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Let's Talk About: The Mechanics of The RPO

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Play #2 - same drive, but this one is a little bit different.  This is a PEEK play, where Matt isn't pre-determining the throw, rather he is going to read the movement of a KEY defender in the middle of the play to tell him if he's going to hand it off or throw it.  

We start out in an singleback wing slot formation.  Twin receivers to the field, two y's (tight ends) to the boundary.  We're going to motion Stocker to the field to tell us if we're getting man or zone.  Also, as you can see, Mack is ID'ing the Mike to let everyone know who is responsible for the (potentially) 5th rusher.




The Safety follows Stocker across the formation.  It's man all the way.  



Matt now knows who his Key defender is going to be on the read.  It's going to be the backside linebacker.  We have an outside zone play to to the top of the screen, with Hoop leaking out on a quick lookie.  If that linebacker sits and slow-plays that stretch run, Matt will hand the ball.  IF that linebacker flies up chases, leaving that backside open, Hoop is just gonna sneak in right behind where he used to be.



Now one of the things, Jim Schwartz has always been know for is active front sevens.  They attack the line of scrimmage.  They are aggressive, even when they aren't blitzing.  Those linebackers are fast flow.  God help you if you're running anything slow developing, so it only makes sense to use that aggressiveness against them.  At the snap, you see that backside backer is wasting no time.  He's reading our guards and he's going right now.  No shuffle or nothing.  He's gone.  Now watch Matt's head in the next pic.



Matt sees that linebacker take himself out of that passing lane.  Saw it all the way.  Linebacker's shoulder's are no longer square to the LOS.  He won't be able to make a play behind him on anything.  Matt's throwing it.



Easy as it gets.



Simple.  Elegant.  Tough to pull off for the QB, but the defense is always wrong when you can get it going.  Now there are of course things defenses can do to mess with reads on this when they know its coming, so I expect we'll keep dressing these up differently from week to week, but this is good stuff.


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"I couldn't bring myself to look at that game against the Vikings again without feeling to need to vomit.  Mercifully, this week was different.  Don't you just love a victory Monday?  You don't feel like kicking the dog, annoying kids seem cute, food taste better.  Life is just a little better coming off a W."


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Dayum, PMF!  Your posts are always so informative!  Especially for an old fart like me. When I played, we wore high-top, black cleats (Billy White Shoes was a real slap a decade later) and we ran the T-formation with the three step shift.  Joe Maloof (Manuel's brother) was my coach. Smash-mouth football was the only way (three yards and a cloud of dust-Tommy Nobis, William Andrews, Lynn Cain, Claude Humphrey and Captain Crazy) The West Coast Offense was the first major innovation I remember. (Hated the 49ers!) June Jones run and shoot looked promising until it wasn't (may Jeff George rot in football h3ll). After that, it's all a blur of Rankin's ****. The Vick  years were an exciting diversion (especially with me working overseas) and then the Quitrino fiasco. Smith, Ryan and Andrews were a welcome relief, but I still thought I understood the concepts (smash-mouth football with a mix of West Coast.) Eventually, I came to understand three-tech, 1 tech etc. Reading your posts is like asking a first year algebra student to understand calculus, but  the way you illustrate them is so clear, even I can understand it. Hope we see many more posts this season.  Thanks

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