Steelers Film Room: Todd Haley’s Hank Concept

One of the staples of Todd Haley’s offense is his Hank Concept. We’ve covered it before, for the Pittsburgh Steelers and opposing offenses, and it was one Haley leaned on heavily Sunday.

A refresher of the concept. It’s a curl/flat combination on the perimeter with the tight end running a five yard curl, the “Hank” route where the name comes from. When Haley served as the passing game coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys in 2006, he called it 82 Hank. From their playbook.


The Steelers used it on their first drive, the most productive of the day. First and ten in the red zone. Out of empty, the flat routes help widen the flat defender to open up the curl. And Ben Roethlisberger finds Antonio Brown settling down against the Cincinnati Bengals’ zone coverage.

Hank1 Hank2 Hank3

The Steelers ran it at least once more in the first half. But then Haley added a wrinkle to play off it in the second half. 1st and 10 again, right outside of the red zone. Same down/distance and similar line of scrimmage. It’s the same look, the same Hank concept, but the wide receivers running curls go vertical off double-moves.


To the bottom of the screen, Adam Jones gets burned trying to jump the curl and gets separation.



Roethlisberger still throws the Hank route, a short completion to Miller, but I like the mix-and-match from Haley. He does a lot of things well but one of the biggest assets Haley brings is his ability to use one play to work off another.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • k33ger

    looks like Ben felt pressure so he dumped it off. bummer

  • cencalsteeler

    The Hank concept may be a good time to get Dri involved. Spread them out and have the option in the flat to go to him if Heath is not there. Really surprised they haven’t peppered him into the offense at all, especially when they’re spreading the D.

  • Alex Kozora

    The TE is usually the first read in the progression. Ben just never came off it. It happens.

  • The GreekGeek

    I wonder with Bell out, if they might use Dri as the split out wide RB like they did when they had Bell out wide with DWill in the backfield. He might be a better fit for that than Todman.

  • Wil Masisak

    Todman in the backfield and DWill split out would be the obvious and far better alternative.

  • The GreekGeek

    I don’t agree there. Williams is the best runner of the three and Archer is the best receiver of the three. Todman is a nice player but he should get his snaps relieving Williams in the backfield.

  • Wil Masisak

    speaking of which– on the last play of the game. Ben only felt he had time to go heath-AB… but pre-snap read was Bryant, wouldn’t you agree? Had 1 on 1 with more or less the same route Mike Wallace had on last play of 2009 GB game.

  • Wil Masisak

    Dri Archer has shown exactly zero ability to run routes or win at the catch point as a slot receiver. I’d say Archer is a distant third at both running and receiving. DWill is a nice route running option and Todman gives you something as a change of pace runner. The best place for Archer is inactive.

  • PittsburghSports

    Is that empty set on the 1st play 4 WRs? Wish they’d use that more, especially with Bell done for the year. They get a Cover-1 look too. Brings one of the Safeties down to cover the extra WR instead of the RB being covered by a LB. It would’ve been nice if Bryant had the option to take that vertical with single coverage. On the 2nd play, is it me, or is that a piss poor route by AB? Doesn’t sell the curl. Looks like Ben was staring him down before going to Heath. I do like seeing 1 play worked off another, but it’s gotta lead to more than 10 points.

  • Alex Kozora

    It’s 11 personnel. Bell is flexed out to the bottom with AB.

  • PittsburghSports

    oh ok 26 looked like 88.