There has been an ongoing discussion among pundits covering the NFL as to whether or not the read option is a fad or it’s a scheme which is here to stay. The read option, spread, pistol or Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense might be fun to watch, but if I’m building a team, give me an old fashioned pocket passer.
One week into the 2013 NFL season, announcers were ready to crown Chip Kelly as the next revolutionary in the NFL. His debut was impressive and entertaining to watch. Kelly told reporters that he wanted his team to get even faster on the field. The Eagles only managed a pedestrian 59 plays against the San Diego Chargers. Michael Vick continued to get pounded and was forced from the field after taking a vicious hit late in the game.
This is the problem with this style of offense, the quarterback gets hit too much. Will Vick last the season? His track record doesn’t support it. Look at what happened to RG III in Washington last season.
Lost in this discussion are the pocket passers simply blowing up the NFL record books after just two weeks. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for an impressive 480 yards in a blowout win. At half time, Rodgers had completed 26 of 31 for 335 yards and three touchdowns. By the third quarter, the NFL Network was counting down how many more yards Rodgers needed in order to set the all-time single game passing yardage record.
In New York, Peyton Manning continued his impressive start to the season. He led the broncos to a 2-0 start with a victory over the New York Giants in the much-hyped Manning Bowl III. In his season opener, Manning threw seven touchdowns, tying a long standing NFL record. He now has nine touchdowns and no interceptions after attempting 85 passes in two games so far this year.
With more and more highly mobile, athletic quarterbacks coming out of the college ranks, more NFL teams will eventually move to some version of the spread offense. But as I mentioned above, I believe this offense exposes the quarterback to too many hits. I’ll take a quarterback with a cannon arm like Rodgers any day if I’m building a franchise.
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