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Steve Smith knocks the read option...


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#157 chris999

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:23 PM

Anyone else notice out version of it was so much slower than WAS or SF


True, but Cam is stronger than those guys, and breaks more tackles. Plus he is much better in short yardage situations.

#158 Razeyfingers

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:27 PM

I just charted three of our games with a stopwatch. Surprisingly even for me, the RB was actually quicker to the line of scrimmage and through the hole on read option plays than he was with runs from under center.

When we ran the read option the RB got to the hole faster both in zone blocking plays and dive plays that when we ran similar blocking plays from under center.

Zone blocking read option plays averaged about 2.33 seconds to get through the hole.

Zone blocking run plays from under center averaged 2.51 seconds through the hole.

DIve read option plays took on average 1.40 seconds through the hole

Dive runs from under center on average 2.04 seconds through the hole

My methodology was to time each run play at a minimum three times to try and eliminate human error as much as possible. If there was a large discrepancy between times I would time it for a fourth time and possibly a fifth if the times until it seemed consistent. I also discarded unusual plays. For instance if Deangelo cut all the way to the backside, all of those instances happened on under center plays and all of them, obviously, had very large times and were not useful for what i was trying to determine. I took all of the times and averaged them and then compared like kind running plays from under center and in the read option.

My hypothesis was that there would be no discernible difference between the two. In fact what I discovered was that almost universally the read option plays were faster to the hole and the line of scrimmage than their like kind running plays from under center (i.e. zone blocking, power blocking, etc.)

I thought what you said was interesting so I tried to put it to the test to see if you were right. Honestly, I was surprised that the read option plays were actually faster than under center running plays. There was no evidence of it being slower to develop, or that it was effecting the RB speed to the hole.

Just food for thought.


Wow, Im stunned to hear thats what you found. The only variable left is positioning then, space, I think. Im brain dead after work today. Got lots to think about, thanks.

#159 teeray

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:28 PM

Wow, Im stunned to hear thats what you found. The only variable left is positioning then, space, I think. Im brain dead after work today. Got lots to think about, thanks.


Not sure exactly what you mean by positioning, however, when I was looking through the times I was wondering why the dive plays were so much faster in the read option than with the QB under center. I thought the times would be pretty close

I can't say for certain, but I believe it is because when we were running the dive plays on the option, the RB is already on that side. He is beside the QB and about 1-1.5 yards on the frontside. So it is a shorter distance to the gap than if he were directly behind the QB like he would be if the QB was under center.

But then that doesn't explain why the zone read option was also a little bit faster than a zone blocking run from under center. On a zone read (from the formation we run it from) the RB runs across the front of the QB, so he is actually farther away from his primary gap than he would be if he were directly behind the QB.

I can't quantify this, but here is why I think the read option was faster for the RB. As I have said a couple of times, when the QB is reading the defense, the RB is actually responsible for the exchange. So the RB actually has to locate the ball, get it, and after all of that look at the defense and look for daylight.

However, in a regular run play from under center. The QB is responsible for the exchange. So the RB is looking and reading the defense as soon as the play starts and the QB is responsible for putting the ball in the RB's gut.

So for the RB, there is actually a lot more for him to process mentally before he gets the ball in a regular run play from under center, than in a read option, where the QB is reading the defense for him and the RB is focused on the exchange and then running straight for his gap.

That is just my theory. I don't have the patience or time to study every team, and how this compares to other NFL teams who run the read option and college teams who use it frequently.

I also should note that the 3 games I charted were our last 3 games where we ran the read option considerably more effectively than we did at the beginning of the year.