A route run by a receiver in football that requires the receiver to run 10-20 yards up the field and turn at a 45 degree angle towards the center of the field. The post route is a mid-to-deep range route that is often run in combination with similar routes like the fly and corner.
The post route (so named because the receiver’s target should be his side of the goalpost ends) is designed to break up coverage in the middle of the field and is most effective against defenses that only use one or two deep safeties. Because it attacks the middle of the field, it can pose problems for a defense as they decide where to commit their defense.
Post routes require speedy and athletic receivers who are prepared to make catches through traffic and who can adjust if the quarterback needs to throw over the top of a safety. It is often paired with the corner route or another post or fly route to maximize the chance of having an open receiver in a deep passing situation. Jab steps, fakes and good positioning by receivers is necessary to prevent defenders from getting inside on the route and disrupting the play.
A popular variant of the post, known as the “skinny” post, has the receiver running a shorter route with a steeper angle. This version of the route is best against a Cover 3 look, where the angle of the route helps the receiver to split the deep and mid-range safeties to make a reception.