After tinkering with the traditional 3x1 RPO concepts such as stick, bubble and glance, Cypress Springs High School (TX) offensive coordinator Cole Kristynik decided to make a commitment to his most productive PAP/RPO concept the Win Slant/Fin. This concept targets a slot receiver against an apexed second level defender in man or zone coverage. It has yielded some big numbers last season, producing 833 yards and 9 TDs. In this exclusive clinic report, Coach Kristynik details the route progression, the pre and post-snap read of the QB from Pistol sets as well as the five adjustments he and his staff has made to manipulate coverages. Read the report.
By Cole Kristynik
Cypress Springs High School (TX)
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A trendy offensive phrase is to “play in space.” To many, that could mean bubble, smoke or swing screens. At Cypress Springs, we use all three of these at times when the defense gives us luxury looks to do so. Our sense of space or the holes we want to puncture tends to be further down the field. We are members of the RPO group and they have been a big part of what we do for a while now. We use the 3x1 Stick/Gift Concept, Glance Routes, Screens, among others.
That said, the WIN Slant/Fin route combination has taken us to another level in the past few years. A big component of this is our constant evolvement of this route combination. One of the first additions we made was to not just attach it to a run but to also use it off a hard Half Slide play action. This allows the Win Slant route to find more depth, space and pierce a hole in the defense in more areas. This is what frustrates defenses, along with our ability to get the ball out of our hand with lightning speed and a confidence that our WR’s will find the space.
There is no doubt that some defenses know what we are trying to do, but they do not always account for the multiplicity and options of the routes. At times they try to overplay and rotate coverage where they think the routes are designed to hit. The truth is we do not always know where the vacated space will be pre-snap. In some instances, we have not executed upfront picking up a blitz or our undersized OL may be overwhelmed and allow penetration with defenders on a path to our QB, but the mesh freezes enough for a quick pull and deal of the ball. The RPO version is our best way to run option.
Rules and Coaching Points
When we RPO this concept we use Locked Zone (Diagram 1) about 70% of the time. We have also have used Split Zone, Double Fold, 2 Back Iso and G/H Power. We prefer the latter with our Single WR tags and 3rd level reads, another piece of the RPO and Play Action route Family.
Offensive Line Notes:
This article is more about the multiplicity of the route concept and pairing it with a leverage beating Gift side as a RPO or using Play action. However, in Diagram 1 we will see the highest percentage RPO scheme. Some call it Tight Zone, we use the term Locked Zone.
RPO version with Locked Zone in 2x2.
Called Side: Gift
The gift side has been key screens, option hitch routes, and other quick leverage beaters. Note that when we do bubble it is a small step controlled crawfish to get corners to trigger outside of #1 while our slot pushes for the space vertically. We use multiple splits, stack, adjustments, or whatever helps us gain leverage for the Gift or to hold that half of the field.
This is the same concept in place whether it’s the play action or RPO scheme, it keeps it simple and allows us cheap yardage on proper down and distance even on play-action call.
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- The slot receiver route progression in the win/slant combination and how he will adjust his route based on the movement of the triangle of defenders in his area.
- The outside receiver route progression in the win/slant combination and how it can be adjusted based on the depth and leverage of the corner.
- The quarterback pre-snap and post-snap footwork progression in Pistol alignments in both PAP and RPO concepts.
- The B Back footwork in Pistol alignments and how Coach Kristynik correlates the proper timing with the QB’s release point.
- The Five adjustments Coach Kristynik and his staff will make to influence read defenders and take advantage of one-on-one mismatches in man coverage.
- Plus game film of all these concepts.
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Like most cases, adapting to what your players do well and their buy in, is a huge part of the puzzle. We feel it is a concept that attacks a weak spot that defenses do not always consider. This was a concept that at first was not easy to install. The more we toyed with it and recognized how teams were trying to stop it, the more we were able to counter with adjustments to this concept. Another factor, is making sure you work man coverage daily and your man beater routes. This adjustment is usually something defenses like to use. It does not necessarily take out this combo, but if you have multiple ways to beat man, obviously the better. I think this concept can be used in multiple types of offenses, and I am very willing to help if you chose to add it to your system.
Meet Coach Kristynik: Coach Kristynik is the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Cypress Springs High School in Houston, Texas. He became the OC at Cypress Springs after coaching at Cypress Falls for 5 years, where he was the Assistant Offensive Line Coach for two years and Running Backs Coach his last 3 years. Coach Kristynik and his offensive staff took over a last place team and Offense at Cypress Springs. After increased success between the first two seasons, they decided to move to a more open style in 2015 that included the Win Slant/Fin. In 2015 Coach led a sophomore QB to 3,026 yards passing and 30 TD passes for a team that averaged 452 ypg and 35 ppg. In 2016, the offense averaged 501 ypg and 41 ppg. The offense had one WR finish with 70 receptions 1,736 yards receiving and 18 TDs and another WR finish with 71 catches 1,342 yards receiving and 10 TD’s. The team also had 2 QB’s that combined for 3,826 yards passing and 35 Td passes.
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