By Jim Hofher,
University of Delaware
Editor’s Note: X&O Labs’ Senior Research Manager, Mike Kuchar, was granted exclusive access to the University of Delaware’s Offensive Coordinator, Jim Hofher. During this meeting, Coach Hofher, revealed his drive and pivot concepts out of an empty formation. We have posted the full-length version of this report which includes 9 minutes of University of Delaware game film on our exclusive membership website - Insiders. Insiders members click here to login.
Field Drive/Boundary Hinge Concept (Diagram 1)
- Three-man side executes "Drive" Concept
- Two-man side executes "Hinge" Concept
- Formationally, the three-man side should be to the field, while the two-man side will be to the boundary. This can be altered based on game plan.
Field Drive Rules:
- #1 Receiver: Takeoff route; get on top of defender.
- #2 Receiver: Underneath route; get under the movement key (which is the play side inside linebacker). Must fight his way under the wall. Target is at four yards. Create an oblique angle. Must take an outside release to gain width and also to create a passive rub against man.
- #3 Receiver: Outside release and run an in route try to gain no more than four yards width with his release to 12 yards. Twelve yard speed cut and becomes an automatic rub.
- #1 Receiver: Seven step hinge (out route) or convert to a go route against a low cornerback. Against press technique, the hinge will convert to a go. In Coach Hofher’s words, "The QB doesn’t get off of the X side just because it’s press, but we will get off the X side if there is safety help."
- #2 Receiver: "Protection Release Go (PRG)" trying to pin the expanding coverage player. The goal is to protect the hinge route so that the flat player cannot get under number one. He must rip to outside hip of defender. As Coach Hofher states, "He may rub or initiate contact while running. We want alley players to be unable to affect hinge."
Watch Delaware Game FilmX&O Labs Insider Members can log in to see a video tutorial of Coach Jim Hofher's Drive Concept out of Empty formations including his adjustments to man and zone coverage as well as blitz concepts.
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Continued From Above...
Quarterback ReadsHinge Throws:
- "Take the Hinge throw unless." Throw it out of the plant. If we get Cover 1 or Zero we will take the hinge.
- Quarterback reads the first inside linebacker concept side. It’s a three-step plant and throw. Take the hinge vs. the soft corner. If we can take three steps and throw the boundary we can get the ball out and get it to a soft corner and avoid a sack.
- If the receiver can get to his (cornerback’s) hip, he can convert it to a go route. If there is a press technique with no safety over the top, take the conversion (Diagram 2). If it’s a press/bail technique, QB will have to make a decision based on how soft the bail is. If it’s press with safety help, QB has to go away from it (Diagram 3).
- To the three-man side we will consistently hit the under if the number three receiver does his job. It’s less travel time for the ball.
- QB: eyes go from hinge to play side LB. "You high-low that player," says Hofher. "If he’s low, you throw deeper. If he’s deep, you throw lower. If he’s out ahead by leverage, you work behind."
- Field side too big for a hinge concept, so Pivot works better.
- Pivot is the three-man concept.
- Drive is the two-man concept.
- #1 Receiver: Seven step hinge (out route) or convert to a go route against a low cornerback. Against press technique, the hinge will convert to a go. In Coach Hofher’s words, "We don’t get off of the X side just because it’s press, but we will get off the X side if there is safety help."
- #2 Receiver: Corner Route. Similar to a "Smash" concept, break should be made at 12 yards. Rarely does this receiver get ball.
- #3 Receiver: Pivot Route.
- #1 Receiver: Runs the under route (see above for technique)
- #2 Receiver: Runs the in route (see above for technique)
- First read is pivot away from the concept call (Drive Side).
- Take the field pivot first, or go back to the concept side.
- Read first linebacker concept side (Drive side). "If he’s deep we throw under him to the Under route; if he’s shallow we throw over him to the in route," says Hofher. "It’s a low-to-high concept. Throw the pivot first because you have to give the concept side time to develop. If I just stare down the concept, I might invite that safety who may be a problem on the in and allow the LB to jump the underneath route" (Diagram 5).
Question or Comment? Post your question or comment below and Mike Kuchar and/or Jim Hofher will respond.