Northwestern is coming off of a 28-7 loss to Duke to fall to 1-1 on the season. Tensions are high in Wildcat land after a miserable offensive performance against the Blue Devils.
For Pat Fitzgerald, the longtime coach at Northwestern, the frustrations of last week and preparations for this weekend’s upcoming game against Akron have given him time to craft some serious takes about the state of football in 2018. Now, this isn’t a Larry Fedora-esque rant about the wussification of America, but more about how a particular offensive innovation is threatening the sanctity of the fine institution of football.
Yes, we’re talking about run-pass options, aka RPOs. You know them as the thing Cris Collinsworth mentions about a dozen times a game and that many announcers, like his partner Al Michaels, still haven’t figured out the difference between them and just a normal play-action pass. RPOs have absolutely changed the game of football, with offensive coaches loving them and defensive coaches despising them. Fitzgerald is a defensive guy and he’s got some real strong feelings about how RPOs are “the purest form of communism” and how they aren’t football plays.