Nick Saban recently spent some time giving a virtual talk to coaches in attendance at the Louisiana Football Coaches Association clinic, and (it should come as no surprise) the thoughts and opinions he provided during that talk has sparked clip after clip of social media content that has been shared like crazy, perhaps none more than his belief that “offensive coaches are part of the Taliban.”
Offensive coaches will love this latest nugget. Especially those who love gap schemes.
Defensive coaches have a variety of ways to scheme up for the latest hot offensive trend – RPOs, but as Saban explains, not all run schemes are created equal when it comes to the conflict placed on second level defenders in RPO schemes.
“To me, it’s easier to defend the RPO when a team runs a zone play than it is when they run – what I call a ‘hat’ play – which is a lead play, or power or counter.”
“Because now, the linebackers are taught to step up and jump over, or jump over because somebody pulled. But now, you pull the ball and throw an RPO and now you’ve really displaced ’em.”
“That’s the way we do it. I think you’ve got to change it up, and disguise it, it’s even the way we play our Fire Zone coverage. Then we’ve got a chance to stop the RPOs.”
Having two of the best offensive play callers in the game in Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian directing his offenses the past handful of years has given Saban plenty to look at in the RPO realm.
It will be interesting to see how much gap-scheme RPO carryover there is with Bill O’Brien now at the helm of offense and Doug Marrone coaching the offensive line for the Tide moving forward.
See more from Saban in the clip.
Saban talking about how lead/gap scheme RPO's do a better job displacing second level defenders to open throwing windows than zone concepts making them harder to defend, which makes sense considering his defense saw it every day in practice pic.twitter.com/ScourJNl3d
— Fit Harrington (@futbolguysguy) April 5, 2021