Manipulating the Leverage of “3:” Slide RPO Route Design from Single Wide, Double Wide, and Compressed Formation Pictures

Mar 19, 2024 | Offense, Compressed Formations, Post-Snap Manipulations, RPO's, Formation Structures

By Mike Kuchar with Jared Ambrose
Offensive Coordinator
University at Albany (NY)
Twitter: @CoachJambrose



While some programs build the slide route off wide zone, the offensive staff at Albany chooses to format it off tight zone for one main reason: it gets the Will linebacker downhill and out leveraged for the slide.  The focus of this report is how to “manipulate three,” who typically is the free hitter to the side of the slide.

It’s the quarterback’s role to find number three pre-snap, who is often the most dangerous defender to the slide. Coach Ambrose will train the quarterback to identify where that number three is, who is Will linebacker. “We tell him to identify the number three defender and how tight he is to the slide,” said Coach Ambrose. “If he is in a tight 20 technique, the quarterback already knows pre-snap that he is going to throw the slide.”


“If he’s in a wider technique, then we go back to a read key and pitch key element post-snap. It becomes a triple option. Now if the quarterback pulls the ball and the Will linebacker’s angle is bad it becomes a pull and pitch for us.”