Where Are We On Read Option?

dcmissle

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Arians says it goes the way of the option of two generations ago (which was really never tried in the NFL, for reasons related to the below) and the "Wildcat". 
 
 
“The defensive coordinators in this league are too good. I think once they went and studied it . . . it’s still a great offense, a great college offense, when you put a great athlete back there,” Arians said, via PhillyMag.com. “But when you’re facing great athletes with the the speed that’s in the NFL and they’re chasing these guys, unless you’re superhuman, you’re gonna get hurt sooner or later. Or not hurt, but beat up and bruised up. You don’t want your quarterback feeling bruised up when he’s trying to throw and be accurate.”
 
 
 
Thoughts?
 

Super Nomario

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It's definitely not as effective as it was last year. On the other hand, the three best rushing offenses in football by YPC are Washington, Philadelphia, and Oakland, who all use the read option in varying degrees.
 
Danny Kelly has a breakdown on the read option this year, basically arguing that it's still effective (down from 6.2 YPC to 4.7, but 4.7 is still good) and its use has actually increased, from 1.3% of plays to 3.7:
http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2013/11/26/5143258/read-option-plays-scheme-2013-eagles-49ers-seahawks-panthers
 
He makes an important point that I agree with:
 
At the NFL level, the read option is, and always will be, just a changeup. A knuckleball, screwball, slider, or a cut fastball, if you will. Just pick a lesser-used pitch for this metaphor. That's the read option. It is not one of your top two pitches.
 
Every team that uses the read option has a base identity to its offense that is not related to the read option -- the Niners and Panthers are power run teams. The Seahawks are oriented around a zone blocking scheme and a play-action passing game, and you could probably lump the rest of the read option teams in some traditional fuddy duddy category.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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I agree.  The read option in its most basic form, the fundamental play, is the QB reading the D end and either handing off or keeping it based on whether the end crashes down to chase the RB. For it to work properly it has to be based on that read, and therefore the offensive coaches can't control how many hits the QB takes. If the D end crashes consistently, the QB takes hit after hit from OLB/Safety/Corner, and that doesn't bode well for a 16-20 game season if you want to go deep in the playoffs.  That plus those defenders are much faster in the pros, which closes the advantage the QB has if he keeps and finds some open field.
 
The most successful read option QB in my opinion, as far as running out of that play, was Pat White while at WVU.  He couldn't make it through a college season with college style hits. So I agree, it just takes its toll.  
 
Ironically, the one guy that can probably take the pounding due to his body type is Tebow, but I don't see anyone setting up their offense for him and giving him a go at that for a full season.   Even then you'd have to instruct him to get what is there and then slide to minimize the damage for 16+.
 

Super Nomario

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dcmissle said:
Arians says it goes the way of the option of two generations ago (which was really never tried in the NFL, for reasons related to the below) and the "Wildcat". 
 
"You don’t want your quarterback feeling bruised up when he’s trying to throw and be accurate."
 
 
Thoughts?
Also, this is a weird criticism for Arians in particular to make, since most of his career he's run offenses that involve QBs throwing deep a lot behind suspect O-lines and getting hammered. No one got hit more than Luck last year, in large part because he led the league in deep throws behind a line that was 4/5 garbage.
 

Wade Boggs Hair

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I'm not enough of a football student to know whether to attribute this to luck, SSS, the read option, or Chip Kelly, but Nick Foles is #1 in DVOA% (per play) and LeSean McCoy is #1 in DYAR (gross)/#6 in DVOA% (per play).