Patriots

BSJ Classroom: Inside the Patriots’ passing offense — Route conversions

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(Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Over the course of my writing career, I've been able to learn from some of the best in the game during one-on-one discussions, film review, and coaching clinics. I've been behind the scenes with the Texans as they gameplan for an opponent, watched film with the likes of Bill Belichick, Bill O'Brien, Charlie Weis, Paul Alexander, Jim McNally, Bob Wylie, Rod Rust, Ron Jaworski, Greg Cosell, Geno Atkins and a host of others. I've just tried to be a sponge and accumulate any insight they've shared, and then I've tried to pass it on to my readers.

In this series, I'll try to answer questions BSJ members have about certain things they don't understand about football — from the simple to the complex.

First installmentAn overview of the Patriots' complex passing offense.

Today: Route conversions.

In the first installment, we touched on the parts of the passing offense that make the Patriots' scheme one of the more complicated in the league for players to execute: route conversions, sight adjustments, choice routes, and option routes.

The most basic of them is the route conversion. Basically, it's a pre-snap read by the receiver and quarterback based on what the defense is showing. Of course, it's not nearly that simple. The defenses are trying to disguise what they're doing, but Tom Brady has some things he can do to make the defense tip their hand.