Play Action Pop Pass Instructional
The simple “pop” pass play remains effective today, and is making its way into spread offenses that use the read game. Teams are using it as a packaged run-pass option with the quarterback making his decision to give the run or throw the pass based on a post-snap read on the linebacker. They are also calling it as a pass to complement the power read/inverted veer and zone read plays.
The play allows for a big run after catch opportunities because the run action creates big voids in the defense.
The pop pass can be thrown to a receiver on the front side of the play or in other words the side to which the run is going. In general, this is most effective against defenses in which linebackers are flowing downhill to defend the run. Downhill defenders open a hole in the defense over themselves but under the safety. Against linebackers who are flowing laterally, a backside pop pass may be most effective, as they are vacating the area into which a backside receiver is running.
One of the keys to implementing the pop pass into an offense is utilizing formations that create a weakness in the defense either by alignment, by run fit reaction, or both. In the following examples, the defense presents a weakness that is attacked by the “pop” pass.
Play Action “Pop” off of the Power Read
One of the points emphasized in coaching this play is patience for the receiver in finding the hole in the defense. Receivers should not run at top speed on the snap of the ball. Depending on the run action and which side it is going to, the void may actually move toward the receiver or tight end. Running through the void at top speed may create a situation where the receiver is running himself into coverage. He needs to be in the hole in the defense. After the catch he can run as fast as he can.
The quarterback also needs to be patient in executing his fake, and the running backs has to sell the run as well. On the power read play-action, the quarterback must slide at least two steps while he reads the linebackers to see where the passing lane will be. The video walk through below explains some key coaching points in this simple yet effective play.
The Power Read is not a new concept. It has become a staple in offenses that utilize and athletic quarterback to stress the defense in multiple ways. The Power Read gives a play that stretches a defense horizontally and puts a defender in conflict with a decision by the quarterback to pull or keep. It would seem that this play could be utilized by any team running power because the blocking sch...