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Falcons to spend more time on read-option defense

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The proliferation of the read-option offense is spawning plenty of copycats.  It’s also forcing teams to prepare better to defend against that attack.

Count the Falcons among the franchise hoping to improve.

“I think all defensive coaches . . . will spend time this offseason on it,” coach Mike Smith told D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  “I know that our coaching staff is going to spend a whole lot of time on it because it could be the wave of the future.  I’m not saying that it will be, but that it could be.  More and more college teams are running that style of offense and you’re going to have to be prepared to play it.

“We are going to play it again next year.  We are playing [every team in] the NFC West and we play it twice in our division.  It’s something that we want to make sure that we have a very good understanding of.”

For teams that don’t have a starting quarterback who runs the read option, it’ll be important to get at least one mobile quarterback on the depth chart (or the practice squad) for purposes of running the scout team when a game is coming up against a team that uses the NFL equivalent of the crane technique.

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13 Responses to “Falcons to spend more time on read-option defense”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Feb 24, 2013 8:15 PM

    Zero Superbowls.

  2. shlort says: Feb 24, 2013 8:16 PM

    Every team will work on a D for it. Even the teams that run it. You never know who will try to get a year out of the fad, and it is likely we will see 2 or 3 more teams trying it this season. It won’t last much longer than this upcoming season. A couple loser teams will cling to the hope that they can make it work after this year (because you know a couple teams will draft a QB too early to run it and be forced to try it for 2 or 3 years), but it will fade just like evey other fad.

  3. grendelg says: Feb 24, 2013 8:22 PM

    Here’s how the NFL should play the read-option:

    The DE’s responsibility is to hit the QB as fast and as hard as possible on the read-option. Don’t try to spot the ball, just hit him. If he hands it off it’s the LB’s responsibility.

    After they see their QB getting hit every play OC’s will stop calling read-option plays pretty quick.

  4. damnsureis says: Feb 24, 2013 8:24 PM

    If more college offenses are using it then wouldn’t it follow that more defense players have seen it in college?

  5. kepickle says: Feb 24, 2013 9:13 PM

    we call them Cam scared Falcon’s

  6. holahey123 says: Feb 24, 2013 10:04 PM

    Best way to stop the read-option offense: a defense that has no weakness. One that can stop the run, defend the pass, rush the QB, disrupt an entire blocking offensive line, set the edges, stay focus and is athletic enough to stop the read-option offense.

    If your team’s defense has too many weaknesses that can be exploited against the read-option, then you better hope your offense put more points on the opponent’s defense. I doubt teams that want to stop the read-option offenses will find success in stopping it with a mediocre defense. The Falcons and Packers have a better chance with Ryan and Rodgers trying to outscore opponent defenses, than the Falcons and Packers defenses trying to stop Kaepernick and the Niners.

  7. citynative says: Feb 24, 2013 10:33 PM

    grendelg says:
    Feb 24, 2013 8:22 PM
    Here’s how the NFL should play the read-option:

    The DE’s responsibility is to hit the QB as fast and as hard as possible on the read-option. Don’t try to spot the ball, just hit him. If he hands it off it’s the LB’s responsibility.

    After they see their QB getting hit every play OC’s will stop calling read-option plays pretty quick.
    ———————–
    Why would they be allowed to hit the QB who does not have the ball? 1) The NFL will try to protect its Qbs as much as they can. 2) Given your method, why doesn’t the defense proceed to drill the QB, even traditional pocket passers, everytime he hands it off under the context they might hold it for a play action pass? Sounds like your defensive idea will leads to alot of unnecessary roughness penalties.

  8. breadslicer says: Feb 24, 2013 10:36 PM

    If I’m not mistaken the NFL RO offense actually started in Atlanta when Vick was there.

  9. aces79 says: Feb 24, 2013 11:18 PM

    Who cares Atlanta Sux

  10. jkaflagg says: Feb 25, 2013 12:42 AM

    Have heard many people theorize that teams will begin punishing the QB on every play regardless of whether he has the ball, as in done in college ball; considering the bigger faster defensive players and longer season in the NFL, this could have some effect if the NFL allows it……Newton is the only QB who seems immune to punishment (often bigger than the guys hitting him), although Wilson and Kaepernick seem to have a good sense as to when to get down and/or out-of-bounds…..will probably have to watch these guys over several seasons to see how they hold up…..

  11. cowartsh says: Feb 25, 2013 10:03 AM

    Aces I guess you care since you read it and weighed in with that brilliant comment

  12. dzor22 says: Feb 26, 2013 6:16 PM

    Hey kepickle – whats Cam’s record the last two years and he won one game out of 4? A game right after ATL won the division. How has Cam done in the playoffs? Wait- he hasnt been to the playoffs. The Falcons are scared? Really? Just being smart.

  13. musicman495 says: Mar 2, 2013 11:57 AM

    Do people really think that if it were as easy to defend the read-option as pounding the QB on every play whether he has the ball or not, it would not have already been done?

    First off, officials will never let that happen. Second, watch the Ravens vs the Redskins regular season and Ravens vs the 49ers in the Super Bowl. The Ravens developed a similar strategy (minus the hits) of always having the D End shadow the QB and make him give up the ball. It helped, but someone else still has to be in position to make the tackle on the other running backs. (Alfred Morris still gained 129 yards, Frank Gore 110.) And what else is the defense giving up (pass rush?) by always sacrificing the D End.

    I am not saying there is no defense for this package. For 75+ years the NFL has been all about the “arms race” between offense and defense. I am just saying it is not as simple as “pound the QB.” If it were, we would all be working a headset on Sunday instead of a nacho bowl.

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