The Drive Concept is a universal passing concept that is so used in the College level that many people refer to it as the NCAA concept. The passing concept is based around putting the linebackers in a high low read where the defense has the choice of dropping back to defend a 10 yard Dig route or to come forward and defend a Drive route where one of the offense’s most dynamic players is streaking across the field at full speed.
The Drive Passing Concept for Youth Football
The play is made up, like almost any passing concept, of four distinct routes. The people that run these routes can change based on the formation, the strengths of the receivers and the defense you are attacking.
Similar to the Mesh Concept one of the most important routes in the concept receives little to no attention from most teams. This is the Win route which is run by an outside receiver. This should be a route that your receiver can win if he gets one on one coverage. The actual route can vary depending on the strengths of your receivers and quarterbacks. A popular outside route is the Vertical, Comeback, Back Shoulder Fade read progression. Another popular route is the Corner Read where the receiver is going to run a Corner route based on the leverage of the Cornerback.
The heart of the concept is the Drive route which will have a receiver running at full speed across the field. He wants to aim at a spot on the opposite sideline 4 yards deep. This should be your most dynamic receiver since he should be getting the ball in space. When this is a receiver who can turn vertical and make the defense pay they are more likely to come forward and open up the Dig route behind them.
The other interior route is the 10 yard Dig where the receiver takes a vertical stem for 10 yards before breaking directly across the middle. It’s important that he takes a vertical stem to threaten the Safety deep. This will hold him and stop him from coming down to make a play on the Dig. While most teams have the receiver pushing all the way across, another option is to have the player running the Dig settle in a window and face the Quarterback.
The final route is a deep post. This route is critical to keeping the Safeties off of the Dig by stretching the defense vertically. Without a Post to force the Safety to drop the defense can have a Safety sit on the Dig and let a Linebacker come down on the Drive route.
From a Quarterback’s perspective this is a very simple read. His initial read is on the Win route. If there is one on one coverage he can make the read and throw based on personnel and if the receiver can beat the defender. His next check is on the Dig to see if it opens up on the initial cut by the receiver. If he sees a defender dropping back he checks the ball down to the Drive route which can take the ball vertical. If the Quarterback sees that the Dig is being covered by a top side defender he needs to look directly to the Post and make the defense pay.
The best part of this concept is the ability to change up where the routes are coming from to keep the defense guessing. The only two real rule is that the Win route needs to be on the outside. Because this route is designed to force the defense to put two defenders on the receiver, if it is outside these two defenders can’t help stop the high low read on the linebacker.
As you can see this concept can be put in from a variety of different formations. The effect is that you have a passing concept that is very inexpensive to install but can be run from multiple formations.
(See Also) Smash Passing Concept