Around the NFL  

 

Kyle Shanahan: Read-option plays no longer 'easy'

Option plays took the NFL by storm last year, especially when Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and eventually Russell Wilson were the ones reading defenses.

Read option success: 2012 vs. 2013
  2012 2013
Total plays 270 172
Total yards 1651 861
Yards per play 6.1 5.0
Rushes 270 167
Rush yards 1651 835
Rush average 6.1 5.0
Rush TDs 13 5
Comp/Att 0/0 3/5
Pass yards  0 26
Interceptions  0    0
Sacked  0  0

In a cyclical league, defenses are doing a better job defending read option plays this year. Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Thursday that the success of the Redskins, 49ers and Seahawks forced the opposition to take notice.

"When you have something that was that successful ... guys are too smart," Shanahan said of defensive coordinators. "They are going to work all offseason and find a way to stop it. And when that happens you got to better at the other stuff. And I think we do have other stuff. And I think we're getting better at it."

Shanahan noted that defenses committed to stopping the read option will open up other possibilities for the Redskins' offense. Option plays are going to be part of the Redskins' attack, but the surprise factor largely is gone.

"The thing about last year: A lot of people weren't ready for it at all," Shanahan said. "It was easy at times. Now, it doesn't mean that it doesn't work. You just aren't shocking people like you were last year."

Griffin's health is a factor, but defensive coaching also is a factor in slowing down the read option. Teams had the entire offseason to drill technique with their players, so they are executing better. 

This hardly means that option plays are dead in the NFL. Like Shanahan said, it's just time for offensive coordinators to adjust right back. 

The "Around The League Podcast" talked RG3 and Kaepernick on their latest episode. Click here to listen and subscribe.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15