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Titans think Locker can run read option, but injuries are a concern

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Titans quarterback Jake Locker is a good athlete who ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine two years ago, and the Titans think he’s capable of being the same kind of threat with his legs as a couple of other fast quarterbacks who were drafted two years ago, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton.

But Titans coach Mike Munchak said there’s a limit to the amount of read option he’s willing to run because he doesn’t want to see Locker take too many hits.

“We are going to have a lot more things for Jake. We worked on things for him after we drafted him . . . and you want defenses to worry about those types of things,” Munchak said, via Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “But maybe we wouldn’t do it to the degree you have seen other teams do it, because I don’t know if the quarterback can hold up doing that.”

Munchak sounds skeptical that an NFL quarterback can hold up for 16 games while running the ball with great frequency.

“Jake brings that dimension to the game, but you have to be smart about it. You want to take advantage of all the skills he does have, though it’s hard to survive if you’re running it all the time,’’ Munchak said. “So it has to be a happy medium.”

For the Titans, the happy medium may be Locker running more than the 41 times he ran last year. But not much more.

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31 Responses to “Titans think Locker can run read option, but injuries are a concern”
  1. keylimelight says: Mar 24, 2013 7:43 AM

    Titans running back–er–quarter back Locker would be better off staying in the pocket and scrambling when he has to rather than designing plays for him to run.

    I wonder how many other teams are developing plays where the passer runs the ball. I think if the QB does not have a natural ability like Griffin and Kaepernik, they should not risk that kind of assignment.

  2. swagjag says: Mar 24, 2013 7:50 AM

    It is really nice of Munchak to try to get his QB killed before he gets fired. Jake Locker is not Kaepernick, Wilson or RGIII.

  3. davekezer says: Mar 24, 2013 7:50 AM

    The reason why the read-option worked so well last season is because RG3/Wilson/Kaepernick can actually lazer the ball into tight spaces and make you pay for taking the wrong route. Not saying Locker can’t do that ever, but he’s far less accurate. He is certainly athletic though, and you can certainly use the “Are they going to run the option?” question to your advantage when game-planning against DC’s.

  4. camdenyard says: Mar 24, 2013 7:54 AM

    Read option will go the way of the wildcat.

  5. nflintheuk says: Mar 24, 2013 7:57 AM

    I think it is more how you run it and what you do when a defender comes at you. Compare and contrast Kaepernick and RG3; both run a form of read option, but the former very rarely takes a hit whereas the latter took a solid beating last year and did well to only miss a couple of games

  6. dccowboy says: Mar 24, 2013 7:57 AM

    Teams wanting to run the ‘Read Option’ offenses best have at least two QBs capable of running it. I follow Navy football, which runs a more advanced version of the Read Option (it’s a spread option running attack that features triple option, mid-line option, etc) and since we have been running it I only recall one season in which our starting QB did not miss time due to injury. That was with Ricky Dobbs, who was a converted Fullback (and yes, he could and did pass the football).

    Your QB takes a horrific pounding in option plays. That’s why I think ‘Read Option’ is a passing phase in pro football. The defenders are bigger, faster, stronger and play with more discipline than college kids, so they inflict more punishment on the QB than they do in College (just like RBs). Teams that use it as thier base offense will quickly find that they can’t keep their QB healthy.

  7. lucky5936 says: Mar 24, 2013 8:00 AM

    The difference between those three QB’s is Locker does not have much experience in the read option or making smart decisions in the passing game. He has so much he still needs to refine to be a quality starter in the NFL, that I wouldn’t add to much more to his plate until he is ready.

  8. doublezero74 says: Mar 24, 2013 8:03 AM

    Chris Johnson can’t be happy they added Jake locker to the RB committee.

    its funny how the read option has came back to popularity.

  9. patfanken says: Mar 24, 2013 8:24 AM

    Every football coach, from HS on up, knows that one of the key methods to defend any option attack is to HIT the QB. The faster the the defense can force the QB”s decision the faster the defense can react to the play.

    For that reason player assigned to the QB must hit him EVERY play, whether he has the ball or not. You cannot protect the QB when he runs this play. No QB is going to withstand the kind of hits he will take take from DE or OLBs on a regular basis. And no HC is going to allow his most critical asset to absorb that kind of punishment.

    This simple adjustment (among several) will quickly send the “read option” back to the level of being a “trick play” like reverses, HB passes, and ‘Wildcat” Something run 2-3 times a game at critical moments to create a “big play”

  10. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 24, 2013 8:28 AM

    no team that runs the read option will win the SB, get that fake gimmick offense outta here, IRG3 will never play a full season running the read option, he will stay hurt, Cam newton will never win double digit games a year, this isnt college football, shove that weak read option somewhere else!! and the only reason
    kaper-whateverhisname is, got to the superbowl was because they had a great defense and a good running game

  11. ccjcsr says: Mar 24, 2013 8:46 AM

    Note to all Fantasy Football players, he is going to be injured throughout the season running a read option.

  12. osiris33 says: Mar 24, 2013 8:55 AM

    Wilson played all 18 games and preseason for the Seahawks this year. Because he never takes a direct hit. He has a preternatural spidey sense that enables him to avoid big hits. Some QBs will be able to run the read option without getting hurt, some wont.

  13. coryfor3 says: Mar 24, 2013 9:06 AM

    He ran plenty at Washington.

  14. dalucks says: Mar 24, 2013 9:10 AM

    If any NFL team is serious about running the read option then signing Tim Tebow should be an option.
    Explain to Tim Tebow that he is the backup QB but you plan to give him 1 or 2 series a game. 1 or 2 snaps make him ineffective. Also, have Tim to issue his fans a statement informing them that he is a backup QB until otherwise notified and ask them to support the team and not just him.
    I am not a Tebow lover like Skip Bayless but if winning football games and running the read option is part of you plan then Tim Tebow has to be a serious option. He is better at the read option than Ryan Fitzpatrick.

  15. wryly1 says: Mar 24, 2013 9:40 AM

    Skins just squandered 3RD1’s, an RD2 – and set that miserably owned franchise back another decade decade with the ‘read option’. Helloooo!

  16. gotitan says: Mar 24, 2013 9:54 AM

    I’ll take him in the pocket. How’d the read option work out at the end of the day for RGIII?

  17. clw1906 says: Mar 24, 2013 10:03 AM

    nflintheuk says:
    Mar 24, 2013 7:57 AM
    I think it is more how you run it and what you do when a defender comes at you. Compare and contrast Kaepernick and RG3; both run a form of read option, but the former very rarely takes a hit whereas the latter took a solid beating last year and did well to only miss a couple of games

    You are absolutely wrong and clearly have not watched any Skins games. RGIII got hit more as a pocket passer and only got hurt scrambling on broken plays. His hit percentage was extremely low running the read option. A little research is paramount and is much better than sports center highlight knowledge.

  18. getyourownname says: Mar 24, 2013 10:03 AM

    There’s an extremely simple solution to this issue.

    Hire Shanahan as your coach. That way, coaches will never have to be concerned about seeing any injury.

  19. jagsfan1 says: Mar 24, 2013 10:04 AM

    Budy Ryan’s 46, Cover 2, Wildcat, now Read Option…
    WHATEVER….
    It will run it’s course just like all of the other schemes….

  20. kgun80 says: Mar 24, 2013 10:10 AM

    Tebow was great at the read option in college.. But in the pros you need to be accurate the margin of error is much slimmer in the NFL. I have to agree with the posters here who said that the read option will go the way of the wildcat. It’s just a matter of time before coaches figure it out.

  21. footballisfun says: Mar 24, 2013 10:59 AM

    Since he’s horribly inaccurate, this must be the Titans attempt to get some production out of him, instead of biting the bullet and admitting they blew a draft pick.

  22. rajbais says: Mar 24, 2013 10:59 AM

    He might be able to, but the QB situation was bad last year and showed signs of poor spots in 2011.

    Matt Hasselbeck being cut by Tennessee recently should not be a surprise after he got benched 4 times in 2011 and wasn’t good enough to keep the job for all of 2012.

    Btw, what was Peyton Manning doing in town one year ago???

  23. sooner712 says: Mar 24, 2013 11:48 AM

    Didn’t this kid get injured last year “in the pocket”? It doesn’t sounds like the coach is really concern about his health. Please just face it he is not good, do not compare him to Kaep or RG3, not even VY. The Titans should have drafted Ryan Mallet a proven winner. Locker wasn’t that good in college. For those thinking that the read option is just a fad, football history bluffs will tell you. Once upon a time they said the same thing about the passing game. Football always evolves.

  24. xli2006 says: Mar 24, 2013 12:30 PM

    Hmm, this likely does end well.

  25. bert1913 says: Mar 24, 2013 12:35 PM

    locker is not accurate enough to run the read option, defenses will not respect the threat of the pass.

  26. jprcox says: Mar 24, 2013 12:46 PM

    Locker is better than people realize. Look at CJ, and his production. Wilson\Kap\RG3 play on good teams with good lines. Locker doesn’t have that. The difference is more to do with team than player, as Locker had fine accuracy at Washington.

  27. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Mar 24, 2013 2:33 PM

    Locker missed several games due to shoulder injuries now they want to have him run read option, brilliant. Might wanna work on improving that O-Line/passing game first. Wilson was eased into a comfort zone as a passer before the Seahawks ever started using read option plays, Kaepernick established he was deadly accurate on deep balls, and Shannahan mixed in traditional run plays and lots of play action. Having an athletic QB is only part of the equation, without an established identity as an offense its doomed to be a failed gimmick.

  28. rolloxd says: Mar 24, 2013 2:52 PM

    Does noone remember how RG3 even got injured? He slipped, on a PASS PLAY. Granted, he shouldnt of even been in that game, but it wasnt the Read-Option.

    Russel, Kaep, and Cam didnt get injured this season, and ran read-option/spread option concepts.

    Watch it unfold before discounting it as a fad.

  29. titansup55 says: Mar 24, 2013 3:15 PM

    I think locker will be much better this year with beefing up the OL & I hope they certainly pick Chance Warmack if he is there. I hope they let him run too as this will help our run game as well. I think the addition of Shonn Grenne is great. I bet CJ will run his butt off this year!

  30. mattw70 says: Mar 24, 2013 3:46 PM

    RG3 wasn’t hurt last season running the read option.He got a concussion in the 49er game because he slide late and took a head shot going down.He knee was injured in the Ravens game,scambling late in the game when they were behind.Fluke play.

  31. prosportswashington says: Mar 24, 2013 4:55 PM

    If you think you’re a better coach than Shannahan, then please tell me how many NFL games you have won? Oh none? OK superbowls? Oh none. I’m not saying he is the best coach ever but please stop thinking you’re some kind of coaching genius

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