Designing RPO Systems: Case 3 – RPO Route Designation to Manipulate Coverage Structure

Jun 8, 2016 | Offense, Post-Snap Manipulations, RPO's

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



case3leadpicIn this case, we detail which pass concepts coaches are using to stress conflict defenders. But before we start reporting on which run concepts are married with the pass game, there is one important denomination we came across in our research: Interior runs such as zone, power and counter are tied more to horizontal pass concepts while exterior runs such as pin and pull and outside zone are tied more to vertical pass concepts.

The reasoning is simple: The interior runs tighten second and third level defenders (opening up the perimeter alleys), while the perimeter runs widen them (opening up seams in the defense).

These are all new submissions with most coming in the form of post-snap third level reads. In the prior case, we presented research on how to target conflict defenders based off formation. In this case, we will present which concepts are used to attack these defenders. We categorized them into specific support patterns.

Third Level Manipulations

Safety Manipulations

Please Note: The RPOs detailed below can be used with various run actions, so the illustrations do not include the specifics on run blocking.


Manipulating Backside Safety in Run Support

Glance RPO: Fordham University (NY) (Diagram 61)


Read: Away from run action

Run Action: Inside Zone, outside zone, power or dart

Conflict Defender: Boundary safety in quarters coverage

Description: Glance is a concept generally to the X receiver out of 11 personnel groupings who will take a five-step route on a post angle. The quarterback will first check to see if he has leverage to the field to throw the bubble. If there is no threat of a perimeter blitz from the overhang, the quarterback will read the boundary safety for the glance route. “If the boundary safety rotates to the post, or makes any type of definitive movement to the line of scrimmage, we will throw the glance,” said head coach and offensive coordinator Andrew Breiner. The key is to allow the boundary safety post-snap to come screaming downhill when he sees run action.

To study game cutups of the Glance concept, click on the video below: