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The Hook Route - Hook Route a Safe, High Percentage Pass Play

First Down Passing Keeps Defenses Honest


All-Hooks Pass

All-Hooks Pass Play

Sean McCormick

The key to successful first down passing is to keep it simple. The All-Hooks route is a basic pass play which is easy for coaches to teach, and easy for players to learn.

Quarterback Looks for Tight End

The tight end (Y receiver) takes an inside release and runs toward a spot six-yards beyond the line of scrimmage, directly over where the center snapped the ball. The tight end is always the quarterback’s first choice. If the tight end is open, the ball is thrown to him. The tight end and quarterback are to be coached to watch for the linebacker dropping into coverage. If this happens, the quarterback does not have to wait for the tight end to run the full six-yards. He can throw the ball immediately to the tight end. Both players must recognize this and adjust the route accordingly.

Outside Receivers Come Back to Ball

The wide receiver (X) and the split end (Z) run hard downfield as if running a vertical pattern. When they reach 12-yards past the line of scrimmage, they pivot and come back two-yards toward the inside. Coach the receivers to be ready to catch the ball as soon as they break back toward the quarterback.

Tight End Not Open

If the middle linebacker drops to cover the tight end, the quarterback can throw to either of his outside receivers. If the strong side linebacker covers the tight end, the quarterback will throw the ball to the split end. If the weak side linebacker drops to cover the tight end, the quarterback throws the ball to the wide receiver.

"Check Down" Receivers

While the primary responsibility for the running backs will be to pick up a blitzing defender, they must also be prepared to flare into the flats to become the third receiving choice of the quarterback.

5-Step Drop for QB

The All Hooks route is a five-step drop for the quarterback. An exception is when the tight end is open quickly. The quarterback will stop and throw the ball immediately.

Coaching Points For Coaches

  • For younger players, install as a three-step drop for quarterbacks and reduce the distance of the receiver routes.
  • Simplify by instructing the quarterback to throw to the "check down" receiver immediately if the tight end is not open.
  • The quarterback draw can be a successful companion rushing play.
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