Russell Wilson has no intention of being “flavor of the month”

Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t have much faith in the read-zone option being anything more than another passing fad.

Tomlin called the offensive scheme the “flavor of the month” in the league and feels its success could very much go the way of the Wildcat once defenses have a chance to adjust and figure it out.

“We look forward to stopping it,” Tomlin said. “We look forward to eliminating it.”

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is one of a handful of quarterbacks to have been able to incorporate the read-zone concepts and see success. San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, Washington’s Robert Griffin III and Carolina’s Cam Newton have also benefited from adding the elements to their offenses.

But Wilson has no intention of just being the “flavor of the month.” He believes that he, Kaepernick and other quarterbacks that can run are getting unfairly put into a box as “running quarterbacks” just because they have the ability to run and not being given the credit for their ability to throw the ball or run an offense.

It doesn’t matter what style of offense, I’m ready to play any time, anywhere, anyplace. I just want to play football. Some people try to take away from our ability to throw the football because we can run. But I think it just adds another dimension to what we do,” Wilson said, via Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune.

“To be honest with you, people try to take away from the ability that guys have in terms of what Colin Kaepernick and other guys like him can do, for whatever reason, because they’re young, or they’re different,” Wilson added. “But I think it brings excitement to the game. It brings a challenge to the defense.”

Seattle doesn’t solely rely on the read-zone instead using it only as a complement to their normal offense. Wilson matched Peyton Manning’s record for most touchdown passes by a rookie with 26 last year and had a 20-0 touchdown to interception ratio in the opponent’s red zone. That level of success can’t solely be written off as a byproduct of one offensive scheme alone.

Wilson, Kaepernick and Griffin all proved last season they have the ability to successfully work a passing game in addition to their ability to run when called upon. The thought they will be rendered ineffective by adjustments defenses make to solve the read-zone elements of their offenses seem to be far-fetched.

61 responses to “Russell Wilson has no intention of being “flavor of the month”

  1. Mike Tomlin is a moron. So he’s going to dedicate some serious time to eliminating an offensive scheme that no-one on the Stealers 2013 schedule uses. This is why your team is old and crappy.

  2. Equating the read option with the wildcat is intellectually lazy. Which explains why many PFT commenters do so. The same people probably thought the spread offense was a gimmick too.

  3. Russell Wilson will be successful as long as he can stay healthy.

    Shame he’s built like a young Kristy McNichol.

  4. The difference between the Wilson and Kap vs RGIII and Cam… the first two know when to give up, by going out of bounds, or sliding or throwing the ball away. The other two, while gifted, don’t seem to get that yet.

    The NFC West will dominate for the next 7 years. I don’t see either QB leaving his team after their rookie contracts run out. Both seem to love their teams and football and work their asses off to become better.

    Awesome and great to have to new kids taking over football. I’m bored of Brady and Manning.


  5. What else is Tomlin gonna say? His team is old and average. They can’t run the read-option with Big Ben and no running game.

    His defense won’t stop the read-option either, but he needs to convince someone to try.

    Go Hawks!

  6. A ‘smart -running’ QBs has an advantage over other QBs , assuming the QBs know how to minimize the hits.
    The defense always has to guard against the QB picking up extra yards like a WR/RB coming out of the backfield. It is almost like there is 1 additional player on the field, assuming the QB(s) is faster than DEs and or LBs (Depending on the D’s formation and package that is in the game)

    Up until recently, I cannot remember many blazing fast QBs that could pass extremely well. Most of the time, it is a great runner however an average passer at best. Honestly I can only think of 2 or 3 QBs who passed as well as they ran.

  7. As a Seahawk fan I was very skeptical of the running Dangeruss (aka Russell Wilson) was doing at the beginning of the year. The possibility of serious injury is just huge. By the 10th or 11th game of the year I was far more accepting of his style because he is ingenious in the ways he avoids contact. The same is not true of any of the other current running quarterbacks-RG3 is electric but careless in protecting himself, Kaepernick does a better job but still takes on too many direct hits, as does Cam Newton. Once injuries mount it will be a passing fad, but Wilson only runs a few designed run plays per game, most of his running is from scrambling, and that isn’t a fad, its survival.

  8. Is the read-option the new wildcat? It arguable could be, but until defenses can prove that they can stop it, RW3, Kap and RGIII will continue to burn defenses with it. The best thing about RW3 is that the read-option is just another dimension for him. His not a run first QB. He has great pocket presence (yes, even at 5’11), makes good reads and adjustments and has a cannon for an arm. I look forward to seeing how teams defend against this “flavor of the month” next season.

  9. This is where Tomlin is wrong … If the read option was a play that teams ran 20-40% of the time yes it is something you can plan for. With Kapernick , Wilson and RG3 you have a player that can throw 30 times and complete 60%+ of there passes , you will have a harder time stopping them. Im just laughing how scared these times are of a play these players run maybe 10% of the time.

  10. Mike Tomlin…I have a big lumbering oaf of a QB…
    His method of extending a play is his mass…
    In his attempt to appear relevant, he must denounce the play makers, because he doesn’t have one…
    Go Hawks!

  11. Tomlin is absolutely right, of course – it’s only a matter of time. The most mobile QB in league history just suffered a concussion and a torn ACL before his rookie year was over. To provide a little historical context and perspective, both Wilson and RGIII ran about twice/double as many times as rookies, as Steve Young averaged over his 11 year NFL career.

  12. Go back to fixing your team Tomlin, this offensive style is gonna’ be around for quite awhile, so ya better get used to it ! There’s too many running QB’s out there right now who are really successful in this offense but I will say this. If anyone can find a solution to this read option it will be Dick LeBeau who in my humble opinion is the best D coordinator in the history of football. I just don’t see a solution coming right away

  13. If anything I wouldn’t be surprised to actually see more read option plays. Shoot even Jay Cutler is apparently going to be running some zone read plays. As long as the QB slides at the right time or goes out of bounds I would expect the read option to continue for years to come, at least with a few mobile QBs. I don’t see Aaron Rodgers running the read option but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    PS can’t wait to see Percy harvin involved in the read option with lynch in the back field n of course Wilson himself.


  14. RW reads coverages and goes through progressions, not sure any of the other qbs out of those mentioned do that (yet) and yet people only talk about him as a running qb…

    He put up over 400+ yards against the falcons passing and barely ran the read option. RW runs the read option as if it was a play fake /play action, please explain why that won’t last????? Seeing how Peyton and Brady and Brees all do this better than anyone in the game has ever done.

    He uses his legs to pick up first downs and extend plays to find receivers down field, he’s not exposing himself to hits or being greedy trying to take it to the house every play and risking a big down field hit. How is that any different then Steve Young?

    With all the new player safety rules who out their believes the NFL will allow defenses to stop this option game? You stop it by hitting the qb EVERY TIME HE does an option, and who is stupid enough to think that the moment a player hits a qb whose handed the ball off just seconds before he’s smashed won’t draw a personal foul and later a fine????

    Also when a golden boy qb does a shotgun play action and hands off or passes whose to say the way that play is designed is any different than this ” read option ” and that a defender can’t just come up and smash the qb.?

    The wildcat was predicated on having 2 running threats, not using an actual QB And legitimate RB.

    Try and leave Marshawn Lynch alone to hit RW and he will hand it off and go ahead and give the SB to Seattle because he will run like crazy all over some secondary. This is why for some it’s not a fad, but the qb must actually be a passing threat and must be a qb first with the ability to run second, not vice versa.

    I have played in nearly EVERY LEVEL OF FOOTBALL, this is not a fad!!!! It is a fad for qbs who can not adapt and or be a pocket passer and rely on this solely for success because eventually for them it will catch up to them not being able to make plays as a traditional passer.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand why it’s successful and will continue for some qbs is stupid or stubborn Period!

  15. The flavor of the month is in Maryland wearing burgundy and gold. That fraud is one and done, and was an overhyped, overrated feakshow that the East Coast media hyped up to such ridiculous levels that scouts actually started to believe in the fraud campaign.

    Russel Wilson is the REAL DEAL. The best QB to grace the league in over 50 years. A true leader. Natural talent. Makes everyone around him raise their talent level. A Genius.

  16. Oh, and just for the record. Tomlin is a grossly overrated coach also. The east cost media has pumped up the leagues token black coach to extreme levels.

    There is no way in the world Tomlin can stop Russel Wilson if he can’t even stop Tim Tebow.
    How did THAT flavor of the month work out for you Mikey?


  17. Tomlin also said we’ll see how willing teams are going to be to run this style when their QB’s are busted up. RGIII come to mind?

  18. “flavor or the month” coach sounds quite jealous about the epic downslide of his team on both sides of the ball…and the fact that he has an older, less crafty, beat up qb

  19. and dick lebeau has every intention of making these 3 bums the flavor of the month. Put your money on Dick Lebeau . Lebeau has already devised a scheme to stop the read option. He made Robert Griffin III look like an average qb last season. All Hail Dick Lebeau!!!

  20. Playing QB Russell Wilson Style:

    1. Take snap.
    2. Make reads, pass to no one even if they are open.
    3. Run around in circles like a lunatic.
    4. Pass to obviously open receiver when coverage breaks down OR take of running if defenders get too close.

  21. Perhaps instead of looking forward to eliminating the read option, he should focus more on being better than a 500 team….. then perhaps what he has to say might sound a bit more relevant .

  22. Only time will tell but I doubt seriously that the NFL will change into a Read Option league because of a handful of good first year’s for a few young QBs.

  23. Didn’t get to see much of Wilson or RGIII but I think Kaepernick has a ceiling and he’s pretty close to it already. He’s very much like Michael Vick was. He can run and has a very strong arm but he can only throw to wide open guys. When he starts getting beaten up physically and the coverages start getting tighter, he’ll have to adjust his game. Vick couldn’t. I don’t think Kaepernick can, either.

  24. Sorry RW3 but tomlin is right and your team has very high ecpectation which means more pressure on you goodluck but you wont be surpriseing any team this coming up year

  25. For some reason Wilson seems more well rounded than the other two. Perhaps because the read option and pistol don’t feature as prominently in Seattle as the other two. So many of his big plays were conventional dropbacks that lead to scrambles and big gains because the receivers were blanketed.

    Not to take anything away from RG3 OR Caepernick. Caepernick proved his throwing prowess in the Super Bowl with his pinpoint accuracy.

  26. Wilson didn’t seem to mind being flavor of the month in January, he should have savored it as seattle won’t be back. Funny how he didn’t actually mention RG3 by name – who was most successful at running it – don’t argue just check his rushing yards. And cam newton has had success? doesn’t show in the panthers record!

  27. Not sure it is fair to link Tomlin’s comments and Wilson’s performance as a QB. Tomlin was talking specifically about the read option offensive scheme.

    Of the next-generation quarterbacks, Wilson actually runs the read option the least of the bunch.

    Probably more accurate to say Tomlin thinks the read option is the flavor of the month, but that Wilson plans on being far more than just a read option quarterback.

  28. Russel Wilson and Collin Kaepernick are the next Michael Vick.. a couple good years then defenses will catch on and these guys will be no buddies.

  29. Russell Wilson has easily become one of my favorite players in the league. Dude’s work ethic is insane and with everyone doubting him coming out of the draft seemed to push him to work harder. IMO he should have been rookie of the year but since he did not have the hype around him that Luck & Griffin had that’s why he did not win it.
    And as far as Tomlin’s comments go, he should be more worried about his teams situation overall instead of worrying about just stopping the read option.

  30. I see the defensive focus on stopping the read option as having the largest effect on RG3. Not because he is not as good a quarterback as the others, but because he has less talent on the offense with him. Garcon is a playmaker when healthy, but with it looking more like Fred Davis won’t be back there isn’t much else. With the salary cap penalties and limited draft picks because of last year’s trade it is going to be difficult to rectify that this season, too.

  31. I never understand this theory of eliminating an offense, if a defense can just eliminate an offense, how do teams even score points, if something works, it’s not cause the defense is letting it happen, I think kap and Wilson are gonna tear it up next year, cam and rg3, not so much….

  32. The only problem with running that style of Offense is the huge risk to the QB taking too many hits throughout the game. Yes, all QB’s get hit, but the scrambling Quarterback gets hit more often. Look at RG3 and his injury…
    That may not have been preventable, but the odds go down with less running.

  33. Glad to finally see a sports reporter acknowledge that the Seahawks don’t rely on the zone-read. It used very sparingly. Wilson is not a “running QB.” He has excelled in now 3 different pro-style offense. Ironic he has never ran the any zone-read stuff till he became a pro. The kid is a beast. The other QB’s named in this article, although I like them all, their coaches did have to tailor the offense to something similar to what they ran in college. This very well may be a smart move, buut it does illustrate the trust that Seattle has in their QB. Seattle believes that Wilson can learn and master anything they throw at him.

  34. The idiot who keep bringing up RG3 and his injury to make a point should stop and learn about football before posting. People act like Tom Brady, Peyton manning, Big Ben, Phillip rivers, drew brees, joe Montana, Dan Marino, and so on, has never been hurt before! They all are not mobile QBs. It’s football and people get hurt. Stop hatin on RG3 please. Good kid that has done nothing to anyone. HTTR!!

  35. Apparently Tomlin isnt the only person who is jealous their team whiffed on Russell Wilson. WILSON was hands down the best qb in football over the second half of the season.

  36. cieronjhamblin | Mar 28, 2013, 2:18 AM EDT
    Mike Tomlin is a moron. So he’s going to dedicate some serious time to eliminating an offensive scheme that no-one on the Stealers 2013 schedule uses. This is why your team is old and crappy.

    Yup he is a moron and the NFL just gave him his Super Bowl ring….win a ring and you become somewhat credible otherwise you just noise in a strong wind.

  37. Defenses cannot stop the read option because it is predicated on the read. It not just about running, it’s about running where they ain’t. It requires a fasted footed and quick thinking QB to recognize where the defender is and then go inside with the handoff or outside with the QB. Unless Tomlin is going to invent a DE who can split himself in two and chase down two players going in different directions, I don’t imagine the read-option will be any less effective in 2013.

  38. All 4 of them are bums! Not nfl QB’s! In 5 years or less, we will not even know who they are. The press had newton going into the HOF after his first year. What happened last year! The def coordinators have game film now and will eat them up! Bye, Bye Bums.

  39. Mike Tomlin was the “flavor of the month” when the Rooney Rule got him hired. The Rooneys HAD to hire a black coach. Did matter who, just black.

  40. Keep thinking Seahawks offense is based around the read option. It’s based around beast, and will be as long as he is the primary back. Smash mouth on offense and defense. Percy, the read option just frosting on a good lookin cake.

  41. What these guys talking in the media about it being a “fad” have to understand that all these QB’s can throw and throw accurately as well just as good as Big Ben or Tom Brady. They just have the ability to run and Wilson and Kaep don’t really put themselves in danger. Wilson on read option plays goes untouched nearly every time (playoffs he took more risk and got hit) because he is reading so effectiveness plus he can hand off the Lynch and he is 5 yards without being touched which is scary. Throw in the play action and you can’t load the box and put a man on a man because you actually need to guard the pass. Wilson & Bevell use read option plays maybe 15- 20 % of the time. Like the other poster said…Seattle line’s up in I formation more than any team in NFL. Robinson leading the way for Lynch and throw in Harvin. Wilson will continue to shine as we get ready for our run at the Superbowl. Go Hawks!

  42. Those of you that think Flynn has a better career than Wilson, give up watching football please. Those of you that think the hawks are a read option team, watch film, or lookup stats, they ran it avg 8 times a game…

  43. as a niners’ fan, i can tell you russell wilson is not the “flavour of the month.” the dude can flat out play and probably beats us in both games if not for some dropped passes in the first game.

    good player regardless of the system he’s in..

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!