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Zone Read Offense. Future?


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#1 loudnproudcolt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:31 AM

I want to ask everyone what they think of the Zone Read Offenses which have made RGIII, Wilson, and Kapernick look so good, and this is why they have gotten so much pub. in comparison to Luck, but that is not what I am asking about, so I digress.

 

Does the zone read in your opinion have a future, or is it more of a fad. Aaron Rogers yesterday came on his radio show declaring it a fad. I believe once the Defensive Coordinators get a off season to look at it, the impact of it will be slowed considerably. Look at what happened when coaches had an offseason to look at Cam's first season. He was slowed considerably.

 

Then their is the injury impact, and that is twofold. Obviously when you have a running quarterback more hits to get taken out, as RGIII found out. Also though, Schlereth on Mike and Mike made an interesting observation I had not thougt about. As with running backs, even if hits don't take you out, they mileage on the body, just like running backs, so at 29-30 they are not able to run the same, and thier career could be limited regardless of injuries like RGIII.

 

Still I wonder if we are going to see a change, or will it be like the Wildcat. I think it will be incorporated, but not nearly like we have seen this year. This is college crossing over to Pro until it gets figured out. I would love everyone's thoughts.

 

In the end, I am glad we have a strong drop back passer who can run if need be and escape the pocket!



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#2 HarassedOffTheSite

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

No offense but I don't know and don't care. We're an NFL team that runs a "traditional" Pro-Style offense.



* I used to spend a significant amount of time here. But between Nadine's harasment and genral stalkerlike behavior, I decided to roll over to Stampede. Her equally clueless counterpart over there, Brad Wells has departed and so now it will be my Colts home. What a shame. ;)


#3 ADayWithoutRain

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

Its a fad.



#4 Dustin

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

It's a gimmick offense. Every year there is some mobile QB that will "revolutionize" the QB position and every year said QB gets injured or defenses figure out how to stop him the next year. 

 

It seems every year a team has great success with an offense like that, but it's useless or not as effective the next year.


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#5 coltfaninnewyork

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

I think defenses will work hard to counteract this in the off season.



#6 HarassedOffTheSite

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

Bill Parcells says hit the QB EVERYTIME he even looks like he wants to run the option.



* I used to spend a significant amount of time here. But between Nadine's harasment and genral stalkerlike behavior, I decided to roll over to Stampede. Her equally clueless counterpart over there, Brad Wells has departed and so now it will be my Colts home. What a shame. ;)


#7 chad72

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

The success of the offense would depend obviously on the long term health of your QB to be a running threat, which in turn would depend on how much exposure your QB has in terms of playcalling numbers in the open field to a hit.

 

The more passes your QB can complete in a traditional sense, the more success he will have with running the ball and more open fields to run for the necessary yardage without excessive risk. Passing out of traditional formations, believe it or not, is the key to getting more 1-on-1 coverage with DBs and thus gives windows or pockets for the QB to run through when plays break down. Ultimately, the QB also has to be judicious in knowing when to stop running after getting necessary yardage.



#8 TKnight24

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:03 AM

That offense is stupid. If we run that Offense here, I'm done. Cam Newton brought in the option last year, what's he doing now?

These offenses only last ONE Year. RG3 better get used to becoming a "Pocket Passer" or his Career is gonna become shorter than it's already looking
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#9 loudnproudcolt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:06 AM

No offense but I don't know and don't care. We're an NFL team that runs a "traditional" Pro-Style offense.

 

I realize this, and I am glad as I said in my post. We are incredibly fortunate to have Luck, a QB who can throw and run out of the pocket if necessary. A great athlete. Regardless though, we are going to have to play these offenses, and as we have seen the past few weeks, if it is not figured out by the Defensive Coordinators, points are going to be scored in bunches. So it is still an important thought on the future imho.



#10 Franklin County

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:07 AM

I feel the window for this type of offense is closing fast. If not a lot of IR qbs will watching from home on Sundays. IE. RG broken knee. Whos next? 



#11 jbaron04

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:11 AM

This option read is a fad I said this since day one I'm gonna tell my def guys don't worry about the rb back fake smash the qb an ill see how much he want to keep faking it and running

#12 NorCalColt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

That offense is stupid. If we run that Offense here, I'm done. Cam Newton brought in the option last year, what's he doing now?

These offenses only last ONE Year. RG3 better get used to becoming a "Pocket Passer" or his Career is gonna become shorter than it's already looking

 

Cam had 127 carries again this season, led the Panthers in rushing with 741 yards.  They've run it in consecutive years now.  It isn't a one and done offense.  RG3 got hurt on a pass play, scrambling from the pocket and was hit.  Like every QB in the league could have happen.  Wilson, the smallest of the lot, had 94 carries this season, and he didn't get injured.  The reason I don't think it's a fad, and is sustainable for the near future is this kind of QB is what colleges are producing.  One just won the Heisman.  Mariota at Oregon is an incredible athlete too - and can throw.  Geno Smith from West Virginia might be the first QB taken, and there are several others who will follow.  The change isn't the offense in the NFL, it's the NFL's willingness to use the skills provided, abilities present, as opposed to trying to make a kid into something he isn't.  This won't sweep the NFL - you have to have a QB with these specific skills.  And for every Geno Smith, there is a Barkley or Nassib or Landry Jones.  But RG3, as an example, runs the same offense Shanahan has been running forever - but with the added threat of RG3's ability to keep the ball and run.  Everything else is nearly the same O as he had with Elway.  And Grossman.  And everyone in between.



#13 John Waylon

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

Remember when we had this exact same discussion a few years back about the wildcat? This is the NFL. Gimmicks don't work once DC's shut them down. You know what does work? Talent.
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#14 Balzer40

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

I have said repeatably that it is nothing but a fad. There was an article on CBSsportsline(that I can't dig up now) but they interviewed defensive coordinators that said with 1 full offseason that they will have a defensive scheme in place to combat the read option. They were specifically talking about the Skins and RG3(before he was injured). These read option QB's will have to become more prototypical QB's or they won't have a future in the NFL. That style of offense has never worked in the pro's for any length of time and it never will. This is why I have said a million times that those that think RG3 is going to revolutionize the position are dreaming. He'll either learn to read a defense and become a pocket passer or his future is bleak at best.


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#15 TKnight24

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 11:56 AM

Remember when we had this exact same discussion a few years back about the wildcat?This is the NFL. Gimmicks don't work once DC's shut them down. You know what does work?Talent.

No, Hard Work. Hard Work beats Talent when Talent fails to Work Hard

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#16 JoKeR

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

This morning Cowherd called it a "running QB bubble" I agreed. I think Wilson and RG3 can move on from it, not sure about Kappernick.

#17 Mameluc

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

I think it has a future as long as its not your standard/basic play. if it s a play used every now and then, id say yes.

 

if its your breath and buther you will get your qb murdered AND defenses will catch up



#18 Superman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

It's not an offense, and as such, I don't see how it can be called a fad or a gimmick. It's just a play, or a subset of plays. It's not anyone's entire playbook. Technically, any team that runs a zone blocking scheme can add this play to their arsenal and run it effectively.

 

It's entirely unlike the wildcat, in that it's run out of standard, pro-style formations, with the same personnel groupings and alignments as always. You're not taking your quarterback off the field or taking the football out of his hands.

 

I don't think the zone read is going to change the way the game is played, and if quarterbacks start getting hurt (not like Griffin got hurt, which had nothing to do with the zone read), it will probably go away. But I don't think it's an issue of the play not being effective or being gimmicky.


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#19 Balzer40

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:35 PM

It's not an offense, and as such, I don't see how it can be called a fad or a gimmick. It's just a play, or a subset of plays. It's not anyone's entire playbook. Technically, any team that runs a zone blocking scheme can add this play to their arsenal and run it effectively.

 

It's entirely unlike the wildcat, in that it's run out of standard, pro-style formations, with the same personnel groupings and alignments as always. You're not taking your quarterback off the field or taking the football out of his hands.

 

I don't think the zone read is going to change the way the game is played, and if quarterbacks start getting hurt (not like Griffin got hurt, which had nothing to do with the zone read), it will probably go away. But I don't think it's an issue of the play not being effective or being gimmicky.

 

 

Thats not completely accurate. When the knee was originally injured it was on a read option play where he ran downfield and got jacked up. If not for that hit, I doubt RG3 gets the reconstructive surgery he had to have.


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#20 GrizzColt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

Running backs are designed to carry the ball and get hit by the defense and statistics show that they have short careers in the NFL.  They are some of the most muscled up, strongest, and toughest guys on the field.  Now, how can a skinny, relatively unmuscled QB take that kind of abuse year in and year out for 15 years?  You can't.  



#21 GrizzColt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:48 PM

This morning Cowherd called it a "running QB bubble" I agreed. I think Wilson and RG3 can move on from it, not sure about Kappernick.

 

I feel just the opposite.  I think Kappernick can and the other 2 can't.  Mainly it's because of his physical advantages.



#22 chad72

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:49 PM

I feel just the opposite.  I think Kappernick can and the other 2 can't.  Mainly it's because of his physical advantages.

 

Yep, I second that. Kaepernick has the physical tools to see over the D-line and be an effective thrower and keep Ds more honest.



#23 Superman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

Thats not completely accurate. When the knee was originally injured it was on a read option play where he ran downfield and got jacked up. If not for that hit, I doubt RG3 gets the reconstructive surgery he had to have.

 

Like you said, he ran downfield. He does that on more than the zone read play. If he had been smart and gone down earlier, he wouldn't have gotten hurt. I don't think there's a correlation between the play call and the injury. That could have happened on a regular scramble, which Griffin does considerably more than your average quarterback. I don't blame the zone read for his injury. I blame Griffin's recklessness.

 

I suppose you could argue that the zone read encourages recklessness by the quarterback, but I don't think that's necessarily true.


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#24 Balzer40

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:11 PM

Like you said, he ran downfield. He does that on more than the zone read play. If he had been smart and gone down earlier, he wouldn't have gotten hurt. I don't think there's a correlation between the play call and the injury. That could have happened on a regular scramble, which Griffin does considerably more than your average quarterback. I don't blame the zone read for his injury. I blame Griffin's recklessness.

 

I suppose you could argue that the zone read encourages recklessness by the quarterback, but I don't think that's necessarily true.

 

 

 

He does scramble more than most QB's but I do think that goes back to him looking to his 1st read and if that 1st read isn't open, then he immediately takes off running. Im saying that if he does not learn to go through his progressions and try to let a play develop from the pocket, then his future in the NFL is going to be very short lived. I think this all goes back to what he has been taught to do in Washington.


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#25 NorCalColt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

Running backs are designed to carry the ball and get hit by the defense and statistics show that they have short careers in the NFL.  They are some of the most muscled up, strongest, and toughest guys on the field.  Now, how can a skinny, relatively unmuscled QB take that kind of abuse year in and year out for 15 years?  You can't.  

 

Kap is 6'4" 235.  Cam is 6'5" 245.  There aren't running backs in the NFL like that any more.  Wilson and RG3, not so much, obviously.  Cam, Wilson, Kap, and RG3 all have 4.5ish speed or better, and are in space when they're running.  Not in guard center gaps, but on the edge.  Even more to the point, they can all throw as well as they run. 

 

This offense can evolve.  Elway ran the ball 50 times in two of his last four seasons under Shanahan.  That's a lot for an old QB.  Steve Young ran no less than 50 times (and as many as 76) in eight of the last nine years of his career.  He played in 16 pro seasons?  Somewhere around there with his time in the USFL and Tampa.  The Texans run Shanahan's offense and get Schaub on the edge all the time, roll him out, get him outside the pocket.  The difference is he can't run, so you know he's throwing it.  The Panthers, Seahawks, Redskins, and 49ers all run variations of the WCO.  And all four of those QBs can throw.  Accurately and consistently.  They will evolve too.



#26 100GFB

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

Bill Parcells says hit the QB EVERYTIME he even looks like he wants to run the option.
We did that in college but back then you could hit the qb for anything! Just being on the field was justification to be hit.
On a side note after the season with mobile/running qb's such as RGIIII and Kapernick I thought that this may put Tebow back in as a qb hunt. I'm not saying he's a bonafide pro qb but if the moblie qb is a fad then it may jump start his career.

#27 Superman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Kap is 6'4" 235.  Cam is 6'5" 245.  There aren't running backs in the NFL like that any more.  Wilson and RG3, not so much, obviously.  Cam, Wilson, Kap, and RG3 all have 4.5ish speed or better, and are in space when they're running.  Not in guard center gaps, but on the edge.  Even more to the point, they can all throw as well as they run. 

 

This offense can evolve.  Elway ran the ball 50 times in two of his last four seasons under Shanahan.  That's a lot for an old QB.  Steve Young ran no less than 50 times (and as many as 76) in eight of the last nine years of his career.  He played in 16 pro seasons?  Somewhere around there with his time in the USFL and Tampa.  The Texans run Shanahan's offense and get Schaub on the edge all the time, roll him out, get him outside the pocket.  The difference is he can't run, so you know he's throwing it.  The Panthers, Seahawks, Redskins, and 49ers all run variations of the WCO.  And all four of those QBs can throw.  Accurately and consistently.  They will evolve too.

 

Ehh, Steve Young was part-time at best in his first six years. He was 30 when he became the starter. And then his career was affected by concussions. Bad example.

 

I agree that the criticism of the zone read is narrow-minded.


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#28 Superman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

He does scramble more than most QB's but I do think that goes back to him looking to his 1st read and if that 1st read isn't open, then he immediately takes off running. Im saying that if he does not learn to go through his progressions and try to let a play develop from the pocket, then his future in the NFL is going to be very short lived. I think this all goes back to what he has been taught to do in Washington.

 

I agree with all that. I'm just saying that I think his injury has more to do with his reckless style of play than it does the zone read. And in a strange way, this injury saga he's going through might help his career. It should have impressed upon him the need to be more judicious in the future.


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#29 NorCalColt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Ehh, Steve Young was part-time at best in his first six years. He was 30 when he became the starter. And then his career was affected by concussions. Bad example.

 

I agree that the criticism of the zone read is narrow-minded.

 

In today's NFL Young would have even missed more games.  I think the value of assessing a guy like Young in this conversation, especially when considering the longevity, or sustainability of the offensive philosophy, is between 1991 and 1998 the 49ers won double digit games every season in that span, and won a SB.  My guess is most teams in the NFL would take an eight year stretch like the 49ers had during that time, and in fact, we know teams are still using the same core principles today on offense.  The risk of injury obviosuly increases dramatically when touches are increased - more opportunity to get hit.  But the NFL will continue to use talent, continue to let players make plays, and if that now resides in QBs as much as RBs had it in the 80s, 70s, etc., it won't go away.  The number of QBs able to be dynamic threats with arms and feet is increasing, not decreasing.  

 

The top eight rushing QBs (attempts) were Carolina, Washington, Seattle, SF, Philly, Indy, Minnesota, and GB - there are lots of WCO teams there.  All those guys had over 50 carries this year.  And that's 1/4 of the NFL that had their QB moving a bunch - some on purpose, some, well, because they had to flee the pocket. 



#30 lollygagger8

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:35 PM

I don't think the Niners (in this instance) are commiting to zone reads entirely. They just let the QB drop back, and if he sees a 50 foot hole to run through, why not let him? We all saw how slow Kapaernick made everyone else on the field look. Why wouldn't you let him use his wheels if the opportunity presented itself? Obviously if you can run that fast, and the D lets you and doesn't adjust, then roll with it.



#31 Superman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

In today's NFL Young would have even missed more games.  I think the value of assessing a guy like Young in this conversation, especially when considering the longevity, or sustainability of the offensive philosophy, is between 1991 and 1998 the 49ers won double digit games every season in that span, and won a SB.  My guess is most teams in the NFL would take an eight year stretch like the 49ers had during that time, and in fact, we know teams are still using the same core principles today on offense.  The risk of injury obviosuly increases dramatically when touches are increased - more opportunity to get hit.  But the NFL will continue to use talent, continue to let players make plays, and if that now resides in QBs as much as RBs had it in the 80s, 70s, etc., it won't go away.  The number of QBs able to be dynamic threats with arms and feet is increasing, not decreasing.  

 

The top eight rushing QBs (attempts) were Carolina, Washington, Seattle, SF, Philly, Indy, Minnesota, and GB - there are lots of WCO teams there.  All those guys had over 50 carries this year.  And that's 1/4 of the NFL that had their QB moving a bunch - some on purpose, some, well, because they had to flee the pocket. 

 

I agree with all that. I don't have a problem with a quarterback running as a part of the gameplan. Just saying that Steve Young paid for it. He didn't have a 16 year career as a mobile quarterback, taking and bouncing off hits with impunity. Once he took over for Montana, he wound up playing for ten years, and probably had his career shortened because of concussions.


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#32 Coltscodeblue

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:00 PM

I tried and tried and tried to warn RG3 fans on here and CBS general forum that RG3 wouldn't last and would get hurt and they blew me off like I was nuts and he was the be all be QB and future of the NFL and I gave stats facts figures of running QB's and they acted like I was nuts, I was watching the Zone Read in college games and Washington and Seattle games after it was implemented after week 4 and they were taking to many chances and RG3 more than the others and bam he stayed in bounds in week 5 and got smacked and a concussion.

 

Then after that he started to run out of bounds sometimes short of the 1st down and or the feet first giving up and then he got frustrated and in the Ravens game stayed in bounds and ran back into the heart of the D to get the 1st down and got walloped by Ngata and the end of the year was sealed for him, they tried to say he was healthy again and was elastic and can take such hits, but that whip by his knee was extreme "It whipped over a foot the wrong direction" and I didn't believe he would be back to normal, one game out wasn't going to do any good, I stayed quiet and let them boasted he was a superior athlete and boasting about it doesn't make it true.

 

It's a fad! It's a gimmick! Like the wildcat and it won't last and it might work a lot in college since 90% of college players are not NFL skilled and those 10% that do get in the NFL are the bigger, faster, smarter of them.

 

Think of this, normal offensive line has to have 5, LT,LG,C,RG,RT and that leaves 6 to do the rest to to move the offenses and score the points and if a opposing team can rush 3 D-linemen and that leaves 8 to defend and against a Read Zone offense and maybe a 5th very fast LB to spy on the Zone read play and there is 2 the QB and RB and a DE gets the inside play and the faster LB gets the area closer to the side line and wham the door is shut if the QB keeps the ball the DE gets the QB if he's quick & then outside guy 5th LB takes the RB if the ball is thrown to him, bam the play is dead, That is just my idea and you know the professionals will have that or like it and others to shut down the Zone Read by next year just like the wildcat this year... Defense coaches are all right now in their head or on paper are finding plays to kill the new fad :}


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#33 Matugi

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

A better question would be regarding the pistol formation.

As NorCalColt stated before, the zone-read is not an offense, it's just a subset of plays that are typically run out of the pistol formation. Sure, there could be varying success of it with every team, but it's not an entire offense. What makes it run is the pistol formation. The ability to disguise a play so well to confuse defenses is what is truly revolutionary, and it'd be stupid for teams not to implement the pistol. Out of any identical setup in the pistol formation, you can run, pass, run a zone-read, or run a triple option. It wasn't the zone-read that made the Redskins effective; it was the ability to disguise plays by running multiple plays out of the same formation in the pistol, be it diamond, full-house, etc.

Griffin did not get hurt on a zone-read. Evan Royster missed a blitz pickup and Griffin was forced out of the pocket, and when scrambling upfield, decided to cut back to the inside instead of getting down. % happens.

Now, the pistol is here to stay, whether your like it or not. It's an incredible tool when used correctly, and you don't necessarily need an athletic quarterback but the better the ball handler he is, the more effective playing out of the pistol will be.

I think the Colts would be dumb not to implement it. Luck is athletic enough to run it. I just don't think he has as good a play-action fake as Griffin so the fakes may not be as effective, but then again we've seen Kaepernick succeed with it.

#34 BLOODontheTRACKS

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

We did that in college but back then you could hit the qb for anything! Just being on the field was justification to be hit.On a side note after the season with mobile/running qb's such as RGIIII and Kapernick I thought that this may put Tebow back in as a qb hunt. I'm not saying he's a bonafide pro qb but if the moblie qb is a fad then it may jump start his career.


As long as they are not in the pocket they are open game. I would tell my safety to cut those guys low if it presents itself....kapernick has those skinny mike Wallace legs

#35 Matugi

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

Also, another thing: a coach would be out of his mind to tell his players to hit the QB on every play no matter what. That effectively takes two players out of the play, and offenses will have absolutely no problem moving up and down the field on them.

#36 ColtsBlueFL

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

The offense evolved from College, the D answer will also evolve form college ranks. College d coordinators probably have to see it much more than the NFL, and stop it with significantly less talented players overall.  I'm quite sure many D coordinators will look into successful D coordinators in college that have devised effective strategies to tame that offense, and incorporate the functional components into their own D scheme.  If they do not, and treat it like a variation of typical NFL O schemes, they will continue to have problems.  Typical D schemes are 11 on 10, this new D must be 11 on 11. The other thing is, that QB is exposed to injury, IE: RGIII and is not something teams will want to continuously do long term with franchise QB's, especially after the rookie contract is up.  

 

So, IMHO, while not totally a fad, it will be addressed and tamed better than it has been up to now, making it less desirable on a risk/reward basis in the future.


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#37 Superman

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

It's a fad! It's a gimmick! Like the wildcat and it won't last

 

It's so much different from the wildcat.


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#38 braveheartcolt

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:21 PM

To hit the QB, you've got to get near them, and at the weekend the Pack couldn't get near Kaepernick. Fad or not, it looks like it will have some good mileage left in the tank before it goes out of business....


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#39 Coltscodeblue

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

It wasn't meant to say it was the "SAME" it's very different, it's a fad/gimmick "LIKE" the wildcat...

 

Wildcat was/is used in college, then came to NFL and lasted a year and this year the D was ready=fad!!!!!

 

Zone Read and or Pistol was/is used in college then came to NFL this year the D next year will be ready=fad!!!!!

 

Braveheartcolt quote:

Fad or not, it looks like it will have some good mileage left in the tank before it goes out of business....

^

^Yep and so did the wildcat, everybody praised and said it was great & didn't last...

 

Go Colts...


I pre-appoligize for a future of not a sniff of AFC South Championships for other AFC South teams in the next 10 to 15 more years till Andrew Luck retires!!!!!

 


#40 Matugi

Matugi
  • Member
  • 198 posts

Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Please explain to me how you counter the pistol.

I'll stop you short: you can't.

Because it's a formation.

Not a play.

The wildcat failed because it presented no passing threat and it literally was only misdirection. Same as any ole' running play.






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