Run-Pass Option Resources for Offense and Defense

By Keith Grabowski | Posted 8/23/2019

From high school through the NFL, the run-pass option (RPO) has become a staple in offenses at every level. USA Football’s team of writers have put together a detailed package of articles that show the many variations and possibilities in using the RPO. Take a look into these articles for ideas to implement the RPO in your 2019 offense as well as ideas on how to stop these potentially explosive plays.

General RPO Articles

Still haven’t entered the RPO realm or looking to improve or expand on the RPO? These articles highlight some of the best strategies for utilizing RPOs.

Know the Difference Between RPO and Play Action

Everything You Need to Know About RPO

Run Pass Option as Part of Jeff Tedford’s Offensive Scheme

Screen Plays Utilized in Packaging RPO

Practicing the RPO

Drawing up a RPO that scores touchdowns on a whiteboard requires practice and drilling to make it come to life and work on the field. These articles provide ideas for implementing the RPO through detailed practices and drills.

Implementing RPOs into the Practice Schedule

Learn the Drills and Schemes that Make Massillon Washington One of the Best Offenses in Ohio

Run Pass Option in the NFL

The NFL has some stricter rules on how far a lineman can get down the field, yet the RPO can be seen around the NFL. Much can be learned from their implementation of these plays where windows are smaller and precise execution is critical. These articles highlight some of the best teams utilizing RPO and QB-read game plays.

How NFL Offenses Use the RPO

How the Kansas City Chiefs Use RPOs

How the Cleveland Browns Used RPOs

Learn how NFL Teams Utilize RPOs from Heavier Personnel Groupings

Chicago Bears Inside Zone Scheme

RPO Built around the Counter Scheme

The counter scheme creates space for a RPO when a level-two player works to fit the counter. These articles discuss the use of RPO attachments with the counter play.

Complimenting the Counter Trey with RPO

How Oklahoma's Counter Plays Help the Sooners' Offense Go

Learning from Memphis – The Multiplicity of the Counter Concept

Learning from the Big 12 – Compliments to Counter Trey

Zone Based RPO

Many teams utilize the zone scheme for the basis of the run-pass option. These articles share specific examples from some of the best offenses in the country.

How Clemson Made Life Easier for Trevor Lawrence

How Clemson Has Created Easy Yardage with One of its Best RPOs

How Alabama Uses the RPO to Stay Balanced

Wake Forest – The RPO Demons

How Noel Mazzone Implements Motion with RPO

Inside Zone Run-Pass Options

Scheme Variations of RPO

RPO tends to fit into the zone scheme and gap scheme runs. These articles highlight other blocking schemes that are effective for the run-pass option.

West Virginia’s Stick-Draw

Pin and Pull RPO

Using RPOs to defeat the Tite Front  The most popular front used in 2018 and discussed during the 2019 offseason has been the tite front. This article gives some ideas for utilizing the RPO to defeat it.

RPO Specific Podcasts

In this episode of the USA Football Coach and Coordinator podcast, current Kansas Jayhawks assistant coach Brent Dearmon returns to the show to go into detail about his run-pass option game. He discusses pre-snap reads, integrating power and RPO, and the three questions he asks about every new scheme or concept. Listen

On a previous installment of the USA Football Coach and Coordinator podcast, Brent Dearmon discusses the transition to coaching college football and all things RPO. Listen

RPO innovator and current University of Tennessee assistant coach Joe Osovet joins this episode of the USA Football Coach and Coordinator podcast. Former head coach at ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y., Osovet sits down with Keith Grabowski to discuss the details of his RPO system and how to manipulate defenders. Listen

RPO Podcast Playlist. 

This playlist currently holds 44 tracks with portions focused on RPO/defending the RPO. Listen

Defending the RPO

As much as offensive coaches like to discuss the RPO, defensive coaches are researching and scheming the best ways to stop it. Here are resources for defending the RPO.

How to Defend the Run-Pass Option

Podcast – Incarnate Word (FCS) defensive coordinator Brandon Lechtenberg discusses defending the RPO. Listen

Defending RPO from 1-high structures. In this episode, four coaches who employ 1-high solutions when defending the RPO discuss their methods. Listen

Defending RPO from 2-high structures. Five coaches are featured on the show sharing how they defend the RPO with the 2-high structure. Listen


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