Jailbreak Option is a play specifically designed around the unique abilities of Michael Vick. I call it an option play because although it contains some standard passing routes, there are two major options. The first is a throw to the split end who starts far to the left. The SE runs a few yard down and in, and then pauses. This is designed to draw a defender down close. He then breaks upfield with the goal of running right past this defender. Meanwhile the quarterback rolls out to the left and close to the line of scrimmage. If the rest of the receivers can draw enough defenders deep and across the field, the close defender has to make a choice: stay with the receiver upfield and make the quarterback try to run, or rush the QB and force a throw. Defenders usually step up to pursue a scrambling QB who's right in front of them, so the SE is often able to break wide open 10 yards downfield.

4 Left - Jailbreak Option

The SE is the best target, but certainly not the only one. The TE on the right forces the defense to cover the whole field, and will occasionally break wide open for an easy catch and run. The other three wide receivers all run deep routes that break apart late. These routes are a good fallback in case the defense crowds the short zone against the primary option play. The post route runs away from most of the defense into the open field, and the corner route usually makes for a safe throwaway once it develops because of how close it is to the left sideline.

The hardest part about learning this play is managing the timing between the SE route and the QB rollout. The goal is for the QB to run up far enough to force the defenders to come after him, while still being able to make a good throw. Additionally, the throw itself can be difficult because the SE will not always be wide open. Often a linebacker will be in coverage and you will have to lob the ball high enough to get over him, while not letting the ball hang so high that a DB downfield can react and either intercept it or deck the SE as he tries to catch it.

Player Assignments

Position Action
O-Line Pass Block
QB Receive Shotgun Snap
Left SE S1E1 (delay 1 sec)-N9W1-N2W1 (open)
Left Outside Flanker 15yd Corner
Left Middle Flanker 25yd Streak
Left Inside Flanker 15yd Post
TE N3E6 (open)

See the Madden Playbook Guide for a description of these symbols.

Read Progression

  1. TE slant out
  2. SE after breaking upfield
  3. Inside flanker post
  4. Middle flanker streak
  5. Left flanker corner

This progression works well if the QB is not pressured quickly. The three deep flanker routes are primarily to draw coverage away from the SE, and so should not be used as early reads. However, a blitz can be devastating to any 4 Left play because of the lack of backfield blockers. If a blitz comes through cleanly look for the TE first and the inside flanker (while running straight upfield) second. Do not throw the streak or corner routes under quick and heavy pressure, these routes are in heavy traffic until they break in different directions 15 yards upfield. The inside flanker is fairly safe because it's a short distance throw with maybe a linebacker to worry about, the other two routes likely require throwing over DBs. Better to just take a sack, and live to fight the next play.




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