Modern day football is evolving everyday and the latest ways for offenses to exploit defenses is to use Run Pass Options. In my 12 years of experience coaching football, I have come to realize that plays that you may see at the collegiate and high school level can also be incorporated at the youth level. Some coaches and spectators may not fathom the idea of youth players being able to execute these complex plays due to the so-called complexity of them.
Run Pass Options for explosive Offenses | RPO the Cheat CODE
By Coach Dustin Hatfield
This past season, I put faith to the wind and gave it a shot with no expectations to have success. Surprisingly my team comprised of 11 and 12 yr. old players were able to execute each RPO play better than I expected. With using the RPO plays our team has had huge success. With Passing 20 touchdowns to 2 interceptions while running a spread system resulting with a total of 11 games that went undefeated totaling 505 Points and averaging 46 per game. Ultimately, we were able to win the Tri State championship for the first time in Hurricane Youth history. Even though coaches may think this is a great feat, this idea is easier than one may think. Here are a few a recommendation from our coaching staff we can share.
Make sure if you’re going to use RPO’s in your system that you spend individual time with each position group to Rep the plays everyday. The QB and RB mess drill is vital in making the play work without a mishap. Also make sure you spend adequate time with your quarterbacks and skill positions to develop the timing you need to execute with precision. With that being said, here are some of our RPO plays that we have used and gained success with in the past.
Inside Zone Split with Bubble Screen and Slant Concept
This is a basic Split Zone play with a bubble screen and slant built into the backside of the play. The QB will read the second level overhang defender on the backside to determine if he will hand it off or pull and go through his progression which depending on how the team lines up, he will throw to the slant as number 1 and the bubble as number 2. If neither are open he has the option to keep the ball and follow the H back that will be kicking the end man on the line of scrimmage.
Jet Series with Slant and Verticals
We use an Empty set that utilizes Jet motion with a backside slant and play-side verticals. We teach our QB to find the pre-snap coverage. If he sees cover 0 he keys our Y on verticals to get inside of defender and throw him open. If he has anything else, he will read the player over number 2 to see if he plays man on and runs with the Jet motion then he pulls the ball and throws the slant backside. If the number 2 defender does not run with the number 2 receiver then our QB will hand off the jet sweep. We also have the Jet motion player stay flat and be a check down safety valve if all the receivers run off the defenders.
Trips Inside Zone or Power with Bubble and Post Concept
We run a Trips formation that we can either run zone or power with a bubble and post concept. We use this as a shot play that we treat like our empty set with verticals. It is again a pre-snap read for QB. If he sees cover 0 it’s an automatic post shot play for us. If we see a 2-high look we will read the backside linebacker first and the safety second. We run this every day with a 2-high look, 1 high look and 0 high so our QB can find where he is going to go with the ball quickly. If we see 2 high and the DBs bails he checks down to the bubble in the flat.
Hopefully some of these examples are helpful to coaches out there and I would be glad to share anymore information I have. I also have full game footage and playbooks available. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] for any further questions.
-Coach Dustin Hatfield
(See Also) Jet- Slant RPO