Passing fancy

The path to this moment was hardly predictable. Getty Images

This article appears in the November 2 issue of ESPN The Magazine. To see an illustrated glossary of route-running from Football Outsiders, please click here.

Hue Jackson skeptically smiles, wondering if I realize the depth of my request. Jackson is the quarterbacks coach of the Baltimore Ravens, but he's known in NFL circles as one of the premier teachers of wide receivers. During three years of coaching that position in Cincinnati, Jackson transformed the route-running of Chad Johnson (he won't say Ochocinco) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh from undisciplined to pristine. Safe to say, the 44-year-old knows his stuff, which is why I've asked him to draw a modern passing tree. He fires back an incredulous look: Are you serious? I am.

"Well, okay," he says, scribbling. "You have this. And this. And this off of that -- "

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