Tony DeMeo

Concept Passing: Teaching the Modern Passing Game by Dan Gonzales

Dan Gonzales has been a passing game coordinator at various stops in Texas and his offense has always produced very impressive numbers. He also did a good job at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina from 2002 through 2004 producing three of the top passers in school history. I met Dan in Richmond in 2002 at Bill Montjoy’s house at a football get together and was impressed. When I saw Dan had inked a book I was eager to read it.

Though I don’t particularly like this style of offense, Gonzales has a very sound system and one that anyone can get a few good ideas from. I prefer a more balanced approach to offense with the core being the option. But this system has as a sound philosophy. It seems as though Gonzales Offense has its roots in the Hal Mumme/Mike Leach Air Raid Attack. Mumme is really the Godfather of the Air Raid offense and Leach is his prime disciple. But Gonzales has added his own spin to it.

Gonzales does a great job of explaining his offense clearly and in detail. He starts out with formations and terminology and the takes a chapter on protection. The chapter on protection is scheme only and doesn’t go into much detail, but that would require another book.

The nuts and bolts of the book are in the nine passing concepts. This was my favorite potion of the book. Dan does an excellent job of explaining and simplifying these concepts. I didn’t embrace all nine because to master nine pass concepts would severely limit your run game.

The three concepts I thought were the best were: the Drag Concept, The Vertical Concept, and The Two Man Concept.

  1. The Drag Concept is the shallow cross pattern which is a staple of Air Raid Teams. Dan Runs from a 3X1 set and brings the #2 receiver on a shallow cross and he is the prime receiver. The Y receiver does a 12 yard curl and the single receiver X does a 16 yard comeback. The QB reads drag to X. (Z does a post and the TB check releases to the flat).
  2. The Vertical Concept is the typical 4 verticals. This has been a pattern we like in the Triple Gun. Dan does a good job getting into this pattern.
  3. The Two Man Concept is also one that we’ve used for a long time. It’s an 8 yard out route with a post over the top and a flare to the same side. The Tailback free releases and is a hot receiver. This is a great pattern against quarter coverage. The QB reads the safety, throw the post unless the SS gets deep, if the SS gets deep thro to Y on the out.

Dan Gonzales does a nice job describing a high powered pass oriented offense. This book is well written with good diagrams and clear explanations. Whether you are run oriented coach or a pass guy, you’ll get some solid ideas from this book. The book is available at Coaches Choice and is a very worthwhile read.