Breaking down Steve Sarkisian’s offense

Steve Sarkisian’s offense starts with physicality and toughness to make sure his offense has the ability to run the football. From there, it is the ability to have fun throwing the football.

He is accustomed to having a 1,000-yard running back in a season, proving his desire to run the football and to have play-action pass success complimenting his ground game. In Sarkisian’s play-action pass game, throwing lanes down field develop for explosive plays.

RPOs and slants

A simple inside zone, man-scheme on the backside that can read the Z-wide receiver. If the strong safety plays down, then an out-pass can be thrown to the Z-receiver.

This can open up two-safety looks to be able to run the football.

Slants in Sarkisian’s offense are when a wide receiver builds off his fourth outside step and then breaks.

Wide receivers also have the ability to decide where to go based on their defender.

Slants within Sarkisian’s RPOs are opportunity throws, to allow for what is deemed as a free completion. Tight ends are also used to create matchups to throw to within RPOs. The quarterback reading the safety is key for which player will receive the ball.

Perimeter screens

Perimeter screens are highlighted in a quick game offense.

Perimeter screens can allow for big-play opportunities against man coverage. A wide receiver in motion is common and becomes an extra blocker with two wide receivers already on one side. The receiver that catches the screen then has two blockers 2-5 yards in front of him. This play also opens up for a one-on-one slant to the slot, or two slants against man coverage on the field side.

Slugo

Slugo is a slant and go. This is where the quarterback understands man and zone coverage principles and can take advantage of a screen versus zone, and slants against man coverage. Sarkisian can disguise this in empty sets and in 20-personnel.

Attacking tight box coverage

Sarkisian understands how to attack when linebackers play tight in the box to get their run fit.

When this happens, 3×1 hitches can occur along with shotgun play-action to the X-receiver in 10-personnel. If the quarterback cannot read the cornerback, then he will simply hand the ball off to the running back.

Within the red zone, it is common to see an inside fade route. Pro-style sets in 12-personnel are a staple while throwing a fade into the end zone against press coverage, maintaining pro-style principles to apply within Sarkisian’s offense.


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