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By Chris Parker, Head Football Coach, Pickens High School (GA)

In the Red zone, Coach Parker moves away from his RPOs and utilizes a Bunch package to create favorable matchups when the spacing is not as helpful as it is in the middle of the field. Read how here...


By Chris Parker
Head Football Coach
Pickens High School (GA)
Twitter: @PickensFootball

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parkerLike a lot of people, we run RPOs and try to take advantage of what the defense gives us.  As we get into the Red Zone, we have found that the RPOs can be a little less effective.  To work against this, we have utilized our Bunch package more in the Red Zone to create favorable matchups when the spacing is not as helpful as it is in the middle of the field. 

Establishing the Flank

When utilizing a Bunch formation, you should start by understanding how to attack the flank and force the defense to defend the flank. Some people do this through the run game and others through passing. The quickest ways to establish the flank for us in the running game is to run Power Read or Buck Sweep. In the passing game, we establish the flank by running Scat.

Power Read


Power Read is a base play for us.  We like it in space in the open field but as the defense get closer in the red zone, the secondary force becomes a problem.  Running the play out of bunch can create different alley runs for the secondary and cause confusion that will allow this play to still attack the flank.

Assignments & Coaching Points

Y: The Y should crack the 1st inside linebacker.  If he gets up-field before the Y can get there, he should go on to the next most dangerous man on that same path (backside backer, safety, etc.). His block on the ILB only matters if we give the ball on the Flank run. Getting this block is key to getting big yards on this play.

H: He is responsible for the outside linebacker. This is the hardest block. When we executed this block we have always gotten an efficient play. He should attack the defenders outside shoulder and keep running his feet. Ideally, he will hook him and we will run outside, but if the defender stretches the play, he should push him out and allow cutback by the runner.

Z: The Z is responsible for the Corner or whoever is the outside force defender. He needs to attack wide and be ready for quick support from the Corner. If he gets quick support, he has to take the same approach as the H and try to hook him but stretch him if he can’t hook him. If the corner sits, he can use a traditional WR stalk techniques.

Continue to the full-length version of this report…

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  • How Coach Parker puts the outside linebacker to the side of the Bunch in conflict by presenting him with various post-snap reads.
  • The Buck Sweep concept out of Bunch formations, which Coach Parker packages as an RPO.
  • The Scat package Coach Parkers uses out of Bunch sets to attack the flat on both sides of the field.
  • The Verticals concept Coach Parker uses from Bunch when the secondary is aggressive in attacking the flank, particularly from Bunch Quads and shift motion sets.
  • Plus game cutups on each of these concepts.

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Defenses have an advantage as the field gets smaller.  We have to work to come up with things that give us the same concepts and use the entire field in the red zone.  The Bunch package has been a good way to change the angles and landmarks of the defense and still run the base plays we like to run. 

Meet Coach Parker:

Coach Parker is in his 10th season as a Head Football Coach in the state of Georgia.  At two different schools (Chapel Hill & Pickens), Coach Parker has inherited teams that were 1-9 or worse and immediately turned them into playoff teams.  He has set school records for wins at both schools. 



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