The Britions were top ten in the country in yards per game (509) and points per game (42.6), much of it coming from these two concepts. Offensive coordinator Dustin Beurer explains in this exclusive clinic report which scheme he chooses to utilize against 4-1, 4-2, 3-2 and 3-3 boxes and how he trains his quarterback to identify and read the movement key in each of these defensive structures.
By Dustin Beurer
Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Albion College (MI)
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Here at Albion College, we have utilized a spread, no huddle, and up-tempo offense over the last two seasons to improve how we do things offensively. Part of our offensive over haul has included implementing Run Pass Options (RPOs) to enhance our running game.
We try to keep things basic with our run schemes. Our two main run schemes are the Inside Zone and the Pin and Pull concept.
- If we are running Inside Zone, in which we leave the end man on the line of scrimmage unblocked, we will run screens on the back side of the run play.
- If we are executing a run scheme, such as Pin and Pull where all of the down defenders are blocked, we will pair that with quick game and pops.
We have found that our run scheme is very difficult for opposing teams to defend. One goal is to put certain defenders in conflict so they have to make a quick decision to defend the run or the pass. A second goal with the Albion College offense is to keep things simple so we can play fast. We want to run the same schemes, while only changing the formations and looks we run them out of (i.e. change the presentation, not the play).
Inside Zone Paired with Quick Screens:
Our Inside Zone paired with quick screens is the first thing we install on day one. For our offense to be productive, it is imperative that we are able to run the Inside Zone. Our base rules are as follows:
Inside Zone Base Rules:
QB - Count the box and check the safeties. See if we have the numbers advantage to the screen side. If numbers are advantageous to the screen and we are outnumbered in the box, he will catch and throw. If we have the numbers advantage in the box, he will hand the ball off.
RB - Toes should align on the heels of the QB with legs splitting the outside leg of the back side guard. Footwork should be a slight bucket step to play side, cross with back side foot and get his shoulders pressing the front side. This forces the LB’s to play front their side gaps. His eyes should be reading the “A Gap” defender. As OL displaces the “A Gap” defender, he will attack that gap that develops.
PST - Shuffle reach the front side defensive end. His back side hand will work to the near side breast plate and his front side hand will attack the defenders sternum. He must not let the DE cross his face. If blitz shows off the edge, he will make an alert call, which tells all linemen to push one defender over.
PSG – He will do one of the three following options against different techniques:
- Against a front side 3-technique - Over and up reach step to a play side 3-technique. His back side hand will reach the near side breast plate and his front side hand will work to the defenders sternum. He must displace the defender.
- Against a front side 1-technique (shade) - Flat step with front side foot and drive up with second step through the defender’s crotch. Uppercut the defender, allowing the center to come in on combo. He must keep shoulders square and stay on the down defender until the LB invades his space. We want there to be four eyes on the LB.
- Against an odd front - Combo with the front side tackle to the play side LB in the box.
Center – He will do one of the three following options against different techniques:
- Against a front side 3-technique - 3 step course (bucket step, 2nd step on course to play side, 3rd step working square) to protect the front side A gap in case of slant. After 3 steps, he will work shoulders, square up to Mike or front side LB.
- Against a front side 1-technique (shade) - Attack the near side breastplate and combo with front side guard to front side LB or Mike. Stay on combination until the LB invades our space.
- Against an odd front - Flat step and take most of nose. Combo with back side guard to back side LB.
BSG – He will do one of the three following options against different techniques:
- Against a back side 1-technique (shade) - Displace the “A Gap” defender. Attack the near side breast plate and take him for a ride horizontally.
- Against a back side 3-technique - Flat step with front side foot and drive up with second step through the defender’s crotch. Uppercut the defender, allowing the backside tackle to come in on combo. Keep shoulders square and stay on down defender until the backside LB invades your space. We expect four eyes on the LB.
- Against an odd front - Combo the Nose with the center to the backside LB. If Nose is hanging backside work up square with the center and stay on combination until the LB invades your space. Keep 4 eyes on the LB.
BST – He will do one of the three following options against different techniques:
- Against a back side 1-technique (shade) - Sift through to the conflict backer against a 4-2 box. Flat step and stab out towards the DE. If the conflict backer leaves the box, he will block the back side DE. If the conflict backer stays in the box, he will climb to block him.
- Against a back side 3-technique - 3 step course to work combo with the back side guard. Keep shoulders, square and four eyes on the backside LB. He will stay on the combination until the LB invades his space.
- Against an odd front - Sift to the conflict LB outside of the box. If he stays to the outside, he will man block the back side DE. If conflict LB comes to play the run, he will work up to block him and leave the backside DE for the QB to read.
WR’s - Run/block the screen called to their side. If they do not receive a signal that they are on the screen side, they will block most dangerous man.
Screen Player - Quick two steps forward and then drift, giving the QB your up field shoulder as a target. Catch the ball, read the blocks, and get vertical. We tell him to try to imitate a shooter in basketball coming off of a screen.
RPO: Defensive Identifications…
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- How Coach Beurer trains his quarterback to identify and read the movement key in his Inside Zone RPO against a 4-1 box, 4-2 box, 3-2 box and odd front.
- What Coach Beurer tells his play side guard to do against a front side 3-technique, front side shade and zero Nose in his Pin and Pull run concept.
- What Coach Beurer tells his back side guard to do against a back side 3-technique, back side shade and zero Nose in his Pin and Pull run concept.
- How he gets his center out on the perimeter in the Pin and Pull concept.
- VIDEO: Watch narrated game film of the Pin and Pull and Inside Zone RPO against all of the fronts Coach Beurer sees.
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In conclusion, you can see there are many different ways you can attack a defense by using RPOs. In our no huddle, up-tempo offense, we find the Pin Pull with Pops and Quick Game and Inside Zone with Quick Screens to be the most effective. Incorporating RPOs into our offense has made football more fun for everyone in the offense. Receivers can actually be a big play threat in the run game and our running backs are seeing bigger chunks of yardage when the ball is handed to them. We utilize our RPOs to wear out a defense mentally and physically throughout a game.
Meet Coach Beurer: Dustin Beurer is entering his 9th season coaching at Albion College. Since implementing a no huddle, up-tempo offense, Albion College has been at the top of the conference in most statistical categories, breaking 9 offensive records along the way. This year the Albion College offense finished 5th in the country in yards per game and 9th in scoring offense. Prior to Albion College, Beurer coached 2 seasons at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Coach Beurer has been a part of 4 conference championship teams at Albion College.
Get More Run/Pass Option Concepts…
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Here's a complete list of all the RPO concepts available on video:
▪ Stick Draw
▪ Stretch Stick Draw
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▪ Free Access Throws
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▪ Outside Zone/Seam
▪ TFS Trips Pop
▪ Zone Cup Pop
▪ Double Pop Out
▪ Power Double Out
▪ ISO Read
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