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Learning and Understanding RPO Concepts Ahead of Colts 2018 Season

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If you’re a Colts fan and want to understand RPOs and how they’re likely going to be used within Frank Reich’s offense there’s something you should listen to

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles Media Availability Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The hot concept of the past couple NFL seasons has been RPOs (run-pass options). Last season the Philadelphia Eagles, and many other teams, turned RPOs into a household name. Carson Wentz was on an MVP caliber roll before his injury as a second-year passer in this type of offense.

Many others have benefited from these approaches, and with an experienced and dangerous quarterback like Andrew Luck it could really boost this offense that features a very young group of skill position players.

Frank Reich will be calling the plays for the Indianapolis Colts this year in his first season at the helm, and common assumption is that he’ll bring several concepts from his past to his gameplan. Well, if you’ve failed to see, or hear it explained in-dept — with it simultaneously being very simple to digest — then you need to listen to this episode of the Eagle Eye in the Sky podcast.

The show’s host, Fran Duffy, converses with Travis Manger (co-offensive coordinator and QB coach at FCS program Morgan State) on everything related to how RPOs can be developed through virtually any scheme. Duffy (@fduffy3) is one of the best schematic follows on Twitter, and his podcast is one I’d recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about the game within the game.

With Andrew Luck returning after an entire season out of the game, it’s reasonable to assume that some of these RPO looks will be integrated into the offense as — these two explain in the podcast — they are primarily used to increase ball control/ball security and high percentage throws.

The Colts backfield looks to be a unit that could benefit from this type of approach, not to mention the scarce amount of NFL experience at the wide receiver position. A malleable offensive line being added to these factors also makes this a fun season to look forward to.

Frank and Travis go through 1st, 2nd and 3rd level RPO explanations, running schemes an RPO can be introduced into, how the quarterback reads through a defense and who he reads in different concepts, which defenders the play is attacking as well as problems and solutions versus different defenses.

They also talk about how the offensive line partakes in the process and how RPOs are so difficult to defend making them more prevalent at all levels of the game. Fran and Travis go into much more, and it’s just a fantastic amount of information that will make you smarter about the type of offense we could readily see from the Colts throughout the 2018 season.

Again, there isn’t a better explanation out there and these are two great voices to break it down for you.