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By Matt Kelly, Pass Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)

The Glance concept continues to be an RPO fixture for 20 and 10 personnel outfits and for good reason. It’s an answer for any coverage and it gives offenses a chance to get a single receiver isolated and provide an easy throw for the QB. But the variations that WPI has built into the concept have made it even more lethal. Pass Game Coordinator Matt Kelly details these variations that averaged 25.9 yards a completion and 14 yards per attempt with seven explosive plays of over 18 yards. Read the report...


By Matt Kelly
Pass Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)
Twitter: @CoachMKellyWPI



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The glance concept is a staple in our passing attack at WPI. We use it out of our play action passing game and our drop back game. We believe that it gives us answers not matter what coverage we see while giving us a chance to get our single receiver isolated and give an easier throw for our QB. We use it with both 20 personnel 2x1 and 10 personnel 3x1 formations.

At WPI, we are a balanced offensive attack that attempts to establish the run first and build our passing attack off our primary run plays. The highest percentage of our passing game is made up of play-action, followed quickly by our quick game and drop back game.

A lot of teams are running this as an RPO and reading either the safety or LB to the side of the post depending on coverage. We choose not to do that as we don’t leave it up to chance, we want to put it more on us as coaches to dictate exactly what we are doing on each play. 


Base Concept

The glance concept for us is a Bang 8 (8 yard post) by the single receiver, with our sniffer back running an arrow (3 yards on the sideline width before depth) to the frontside. On the backside, we will run a pivot concept with #1 on a 12 yard dig, #2 on a pivot, 6 yards reading the 1st defender inside of him. 



At WPI, we are mainly a gap scheme rushing attack, with our most called run plays being Power and Buck Sweep. Our main play action pass protection is based off the counter scheme (power in our verbiage) with the backside guard pulling and being responsible for the C gap player and our Tailback getting the fake coming across the QB and filling outside the puller to account of D gap. With this look, we show “power” to the defense and get the conflict defenders to trigger on the run and allow us to get over the top with the single post. 


WR Rules

The post route we run is breaking at 8 yards keeping a 45-degree angle aiming for the near goal post. We give a couple of rules for our WR running the glance route while also trying to give them freedom to be athletes. They are taught that they must win inside because we want this to work against any coverage scheme.

We also teach them that it must be a hard break at 8 yards. We have taught them multiple stems/releases they can employ against each coverage. With a squat corner, we want them to let the CB jam them and then try to stem up the safety before breaking on a sharp angle.


QB Points

The QB is taught to hit the Bang 8 right on the hash. The QB is taught to stare down the boundary safety to get his read to see if he will be able to throw the post. He will peak at the backside safety if he thinks he’s getting rotation to the post and he isn’t sticking on the dig from the field. He should ride the fake to let it take him to rotating his hips back in the direction he is throwing. Ideally, he will end up setting up in the front side A gap and taking 1 hitch to throw the glance on a line.



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  • Where Coach Kelly tells the QB to go with the ball against single high, quarters and cover two looks.
  • Why he’s decided to no longer throw digs to the field and what he’s doing instead, including his adjustment against two rushers outside the tackle on the backside of the concept.
  • The “Switch” variation he will use to keep the backside safety from getting involved in the post route.
  • The 2x1 variation Coach Kelly will use which affects defenses that assign the safety to the sniffer back.
  • The 3x1 variation that puts the number three receiver on the seam route, giving the QB an option to look off the single high safety.
  • Plus game film on all these concepts.

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At WPI, we feel this concept is one of the best that we can employ against the teams that try to stop our power run game. We see mostly quarter’s coverage against our 2x1 sets with the sniffer back as most teams are trying to get an extra hat in the run game while also protecting against 4 verticals. We have found it to be highly effective on run downs and use it when the safety is creeping down to the box. 

Meet Coach Kelly: Matt Kelly just finished his 4th season at WPI. He has been a part of a coaching staff that has produced back to back winning seasons for the first time since the 1990’s including the first postseason appearance since 2006. He has been an integral part of an offensive staff that has increased offense output from 19.7 points/game, 316 total yards/game and 140.4 passing yards/game to 31.4 points/game, 413.3 total yards/game and 263.5 passing yards/game respectively. Prior to joining the staff at WPI, Kelly was on staff at Pace University, University of Rhode Island, and Anna Maria College.



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