Defending RPO’s (Vol 1)

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In the spring and during fall camp, we play CCA on CCA almost the entire time. To match-up my CCA defense vs our CCA offense this spring I have to be prepared for 11 personnel in 2×2 and 3×1 sets. I also now have to be prepared for the “package plays” that our offense is installing. It puts us in a bind right off the bat and forces a ton of teaching on day 1 and 2. We have to understand our run fits, how to defend the zone, how to roll our coverage to trips or bow versus a slot, and how to defend the bubble.


As you can see above, We’re facing a difficult offensive look. We have a run-side slant, the inside zone-read play (2in1), and the stalk/bubble to defend. We have a few checks we can use to attempt to stop them that I will show you and update over the next three weeks how they work.

Stack Flex

One is “flex” which puts our rover playing head-up against the slot. The pros here are that we can play the bubble with no issue, the cons are we lose our CBR player against the pull in the zone-read.

Stack walk v pack 1

Another is “walk” which will put our $ over #2 at 5 yards off the man, and keeps our rover in the box to play the run. I think this is the plan we’re going to go with to stop the bubble not only in 11 2×2 but 11 3×1 as well.

Walk vs pack

As you can see this is a trips with TE on the line and a far call for the RB. Using walk we have the bubble locked down, the stalk (which could become a vert) taken care of and the slant which could become a skinny post locked down as well.

In our run defense/fits our rover is playing force, will scrapes to hole, mike scrapes to replace, and our sam plays CBR and QB off zone-read option.

I went to a few of my favorite coaches, including my man Shane Sams of  and got their 2cents on the subject. @CoachXO says to stop the inside zone with 10 guys and dedicate 1 player to killing the bubble… which I think you can see here above.

Coach Dehnert, a coach that groomed me back when I was a player and young assistant, suggested I let my CB sell out on #2 (bubble) and have my FS pick up #1 (stalk/vert). This would be a switch for us in 1/4 coverage and might prove more difficult coaching green ironman type players versus coaching the kids at larger two-platoon schools. (Updated: 5/4)

Hugh vs pack

Like the rule says “play it as it lies” so we will be updating this depending on circumstances and outcomes from spring football.

Below, watch a cut-up of some team period practices (shells). Includes package plays.