The Will Stein Oregon Offense: Double Slants/Spot Concept

Coach Eric Boles Analysis

Throughout the off-season, we’ve taken a look at a handful of run/RPO plays that newly appointed offensive coordinator Will Stein could implement with the Oregon Ducks. Here we’re going to take a look at the drop back passing game. Coach Stein likes to utilize dual concepts in the same play; one to attack man coverage and the other to attack zone. The concept pairing in the following play is Double Slants/Spot.

Double Slants/Spot Combo

The spot concept, to the left side of the formation above, is used to strike zone coverage. I will say that this is not the traditional way to run spot, as typically the tight end here would run the corner and the outside receiver would run a spot route which is much more like a slant and hitch. The “spot” would be looking for a spot to settle in-between zones.

In this variation, the hitch acts as more of a way to further isolate the flat defender by occupying the next inside defender; the flat is the area that the running back is running to in the diagram above. If the hitch is open, great, but from here the quarterback can read the flat defender stuck in a hi-lo. If that defender drops to cover the corner route, the RB’s flat route should be wide-open. If that defender stays shallow, the corner will open right behind him.

To the right side of the formation is the double slants concept. The double slants work great against man coverage, and the read for the QB is extremely simple. Both the slot and the outside receiver run slant routes, and the QB reads the defender covering the slot. If the defender gets inside the route, the QB throws the ball to the outside receiver. If the slot gains inside leverage against the defender, he will get the ball.

In the clip above, the QB determines that the defense is in a man coverage look and decides that the double slants side of the play is the way to go. A couple things happen here that gives the slot receiver all of the space that he winds up with. The slot gains inside leverage on the defender, and the defender trips. Those two things combined result in major yardage and a score.

All of this is not to say that either of these concepts don’t work against the other coverage. They do, they’re just “beaters” of the coverages above. And this is just one of the passing plays in Coach Stein’s offense that’ll allow the Ducks to attack defenses no matter which coverage they present.

Coach Eric Boles
Newark, Ohio
Top Photo Credit: Eugene Johnson

Phil Anderson, the Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.

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