The NFL believes the Read/Option is here to stay

By Tyler Oberly
June 14, 2013

Photo: Keith Allison

So far this off-season, the "Pistol formation" originator, Chris Ault, got hired as a consultant, coaching staffs have spent time with collegiate teams like Alabama for help defending the read/option and front offices have pushed to conduct special research to find analytical trends regarding the read/option.  This off-season shows that NFL teams believe that the read-option won't be going away anytime soon.

Our Tyler Oberly recently completed a read option study reviewing and compiling over 300 plays run last season by San Francisco, Washington, Seattle, Carolina, and Tennessee.  Here are some of the numbers behind the read option.

Seattle Seahawks

  • In games reviewed (weeks 12-17), Seattle ran the read-option an average of 9 times per game
  • Running backs averaged 7.2 yds/rush
  • Russell Wilson kept the ball 29% of the time (averaged 8.1 yds/rush)
    • Left: 46%
    • Middle: 13%
    • Right: 41%

Most common read-option formations:

Tennessee Titans

  • In games reviewed (weeks 13-17), Tennessee ran the read-option an average of 1 time per game
  • Running backs averaged 7.2 yds/rush
  • Jake Locker kept the ball 0% of the time
  • QB Option Movement:
    • Left: 20%
    • Middle: 0%
    • Right: 80%

Only read-option formation:

Carolina Panthers

  • In games reviewed (all 16 games), Carolina ran the read-option an average of 9.5 times per game
  • Running backs averaged 5.0 yds/rush
  • Cam Newton kept the ball 28% of the time (averaged 8.6 yds/rush)
    • Left: 45%
    • Middle: 31%
    • Right: 24%

Most common read-option formation: (variations of 1 wide-left, 3 wide-right):

Washington Redskins

  • In games reviewed (weeks 9-17), Washington ran the read-option an average of 11.4 times per game
  • Running backs averaged 4.9 yds/rush
  • RG3 kept the ball 44% of the time (averaged 9.5 yds/rush)
    • Left: 45%
    • Middle: 24%
    • Right: 31%

Most common read-option formation (going both directions):

San Francisco 49ers

  • In games reviewed (weeks 15-NFC Championship), San Francisco ran the read-option an average of 8.8 times per game
  • Running backs averaged 5.4 yds/rush
  • Kaepernick kept the ball 16% of the time (averaged 14.1 yds/rush)
    • Left: 32%
    • Middle: 14%
    • Right: 55%

Most common read-option formation (going both directions):

Comment

Scouting Dept.

Cyrus Kouandjio
Overall Rank: #14

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