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whippleBy Joe Whipple, Head Coach, Schalmont High School (NY)

Discover how Joe Whipple, who has a 67-8 career record at Schalmont High School (NY), used third level RPO reads this season off Inside Zone and Jet Sweeps to produce an incredible 60 points per game. He details four of his concepts in this clinic report.


By Joe Whipple
Head Coach
Schalmont High School (NY)
Twitter: @coachwhip

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whippleWe run Inside Zone, Veer, Buck Sweep, and Jet Sweep as our core plays. In order for us to run these plays successfully we add “pops” to these plays. These pop concepts serve as RPO options for us that allow us to read second and third level defenders. There are countless options once you have your core plays down. These pop tags have allowed us to average 60 points a game this year. In this clinic report, I will break down our favorite third level-reads as they are less common and have been particularly potent for us this past year.

Play-Calling Progression

Before we get into the details of our RPOs, here is how we call these plays in our system. The quarterback will call the run side of the play first; then, if there is a second call, that call will be the pop side or screen side of the play.

This helps the line know which way to work their techniques. For example, “red” is jet sweep to the right. That means that the right side of the line will execute jet sweep with the skill players on the right and the running back. If the second call is “light,” that indicates that the left side will run our WR screen to the Left.

Veer Safety Read


Q - This is a double option play. If the QB reads pre snap that the LB is outside the DE to the side of the run, he will hand the ball off to the T. If he isn’t, he will move on to the RPO option after the snap. At the snap, the quarterback will mesh with the T and read the safety. If the safety sits and supports the run, he will throw the vertical to the Z. If he drops with the Z, the QB will pull the ball from the mesh and replace the Z. Our other option with the safety will be the hitch read. If the safety bails, then we will tag the run with the Hitch. The Z will then run the hitch at 7-9 yards.

T - Run mesh with QB. He must expect to get the ball. If he does not get the ball, he will stay on his path and look to block first wrong color jersey that appears.

X - Get vertical and attack the outside number of the corner.

Z - Attack the safety vertically. If he sits at a depth of 7-10 yards, then attack his outside number and stay vertical. If his hips open and look to take away deep 1/4-1/12 then pull up between 7-9 yards and convert hitch.

Y - If not tagged into play, then execute zone blocking progression.

F - Attack vertical and try to attract two defenders with the route.

OL - Execute zone call by QB. Slow play up to second level.


Veer Corner Read, Jet Screen X Read, Jet Vertical RPO Screen…

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  • Veer Corner RPO: player responsibilities and quarterback post-snap read progression.
  • Jet Screen PRO: player responsibilities and quarterback post-snap read progression.
  • Jet Vertical RPO: player responsibilities and quarterback post-snap read progression.
  • VIDEO: This report includes video so you can see all these concepts in real-game applications.

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RPOs are all the rage right now, but they have more potential than being confined to a stick or bubble concept. We have found great success expanding our reads to the third level and forcing defensive backs to question their run pass reads and responsibilities. I imagine we will see more of these concepts this coming year at all levels. Thanks for your time and thanks to X&O Labs for providing this forum to share.

Meet Coach Whipple: Joe Whipple is entering his 7th season as the Head Football Coach, Offensive Coordinator at Schalmont High School in Rotterdam,NY. Prior to Schalmont, Whipple was the Head Coach of Notre Dame Bishop Gibbons High School from 2008-2009 and the Offensive Coordinator of Mohonasen High School from 2005-2007.




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