Building Pre-Snap Option Route Tags Based on Leverage

Mar 25, 2018 | Offense, Pre-Snap Relief Throws, RPO's

By Stan Zweifel
Head Football Coach
University of Dubuque (IA)
Twitter: @StanZweifel




Editors’ Note: In our preseason research, we had a large number of coaches reach out to us to ask about running option routes. The more we dug into this topic, the more we ran into people who told us that the best place to learn these concepts is at the University of Dubuque from HFC Stan Zweifel. This report covers how he teaches this technical concept.



The concept of our option pass play is for the quarterback to read a receiver as opposed to reading a coverage. Over the years, we have noticed an improved completion percentage by our QB’s when they are sure of who to throw the ball to.

Base Concept

We identify our receivers in our Mustang Personnel Grouping (11 Personnel) as X – SE, M – Slot, Y – TE, and Z – Flanker. When we tag one of those receivers, we are identifying who is running the “low option.” The low option is a route run at a depth of 5 yard and the main coaching point is to simply GET OPEN. We coach the quarterback reads the receiver, not the defense and give receiver limited routes against any coverage.

Terms Defined
MOR – Mandatory Outside Release. This is used by outside wide receivers to get outside of a rolled up defender. This creates horizontal stretch from the low option.

Low Option – 5 yard get open route. If you are aligned as an inside receiver, here are your choices:

  • Attack leverage – Break Inside
  • Attack leverage – Break Outside
  • Attack outside – Wrap behind defender, into a void in zone and sit.
  • You have 2/3 of the field to work

High Option – 10 yard get open route. If you are an outside receiver, never break away from the ball!