The Patriots may call a certain play in the huddle, but it’s really just a starting point. For the receivers, the route they run often depends on the coverage and technique of the defense. The receivers have a couple seconds before the snap, and a split second after the snap, to diagnose the coverage and figure out which route to run.
1. Man coverage: With the cornerback positioning his body toward the quarterback, slot receiver Danny Amendola would switch his route to an “out” pattern to try to cross up the defender’s feet.
2: Jamming at the line of scrimmage: With the cornerback trying to jam Amendola at the line of scrimmage, he would try to sidestep the jam and then burn his defender with a deep post down the middle of the field.
3: Safety shades over: With the safety shading over the top of Amendola to prevent the deep pass, he would try to run a quick drag or slant over the middle so the safety is not involved in the play.
Same wavelength: Of course, the offense doesn’t work if Tom Brady and Amendola don’t diagnose the coverage similarly and aren’t on the same page as to how to change up the route