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By Andy Martinez, Assistant Head Football Coach/Run Game Coordinator, Archbishop Stepinac High School (NY)

Discover how Coach Martinez uses 2 back Iso concepts to compliment his RPO and screen game in this new report. Read it here...


By Andy Martinez
Assistant Head Football Coach/Run Game Coordinator
Archbishop Stepinac High School (NY)
Twitter: @CoachAndyMar

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Every year, we look for ways to protect our base run game. This can be through the RPO game, screen game or play action game. Another way is to have complementary runs that look very similar to your base run game that is currently in your offense. This limits the teaching time that must occur when you are implementing a different run scheme. This year, the Iso play was a very effective complementary run scheme that protected our basic runs while being very flexible in the way that it could be applied.

Blocking Scheme

Our main focus, when looking at the Iso play, is to get a body on a body. Against a 4-down front, we will work to get a double team on the nose. It is important to note that our line splits are between three to four feet wide. We are looking to create natural running lanes for the running back.


When running Iso to the 1-technique, the play side tackle (PST) is trying to get the defensive lineman to get up the field and outside. The tackles aiming point is the inside number of the DL. You can also have the tackle pass set on the DE to get them flying up field (that comes from watching film and getting a read on the defense). 

We are going to have a double team on the nose to the back side linebacker between the play side guard (PSG) and the center (C). They are trying to vertically displace the nose with their eyes on the LB. If he flows over the top, the PSG should come off. If the back side linebacker plays downhill, the center should come off.

The back side guard and tackle are trying to get the 3-technique and defensive end up the field and outside. They have the same aiming point as the PST (inside number of the DL).


The only difference running to a 3-tech is that instead of the double team from the PSG and C, the double team is from the BSG and C. The rest of the base are base blocking the defensive ends and the DT. They are trying to attack the inside number of the DL forcing him to come up the field outside.


To study game cutups of iso vs. four down, click on the video below:

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  • The “Fresno” call that Coach Martinez will use against three-down fronts, particularly 33 stack looks.
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Skill Player Responsibilities

RB: Our running back is lined up one yard deeper than the QB and one yard outside of him. His goal is to get his shoulders squared to the line of scrimmage as quick as possible. He is following the blocking back through the hole. Once through the hole, we are looking for him to puncture the defense and get north and south quickly.

Blocking Back: He can be lined up in different locations. His job is to isolate on the play side linebacker from wherever he is aligned and will fit in either a or b gap dependent on the front. He is looking to kick out the play side LB by using his play side shoulder. You can use a RB, FB or a detached TE as the blocking back dependent on your personnel.

Wide Receivers: On this running play, you can either have the receivers stalk block or run a RPO. This is based on coverages and matchups.

Quarterback: Toes are at five yards from the center. His first step is with his play side foot to 4 yds. This is to keep the running back from getting too wide on his path. This run play can be either an automatic give to the running back where the quarterback can finish out a fake (either run or pass), or it can be a 2nd or 3rd level RPO read based off the route concept.


Protecting your bases runs is very important to being a good rushing offense. The Iso concept has given us a concept to add to our scheme without requiring much new teaching. It also seamlessly fits into our system and opens up multiple variations that allow us to attack different defensive approaches from week-to-week. Thanks to X&O Labs for allowing me to write for them.

Meet Coach Martinez: Andy Martinez just finished his 7th season as the Offensive Line Coach/ Run Game Coordinator at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plaines, New Jersey. He has previously coached at New Hanover High School (NC) (2005-2007), and Pace University (2003-2004).



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