Defending the RPO: The Scrape-Exchange, Bracket Coverage, and Cut Corners


The RPO is one of the hardest to defend in football. Primarily because the constraint is added into the play like an option off a bad look. The offense can adjust to the defense even after the defense has already adjusted to the offense. And now with the development of packaged-plays, or more famously known around the coaching circles as RPOs (Run-Pass Options), they can now play with the defense among three axes of direction in one play call. The amount of stretch that an RPO can create on a field is hard for a defense to cover using a traditional coverage. And then offenses have the capability to get the play off in thirteen seconds after the last play has occurred. Not only are defenses struggling with stretches in space, they are also dealing with fatigue, a disastrous element in a game that averages 10 more plays per game than twenty years ago.

As offensive schemes keep attacking the weaknesses of traditional coverages, they are in danger of becoming obsolete. RPO’s stretch zone coverage, provide an outlet against man, take advantage of a light box versus Cover 4, and get the quick bubble vs Cover 3. All defensive coordinators can do is teach their players the fundamentals, install the packages, and hope their players are aware enough to recognize what is happening. It’s a pickle to say the least.

Thankfully or unfortunately, depending on which side of the ball you are on, there are ways to combat the RPO.

Continue reading Defending the RPO: The Scrape-Exchange, Bracket Coverage, and Cut Corners

Introduction to RPOs: Part 3 (Search, Snag, and Power-Read)


Hello. Hope all is going well. In this article, I will be briefly going over three other RPO concepts that I think will be pretty effective in the near future. Some of these concepts like the Search Concept have averaged over 7 yards per play with teams like Abilene Christian University. Others are just wrinkles that offensive coordinators like to toy with to give defenses an extra look. Whatever they may be, they have proven to be effective and I wouldn’t be surprised if they appeared in the NFL as soon as next year.

The team I am working with currently has toyed with running the Search concept. They have went back and forth on it before somewhat, but not quitely, pulling it out of their playbook. I will introduce it to you now because it is effective if you can install it into your offense. Continue reading Introduction to RPOs: Part 3 (Search, Snag, and Power-Read)

Introduction to RPOs: Part 2 (Stick Draw)


Hello again.

This article will be formatted a lot like the last one in that I will be going through the progressions step-by-step. When I review new concepts in the future, I will not go into as much detail as I think you guys will get my drift. I plan on introducing to you three other concepts (Search, Snag, and the Power-Read) that I think will become really effective in my next article which may come within the next day or the next three days depending on how things shake up on my end of the world.

Today, I will be going over the Stick Draw, the most popular RPO in football. A lot of teams like to run this a lot of different ways. I will be going over the most common way I have seen this RPO run at the collegiate level and the progressions attached to it against both 2 Hi and 1 Hi safety setups. As you will see, there are a multitude of problems when facing a 1 Hi structure. But first, lets get to the basic concept and work our way to it. Continue reading Introduction to RPOs: Part 2 (Stick Draw)

Introduction to RPOs: Part 1 (Bolt Concept)


Hello all, hope all is going well. I just got done spending a nice Memorial Day with my family and ate some of the best steak of my life. No joke. My step-dad got a smoker from my mom last Christmas, and he has been cooking up a storm since early March. I can’t remember what type of steak we had, but I hope I can have some more before I have to leave.

I have also been learning a lot of football since the last time I wrote last December. I got the chance to volunteer for a Division I-AA football program in the Western United States and I am absolutely loving it. I get to break down film, fill out team scouting reports, sit in on staff meetings for both offense and defense, watch live practices, and run the occasional errand for the coaching staff. They have even given me some of their apparel for me to wear so I don’t look like a hobo in my ripped up hoodie and torn cargo shorts. Even though it has taken a lot out of my budget and paychecks so far, I am happy with where I am at and am getting the opportunity to learn from those who know a lot more than me about the game.

While it is nice, I am glad that I am currently on leave so I can save up enough money to stay up there for the upcoming season. It gives me a chance to enhance my knowledge of the game the way that I want to and I have enough time to write about what I have learned thus far. I am hoping to master every subject I write about so that if I need to explain it to someone else, I will be able to inform them clearly and directly.

That’s the main reason why when I was approached by Royalwithcheese and David Singer to write for the blog, I thought about it for a short period of time and took it. I felt like this was great developmental work for me and if I get the chance to put my knowledge to the test on pen and paper I can reaffirm what I know and don’t know.

Without further ado, lets get to it. Continue reading Introduction to RPOs: Part 1 (Bolt Concept)