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A quick comment on the "read option"

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by patfanken, Jan 13, 2013.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    #91 Jersey

    I am loathe to bring this topic up before we dispose of the Texans and Ravens. But with the success of Kaepernick, RGIII, and Wilson, this is going to be a growing topic. "New age QB", ""a fundamental change in the game itself". These are the things we are going to here a lot of over the next few weeks.

    However I think this fascination with the "read option" is going to have the life span of the Bears 4-6 defense of 1985 (which was about 2 years), or the "Wildcat" offense. When I was coaching HS back in the 70's and 80's, everyone ran some kind of option. There was the belly option, the Houston veer, the Texas wishbone, etc etc. Read options aren't new. HIGH SCHOOLS were running them 35 years ago.

    So it got me to think about how you would stop what SF did to the Packers last night. As a disclaimer I should mention, I spent about 5 minutes thinking about it, which only confirms to me that football minds infinitely wiser than me, spending a full off season, FULL TIME, tinkering with way to stop the read option, could actually do so much better.

    That said, in my full 5 minutes of thinking about it the ultimate answer became crystal clear. Hit the damned QB.....EVERY time, whether he has the ball or not. I mean really drill him (legally) Its was the fundamenta;l rule of defending the option (regardless of the type) that every coach taught.

    Believe me. When the first goal of every NFL franchise is to finally find a legitimate QB, you do not want to expose the 10-20MM/yr investment to 5-10 brutal hits by 260 lb well trained superior athletes every game. He isn't going to last that kind of abuse. Coming out of the mesh point the QB is virtually defenseless whether he has the ball or not.

    So while THIS year, the possible threat of a Wilson or Kaepernick is real, and is compounded by their throwing abilities; I don't see the "read" option becoming a long term change to NFL football.

    JMHO
  2. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #51 Jersey

    There was a good segment on NFL Network only a little while ago where the presenters zeroed in on the Patriots defending Tim Tebow last season. From memory it was Ninkovich's role to defend Tebow and only Tebow. Every time he had the ball, it was his job to hit Tebow. It was an interesting segment and one which could easily support your opinion.
  3. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    #12 Jersey

    Thanks for this, Ken. I wondered the same thing last night and I came to conclusion (as someone who is not a coach in the slightest) that either the QB or the RB or both needs to be hit every time. I thought about BB's 2001 SB gameplan (hit Marshall Faulk when he has the ball and when he doesn't). Then I wondered about all the flags that would be thrown in this day and age. Finally, I concluded that I don't really know what I'm talking about, so I went to bed.
  4. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    Thanks ausie. I know BB would chide me from thinking beyond the "next game", but I know its going to be a big topic in all the talk leading up to 4:30, and its a long time before the damned game finally gets going, so I though this topic might kill some time. :)
  5. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

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    Yeah I brought this up in the game thread.

    These read options only work cause in HS and college your QB isn't a 20 million investment and defenders don't hit as hard.

    When Kaep gets rocked by Patrick Chung (flag or not) he's gonna be a step slower and all spooked.
  6. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Idk, Kaepernick and Wilson play pretty safe in the option, running out of bounds and diving instead of fighting for extra yards. Wilson also benefits from having a RB build, 5'10 and 205 pounds, he can take some hits. Kaepernick is a big dude at 6'4 230 pounds too.

    It's people like RGIII and Vick you fear running it with. Both skinny/lanky types that play crazy, never diving at all.
  7. Wretch

    Wretch Rookie

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    I think RG3's season this year tells both sides of the story. The option is difficult to defend if you have a good athlete at the QB position but the option exposes the QB to more hits than a traditional pocket QB. The damage from those hit will accumulate over time and the QB's season and eventually career will be put in jeopardy, see Michael Vick. This is especially with the emphasis on not allowing concussed players back on the field.

    Randal Cunningham was RG3 before RG3 and he had to learn how to be a better QB not just a running QB after injuries starting taking their toll. His statistically best year was 1998 after he had a major knee injury and his mobility was more limited.

    Randall Cunningham NFL Football Statistics - Pro-Football-Reference.com

    That team was pretty stacked on offense with Moss, Carter at WR and Smith at RB.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  8. blackglass3

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    #12 Jersey

    I remember back to Mike Vick and Vince Young (it might have happened in the 80's with people too but I don't remember back that far I was too young). Those two were supposed to be the "New" NFL QB's that could run or throw. I don't lump McNabb or Culpepper in with them because they were more passers who COULD run, but weren't known for it like Vick and Young. Anyway, what happened with each of them was their teams tried to turn them into classic passers which kind of took away the run threat, and neither of them were accurate enough to be a traditional NFL QB.

    The difference now is that teams are embracing using these guys to their full advantage, and all 3 seems to be able to throw the ball really well. RGIII and Wilson are honest to God legit dual threats (Kaepernick probably also is but I haven't watched enough of him yet to know). If Shanahan tried to make RGIII the next Peyton Manning would it work? Probably not.

    So, what made teams FINALLY realize that using a guys strengths is better than trying to fit a square peg into a round hole? Was it the way Tebow flourished last year in Denver, which is the first time I remember a team really embracing a QB that can run? Is it just innovative people and different mentalities over what the norm was in the NFL for so long?
  9. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    Now, it should be noted that the majority of that yardage Kaepernick chewed up last night didn't come on read-option runs. He was simply tucking and running when the defensive backs were 30 yards downfield in man coverage, and there was no semblance of containment. There were a few times even Brady could have rumbled 10 yards - and that's saying something.
  10. randomk1

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    #12 Jersey

    You make these bums beat you with their arm.

    Currently these read option QBs are backed up by some strong running games and Ds.

    I wanna see these weak sisters carry an entire team like Brady does.
  11. Dragda

    Dragda Yes, it's really me... PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #93 Jersey

    the read option isn't anything new. Just like the wildcat is just an awakening of the single wing from football's past.

    Better college defenses are beating the read option by tackling the QB first then playing the runner just like you would any halfback. It will be used here and there, but it won't be a mainstay. Teams just need to do a better job of practicing against it.

    You beat these run option defenses with what made them disappear before most of our lifetimes: run stopping fronts such as the double eagle. We are seeing this in college now with success.

    I think we should practice defending the wing T just to be safe. :)

    The only option style offense that was *never* shut down and made obsolete was the wishbone. It simply fell out of favor over time. I don't see it coming back anytime soon.
  12. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Bruschi was a great spy wasn't he .... :D:D:D
  13. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    You make a good point here. There has to be a clear distinction made between QB's that run the ball and QB's that run the "read option".

    I know Don Capers has a good reputation as a defensive coach, but it was clear early on, that the Packers weren't well prepared for either the read option or containing the QB.
  14. Bella*chick

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    #12 Jersey

    Also, it should be noted that while RG3 certainly does show the good and bad of this style, he actually wasn't injured either time (concussion or knee) from read option plays. Just basic scrambles trying to get a few more yards. He would have preserved himself a lot more just by sliding or running out of bounds more like Kaepernick does.
  15. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Rookie

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    #32 Jersey

    Its interesting to contrast the playing styles and expectations of these players. Kaepernick is on a successful team, with IMO the best defense in football (and that opinion is hardly unique). They need him to play within himself, not make mistakes, give them the best opportunity to win. Its easy for him to go out of bounds and live and fight another day.

    On the other hand, from day one RG3 has been looked to as a leader, savior, franchise player, etc. An unintended result of that is that he feels pressure to "do everything" to make the team win. Stretching out for extra yards, etc. After all, he has to inspire the team and the fans, and despite being a dozen games into his NFL career, he feels all the pressure when the team isn't successful. Why do you think he'd come back into the game and try to play again?

    Griffin is an admirable player, on and off the field. But he needs to resist the pressure to perform now and adopt a Kaepernickan (har har) approach to the game. You don't have to prove you're mature or tough or a team player, get out of bounds.
  16. BradyBranch39

    BradyBranch39 Rookie

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    Yeah, I'm 90% sure this is correct. As usual, BB knew more about defense last year than most teams do this year.
  17. jmg17

    jmg17 Rookie

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    From a true layman's perspective these "new" offences are only effective when they're on the field :)

    Ball possession, chewing up the clock and scoring the football has always thwarted the opponents offense new, old or in between.

    HS and college style offense is cool until your running QB takes 230 pound professorial shoulder to the ribs. Then all you have is a crappy offense.
  18. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Before the game began I figured Green Bay would have somebody, probably a safety (for speed purposes), who had the responsibility of being a spy on Kaepernick. Teams used to do this against Michael Vick, and it was usually effective.

    As the game progressed I figured the Packers would make an in-game adjustment, and dedicate one player to that role. I'm surprised Green bay never did that.


    Back to PatFanKen's original post: I believe we will see a fair number of college defensive coordinators added as position coaches in the NFL, to bring their expertise in defending against these type of quarterbacks and offensive schemes. It's not needed in the AFC East, but in divisions like the NFC West for example, with both Kaepernick and Wilson, it would make sense for the Rams and Cardinals to have someone with that knowledge and experience on their staff.
  19. hwc

    hwc Rookie

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    Years ago, Belichick made exactly this point about the read option in the NFL. The way to stop it is to hit the QB on every play, whether he keeps the ball or hands it off. Belichick's belief is that running the option as a steady offense in the NFL will get your QB killed. He might be able to withstand getting hit by college players time after time, but not by players as big and strong as NFL linebackers.

    Thinking about the Packers defense last night... We all like to complain that the Pats edge rushers never get to the QB. But, maybe part of that is that they have the discipline to maintain contain. Many of the big runs last night came as Packers rushers came hell bent for leather at the QB with no regard whatsoever to containing him in the pocket. A little slower more disciplined pass rush probably would have helped the Packers.
  20. Nehalem

    Nehalem Rookie

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    Its easy to have the statistically best season when you are throwing to Moss.

    The last 2 teams to set the record for most points scored ('98 Vikings and '07 Patriots) both had Moss. I do not think this is a coincidence.
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