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Defenses are obsessed with stopping the read option


The 2013 offseason already has a theme.

Stop the read option.

We’ve heard it from coaches and from General Managers. Defensive coordinators are pissed about the ability of quarterbacks to play a Jedi mind trick by simply putting the ball in the stomach of the tailback and then making a decision as to whether to let it go or take it back based on the movement of the defenders.

And so substantial time and effort is being devoted to cracking the code of game tape generated by players like Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, and Robert Griffin III.

Ron Jaworski of ESPN echoed this reality in a segment with 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia.

“I’ve probably spoke to 20 scouts today [at the West Virginia Pro Day workout] and what everyone is doing right now is preparing to stop this read option this whole offseason,” Jaworski said. “Either the QB is going to get crushed or someone is going to stop it. I think it’s going to be a combination of both.”

He added that Eagles coach Chip Kelly will not be able to run his Oregon offense at the NFL level. “Categorically, it will not work,” Jaworski said.

The challenge for teams using the read option will be to predict what defenses will do to stop it, and then to take advantage of the openings that will emerge. Unless they add more players on defense, adjusting to stop one specific type of attack will create vulnerabilities elsewhere.