Run Pass Option (RPO) and why the QB doesn’t have to run to be RPO

There’s an ongoing misconception about run pass options, or RPO’s for short,  that the QB needs to be involved in the running game. This isn’t true. While it certainly helps because we all want the additional threat in our arsenal, myself and many in the NFL and NCAA have ran RPO’s without the QB being a running threat physically or schematically.

In my offense, a common RPO I like to run is Power out of a pistol king open set with an RPO tag. Power for me is a play-side RPO read, and thus I need my 2 WR’s to the play for a good RPO look.


Power with Stalk/Bubble back-side RPO, slant play-side RPO

power RPO pass read.png

The GIF shows the pull and throw on the throw read. The flat defender lines up too far from the play and then sits which leads to a post-snap throw RPO.

power pass RPO GIF.gif

Power RPO with Slant/Arrow play-side and slant back-side RPO

RPO slant or run read.png

The GIF below shows you a run read with the nickle playing up on the slot taking away the bubble. Also, they play 6 in the box which is a run key for the QB.

power run RPO GIF.gif


Zone Lead with “Pop” RPO

blast & pop.png

As the GIF below shows, we can run a zone lead play with an RPO to both sides. Back-side it will be pre-snap slant. Front-side it’s #1 running a hitch (he starts stalk blocking early) and the #2 running a quick sit down into space. The QB counts 5 in the box so it’s 99% going to be a run read.

blast pop GIF.gif