America’s Inside Zone RPO

Why is it that the defenses have an America blitz, but the offense doesn’t have an America Inside Zone RPO? I don’t think that’s fair. Offensive guys aren’t less American than their defensive counter parts. So today I’m going to introduce to you all the American Inside Zone RPO.

What’s the America Inside Zone RPO? It’s the Inside Zone paired with the Y-Stick quick game passing concept.


What now Defensive Coordinators?

What makes the Inside Zone RPO so great?

This play puts the defense in a bind. Do they cover the greatest quick game concept ever made, or do they defend the greatest running scheme ever?

Defensive coordinators will look like Dana Hogorsen  after the game because they won’t know what to do.

What formation do you run the Inside Zone RPO Out Of?

How to Screw with defensive coordinators

Trio Rt Special

I love this formation. It puts the defense in a bind. They are outnumbered at the point of attack by the two stacked wide receivers. If they want to even out the numbers they will have to do one of two things: 1) Bump a line backer out of the box, or 2) Roll down a safety.

Either way, YOU are making the defense do something. YOU are forcing their hand. YOU are taking charge of the situation and the ball game.

Isn’t that great?

The Inside Zone RPO Play.

The play is your typical Inside Zone Blocking Scheme, but with a Base Tag. In this example we will be running it to the left.

Normally, the right offensive guard will secure the B-gap and then climb to the backside linebacker if no one crosses his face in the B-gap. But he isn’t doing that on this play because of the Base Tag.

The Base Tag doesn’t change the play for the rest of the linemen. Only the backside tackle and  guard. Everyone else blocks the play normal.

Offensive Line Blocking the Inside Zone RPO

Blocking Inside Zone RPO with backside 3 Tech.

Blocking for the Inside Zone RPO is simple. Here are the rules:

Left Tackle – You block anyone head up to outside of you.

Left Guard – You will check the play side B-gap. If there is someone there then you will block them. If there is no one there then you will check the backside A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block them. If you do not have anyone in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help out the center.

Center – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in the gap then you will block that person. If no one is in that gap then you will check the back side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If there is no one in either gap then that means you are covered and you will block the person over you.

Right Guard – You will check the play side A-gap. If you have someone in that gap then you will block that person. If you don’t have anyone in the play side A-gap then you will check the back side B-gap. If there is someone in that gap then you will BASE BLOCK HIM, because you are now apart of the BASE tag. If no one is in either gap then the center must be covered and you will help him.

Right Tackle – You will block anyone head up to outside of you because you are tagged with the BASE tag.

Wide Receiver Routes for the Inside Zone RPO

Routes for Inside Zone RPO

The Wide Receivers are running the Air Raid Y-Stick route. Here are their rules:

R Receiver – You are running a mandatory outside release vertical. Your job is to take the corner with you. If the corner squats while you run past him then you let the coach know on the sideline. Because that corner is fixing to get burnt.

Y ReceiverYou are running the stick route. You will push off hard for three steps, aiming for the outside shoulder of the man over you. On third step you will plant on your outside foot and find grass inside the man over you.

F Receiver  – You are running the shoot route. You are looking to replace the R receiver. Get there fast. Force the man over the Y to make a decision – cover you or cover the Y.

L Receiver – You are running a three step hitch. Expect the ball if the corner is five yards off of you. Spin towards the sideline if you are thrown the ball.

Running Back Steps in the Inside Zone RPO

You are taking a six inch search step with the foot closest to the quarterback. This is called a Search Step.

You will cross over with your opposite foot and point your toes towards the center’s butt on your second step. This is called a Cross Over Step.

You will come downhill towards the center’s butt on your third step. This is called the Go step.

If the quarterback pulls the ball from you then you will attack the backside linebacker.

This is a cheap way of turning the run blocking into a form of pass blocking.

Quarterback’s Read in the Inside Zone RPO

The quarterback is looking at the number of players in the box. How many are there? Five or more then you will hand the ball off. Six or more then you are throwing the ball.

Hand the Ball Off.

In the example above the quarterback sees there are only five defenders in the box so he will hand the ball off. He will FAKE A THROW once he hands the ball off. It is very important he does this because it will freeze the defenders – giving the running back an opportunity for more yards.

Read the Outside Linebacker.

What does the quarterback do when he sees six defenders in the box?

He changes the read to the defender over the Y receiver. The quarterback still puts the ball in the running back’s stomach, but he’s reading the outside linebacker:

The outside linebacker jams the Y receiver then the quarterback will throw it to the F.

The outside linebacker takes the F on the shoot route then he will throw the ball to the Y.

It’s that simple.

That’s how we teach the Inside Zone RPO.

Leave a comment below if you do anything different with your Inside Zone RPOs. I love to hear from ya’ll. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already. I put out a new video every Saturday morning. Please download my FREE One Back Power RPO eBook. The sign up is at the top of the page.

Until next week coaches, let’s continue to Master the Spread, Score Points, and Have Fun.



Comments on America’s Inside Zone RPO

  1. Nicholas Scalese says:

    Coach,what program are you using in your demo with the x’s and o’s?I
    We have a very small line this year and want to employ this spread offense..

  2. Matthew F says:

    Coach, what is the alignment for the running back. Toes on back heels of QB, how close is he to QB?

    1. Yes sir. And he is as close to the QB as he needs to be. Our rule is he MUST be coming downhill by his third step.

  3. Scott F says:

    On the shoot route, is the slot looking back over his left shoulder or right shoulder? In our stick concept we call it a flat route and he takes 1 step forward then gets outside, looking back over his right shoulder if lined up on the right side. Just curious if you are teaching it the same.

    1. We are teaching it the same way coach. Going to the right = right shoulder. Going to the left = left shoulder.

      We want him at least a yard behind the line of scrimmage before he whips his head around for the ball. This puts a TON of stress on the defense.

  4. Billy K says:

    Good stuff. Coach, do you have any instructions for the OL on which LB they are working to on their combos?

  5. Marcel Gulley says:

    I run inside zone out 2×2 call it Spread Rt Bronco which is name of our inside zone RB is on right side of QB. Same read for QB count box out numbered THROW bubble to the slot. Also read OLB over slot WE, if he is cheating in box for run then throw bubble. Outside WR blocks corner

    1. Coach Gulley,

      I love that. It’s a nice and easy play for your quarterback. Do you have any drills that you use to rep this? I’m always looking to get better.

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