A pass route where the offensive player runs straight down the field for a certain distance before angling towards the center of the field. Post patterns are often run deeper down the field, with the quarterback attempting to lead the receiver with a long pass down the center. The defense will counter a post pattern by having the safety guard the deep part of the field, with another player guarding underneath the route.
The post pattern is one of the basic routes in a good passing game. The idea is for the receiver to run straight to put the defensive back off balance, and then break diagonally toward the middle of the field to create separation from the defender. The quarterback should attempt to throw the ball into space in front of the receiver to allow him to make a play on the ball. The risk of a post pattern is that a safety may be in a position to intercept a poorly thrown post pattern. The name of the route comes from back when the goal posts where situated on the goal line rather than behind the end zone. A wide receiver would run towards the posts on the end of the route.