Deuce Coverage to Defend RPO Concepts

Jul 9, 2017 | Defense, Coverage, Two High Coverage Structures

By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
X&O Labs
Twitter: @MikekKuchar



The following research was conducted as part of XandOLabs.com special report “Defending RPO and Triple Option.”

Quarters/Split Field Coverage Families:

Source 1: Henderson State University (AR)

Co-Defensive Coordinator Jeff McInerney


Henderson State University finished third in the country among Division II schools with 29 interceptions and did so by teaching their secondary to read the eyes of the quarterback even in zone concepts. They play their corners in the off position at eight yards and read the quarterback to determine run or pass. According to co-defensive coordinator Jeff McInerney, it’s a concept he learned from TCU’s head Coach Gary Patterson that has made a world of difference in them breaking to the ball. “Yeah, it can be scary,” he told us. “But if you do it right, you will confuse him and more importantly bait him into making a poor throw.” Henderson State is a 3-4 outfit that will rush an additional fourth defender at times. They play split field, matchup zone coverage structures, but will choose to play with at least two deep safeties to limit the vertical gains. “We will rally and tackle,” said Coach McInerney.

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