Jon Gruden has another name for RPO's that he wants QB's to remember

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday April 12, 2016

Run-pass options (RPO’s) are prevalent in college football and continue to expand, but Jon Gruden has another name for them: Ridiculous Protection Offense.

Cal quarterback Jared Goff was on the first episode of Gruden’s QB Camp, and Gruden went over the tape of some RPO’s with the QB. When your offensive line is blocking run and you choose to pass, the QB could be exposed. Gruden wasn't criticizing the concept, just the execution by Goff. 

Gruden pulled up tape of Goff throwing an interception against Utah because he wasn’t thinking about pass protection (video below). Goff pulled the ball back and attempted to throw a post in the face of pressure, instead of taking the open running lane.

“You know what happened? You threw the exact same route against Washington State the week before, and it was in there, and they talked about you on these shows. ‘Look at Jared Goff. Unbelievable.’ Didn’t you?” Gruden said. “You got into this game and you said, ’I’m going to run (the same play),’ and you never thought about the pass protection, did you? You lit up like a Christmas tree. You think you’ve got Field of Dreams right here. One problem. That Utah Ute gave you no chance.

It’s an example of an RPO, right? It’s a ridiculous protection offense, and you’re gonna have problems. As good as you are, as tough as you are, as mentally tough as you are, as prepared as you are, you cannot ask yourself to do this. Can’t do it. Can’t do it.”

RPO’s are based on the quarterback making the right read. Goff didn’t make the right read here, and Gruden’s message was that a QB always has to think about his line.

“It’s all about pass protection,” Gruden said. “When we have these RPO’s, I want you to remember what Gruden says about RPO’s: Ridiculous Protection Offense, because that’s what it is.”

Gruden said Goff was one of the physically toughest players he'd seen come through his camp. The camp episode isn’t available online, but here’s the play they broke down, from the broadcast of the game.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to