It's time for the NFL to get funky with RPOs
Innovation on run-pass options has stalled at the NFL level. It's time for OCs to release the handbrake.
Remember RPOs? During the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl and the season that followed you couldn't move for talk of the ‘run-pass option’. CBS viewers were treated to a steady dose of Romogasms. Here comes the RPO, Jim!
It was the latest and greatest innovation sweeping the game. If your coach didn’t have a book stacked full of nifty option designs, he was a dinosaur.
That explosion into the popular culture seemed to belie the fact that RPOs had been around for the better part of two decades. The pick-it-flick-it, pre-snap style was a source of Peyton Manning’s extraordinary success in Indianapolis. For Manning, each passing concept would be tagged with a run look. Manning would read the box. If it was two-high, he’d check to the run. If the safety cheated down, he’d throw the ball. Easy.
During Aaron Rodgers’ (first) heyday, the Packers took the then-called ‘packaged plays’ that had blossomed in the college game over the proceeding decade and added them to Mike McCarthy’s pedestrian of…