Inside Zone Glance RPO
RPO’s, Run-Pass-Options are probably the biggest trend in football right now. These options started as basically run screen options where the QB just counted the numbers and distributed the ball to where he had a pre-snap advantage. Now, these RPO’s have morphed into 2nd and 3rd level reads that are reading the defense post snap. The advantage of this, is once the ball is snapped, the defense can no longer disguise what they are doing and now the QB can make his decision based off of how the defense reacts. My post today is going to explain a third level read where the Qb is making his decision based off the movement of one of the safeties.
In this first clip, Ohio State lines up in a Tight End Trips set with the back in a pistol alignment. They are running inside zone to the weakside so Ohio State can block 6 defenders. With that being said if the safety flies down in run support then the defense will be +1 and have the advantage over the offense. To account for that movement, Ohio State has attached a backside glance post to the single WR side to attack that safety. If the safety flies down, the Post will get behind him and the QB will pull the ball from the running back and try and hit the WR on the post who is one on one with the corner. If the safety stays high, the QB will give the ball to the RB on the zone. In this particular look, you can see Illinois’s safety fly down hill so the QB pulls the ball and throws the glance post. Below is a diagram of the play and then the film:
The next clip, is the same concept but off Inside Zone wham, and they are actually whamming the 3 technique. The read is the exact same though. The QB reads the backside safety and if he flies down the WR replaces him. In this clip the QB actually opens up away from the safety he is reading but still keeps his eyes on him as the RB meshes with him. The Safety comes down in run support so Penn State throws the post behind him.
In this next clip, you will see Penn State run this again against Indiana but this time off true split zone. This play actually might just be a called play-action pass because I don’t see the linemen working downfield but the concept and read is the same. I wanted to include this because some people are afraid to call RPO’s because of the possibility of being called for illegal man downfield. If that makes you nervous, you can easily just call the play-action pass after you have seen that safety fly down a few times. Or you could check to it if that boundary safety is playing low. Here is a look at this Penn State clip:
Regardless of whether you run this as a true RPO or play-action, you need a play like this in your arsenal so you can counter the defense when they add the extra guy in the box. Otherwise, they are going to outman you and shut down your running game. That’s the great thing about RPO’s is you should always be in the right play call because there are so many option off one play.