Tag Archive: Wildcat


The Read Option is here to Stay!

By:  Jason”Big J” Allen

Follow me and tell me why and how the Read option is a Fluke @UnsportsmenBigJ

A lot has been made of this new NFL, the “Passing/QB” league.  Now the most important person to a franchise is the Quarterback.  Gone are the days of the high paid, highly essential Running Backs, now running backs are as good as the Quarterback throwing the ball.  Look at the recent trade of Trent Richardson, this trade would have never been made in the 90’s or even the early ’00’s.  With these new rule changes and extra attention/protection to the Quarterback and Wide Receiver position, a lot of college “gimmicky” offenses are popping up more and more.  From the Fun ‘n’ Gun, Spread HD, Wildcat, and the Read Option, some of these college concepts have staying power and others don’t, but I’m here to tell or convince you that the Read Option is here to stay!

First thing is my deciding what is considered successful or having staying power.  If a team running the Read Option doesn’t win a Super Bowl doesn’t mean that the Offense is not successful.  If the Read Option never breaks offensive records and numbers doesn’t make it a failure.  My idea of success and staying power is know if you can run this offense in majority of situations, or create a culture of this offense that can win a good number of games.  The Fun ‘n’ Gun is/was successful, it won a lot with Warren Moon at the helm.  The Wildcat didn’t win anything, but Ronnie Brown running over the Patriots.  When I see the read Option I see a staying power for many reasons and here are some:

1.  Biggest reason I see the continued use and success of the Read Option is because of the evolution of the Athletic Quarterback.  This is not going away and with the Read Option it gives the athletic QB the opportunity to utilize another part of their skill set.  Imagine Terrell Pryor without the read option.  You thought about?  Yes you are correct he wouldn’t be in the league (holla at Tebow… who should be in the league with this offense).  The Read Option makes game planning against a QB with an average arm harder because of the ability to create with their legs.  This also eliminates the keep them in the pocket and make them pass, because now your not putting pressure on the QB which allows him to pick you apart on the back end.

2.  The Read Option gives running backs a rejuvenated career, especially average or over the hill running backs.  It helps take mileage off of running backs, because backside hits or being slowed by DEs and OLBs staying home.  Also you can run this offense with unspectacular running backs and make them look good.  Which means you can use committee style backfields and still have a dynamic running game.  The Read Option creates running lanes, look at Shady McCoy in Philly, regardless of Vick’s issues McCoy has had huge holes to make plays.  It helps running backs with a good ability to cut back (Gore, Lynch, and even Mcgahee), because the DE again have to stay home and can’t over pursue which creates a hole on the back cut.

3.  The Read Option is here to stay because you can do EVERYTHING you normally do in a typical offense with it.  If you want to power run attack, just move to the pistol.  If you want to get the ball deep, you can run play action out of the Read Option.  Almost every type of Offensive scheme you run can be accomplished with a Read Option twist.  This is what makes this offense so dynamic, unlike other “gimmick” offenses, it just doesn’t have one way to run it.  Some run it from the Pistol (San Fran), some run it from the Shotgun (Seattle), some have run it under center (Washington, Oakland).  The Read Option is an organic offense that an wear many faces.  Making it hard to know exactly what a team is trying to execute.

A lot of people are comparing this offense to the Wildcat.  It is not the Wildcat that used non-QBs (Ronnie Brown) or QBs with huge flaws in their game (Pat White).  Some say once QBs get injured teams will stop running the offense.  As for that argument; we see QBs getting injured while in the pocket, and most QBs in the Read Option type offense are told to get down, out of bounds, or don’t take on defenders.  Ask defenders how much/often they hit Russell Wilson.  Yet QBs like Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and Ben Rothlisberger don’t use the Read Option, but are some of the most hit and sacked QBs in the league.  While Wilson, Kaepernick, and RG III (for the record RG III didn’t get injured running the Read Option got injured running out of the pocket on a broken play) are not being sacked as often.  Look at RG III recently with him not running the Read Option, he has been getting pummeled.  Lastly the thought that once defenses catch up they will neutralize it.  Well defenses have caught up to the West Coast offense, but when ran properly with the right personnel, it is still extremely dangerous and effective.  So all the doubters relax, this offense is here to stay as long as QBs are running and athletic.

Follow me and tell me why and how the Read option is a Fluke @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Slow Down With the Kaepernicking

By: Jason “Big J” Allen Don’t forget to follow me @UnsportsmenBigJ

Now that the Super Bowl is in the books, I want to take the time to take on Kaepernick or Kaepernicking.  Now I’m a die hard 49er fan, and I have suffered for so long. so count me in as excited about the movement the last two years.  I earlier wrote an article about Alex Smith being the “New Hope” to our franchise with the direction of Jim Harbaugh, his Yoda.  Now maybe I was overzealous and Alex Smith was more Obi-Wan and Kaepernick is more Anakin.  Regardless of the Star Wars references watching Kaepernick has gotten everyone in a Frenzy, but I’m here to say SLOW DOWN! 49ers and NFL Nation.

First thing first, most coaches will tell you they need at least 16 games of tape on you.  Why?  Just ask Cam Newton, they need this to break down what you do or don’t do well.  We hear about sophomore slumps and a lot has to do with teams being better prepared from watching tape, and extending the playbooks on offense.  I still expect Kaep to be amazing and dynamic next year, but he will have THOSE games (Rams, Seahawks, first half of the Super Bowl) that remind you of his youth.

Secondly, Kaepernick has had a lot of success ala RG III with running his college offense.  Now we are still not sure if the Pistol/Read option is here to stay yet.  Or will it WildCat itself out of the league.  Also what happens when age kicks in?  Will it still be effective?  You watched in the Super Bowl a lot of the Ravens edge rushers still tee’ed off on Kaepernick after he handed the ball off on the read option (which is legal, because how do you know if he has the ball or not, and the QB is considered a runner at that point).  What happens when a player decides to go DIRTY! And take a couple of cheap shots at the Kid Kaep.

Third, Pump your brakes a moment, how much is Harbaugh and how much is Kaepernick?  We have a short memory as a football and sports family, but Harbaugh was the same guy that resurrected Alex Smith career.  Before Alex Sith, I mean Smith went down he was third in QBR, and the conservative offense allowed Smith to throw 18 for 19 in a game, and lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship last year.  If Harbaugh can do that with the average ceiling of Smith potential, imagine Harbaugh’s eye twinkle when he sees the limitless ability of Kaepernick.  With that being said can Harbaugh’s control of the offense ever get to the point of stifling Kaepernick’s growth? Or could they blossom ala Brady and Belichick.

Fourth are things I noticed, and I know he is young and can correct or get better but just observations.  First most running QBs rather have pressure from the outside instead of in the middle.  Well the biggest plays of the Super Bowl the Ravens sent pressure from the outside (even if one time Ed Reed was extremely offsides, but I’m not bitter…  Really I AM NOT!).  They ran that three times that game and every time, Kaepernick threw an errant pass off his back foot (Eli Manning style without the Manning results).  Another observation is the way Kaepernick holds the ball when he scrambles.  When he is in run mode he tucks it away, but when he scrambles he holds the ball like a loaf of bread away from his body.  Ask Kurt Warner how well that stops fumbles.  Eventually the memo will be to swipe at the ball behind the line of scrimmage.  Now if you can get a QB thinking about ball security, he will second guess his pocket or feel imagined pressure.

Lastly this is minor but should be accounted for, the growing EGO of a young player.  The week before the Super Bowl his agent went to patent Kaepernicking (the bicep kiss) for promotion and etc.  Now I don’t know if this was a Kaepernick thing or a agent business thing, but Kaepernick still has to sign off on that.  With an inflated ego and NOT being the leader of a team (Gore, Davis, Willis, and Justin Smith are leaders) it may ruffle some feathers.  Now we have had no instance, again NO instance of seeing a diva in Kaepernick, but we will see.

I’m saying all this to say, don’t be surprised if the whole season is not great for Kaeptain Marvel (I’m still trying out nicknames Kaep Gun, Kaeptain America, or Kid Kaep).  He is still a work in progress and early success sometimes leads players to tons of pressure, ask Marino how many more Super Bowls he went to after going his second season.  I do know one thing though he is exciting to watch and just might be “The One”.  How does Montana, Young, and Kaepernick sound?  Even better hoisting the Lombardi.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

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