INDIANAPOLIS — Through read-option offensive schemes have been used in the NFL with success for at least the last decade, 2012 was the year that the general idea really took off. Between Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, and Russell Wilson (and let’s not forget that Cam Newton guy), defenses are learning more and more that they’ll be adjusting to quarterbacks being elusive in designed run packages more than ever before The difference now, with quarterbacks like the ones named above, is that they have the pure throwing ability to take these concepts far above mere gimmick status. And that’s very much on the minds of the coaches and executives at this week’s scouting combine. “It obviously has been successful, where it will go and how successful it will be, I can’t say,” said Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert. “Systems come and go, and the success of a system will dictate changes defensively. It may fade away, it may not, you can’t really trend where it will stick. All I know is, it was successful this year. If we have to play a team that utilizes that system, we have to be prepared for it. But you don’t necessarily draft, at least we won’t, to play a particular scheme. But that’s a question a lot of teams will have to answer internally — how, if at all, will these “newfangled” (or at least newly successful) ideas inform the defensive player evaluation processes? We’ve seen a definite trend toward faster and lighter linebackers in the last few draft classes, and that change is hanging over to the defensive end classes, as well. New San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, who wowed everyone in the league when he created an effective offensive template for Tim Tebow in 2011 as the Denver Broncos’ offensive coordinator, obviously leads the NFL in belief about the college-to-pro transition for option concepts. More than most, he’s seen it work — and qith a quarterback few would mistake for a pure thrower. “I think without a doubt, the success the players had last year running it, there’s a lot to be said about it,” McCoy said. “It creates a lot of problems for the defense. It’s not something they see every day in practice. The teams that don’t have those type of players, it causes them some issues on Sundays. You got to play disciplined football. As we did two years ago, if you get out of place, the guy reads it the wrong way, that’s when you saw Tim make some big runs. Or they overplay Tim, and you [would see running back] Willis McGahee going for 20 yards inside. The way guys are playing it right now, it’s going to cause some headaches for some time to come. But new Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, who will benefit extensively from his own quarterback’s mobility, put the issue where it really has to be — if all your guy does is run around, he’s going to be extinguished pretty quickly.
Most recent posts
- Amendola among 9 new receivers on Pats roster (The Associated Press)
- Harris Aims To Fend Off Rodgers-Cromartie
- Harris aims to fend off Rodgers-Cromartie (The Associated Press)
- The Time for the Broncos to Sign Charles Woodson is Now (Yahoo! Contributor Network)
- AFC West links: Woodson to visit Raiders