With the new rule that QBs can be hit when running the read-option as if they were running backs, is this the beginning of the end? There's no question that teams are running the read-option less to begin this season than they did last season, and when they are running the read option they are often running it very differently. We saw yesterday the Panthers' plans to keep the "read-option" in the playbook...read-option being quoted because there didn't appear to be anything but the illusion of an option as Cam handed the ball to Deangelo Williams time and time again despite the defense clearly keying on Williams and not respecting Cam's run ability. Admittedly, I was naive enough to hope that Shula was baiting the Bills the whole game for the perfect time and situation to have Cam keep the ball and run for a big first down...3rd and 6 with a 1:40 left in the game and a 3 point lead in Bills territory might count. But alas, we never capitalized on the Bills' defense swarming to Deangelo.
I think we are hearing the death rattle of the read-option. Teams don't want to risk their franchise QB getting injured and the new rule all but guarantees the QB will be hit, and hit hard. To be honest, I'm fine with it since I prefer my QB upright, but I wonder what the point of running the read-option was for us yesterday? It was clear that Cam was told not to keep the ball himself, so if there is actually not an option what is the point of running the play as if it is an option as opposed to just a normal run play? It didn't seem to be too effective.