Terry McLaurin's Dominant Route

October 09, 2023

Athlete Studio

Terry McLaurin, the talented wide receiver with a five-year NFL career, has mastered countless routes. However, there's one route that he loves above all others, and there's a specific reason why it's his favorite. According to McLaurin, this particular route forces defenders to be honest when covering him.

This route is known as the "shake route," and it showcases many of McLaurin's exceptional skills. To execute it successfully, he relies on his impressive speed (he ran a 4.3 at the NFL combine in 2019) and quickness. When performed flawlessly, the shake route becomes nearly impossible for defenders to cover. McLaurin confidently states, "It's good against any type of coverage in my opinion."

The shake route begins with a five-step vertical, followed by a three-step post, and finally, an out towards the sideline. However, simply changing direction is not enough to deceive a defender. McLaurin's entire demeanor must convince the defender that he intends to run towards the middle of the field during the post portion of the route.

If the defender is playing man coverage, they will attempt to jump the route in hopes of causing an incompletion or intercepting the ball. This forces McLaurin to make a split-second decision before heading towards the sideline, depending on the defender's leverage. For instance, if the defender is within reach, McLaurin will try to throw him off balance and get underneath his coverage.

Once McLaurin successfully evades the defender, all he needs to do is make the catch in open space. It seems effortless for him, as we have witnessed countless times.

Throughout his NFL career, the shake route has been McLaurin's reliable weapon. In a game against the Houston Texans last season, he converted a second-and-14 situation into an impressive 18-yard gain using this route. Another memorable instance occurred against the New York Giants when McLaurin employed the shake route to outmaneuver safety Dane Belton, setting up the Commanders inside the 15-yard line.

Every veteran receiver possesses a collection of routes and moves that they know will work more often than not, regardless of the defenders they face. For McLaurin, the shake route is his go-to move, enabling him to shake off defensive backs effortlessly and gain valuable yardage.

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