ITP Glossary: Hank Concept

The Hank concept is a traditional piece of the West Coast offense that involves three routes to one side of the field. The three routes in order of the quarterback’s progressions are: a tight end sit, a curl route on the outside, and a flat route. This creates both a high-low read along the outside (curl-flat) and a horizontal read with the TE sit. Variations on the Hank concept have found their way into the NFL as well, as Alex Kozora of Steelers Depot breaks down.

The Hank concept is a great, simple passing concept, and one that teams at all levels of football use fairly often. Below is a possible Hank concept design, but it can be run from a variety of formations.

Hank ConceptAn example of the Hank concept in action can be seen from the 2016 game between the Michigan Wolverines and the Iowa Hawkeyes. With 7:27 remaining in the first quarter, Michigan will run the Hank concept to the right side from an empty backfield look, incorporating motion from the slot receiver. Iowa will counter with a Cover 3 zone defense.

Hank ConceptIn this example, tight end Jake Butt (#88) will run the sit route into the middle of the field, settling in between zone defenders. The outside receiver will run the curl route and the motion man, running back Chris Evans (#12), will run the flat route after coming across the formation.

Hank ConceptButt settles in the middle of the zone defense, making quarterback Wilton Speight’s (#3) progression very simple, as he hits Butt for the easy 5-yard gain.

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Overall, the Hank concept allows for a lot of room for variation and creativity with formations, motions (as seen here), and personnel. With a very defined set of reads this is a good concept for young and experienced quarterbacks alike.

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Ryan Dukarm wrote this entry. Follow Ryan on Twitter @DBRyan_Dukarm.

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Film courtesy of ESPN.

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