The Texas Concept: Using Your RB in Base Routes

Feb 6, 2012 | Offense, Pass Game, Intermediate Pass Concepts

By Zak Clark

Offensive Coordinator

Fayetteville High School (AR)

Editors Note:  The following clinic report was written by Fayetteville High School (AR) offensive coordinator Zak Clark.  The Bulldogs finished 12-2 this season with a number two overall ranking in the state of Arkansas.

We were very fortunate this year to have a lot of success throwing the football. We were led by an outstanding quarterback and very good skill players. Although I’m honored to have the opportunity to share one of our ideas, we understand the importance of good and talented players.

Our philosophy is we want to be a multiple formation and personnel team. We want to incorporate a variety of different throws that attack all parts of the field. Ultimately, we stress efficiency and want all five skill players to be a threat to catch the football. We strive to run familiar pass concepts, but want to be able to get to those concepts in a variety of ways including changing formations, changing personnel and incorporating varying pass actions.

Texas Concept:

One of our most efficient concepts was the Texas Concept—or running back angle route. In the past, I tried to implement the route by stealing the concept from ideas found through film study, clinics, the internet, etc. Although we found great material, two years ago we hardly ran it because it was not very efficient. This year, our staff decided it was best to tie the running back route into familiar concepts that we already run. It turned into a great compliment, or changeup, off some of our base concepts. I credit that decision to the success and efficiency we had with this route.

We ran some version of this route 25 times and the following statistics told the story:

19/23 (83%) for 248 yards

  • 5—TD’s
  • 1—Drop
  • 1—INT
  • 1—15 yard pass interference penalty

We had very few coaching points regarding the mechanics of the route but what we told the RB was:

  • Sell the shoot route (flat route) at least two yards past the tackle.
  • Read the Mike LB. If Mike walled off the TE vertical or was a deep Tampa 2 dropper, the RB replaced his alignment.  If we see four second level players, we’re now reading the next linebacker inside the tight end (front side play side backer).
  • If Mike stayed in the middle hook, our RB was to keep his angle very thin—almost up the seam. Our RB coach would say "If he’s in you’re thin."

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This play became a staple for us down the stretch. When we call this route it was for one of two reasons:

  1. We were trying to take advantage of a void created by how the defense played our TE, or number two receiver.
  2. We want the route to take the place of the TE but essentially keep the framework of the play exactly the same. We incorporated the route into three different pass concepts, and I will attempt to explain our thought process in each concept.

Pass Concept #1: Four Verticals


One of our top pass concepts is four verticals, and became our top variation for the Texas route. We will run this from almost every formation we can, and have made some adjustments to make the route more efficient for us. First, our tagged bender must break his route (against a two safety look) at 10 yards off the depth of the safety. Against two safeties the tagged bender is always the read in the progression. Our outside receiver to the tagged side will run a streak read. He will attempt to run by the corner, however, if at 10 yards he can’t beat the corner he runs a 14 yard comeback.  He is the second read in the progression. We will always have an outlet, or check down, as the 3rd progression. We may have the back check down underneath the bender, or run a shallow cross from a backside WR as our outlet. For us, running a drive from the backside (and check swing the RB weak) is one way window dress the route—but keep the concept the exact same.