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By Cameron Cox, Offensive Coordinator, Refugio High School (TX)

Since the shotgun buck sweep has become a staple in most 20 personnel offensive groupings, the complementary PAP off of it is an effective concept that not only takes advantage of overly aggressive defenses, but it also creates mismatches on the edge. Refugio High School (TX) offensive coordinator Cameron Cox has used it to help complied a 54-7 record with 3 district titles and a 2A state title this past season. In this exclusive clinic report, Coach Cox details PAP protections, backfield actions, receiver route distribution and QB read progressions. Read the report here.


By Cameron Cox
Offensive Coordinator
Refugio High School (TX)
Twitter: @CoachCamCox


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The play action pass off the shotgun buck sweep is a staple of our offensive scheme at Refugio High School. It’s an effective concept that not only takes advantage of overly aggressive defenses, but it creates mismatches on the edge. The quarterback is able to get out of the pocket, out leverages the defense, and floods a portion of the field for a chance at a big play. It also is a play that has lots of potential options for complimentary plays including a built-in throwback.

The Buck Sweep Running Play

To make any play action work, it starts with the base running plan. This is a look at our shotgun buck sweep play. As you can see, we pair the buck with the reverse motion to get the defense moving and to set up the play action later.


Backfield Action

The backfield action is identical to our buck sweep running play. Let’s assume that we are running the play action pass to the right. We will end up with our sniffer back set 1 yard back and directly behind the right tackle. The running back will be set to the left of the quarterback, directly behind the left tackle, with his “heels on QB’s toes”.

Ideally, our sniffer back will chip and get a piece of the play side defensive end. Doing this gives the look that he is blocking down, just as he does on buck sweep, and it allows our play side guard a little extra time to execute his assignment of logging the play side defensive end. After “chipping” the defensive end, our sniffer back will release into the flats at a depth of about 3-yards.

The running back takes a flat path on the snap of the ball and needs to execute a great fake in front of the quarterback. He must make it look like he is getting the buck sweep. After executing a great fake, the running back will protect the play side edge. Ideally, he will keep any defender he blocks inside, keeping himself between the quarterback and the man that he is blocking. Much like the play side guard, he should at least square up the defender he is blocking so that the quarterback feels the least amount of pressure possible.


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  • How Coach Cox protects the concept vs. both even and odd fronts.
  • How using the flanker for pre-snap motion leaves a voided flat in coverage.
  • The post-snap rhythm progression for the quarterback based of his deep, medium, short reads.
  • Plus narrated and raw game cutups of this concept.

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The play action pass is the part of your offense that ties together the run game and the passing game. For us, the play action pass off the shotgun buck sweep play is the ultimate compliment to each other. I hope you enjoyed and best of luck in the future. God bless!

Meet Coach Cameron Cox: For the past four seasons, Cox has been at Refugio High School in Texas as the Passing Game Coordinator and QB/RB Coach. After the 2016 season, he was promoted to offensive coordinator. During his time there, Refugio has complied a 54-7 record with 3 district titles and trips in 2013 and 2015 to the UIL 2A state final. In 2016, Refugio returned to the UIL 2A state finals this time winning the state championship and finishing with a 15-1 and 1 record. 



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