Using Tampa Coverage to Defend Vertical RPOs

May 23, 2016 | Defense, Game Planning, Defending Specific Offensive Systems and Concepts

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


Editor’s Note: The following research was conducted as part of special report on “Defending RPO and Triple Option,” continue reading for more on this exclusive study.


Mike Giancola
Defensive Line Coach 
Westfield High School (VA) 


Run First/Pass First Methodology:
According to Coach Giancola, where it all got challenging in defending RPO concepts is with teams that started recognizing players that were responsible for the run and the pass. “We had to struggle with the number of adequate guys in the box and an adequate number of guys in the secondary playing pass,” said Coach Giancola. “So teams started running RPOs like fade out and not only picking on an overhang, but seeing what our second level flat defenders were doing. We’ve also seen teams letting the window open up more off the read player and taking a shot on us 15 yards down the field.”