The zone-read option, ask the Green Bay Packers about it. With the use of the zone-read option, the San Francisco 49ers finally made it over the hump and will play in the Super Bowl. Many fans with Super Bowl XLVII Packages Tickets will see first hand, just how dangerous the zone-read option can be. If San Francisco becomes Super Bowl Champions, you can expect for the offense to get an even stronger endorsement from coaches around the league. With the hiring of Chip Kelly, the former Head Coach who engineered the ultra-explosive offense of the Oregon Ducks owes his hire to an offense that the pros cannot seem to figure out.
Colin Kaepernick, RGIII, and few other athletic quarterbacks strives in an offense that they must decide whether to hand the ball off to the running back or keep it and run with it themselves. This decision to keep the ball and run or hand the ball off to the running back is based on actions taken by the defensive end. If the defensive end decides to stay wide and contain a possible run around his end, the quarterback is supposed to handoff the ball to his running back. However, if the defensive end decides to crash the line and not contain against a possible run wide, the quarterback keeps the ball and run. This is the simple version of the zone read option offense and when you also throw in the hurry-up offense, it provide defensive coordinators a lot of sleepless night coming up with a game plan for stopping it.
Michael Vick, if the Philadelphia Eagles decides to keep him will truly thank Chip Kelly for bringing his offense to the NFL. He is a prototypical zone-read quarterback. Vick is a better passer than his days playing in Atlanta, and he is still athletic enough to turn the corner on defensive ends when running the ball. He should thrive in Chip Kelly’s offense. The zone read will also help change how teams will look for their next starting quarterback. The drop-back passer will always be there, but the dual threat quarterback that throws well enough to keep a defensive secondary worried will have shot to start in the NFL. The zone read may also mean a player like Tim Tebow will find a roster spot.
San Francisco also has Frank Gore a great option to hand the ball off to when Kaepernick’s reads dictates him to do so. Gore is one of the best running backs in the NFL, and the read option makes him much deadlier offensive weapon. The Ravens saw this style of offense when they faced RGIII during the NFL Regular Season. The Redskins won the game in overtime 31-28 and the team rushed for 179 yards. This may not be a precursor to what will happen in Super Bowl, but it does make you wonder.
It is an effective weapon as was the Wildcat offense. However, you do not see many NFL teams running the Wildcat as much. Many would like to say the read option is a gimmick offense that will not stick around. I have said that the style of offense will not work in the NFL, but I have been proven wrong thus far. NFL defenses will eventually figure it out. I consider the quickness of an NFL defense would cancel out most option plays; however, when running from a Pistol or shotgun formation, it adds to the difficulty for a defense attempting to contain the zone read. The read option may have a long life in the NFL, but the Baltimore Ravens will have to figure it out in less than 9 days or see Ray Lewis’ career end with a Super Bowl loss.