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TE RPO IMAGEBy Curt Fitzpatrick, Head Football Coach, Morrisville State College

When X&O Labs released its special report on Run/Pass Option concepts, a bulk of our research revealed concepts being utilized from open (3X1 and 2x2) sets. As the RPO game advanced this season, many coaches, like Morrisville State College Head Coach Curt Fitzpatrick, have found success utilizing these dual reads packages to a tight end formation. Find out here...


By Curt Fitzpatrick
Head Football Coach
Morrisville State College
Twitter: @_CoachFitz


Insiders Members: Login here to access the full-length version of this report.


Fitz SidelineLike many up-tempo offenses, a large percentage of our run game at Morrisville State is based around running the Inside Zone play successfully. In spread formations, we either utilize a bubble screen on the back side to create a triple option look to the defense or give the QB a “now” throw if the bubble has the defense outflanked based on pre-snap alignment or pressure. This is a staple of our offense because it allows us to attack the entire field from sideline to sideline with one play call. We want to give our QB options, and try to have answers for multiple looks that a defense could give us on any given snap. 

Last season, inside zone made up 42% of our total run calls and we averaged 6.3 yards per play over those 196 plays. Below was our ball distribution on the play:

  1. Give to RB – 68% (5.4 yds/carry)
  2. QB Keep – 14% (8.9 yds/carry)
  3. “Pitch” Phase – 14% (8.7 yds/play)
  4. Front Side Alley Control – 4% (4.8 yds/play)

Because we run this play as a triple option, the “pitch” phase is whatever the third option is for the QB.  In many cases this is a bubble screen, but at times we will use a tight end flat route to the back side. This is a nice complement when a bubble screen is not available due to the lack of a slot receiver. This allowed us to utilize the same teaching that we spent so much time on when installing the zone bubble concept with a slot wide receiver and made it easier to install for our players as we try to use as many “this is just like that” install scenarios as possible. Furthermore, because of the way that teams line up to surfaces with a tight end, it gave us some opportunities for our quarterback to get some safe, high percentage completions. 

The key to making this concept work is that we were causing defenders to be in conflict in alignments that they may have not been exposed to previously. For example, a Sam LB might be more familiar with defending a zone bubble look when he’s apexed between the #2 receiver and the end man on the line of scrimmage (EMLOS) as opposed to inside the box against a tight end surface. After all, a goal of any up-tempo offense is to make defenders hesitant and question their eye discipline. This scheme fits that goal perfectly. 

Video Tutorial: Click the video below to watch a game film tutorial of Coach Fitzpatrick’s tight end flat  RPO (Run/Pass Option).


Get More Run/Pass Option Concepts…

Join X&O Labs’ exclusive membership website, Insiders, and get instant access to the full-length version of Coach Fitzpatricks’ clinic report, including all the game film.


Plus, with your Insiders membership, you’ll also get full access to X&O Labs’ Run/Pass Option Concept Study. This powerful study not only takes you inside football programs that have optimized the Run/Pass Option concept to get maximum offensive production, this in-depth special report also gives you the step-by-step guidance needed to train your quarterbacks, manipulate both box and perimeter defenders and everything else you'll need to effectively implement this system into your program.


To be clear, The Run/Pass Option Concept Study is one of the largest studies ever conducted by X&O Labs. It is 60,000 words, includes 85 detailed diagrams and, best of all, over 2-hours of game film and instructional video.


Here's exactly what this study includes...

Our research staff studied the most effective implementation strategies for training offensive personnel - especially, the quarterback. Plus, their research also discovered the most effective run/pass option concepts based on attacking box defenders and perimeter defenders.


This study brings you all the latest trends, methods, strategies and concepts that can only come from X&O Labs' in-depth research.


The Run/Pass Option Concept Study is presented in three cases:

  • Case One: Run/Pass Option System Development (Implementation)
  • Case Two: Manipulating Box Defenders
  • Case Three: Manipulating Perimeter Defenders


2-Hours of Video:The Run/Pass Option Concept Study includes over 2-hours of game film and instructional video. Here's a complete list of all the RPO concepts available on video:

  • Stick Draw 
  • Stretch Stick Draw
  • Empty Stick Draw Concept 
  • Free Access Throws
  • Vertical Settle 
  • Zone Seam 
  • Bolt  
  • ROW 
  • Outside Zone/Seam  
  • TFS Trips Pop 
  • Zone Cup Pop 
  • Horn
  • Double Pop Out  
  • Power Double Out 
  • ISO Read 
  • Power Read  
  • Power Hitch  
  • Quads Bubble 
  • Smoke Screen 
  • Flare/Now 
  • Zone Bubble 
  • Slant/Bubble 
  • Read Spacing

Whether you've been running the Run/Pass Option for the last few years or you're looking to implement the concept for the first time, X&O Labs' in-depth special report, The Run/Pass Option Concept Study, is your best resource for maximizing the full power of this new form of option football.


We published The Run/Pass Option Concept Study, including over 2-hours of game film and instructional videos, in our exclusive membership website the Insiders


Join the Insiders Website. Click Here.



If you are a team that utilizes the zone bubble in your scheme, the back side tight end flat route might be an easy addition for you. It can help you maximize some of your tight end formations without the need for a ton of new teaching to your players. Last, but not least, I would like to thank X&O Labs for the opportunity to contribute again to their site. There is no better resource for hungry coaches to improve at their craft and learn something new to help give their players a chance to be successful.

Meet Coach Fitzpatrick:  Curt Fitzpatrick took the reins as Head Coach of the Mustang football program in June 2013. In two seasons, Coach Fitzpatrick has turned things around for a program that won just 10 games from 2006-2012. The 2014 Mustangs finished 9-2, won a share of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship and earned their first ever post-season victory in the ECAC North Central Bowl. The 2014 Mustangs performance also earned Coach Fitzpatrick NJAC Co-Coach of the year honors, as well as D3football.com East Region Coach of the Year. Coach Fitzpatrick has built on his reputation for grooming elite quarterbacks, coaching QB Lemar Johnson to back-to-back NJAC Offensive Player of the Year titles. In 2014, Coach Fitzpatrick’s Mustang offense finished atop the NJAC in every major statistical category, as well as 13th nationally in Total Offense (491.3 ypg), 13th in rushing offense (262.1 ypg), 5th in Third Down Conversion Percentage (.500), and 8th in First Downs Offense (26.6 per game). 




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