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A Hot Route is a short emergency passing route in American Football used to escape a potential sack from a blitzing defense. They are similar in length to short routes found in the West Coast Offense.
A hot route is usually an audible called by a quarterback when he gets to the line. Often a quarterback will read the defense prior to the play being initiated. If the quarterback believes a blitz is coming and there will not be enough time for the designed play to develop, the "Hot Route" is a route an eligible receiver will change from their original route, in order to give the quarterback a quick option, if the blitz comes. The quarterback will often signal to a receiver, when he reads the defense.
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