Monday, August 26, 2013

Is the Read Option Really an Option?

There has been a new wave of quarterback in the NFL that aren't your typical Peyton Manning type. Their level of athleticism is off the charts they're almost as fast as running backs and have cannons on their shoulder. The biggest change these athletic guys bring to the game is the change in offense. The coaching staff has to change the offensive strategy of the team. Just like how the West Coast offense changed the game the Read Option (aka the Pistol offense) is doing the same. The read option has been around for a while at the collegiate level. The read option hasn't been able to gain any traction in the NFL, but recently with Tim Tebow, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin the 3rd (RG3), and Colin Kaepernick among other quarterbacks they have been able to show that the read option can be a successful system in the NFL.

The biggest reason the read option hasn't been able to get into the NFL is because after the quarterback makes the initial read and decides whether he wants to throw the ball or run with the ball the quarterback tends to leave himself open to getting hit by the defense and no one wants to have a sitting duck of a quarterback. RG3 has that problem. Whether it was run or pass RG3 found a way to get hit unnecessarily by the defense which lead to RG3 needing to repair his knee and question whether his coach used him properly. Kaepernick and Wilson have been able to avoid injuries by sliding and backing off as soon as they hand the ball off something RG3 needs to learn to do with much more effectiveness if he wants to succeed in the NFL.

Personally, I don't think pocket quarterbacks have anything to worry about because it's only a handful of teams that have been able to hit the lottery and get these kind of quarterbacks. RG3, Wilson, and Kaepernick don't grow on trees so the West coast offense will still be utilized by many teams which still use guys like Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, and Jay Cutler under center. The read option demands a very athletic and strong quarterback who can take a few hits and as these guys go the fad will fade with every failure. 

In the "monkey see monkey do" way that sports goes now most teams have at least one quarterback who can try to mimic the intricacies if the read option. Whether it can be someone that the defense can practice against or maybe the team is trying to shift its offensive prospective best believe a "mobile" quarterback is going to be invited to camp to see if they can get their own Wilson, Kaepernick, or RG3. 

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