Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald sounds off on issues with RPO offenses in college football

The rise of run-pass option (RPO) offenses began about a decade ago in college football, became commonplace in the middle of the decade and found their way to the NFL last season, when Nick Foles and the Eagles used it to win the Super Bowl. During this time, many college football coaches -- primarily defensive-minded coaches like Alabama's Nick Saban -- have spoken out against them.

Add Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald to that group.

During his weekly press briefing, he called RPO football: "the purist form of communism."

Yes, that's a bit extreme since offensive schemes have nothing to do with communism. But Fitzgerald -- a former linebacker -- was clearly joking. All jokes aside, though, Fitzgerald went on to explain why he is against RPOs and also why, despite his objections, he's going to do whatever he can to lead his team to success.

"It's the most en vogue change, I think, in football," he said. "If you're a purist of football, it's not the game. It's not. People downfield blocking, and the ball being thrown, should be illegal. But, as a defensive head coach with a defensive background, we will absolutely, 100 percent take full advantage -- within the framework of the rules -- that are given to us. So ... RPO forever!"

Northwestern will host Akron Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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