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Luke Cage

Interesting article about the long term viability of the 'read option'

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Don't think this has been posted, and with all the drama surrounding our continued use of the 'read option' I figured I would post this. The article is extremely well written and long. And I tend to agree with the author's premise that the read option is here to stay; mainly because colleges are now producing qb's who are elite passers and elite runners and because it is much more versatile (less obvious) than it's predecessor the 'wildcat'. I have included some of the more relevant stuff because like I said the article is long but definitely worth the read because of the author's in depth analysis of the chess game nature of offense vs defense and the way even the threat of a read option forces the defense into vulnerable situations.

http://www.sbnation....-russell-wilson

"The single wing type stuff is going to become more and more the norm of the future (in the NFL). Over the next 10 or 15 years, it's going to evolve because the runner-thrower is the kind of quarterback that the college game is producing now. There are only so many plays in football; all we're doing is finding different ways to run them all. But there's no escaping the fact that high school and college football are developing a different type of athlete. Pretty soon -- I don't know how long, but pretty soon -- somebody is going to find an athlete who can run and throw and just take the conventional quarterback off the field." (Chan Gailey circa 2010)

"When you put a quarterback under center, you lose a blocker, you lose a gap, offensively. You basically play with 10 men on offense. But when the quarterback is one of the runners, whether it's single-wing or veer or wishbone, the defense runs out of people to defend you." (Bill Belichick
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Defending the read option (the scrape exchange):

How do you counter a system that had so much success in 2012? Well, teams do a number of things. One popular rebuttal to the read-option at the college level that has made its way to the pros is the "scrape exchange." The basic idea for the "scrape exchange," quoting fellow Field Gulls writer Jacob Stevens and his excellent post on defending the zone read option, stipulates that "the defensive end always crashes down the line on the run. Inside zone, outside zone, doesn't matter. That typically forces the QB to keep the ball and take the counter. So the backside linebacker "scrapes over" to cover the ground the end vacates, to stop the QB."

scrapeexchange1.gif

As the author points out this doesn't always work because the offense can adjust even further. I want to hear what resident football gurus like Mr. Scott think of this guys argument.

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Nice find. Also interesting is the discussion about how it may affect the draft.

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I have no doubt that the read option is here to stay. The big debate is over how much will it be used by teams. Given its nature (and the way defenses adapt) I don't see it as a primary offense. It will be something that you run 5-10 times a game if you have the QB to run it.

Sprinkling it in, along with the threat that it will be run will keep defenses guessing.

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Read option is definitely here to stay....reason is simple. The athletes are now playing QB in middle school, high school and college. That change is finally trickling up to the NFL.

Only way the variations of read options being incorporated into NFL offenses becomes a fad....is if the high schools and colleges change back....and they won't.

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I have no doubt that the read option is here to stay. The big debate is over how much will it be used by teams. Given its nature (and the way defenses adapt) I don't see it as a primary offense. It will be something that you run 5-10 times a game if you have the QB to run it.

Sprinkling it in, along with the threat that it will be run will keep defenses guessing.

Defenses will never stop it....it puts them at a disadvantage like Belichick said.

Like Shanahan said, if you do anything to much....it works against you.

Two great coaches who get it. Only thing Shanahan doesn't get yet is his QB isn't built to run it as much as others

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Like being in high school all over again... The technique the author's trying to describe where the end squares up is called slow-playing, and that's the exact intent - delay the QB's decision to allow the rest of the defense time to react and get in position. And discipline is the reason that no team can defend a well-executed option 100% of the time - ends and LBs are bound to make a bad decision from time to time, which is why slow-playing is usually a defense of choice. Carolina's issues early in the year were with a complete lack of surprise, due to it seemingly being the "base", and a lack of blocking execution.

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The "scrape exchange" was one of the earlier defenses employed, but the quick fix for offenses against this is simply adding a TE to whichever side the crashing DE is playing from or whichever side the play is called for.

The better defensive play is to simply stand up the DE and let him react to the QB and essentially spy him rather than giving it up for a linebacker cheating toward the line of scrimmage. That leaves a huge hole in the zone for a slant or the RB just leaking into the open area.

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