What is an RPO offense and how will Bryce Young fit with the Carolina Panthers?

Bryce Young
Bryce Young / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Examining the RPO offense and how quarterback Bryce Young can fit within the Carolina Panthers' scheme implemented by Frank Reich and Thomas Brown.

There are varying degrees of fandom when it comes to sports and specific sports teams. In its simplest, most rudimentary form, being a fan just means you like a certain team, and you root for them to win their games.

As the tiers of fandom progress upward toward the highest levels of intricacy, fans have a deep knowledge of a team’s history, current roster, stylistic tendencies, etc. But there are times when fans can be introduced to new ideas and wrinkles within the team that they love, complicating opinions and inadvertently altering optimism.

I’ve seen this scenario unfold during this offseason and the entire pre-draft process, centering around the future quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. Much of that continued confusion stems from just three letters.


When head coach Frank Reich was introduced and spoke during his first press conference, he let it be known right then that the Panthers would continue to put emphasis on the run game, while also addressing the issues that the passing game had been plagued by.

"We'll get the pass game right. I know we can run the football and we're going to run the football. That just builds off play-action, off the RPO stuff, all the movement stuff. Offensively, what you're always trying to do is to create conflict in the defender. "

Frank Reich via Sports Illustrated

This was a belief that Reich had even prior to compiling his superb offensive coaching staff. Thomas Brown was hired from the Los Angeles Rams to become the offensive coordinator and he brought with him a level of expertise in the run game.

So, what might fans need to understand about the offense that the Panthers are going to be rolling out this season? What is an RPO system? What is it not? Let’s start there.