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Willis McGahee has warmed up the read-option attack

Willis McGahee, Darryl Blackstock AP

Willis McGahee was skeptical of Denver’s “read-option” plays initially. This is the NFL. That’s college football stuff.

Could it work?

“At the beginning, I wasn’t too happy with the read option because it really wasn’t doing anything until I learned to run it,” McGahee said via the Denver Post.

Consider his mind changed. McGahee made an adjustment to his footwork and found results against the Raiders. Denver actually didn’t use the play that much until late in the game, but they had a number of big plays come from it.

I charted the game last night. Tim Tebow ran the ball out of the formation three times for 68 yards. Less than half of McGahee’s runs were out of the formation.

McGahee didn’t go crazy running the play early, but had his 60-yard score, his 24-yard touchdown, and another 17-yard run out of the formation late in the game.

“When I realized it was working, I kind of got back in love with the read option,” McGahee said.

ESPN’s Trent Dilfer, who will be a guest on PFT Live Wednesday, pointed out that the Raiders defensive ends, linebackers, and safeties were wildly undisciplined on defense.  His word was “TERRIBLE.”  It reminded me of the Patriots defense when they first saw the Wildcat against Miami in 2008.

The Chiefs defense figures to be better prepared for the attack this week.

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21 Responses to “Willis McGahee has warmed up the read-option attack”
  1. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Nov 9, 2011 8:55 AM

    An NFL running back who loves scoring touchdowns? SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!!

  2. revrondog says: Nov 9, 2011 8:57 AM

    If the Chiefs let Reggie Bush run all over them, McGahee and Tebow are going to have a career day.

  3. jarportfolio says: Nov 9, 2011 9:00 AM

    Willis “The Vulture” McGahee = MVP!

  4. uniballout says: Nov 9, 2011 9:02 AM

    Gimmick plays and offensive schemes will work for a bit to cover the flaws of a QB (see Wildcat). But eventually you need a QB who can, at the very least, throw a tight spiral. Tebow can’t. So the read option may get a few wins, but longterm it is doomed.

  5. nesportsfan0428 says: Nov 9, 2011 9:02 AM

    I’d love it too if I ran all over the field with a broken hand.

  6. primevikingsguy says: Nov 9, 2011 9:04 AM

    What does Trent Dilfer know about Defense? Dilfer is a worthless analyst who was the only Super Bowl Quarterback to not be resigned after their team won the Super Bowl. He better be thanking the Baltimore Defense every single moment of this life for giving him a super bowl ring.

  7. raiderlyfe510 says: Nov 9, 2011 9:08 AM

    Some of our defensive players are dumber than a bag of bricks when it comes to functional football intelligence…that wont work against most teams.

    Tebow killed the Raiders last year. It took two big play by our FB and Ford to win that game.

  8. tatum064 says: Nov 9, 2011 9:20 AM


    Had the Raiders ran the “TACKLE THE RB” option, this wouldnt have been even been a game…

    or the Carson Palmer “not throw the pick” option or the Raiders use the “not allow the punt return for a TD” option

    etc., etc. Look where the Wildcat got the Dolphins.

    at any rate, an inspiring win in another lackluster division. God forbid the Raiders play defense like the Niners…this race would be over already.

  9. greenpacker says: Nov 9, 2011 9:21 AM

    willis mcgahee=thomas “motherfalcon” jones on a vegan, whole foods diet. (meaning fewer raw falcon eggs)

  10. klunge says: Nov 9, 2011 9:22 AM

    And when Willis realizes he isn’t going to post a stat line like that again, the honeymoon will be over.

  11. Southpaw says: Nov 9, 2011 9:23 AM

    Man I miss this dude in Baltimore. Not too terribly because Ray Rice is a monster, and Ricky has filled his shoes adequately… but this man has the meanest stiffarm I’ve ever seen in my life.

  12. broncobourque says: Nov 9, 2011 9:28 AM

    Playing defense against the spread option requires discipline, espeicially from your front 7. NFL players should be better at defending it than college players but the same can be said for a regular spread or most other offenses. There is also the fact that unlike a traditional option offense, the spread option gives you a lot of passing options and puts more athletes in space to make plays.

    As I said the other day in a related thread, nobody has ever trully given a spread option a chance and stuck with it in the NFL. People say it can’t work but they also used to say that same thing about regular spread offenses and those seem to be working fine now that teams are sticking with them.

    If the Broncos really comit to the spread option and stick with it long term it might just work. Really they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You have one of the better spread option QBs in recent history and when they tried running a traditional NFL offense it didn’t work. If they comit for the rest of the season and it tanks, than at least they tried and can move forward next season without wondering “what if”.

  13. broncfanor says: Nov 9, 2011 9:32 AM

    uniballout says: Nov 9, 2011 9:02 AM

    Gimmick plays and offensive schemes will work for a bit to cover the flaws of a QB (see Wildcat). But eventually you need a QB who can, at the very least, throw a tight spiral. Tebow can’t. So the read option may get a few wins, but longterm it is doomed.


    You obviously didn’t watch the game as you would have noticed two TD passes and one roll out pass that were perfectly thrown.

  14. broncfolife says: Nov 9, 2011 9:37 AM

    “The Chiefs defense figures to be better prepared for the attack this week”.
    Easier said then done….
    The Cheifs defense is even more “TERRIBLE” then the Raiders. Just ask Miami….

    This next one will be fun Broncos. Tebow and our defense will be racking up the points….
    and the hater population to grow.

  15. joetoronto says: Nov 9, 2011 9:45 AM

    The Tampa 2, disciplined ends and outside backers will stop it dead.

    It won’t last.

  16. getyourownname says: Nov 9, 2011 10:06 AM

    Raider defenders playing undisciplined ball? Shocking.

    But Tebow better learn to pass if he wants an NFL career. How did he ever make throws in college?

  17. kinggw says: Nov 9, 2011 10:31 AM

    It was one game against a suspect defense, relax people. Tebow still couldnt break the 50% completion rate and is still a liability. Best case scenario they have some success with their option attack this week against the Chiefs. They play the Jets in Week 11.

  18. broncobourque says: Nov 9, 2011 11:08 AM

    As a quick follow up to my last post, the Raiders held the Broncos to 38 yards rushing in the season opener with Orton at QB. The spread option can work and will make some defenses look really bad when it does.

  19. heyguru1969 says: Nov 9, 2011 11:56 AM

    I think what scared him initially was the word “read” in the description. Keep in mind, he comes from The U….

  20. whyalwaysthehate says: Nov 9, 2011 2:54 PM

    Dilfer needs a sit-down with Chuckie.

  21. bigwaz says: Nov 9, 2011 8:23 PM

    what you talkin ’bout Willis?

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