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PCCinActionBy Peter Bisson, Wide Receiver Coach, Pasadena City College

Find out how Coach Bisson combined multiple concepts with his backfield's strengths to create a simple and versatile Iso concept.


By Peter Bisson

Wide Receiver Coach

Pasadena City College

Twitter: @TheCoachsCorner

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Like most coaches, I am always looking for ways to fit their base scheme to their personnel. When I first took over as the Offensive Coordinator at Heritage Christian High School, it was apparent that we would have the three running backs more suited for a down-hill power run years. After much research, we settled on a shotgun diamond formation and a tight bunch formation with minimal changes to the current set of rules in our power run series: Power Option, Fold Option, Fold Read and Iso Read. Today we are going to primarily focus on the Fold and Iso Read variants.

This formation/concept fit because we had a couple of quarterbacks that, while not necessarily burners, could effectively run the ball. It also allowed us to remain a shotgun, fast paced, no-huddle team, so I began looking a little more closely at the pistol game. We felt that this change helped us keep the scheme as simple as possible for the offensive line by combining our power game with our read and read option game. I also wanted to ensure we could run them all from a balanced set that did not require pre-snap motion. 

During the process, I spent a considerable amount of time analyzing pistol sets, especially the way the San Francisco ‘49ers ran its Iso Read. I have found that NFL Game rewind can be an effective tool to help diagnose and determine if something run at that level can be effectively incorporated into my current scheme. The coaches’ film angles are extremely helpful.

Editor’s Note: X&O Labs’ exclusive Pistol Formation Study is located here.

Installation Plan:

Before we even consider teaching the variations, our first goal is to ensure the offensive line is solid on the base plays. We also make sure both Varsity and Junior Varsity (and Freshmen) teams are using the exact same rules for our power blocking schemes. Base alignments for all players involved in the diamond set are as follows:

  • Guards/Tackles/TE(Y)
    • 2 ft. splits, ear hole even w/ hip of the center
  • Outside Receivers (X/Z)
    • Ball in middle of field: Top of Numbers
    • Ball on near hash: 1 yd. Outside Numbers
    • Ball on far hash: Split Distance between Number and hash
  • Running Backs(H/Y/A)
    • Split backs – Toes at 5yds behind inside leg of OT
    • Pistol – Toes at 8yds behind Center.
  • Quarterback
    • Heals at 5 yards directly behind Center.

When installing scheme, the first thing I teach my offensive line is the defensive lineman alignments (Diagram 1). 



Iso Concept:

The base rules for our Iso concept are below:

Play Side Tackle:

Covered – Block man on.

Uncovered – Release straight to the linebacker.

Play Side Guard:

Covered – Block man on.

Uncovered – Execute an ace/single block.

Note:  Against a 33 Stack, he will need to chip the nose on his way to the middle linebacker

Play Side Tight End:

Covered – Block man on.

Uncovered – Execute a most dangerous man (MDM) block reading defenders for over to the outside.


His aiming point is the butt of the play side guard.

If the play side guard blocks out, he will lead through the hole off his inside hip.

If the play side guard blocks down or releases to the middle linebacker, he will lead through the hole off his outside hip.


Covered – Block man on using his covered zone footwork.

Uncovered – Execute an ace/single block to the backside linebacker with the back side guard.

Back Side Guard:

Covered – Block man on (Note: We will treat a 3-technique as covered.)

Uncovered – Dog to backside linebacker with the back side tackle.

Note:  Against the 3-3 stack, he will release straight to the back side linebacker

Back Side Tackle:

Covered – Block man on his covered zone footwork.

Uncovered – Release to the most dangerous man (MDM).

Back Side Tight End:

Covered – Block man on with a possible trey or triple.

Uncovered – Execute a most dangerous man (MDM) block reading defenders for over to the outside.

Running Back / Quarterback:

Aiming Point – Follow the fullback and read his block.



What You’re Missing…

Join X&O Labs’ exclusive membership website Insiders and get instant access to the full-length version of this clinic report, which includes:

  • Coach Bisson’s blocking rules for his Isolation fold concept against various fronts including the aiming points of the backfield.
  • The many read variations that Coach Bisson will use based on the opposing fronts including how he teaches the quarterback to make the correct read.
  • Why the footwork in the Pistol formation will change in the iso read concept.
  • Film cutups of both these concepts with narration of coaching points.

Join X&O Labs’ Insiders Website. Click Here!



With the ability to run them in a balanced diamond set or a tight bunch set with minimal rule changes, we found these variants to be particularly effective for us. Thanks to X&O Labs for providing us with such great opportunities to share ideas and strategies and hopefully this report will be of added value to those invested I this great sport.

Meet Coach Bisson:  Peter Bisson is currently the WR Coach at Pasadena City College. A former player at Grand Valley State University, Coach Bisson has had coaching stops at nationally ranked Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, CA (WR/DB), Waldorf College (WR/Passing Game Coordinator) and Heritage Christian High School (OC/O-line/QB & Strength and Conditioning). On the rare occasion he's not coaching, he's writing screenplays, filming fight choreography or jumping off buildings for Hollywood.




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