The read option was the talk of the NFL a season ago. With new, young, athletic quarterbacks that can run and throw the ball well like Cam Newton, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, it caught on and was widly successful. Teams didn't know exactly how to defend it. However, with its early success, not everyone thinks that it will be something that will have sustained similar success.
One of those is Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. "That will be the emphasis in everyone's defensive room in the offseason," Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says. "Give the defensive coordinators of the NFL some credit. They will have some time to study this trend."
Robert Klemko for USA Today wrote a great piece on the future of the read option (H/T to Cmcinaz), and people are split on whether it can be successful long-term.
One of the things that is starting to trend is to have someone on the coaching staff that has worked with or against it.
The Cardinals did that. "I hired a defensive coordinator from college who's dealt with (the option)," Arians says. "He's got some good ideas on it. I think everyone is going to be going to the colleges, rather than the colleges coming to the pros, as far as information on how to handle it."
That guy is former Delaware defensive coordinator Nick Rapone, who now coaches the Cardinals' defensive backs.
Former Seahawks DC Gus Bradley had success with Seattle against it. "For us," he says, "it started off with having really good coverage corners, guys who can play press, and obviously at the defensive end spot, guys who can run. That's so important in our philosophy; you need a defense built around speed.
"The corners that press, it allows you to bring an extra player into the box to account for all the different option aspects, and that's critical."
The Cards have Patrick Peterson to press. The difference is that the Cards run a 3-4 and the 'Hawks did so with a 4-3. Does Arizona have the personnel?
What will be the Cards success against this offense this year, especially when it happened twice against to the Cardinals? Or are we seeing the next great thing in the league?
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