Using this simple 3x1 RPO, we have had success against multiple fronts and coverages. Not only does this RPO provide possibility of distribution for every skill player on the field but it also empowers our QB to make cerebral decisions based off our pre and post snap reads.
By Ty Stoldt
Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach
Palmetto High School (FL)
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As we all know, RPO’s have revolutionized the way offenses operate at all levels of football. As an OC, a main goal of mine is to make the defense cover all 53 1/3rd. Using this simple 3x1 RPO, we have had success against multiple fronts and coverages. Not only does this RPO provide possibility of distribution for every skill player on the field but it also empowers our QB to make cerebral decisions based off our pre and post snap reads.
As we approach the line of scrimmage, the first thing we do is identify our safeties to look for our indicators. Pressed man gives us our answers early, soft zone initiates our reads. The first thing we look for is our “Freebie” with the backside receiver. In this 3x1 set, our backside receiver has a hi and a low option each week. Pressed coverage converts to our hi route, soft corner (8+ yards) converts to our low route. If we are getting one and one coverage, we MUST utilize that matchup. Once the defense begins to play 2 over 1 backside, we begin to work our post snap read.
With backside dead, the QB begins to identify is post-snap read. In this RPO, we key the #2 backer in the box. As the QB receives the snap, his eyes are on that backer during the mesh. If the back fits, we pull and pop. If the backer drops, we give. Once we decide to pull, the QB knows to read the concept inside/out. Our first option will be the #3 receiver on the spot route. Teams often fit the down safety over the #2 receiver giving the #3 receiver a free release. If teams screw down over #3, our QB knows to work to our #2 receiver who is running the bubble. Our #1 receiver play side has two options. If man coverage, they know to outside release and go win. If soft coverage, they become blockers for the bubble and identifies the most dangerous man. If we get 2 over 1 backside and 3 over 3 frontside with a 1 hi safety, this leaves us with a 5-man box, which is what we want for our inside zone scheme. Due to the fact this is a second level RPO and we are reading this backside LB- this tells our backside tackle to base block the DE rather than sift to the second level as in a traditional IZR play. Essentially this blocking scheme follows the principles of a “Big on Big” protection. Below you will find diagrams of how our rules shape up against multiple fronts.
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This concept has provided our QB’s with the opportunity to make decisions and play freely. Against multiple fronts and coverages, you will be able to find the vulnerable area. If teams load the box and check to man, it’s important that your QB’s understand to abort the play fake and distribute the ball to one of the man beaters early.
Meet Coach Ty Stoldt: Coach Stoldt serves as OC/QB Coach at 6A State Semifinalist, Palmetto High School. He is a graduate of Alden High School and SUNY Brockport. He was hired at Palmetto in 2016 as quarterback coach and took over play calling responsibilities in 2017.