Fundamental Pass Concepts

Two-Man Pass concepts

These are some of the most common two man and three man pass concepts. This is not a definitive list, but a list of most common passing concepts that I've seen or ran at some point. These concepts are so common because they work. I've left out some of the Air Raid concepts because I have a separate breakdown here. Some of the specific terminology is omitted because there are multiple names for the concept across different coaches and systems. I also think that coaches get hung up on terminology too often. Call it something you and your kids will remember. This will be updated as time goes on.



Smash Out

Smash Whip

Slant Flat "Dragon"

Double Slant

Curl Flat "Hank"

Deep Out "Hawk"


Seam Curl "Hoss"



Post Wheel

Slot Fade "66"

Z Levels

Y Levels


Three-Man Pass concepts

Stick 2x2

Stick 3x1

Snag 2x2

Snag 3x1

Flood 2x2 "Sail"

Flood 3x1 "Sail"

Hoss 2x2

Hoss 3x1

Levels 3x1

Levels 3x1

Smash 3x1

Full Field Concepts

Full field Concepts, such as Mesh, Y-Cross and Shallow can be found in the AIR RAID breakdown.

Hoss Y Juke

Hoss Y-Juke is a great play out of empty to take advantage of split field coverage's. One of the weaknesses in a split field coverage vs. empty is that the Mike linebacker will usually matched up on the #3 receiver to the strong side. This concept relies on the quickness of the #3 receiver to win that match up every time.

X: Hitch vs. soft coverage. Fade vs Press.

F: Seam route, look for grass.

Y: Juke route. Sit if LB moves or doesn't match up with you. Whip if LB is in man or wall off inside. Run if LB plays head up or open grass in the middle of the field.

H: Seam route, look for grass.

Z: Hitch vs. soft coverage. Fade vs Press.

QB: Against 2 high safeties read the Juke. Against 1 high read hitch to seam on the side with the best leverage. Look for pressed corners and grass.

Bill O'Brien Hoss Y- Juke Patriots

Noah Riley Hoss Y-Juke Cutups


Yankee is a deep cross concept that is a great way to attack single high safeties. This concept is usually run out of heavy formations so the defense has to commit multiple defenders to the run. Most teams will run this a s a play-action concept with a 7+ man protection. This play is great if you have fast receivers on your team to get to the deep throw quicker. There are multiple variation of the Yankee concept, but the hallmarks of the play remain the same. A deep cross with a post.

X: Inside release. Break at 15 yards. Look for grass.

F: Check release.

Y: 5-6 yard drag.

H: Pass protect.

Z: Inside release. Break to post at 15 yards. Look for grass.

Saints "Yankee" Vs. Tampa Bay

Arizona "Yankee" Vs. Wash.


Dagger is a concept that is commonly used in high school, college and the NFL. It involves a vertical route by the slot receiver a deep dig from the outside receiver and a drag from a backside receiver. This stretches the defense vertically and horizontally and put pressure on a deep safety to make a play.

X: Inside release. Deep Dig. Break at 15 yards and look for grass.

H: Seam. Must get vertical to occupy as many deep defenders as possible.

F: Check release backside.

Y: 5-6 yard drag.

Z: 12-15 yard deep comeback. Can continue route vertical against man coverage.

QB: Read Dig - Shallow but peek at the Seam. Dig is the most likely to be open but peek at the seam to get a cheap quick shot down the field.

This play can be run a variety of ways and out of multiple formations. Tweak this to your personnel and game plan.

Bills "Dagger" Vs. Saints

Eagles 3x1 "Dagger"


This concept is a variation of shallow that is quick and easy to install in any offense. It can be run out of multiple formations and can be tweaked to fit personnel easily. The hallmarks of the Drive concept is a same side shallow and dig combination. This is usually paired with a post or seam route over the top of the play.

X: Outside release, get vertical.

H: Post route. Break at 10-12 yards. Can adjust to a skinny post or seam against one high defenses.

F: Check release.

Y: 10-12 yard Dig. Outside release on the snap.

Z: Tight split to the Y. Run the shallow route at the heels of the DL. Must scream to the sideline and not stop their route.

QB: Read the Mike. If he comes up on the shallow throw the dig and if he drops throw the shallow. Peek at the post. F is checkdown.

There are multiple ways to run this play, too many to count. This is an effective way to attack the middle of the field, and its usually a pretty easy throw for the QB.

Arkansas 2010 "Drive"

"Drive" w/ "Mills" from 3x1