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One Awesome Play: Easop Winston is against banning redzone fades

The redzone fade is a beautiful thing

NCAA Football: Washington State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State left Laramie, Wyoming, with an unexpectedly convincing win last Saturday, dropping 21 points on the Cowboys in the fourth quarter for emphasis.

Quarterback Gardner Minshew II eased most doubts about a graduate transfer taking the reigns, the Boobie Borghi Backfield lived up to every expectation, the Speed D demonstrated they’re capable of stopping the run — no matter how many defensive linemen you think they don’t have — and the receivers spent the entire game beating a very good secondary.

End zone fades are wildly unpopular among football fans ... and abhorred by bloggers. It is a filthy, disgusting, utterly stupid thing, a self-evident grotesque, insulting each and every viewer whenever a headset-wearing dullard conjures it in the redzone.

The Ringer wrote why the fade route is garbage and what teams should run instead; Fox Sports called it “the absolute dumbest play in football”; Drew Magary at Deadspin took his typical straightforward approach to write simply, “F*ck the fade route”.

“Ban End Zone Fades” will populate a Twitter feed whenever they don’t work.

This time it did work. And it is beautiful.

After a couple of negative yardage possessions by the Cowboys near the start of the fourth quarter, the Cougs went 48 yards in four plays, culminating in a picturesque end zone fade to Easop Winston for his first career touchdown. That score put Wazzu up by eight and they didn’t look back.

Our Awesome Play this week is “Green 6” — all verticals — from the Wyoming seven yard line.

Brian Anderson

Wazzu lines up in their 20 personnel — two runningbacks, three recievers — with Jamire Calvin (Y) and Easop Winston (Z) to the right, and Tay Martin (X) split out wide to the left. Max Borghi and Keith Harrington are in the backfield with Gardner Minshew.

At the snap, both outside receivers stutter-step release. Calvin rips into the Nickel and pushes up the seam, drawing him and the safety.

Both Martin and Winston actually walk-hop into their corners. Part of this is timing, with a fast release they’d force Minshew to quicken his 1-step set and hurry a throw into what will almost always be a tight window.

The other part is shake-n-bake.

This is such a quick throw, Minshew is basically going to make a pre-snap decision and roll with it, trusting his receiver to beat a guy. Minshew had eyes on Winston at the top of his drop, set his feet comfortably and was able to drop a dime over the corner.

Winston ran hot-feet at the corner, closing distance and getting him into a hip-pocket spot he knew he could shake him right out of. The corner was beat in four steps.

End the redzone fade hate, there’s never a bad time to run verts. It’s a beautiful thing.