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Modifying Your RPO Package Based Off Defensive Alignments

Jul 15, 2016 | Offense, Post-Snap Manipulations, RPO's

By Dustin Beurer
Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Albion College (MI)
Twitter: @CoachBeurer

Introduction:

Here at Albion College, we have utilized a spread, no huddle, and up-tempo offense over the last two seasons to improve how we do things offensively. Part of our offensive over haul has included implementing Run Pass Options (RPOs) to enhance our running game.

We try to keep things basic with our run schemes. Our two main run schemes are the Inside Zone and the Pin and Pull concept. 

  • If we are running Inside Zone, in which we leave the end man on the line of scrimmage unblocked, we will run screens on the back side of the run play.
  • If we are executing a run scheme, such as Pin and Pull where all of the down defenders are blocked, we will pair that with quick game and pops.

We have found that our run scheme is very difficult for opposing teams to defend. One goal is to put certain defenders in conflict so they have to make a quick decision to defend the run or the pass. A second goal with the Albion College offense is to keep things simple so we can play fast. We want to run the same schemes, while only changing the formations and looks we run them out of (i.e. change the presentation, not the play).

Inside Zone Paired with Quick Screens:

Our Inside Zone paired with quick screens is the first thing we install on day one. For our offense to be productive, it is imperative that we are able to run the Inside Zone. Our base rules are as follows:
Inside Zone Base Rules:

QB - Count the box and check the safeties. See if we have the numbers advantage to the screen side. If numbers are advantageous to the screen and we are outnumbered in the box, he will catch and throw. If we have the numbers advantage in the box, he will hand the ball off.

RB - Toes should align on the heels of the QB with legs splitting the outside leg of the back side guard. Footwork should be a slight bucket step to play side, cross with back side foot and get his shoulders pressing the front side. This forces the LB’s to play front their side gaps. His eyes should be reading the “A Gap” defender. As OL displaces the “A Gap” defender, he will attack that gap that develops.

PST - Shuffle reach the front side defensive end. His back side hand will work to the near side breast plate and his front side hand will attack the defenders sternum. He must not let the DE cross his face. If blitz shows off the edge, he will make an alert call, which tells all linemen to push one defender over.
PSG – He will do one of the three following options against different techniques:

  • Against a front side 3-technique - Over and up reach step to a play side 3-technique. His back side hand will reach the near side breast plate and his front side hand will work to the defenders sternum. He must displace the defender.
  • Against a front side 1-technique (shade) - Flat step with front side foot and drive up with second step through the defender’s crotch. Uppercut the defender, allowing the center to come in on combo. He must keep shoulders square and stay on the down defender until the LB invades his space. We want there to be four eyes on the LB.
  • Against an odd front - Combo with the front side tackle to the play side LB in the box.

Center – He will do one of the three following options against different techniques:

  • Against a front side 3-technique - 3 step course (bucket step, 2nd step on course to play side, 3rd step working square) to protect the front side A gap in case of slant. After 3 steps, he will work shoulders, square up to Mike or front side LB.
  • Against a front side 1-technique (shade) - Attack the near side breastplate and combo with front side guard to front side LB or Mike. Stay on combination until the LB invades our space.
  • Against an odd front - Flat step and take most of nose. Combo with back side guard to back side LB.

BSG – He will do one of the three following options against different techniques: