. Whereas, the college qb and wr are making site adjustments, my 9 – 13 yr olds don’t do that well. Plus, if the QB drills the ball in on the dig (as he will have too) the kid will likely drop it. This allows us to just read and make a decision based on the defender facing the QB. The routes are the same.
Look for this play in the ’11 Youth Football Motion Spread Playbook:
The shallow cross is, quite possibly, the best pass play in football: Almost any quarterback can complete it; almost any receiver can run it (though there is more nuance than maybe one might initially realize to a good shallow route); it is a way to get “speed in space” without requiring a big arm; it works against most all coverages; and throwing a few of these tends to open up big plays downfield as defenders creep up.
I’ve discussed lots of variants of the shallow, but one of my favorites remains Bobby Petrino’s. I see Petrino’s version as essentially the meshing of a pro style approach with a college sensibility; the reads are simple but there are nuances built in so that it works against almost any coverage. Petrino moves his guys around a bit, but, the key feature is that unlike the Airraid guys, he has his runningback and his shallow going to the same side: the back runs a wheel route to pull the underneath coverage to the sideline and up the sideline, while the other two receivers run a post and a square-in, and on the backside the receiver runs a comeback. The base play looks like this: