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Thread: Spread Option a viable offense?

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancane View Post
    The Spread Option isn't viable, not at the NFL level at least. I remember that a lot of people said the Wildcat Option would eventually invade the NFL and be considered a Pro Offense, guess what happened, it flamed out. Problem is that the Spread Option requires not so much talent as deceptiveness to be successful, once a defense, especially the faster more hard hitting defenses at the professional level understand what they're facing then the offense becomes a liability for the team using it. No option offenses have been successful in the modern NFL for that very reason, they're gimmick offenses that once the flaws are discovered can not be adjusted.

    Now that doesn't mean that an offense can not utilize certain aspects of that offensive system. After all, a quality offensive coordinator will take aspects of many different offenses in order to create a more dynamic offense. Wasn't that long ago that the shotgun formation was introduced to the Spread Options, look at the success of those offenses with the formation in play.
    Lan, I don't agree that the Spread Option is a gimmick play. At least no more of a gimmick play than a play-action bootleg or a HB counter. It's a misdirection play, and as we saw on Sunday an offense based on misdirection can be, and are, successful at every level.

    The reason you don't see any successful option offenses in the NFL is two fold, both already more or less pointed out: the importance/cost of the QB, and how hard NFL defenses hit. The way you defend any QB option is have your DE/OLB completely ignore the other option and tee off on the QB. If KC's defense is worth a damn, next week the first time Tebow runs an inside hand-off out of the shot-gun the outside contain guy will be hitting Tebow.

    That does take a tackler out of the run defense and is why Willie had such a big 2nd half. But no QB can hold up over 16 games running the spread option 10+ times a game, especially now that teams will be talking about how to defend it in pre-game meetings (see above). So no, I don't think having an offense based on the Option Spread is viable (unless you had 2 or 3 QBs you were comfortable with I guess) but it can be effective as a wrinkle or a package, especially if you involve a passing element.

    Last year Michigan did that (I assume this year as well, but haven't seen them play), they added a third option where a slot receiver ran a seam...if the OLB played contain, it opened a quick passing lane. We've got TEs that can catch, RBs that can catch and big WRs...there's potential for an interesting Spread Option package, where Tebow pulls the ball out from the HB maybe 5-7 times per game. If we're going to be a run first team, it adds another dimension to the ground game.
    If not me, who?

  2. #32
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    Spread offense has ability to help teams in pass protection By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
    Senior Analyst
    Published: June 28, 2010


    During a recent sit-down with two NFL offensive line coaches, I was taken by surprise. What caught my attention is the apparent shift in philosophy when it comes to using the spread formation to protect the quarterback in passing situations.

    The coaches, one active and the other retired, surprisingly favored five-man protections over six or seven blockers under certain conditions.

    Years ago, both old-school coaches believed in getting everyone blocked, but now see the potential benefits of less protectors and the use of spread sets to neutralize the opposing pass rush. As one coach pointed out as a criticism of using six or seven men, "The more people I crowd in around the QB to get the blitz blocked up, the more people are capable of rushing the passer."

    First, let's explore how a spread formation with an empty set (no back in the backfield) or a formation with one running back, who has a free release, can protect the passer. Both strategies are known as "scat" protection, which means the offensive line will declare the five defenders they will block, leaving the quarterback responsible for the other rushers with a quick release and an accurate pass.

    While there's risk involved, the spread formation also moves the extra defenders away from pass rush lanes and makes it very difficult to get to the signal-caller in time.
    * By moving these players away from the tackles, potential pass rushers have to move out with them, and it becomes easy for the quarterback to identify which defenders are rushing.


    So, when is it time to spread out your offense to try to neutralize the blitz?

    Percentage of pressure calls
    Situation Team Percentage
    Third down Jets 80
    Third down Cardinals 56
    Third down Saints 55
    Third down Ravens 53
    Third down Eagles 51
    Second down Browns 54
    Second down Saints 52
    Second down Jets 51

    That kind of question gets answered when looking at an opponent and their desire to pressure an offense. Down and distance also has to be considered, as does field position. Both coaches agreed that most blitzing defenses will reveal tendencies about themselves and by examining those trends, the offense can figure out when the five-man protection scheme is most effective.

    There were 1,101 sacks last season and 496 (45 percent) came when more than four rushers were employed, but the most important tidbit is when those calls were made.

    Upon further examination, you can see in the chart which teams want to dial up pressure. In turn, the offense, according to the two line coaches, needed to spread the field to better protect the quarterback.

    Unless a team is over 50 percent on pressure calls in any down-and-distance situation, it's not wise to build a plan based on the numbers.

    Interceptions on pressure calls
    Team Interceptions
    Saints 15
    Packers 13
    Ravens 12
    Bills 11
    Eagles 11

    Another big reason to spread out in obvious pressure situations is the risk of an interception by a quarterback under heavy durress.

    The most interesting portion of our protection conversation centered on the red zone. As one coach pointed out, the best time to neutralize pressure is inside the 20-yard line, and some of the numbers back that. Last year, there were 2,123 pass plays in the red zone and 675 of them (32 percent) involved a blitz call.

    Teams must score touchdowns as often as possible in the money zone, and they certainly can't get knocked out of field goal range. The good news for offenses was that only five percent of those pressure calls wound up in a sack and the five-man protection schemes played a big part in that success.

    Play-calling is dictated depending on the team and which down it is in the red zone. Third down proved to be the predominant time to bring pressure.

    Pressure calls on third down in red zone
    Team Interceptions
    Jets 67 percent
    Cowboys 60 percent
    Colts 58 percent
    Saints 54 percent
    Dolphins 54 percent

    It's interesting to note that teams like the Cowboys, Dolphins and Colts aren't heavy-blitz teams outside the red zone on third down, but will change their way of thinking inside the 20.

    Dallas used pressure on close to 40 percent of plays outside the red zone, but that number increased 20 percent inside it. Miami went up 10 percent when opponents entered its 20. Indianapolis also used a more aggressive style, up 24 percent. Point being, an offensive line coach who knows that kind of information is going to adjust protection by field position.

    The active offensive line coach told me his team only gave up two sacks in five-man protections last year and over 30 in their six and seven blocker looks.

    Trying to pressure a passer on fourth down in the red zone has proven difficult of late. Over the last two years there were 135 such pass attempts and defenses blitzed 45 times, but delivered just two sacks. Most fourth-down pass plays call for the quick fade route to a wide receiver, when the defense has no chance of getting to the quarterback.

    Expect to see even more spread formations this year. Offensive line coaches appear to be on board with the protection merits of spreading out a defense.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superchop 7 View Post
    Spread offense has ability to help teams in pass protection By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
    Senior Analyst
    Published: June 28, 2010


    During a recent sit-down with two NFL offensive line coaches, I was taken by surprise. What caught my attention is the apparent shift in philosophy when it comes to using the spread formation to protect the quarterback in passing situations.

    The coaches, one active and the other retired, surprisingly favored five-man protections over six or seven blockers under certain conditions.

    Years ago, both old-school coaches believed in getting everyone blocked, but now see the potential benefits of less protectors and the use of spread sets to neutralize the opposing pass rush. As one coach pointed out as a criticism of using six or seven men, "The more people I crowd in around the QB to get the blitz blocked up, the more people are capable of rushing the passer."

    First, let's explore how a spread formation with an empty set (no back in the backfield) or a formation with one running back, who has a free release, can protect the passer. Both strategies are known as "scat" protection, which means the offensive line will declare the five defenders they will block, leaving the quarterback responsible for the other rushers with a quick release and an accurate pass.

    While there's risk involved, the spread formation also moves the extra defenders away from pass rush lanes and makes it very difficult to get to the signal-caller in time.
    * By moving these players away from the tackles, potential pass rushers have to move out with them, and it becomes easy for the quarterback to identify which defenders are rushing.


    So, when is it time to spread out your offense to try to neutralize the blitz?

    Percentage of pressure calls
    Situation Team Percentage
    Third down Jets 80
    Third down Cardinals 56
    Third down Saints 55
    Third down Ravens 53
    Third down Eagles 51
    Second down Browns 54
    Second down Saints 52
    Second down Jets 51

    That kind of question gets answered when looking at an opponent and their desire to pressure an offense. Down and distance also has to be considered, as does field position. Both coaches agreed that most blitzing defenses will reveal tendencies about themselves and by examining those trends, the offense can figure out when the five-man protection scheme is most effective.

    There were 1,101 sacks last season and 496 (45 percent) came when more than four rushers were employed, but the most important tidbit is when those calls were made.

    Upon further examination, you can see in the chart which teams want to dial up pressure. In turn, the offense, according to the two line coaches, needed to spread the field to better protect the quarterback.

    Unless a team is over 50 percent on pressure calls in any down-and-distance situation, it's not wise to build a plan based on the numbers.

    Interceptions on pressure calls
    Team Interceptions
    Saints 15
    Packers 13
    Ravens 12
    Bills 11
    Eagles 11

    Another big reason to spread out in obvious pressure situations is the risk of an interception by a quarterback under heavy durress.

    The most interesting portion of our protection conversation centered on the red zone. As one coach pointed out, the best time to neutralize pressure is inside the 20-yard line, and some of the numbers back that. Last year, there were 2,123 pass plays in the red zone and 675 of them (32 percent) involved a blitz call.

    Teams must score touchdowns as often as possible in the money zone, and they certainly can't get knocked out of field goal range. The good news for offenses was that only five percent of those pressure calls wound up in a sack and the five-man protection schemes played a big part in that success.

    Play-calling is dictated depending on the team and which down it is in the red zone. Third down proved to be the predominant time to bring pressure.

    Pressure calls on third down in red zone
    Team Interceptions
    Jets 67 percent
    Cowboys 60 percent
    Colts 58 percent
    Saints 54 percent
    Dolphins 54 percent

    It's interesting to note that teams like the Cowboys, Dolphins and Colts aren't heavy-blitz teams outside the red zone on third down, but will change their way of thinking inside the 20.

    Dallas used pressure on close to 40 percent of plays outside the red zone, but that number increased 20 percent inside it. Miami went up 10 percent when opponents entered its 20. Indianapolis also used a more aggressive style, up 24 percent. Point being, an offensive line coach who knows that kind of information is going to adjust protection by field position.

    The active offensive line coach told me his team only gave up two sacks in five-man protections last year and over 30 in their six and seven blocker looks.

    Trying to pressure a passer on fourth down in the red zone has proven difficult of late. Over the last two years there were 135 such pass attempts and defenses blitzed 45 times, but delivered just two sacks. Most fourth-down pass plays call for the quick fade route to a wide receiver, when the defense has no chance of getting to the quarterback.

    Expect to see even more spread formations this year. Offensive line coaches appear to be on board with the protection merits of spreading out a defense.
    interesting article. I think it is important to differentiate between the spread and the spread option. The spread does have benefits as stated in the article, but does not rely on the QB running the ball. The spread option includes the qb participating as a runner in a large percentage of the run game. The previous posts have been pointing out the possibility/impossibility of the spread option working. Basically asking the question if the option is viable in the pros and in addition how will a running QB fare in such a system(success vs. early grave) I do however appreciate the post as it brought to light some of the benefits the spread portion of the spread option has for the passsing game. Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    interesting article. I think it is important to differentiate between the spread and the spread option. The spread does have benefits as stated in the article, but does not rely on the QB running the ball. The spread option includes the qb participating as a runner in a large percentage of the run game. The previous posts have been pointing out the possibility/impossibility of the spread option working. Basically asking the question if the option is viable in the pros and in addition how will a running QB fare in such a system(success vs. early grave) I do however appreciate the post as it brought to light some of the benefits the spread portion of the spread option has for the passsing game. Thank you
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________

    In regards to the spread option.

    It seems to me that.....If a running back is reading A-B-C gaps on one side of the line and the QB is reading A-B-C gaps on the other side of the line....AND.....(most importantly) you have the green light to hit any gap thats open.......your gonna get some yards.

    If everything is out of the shotgun.....the defense has to respect the pass, if they don't.....make them pay.

    Trying to defend this ? Not easy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superchop 7 View Post
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________

    In regards to the spread option.

    It seems to me that.....If a running back is reading A-B-C gaps on one side of the line and the QB is reading A-B-C gaps on the other side of the line....AND.....(most importantly) you have the green light to hit any gap thats open.......your gonna get some yards.

    If everything is out of the shotgun.....the defense has to respect the pass, if they don't.....make them pay.

    Trying to defend this ? Not easy.
    I think that is why you are seeing it more at the college lvl now. It is my opinion that it will eventually make its way to th NFL level with some measure of success. Not everyone feels the same way of course

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superchop 7 View Post
    If everything is out of the shotgun.....the defense has to respect the pass, if they don't.....make them pay.
    That is the real key. Tim will have to make them pay or it won't matter.

    Here is hoping he does....I REALLY do not want to draft a QB in round 1 with so many needs still on the defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    I agree that he need to improve, I also think Alabama was superior talent wise to Fla that year. IMO talent trumps scheme 9 times out of 10
    Players ALWAYS beat out schemes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravage!!! View Post
    Running the option in the NFL, on a regular basis, is an embarrassment.
    Rav, you were embarrassed on sunday?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancane View Post
    Of course it won't change Fish, every year they change the rules to favor the passing offenses and protect those same said quarterbacks. In fact, it's understandable if you look at Cugel's assessment of protecting their investment at the position. Out of the top ten highest players in the NFL for 2011 only four - Haloti Ngata, Elvis Dumervil, Gerald McCoy and Richard Seymour are not quarterbacks. And it would be fair to say that McCoy and Dumervil are not worth the combined 26.8 million they're receiving. Whereas Ngata and Seymour are worth the combined 26.5 million that they'll receive.

    It's a shining example of the focus at the position, six of the top ten paid players are the quarterbacks the four defensive players on the list are those paid to get in the backfield and stop them.

    And I wouldn't say there are no hero quarterbacks, it's just that with the era change that the aspect of the definition has undergone change regarding the position, even though we considered Denver's victory over Oakland to be a good game, if you ask the majority of football fans which games were the best the answer would be New York/New England, San Diego/Green Bay, Baltimore/Pittsburgh and New Orleans/Tampa Bay...and why? Because it showcased quarterback duels of those teams quarterbacks - that's the standard.

    Denver's Super Bowl win, XXXII is still considered one of the greatest and why? Because it featured two elite quarterbacks in a duel of wills and even though neither had great statistics, the game was in a sense a shootout between their respective offenses.

    In short, not only is the spread option offense hard to maintain at a successful level, but it endangers the quarterbacks for which the league relies on in many different aspects.
    Everybody acknowledges Dline has a large learning curve, cane.
    doom is in his 3rd new scheme in 4yrs? And mcCoy, by his HC's words, was becoming a play disruptor until his torn bicep.
    and did you forget about Suh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lancane View Post
    That would depend, do you actually think that a spread option can win more then lose at this level?

    Beating Oakland and Miami are one thing, beating Green Bay, New England, New York (G), New York (J), Pittsburgh, Baltimore and so on is different.

    If people think a spread option would bring victory against such teams then they lying to themselves. Using the spread option would require people to be happy with just beating the weaker, more mundane teams. Which I guess is fine in our division, but I wouldn't start counting on the team to be a true contender.
    It might beat NE

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I think it can work but ONLY if Tebow can make the defense pay when they shut the running down.

    It won't be too long before defenses can be geared towards stopping an attack that no matter what SOMEONE is coming out of the back field with the ball.

    He will HAVE to keep the defense honest by throwing the ball down the field and burning the defense when they leave someone wide open.

    Also the only way it can be a viable offense to build around is they will HAVE to have a backup QB with a similar style.

    The offense is geared towards one basic style what happens if Tebow does get hurt?

    Orton or Quinn going to run that offense?

    Who does THAT fool?

    For now so it can be used but if they go with Tim long term and they develop that offense along with him then next year they sure as hell better be bringing in another scrambler.
    Theyre just plays theyve installed. If he goes down, the system is already there for the backups.

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    Not sure what the answer is.....but I would try to find a way to mix Doom at LB. (he is more effective) Perhaps.....you bring Mays to the line....drop Doom to Mike....and send them both. Kind of a hybrid 50 defense.

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    All the douche experts on ESPN will say no. Partly because they are so enamored on what a QB should be that they don't understand the point of the game is not who can throw 3-step out route for a 4 yard gain the best, but rather scoring points.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superchop 7 View Post
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________

    In regards to the spread option.

    It seems to me that.....If a running back is reading A-B-C gaps on one side of the line and the QB is reading A-B-C gaps on the other side of the line....AND.....(most importantly) you have the green light to hit any gap thats open.......your gonna get some yards.

    If everything is out of the shotgun.....the defense has to respect the pass, if they don't.....make them pay.

    Trying to defend this ? Not easy.

    A couple things would cause some serious problems with what you are suggesting. One, the QB and the RB aren't going to the same hole for the exchange. If the RB is "changing his mind" as to what hole he is going to hit in the middle of the QB reading teh DE/T... then he's cutting while the QB's eyes are looking at HIS read. Thats going to cause problems.

    Then you are trying to suggest that the offense can either pass or run on any given play. However, that means your OL can ONLy run block on every play... and even while doing that, they can't release and block on the second level (ie LBs)..because that would be illegal man downfield on pass plays.

    So the QB can't simply have the option to run or pass on every play, because that would put the OL in some VERY suspect positions and problems. Pass blocking on run plays doesn't work, and run blocking on pass plays only blocks level one.

    So the "pass or run" decision has to be made in the huddle (99% of the time). Not only that, your RB HAS to have a hole to hit so that your QB knows where to go, and where to make the QB-RB exchange while making a read. From there, the RB can decide to cut back or bounce, but thats not exactly what you are saying because RBs usually look for the open hole as is.

    The problem is... when teams realize that you are making the simple reads as to "give or pull"...they will start giving up "false reads." Meaning their initial steps and moves will FORCE the QB to make a single decision that the Defense has determined. Then you have the speed of the DE's and LBs that you just don't have in college.

    The spread "option" would work on an occasional play.. much like a bootleg...or reverse....or even the wildcat. But it would absolutelY NOT work on a regular basis in the NFL. There is a lot of reasons that its left for the HS can college levels. Mainly, the defensive speed is just TOOOO great in the NFL for it to work.
    (the previous comment was not directed at any particular individual and was not intended to slander,disrespect or offend any reader of said statement)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sneakers View Post
    All the douche experts on ESPN will say no. Partly because they are so enamored on what a QB should be that they don't understand the point of the game is not who can throw 3-step out route for a 4 yard gain the best, but rather scoring points.
    So you are saying that the ex-players/QBs don't understand, but we, the guys on our couches watching and talking on a message board..... "get it?"
    (the previous comment was not directed at any particular individual and was not intended to slander,disrespect or offend any reader of said statement)

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