EVERYONE says it won't work, BUT....

Agent51

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....I was just thinking that someone, mainly Mora inAtlanta, should sneak in a freakin OPTION play. Let's face it, if that play would EVER work in the NFL, Vick is the one it will work for. I know the "ends and LBs are too fast and too big and the QB would get killed" etc etc etc, but if you think about it, what does vick do now? He snaps the ball and rolls out and runs to the outside, even on passes, its the same thing pretty much, except a RB will be with you to dump it off to. I doubt it would become a staple in an NFL offense, but it'd be sweet to try as a "trick" play, I think it'd work AT LEAST once, because NOBODY would expect that the first time. Just an idea that dawned on me while watching scouting footage.
 

DolphinDevil28

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If we take AD McPherson, I could see that happening maybe 5 times a year.


...Anyone remember Todd Doxson??? Jimmy Johnson would take Dan out for a play or two and run an option with Doxson on third down. The defense looked like chickens with their heads cut off running around the field.

I'd love to see us do that with McPherson a few times next year.
 

Agent51

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DolphinDevil28 said:
If we take AD McPherson, I could see that happening maybe 5 times a year.


...Anyone remember Todd Doxson??? Jimmy Johnson would take Dan out for a play or two and run an option with Doxson on third down. The defense looked like chickens with their heads cut off running around the field.

I'd love to see us do that with McPherson a few times next year.
maybe Saban will jack my idea, lol, but seriously, with a mobile enough QB it COULD work, it would never be a regular play like it is in college, but it would be an effective play to randomly bust out, a quick momentum changer, like Davey tried to do with his random-@$$ onside kick attempts
 

KB21

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It's doubtful. First of all, it will never work in the NFL. Secondly, you can't just throw an option play out there and run it effectively. Option teams base their offense around the option. Teams that run the occasional option rarely execute it well.
 

Awsi Dooger

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The '80s Chargers had a unique twist to the option play

Obviously the play had no chance with Dan Fouts. So the Chargers would put two halfback types in the backfield occasionally and run a pseudo option play by handing the ball immediately to the lead halfback, who would essentially become an option QB, running parallel to the line of scrimmage with the option of pitching to the trailing HB. It worked very well on occasion. Frankly, I've been surprised no one has adopted a version of that recently.

On edit: KB21 has an excellent point regarding the necessity of repetition in the option play. I lived and died with the old wishbone Sooners of the Switzer era. It was a late October and all of November offense. Once the timing was down OU would roll late in the year. That's partially the reason OU controlled Nebraska for most of that period. The game was always at the very end of the year, when Oklahoma's wishbone was at its apex. Teams that got Oklahoma early in the year, or in the bowl game after a six week layoff, had a much better chance to catch OU's offense on one of those stumbling/fumbling days.
 

Agent51

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KB21 said:
It's doubtful. First of all, it will never work in the NFL. Secondly, you can't just throw an option play out there and run it effectively. Option teams base their offense around the option. Teams that run the occasional option rarely execute it well.
It's worth a shot IMHO. it's basically the QB rolling out as if to pass but he keeps running, and pitches to the back if need be instead of stopping and throwing, so it's not like they have a WHOLE bunch more to learn. When I played we got a new coach our junior year and he brought in the option, we had to learn it, it wasn't that difficult, granted high school wasn't NFL, but still, for the MAYBE three or four times they would try it in a year, it's worth adding ONE play to the offense. They don't need to base their offense around it because I am not saying implement it like in a high school or college system, where there is different formations and looks to run it from, I'm talking one basical option play to be used very rarely.
 

Agent51

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Awsi Dooger said:
Obviously the play had no chance with Dan Fouts. So the Chargers would put two halfback types in the backfield occasionally and run a pseudo option play by handing the ball immediately to the lead halfback, who would essentially become an option QB, running parallel to the line of scrimmage with the option of pitching to the trailing HB. It worked very well on occasion. Frankly, I've been surprised no one has adopted a version of that recently.
I am seriously surprised that Atlanta hasn't tried it with Vick yet
 

KB21

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I'll put it this way. If you want to see an increase in turnovers due to bad pitches, then try to run the option when it isn't your base offense. I've seen it happen far too often at the college level. A team that doesn't run the option will try to run it, and wham. They mess up and turn the ball over.

It is a timing play. The quarterback has to run it enough to get a feel for when to pitch it and when to keep it. The running back has to run it enough to know how far to be from the quarterback at all times. It's just a play that won't be run successfully if the team doesn't run it 70% of the time.

Even at the college level, the option is starting to be phased out. More and more teams are going to the pro style offense.

I personaly think the team that runs the option the best at the college level is Air Force, and it is because that's pretty much all they run.
 

Agent51

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KB21 said:
I'll put it this way. If you want to see an increase in turnovers due to bad pitches, then try to run the option when it isn't your base offense. I've seen it happen far too often at the college level. A team that doesn't run the option will try to run it, and wham. They mess up and turn the ball over.

It is a timing play. The quarterback has to run it enough to get a feel for when to pitch it and when to keep it. The running back has to run it enough to know how far to be from the quarterback at all times. It's just a play that won't be run successfully if the team doesn't run it 70% of the time.

Even at the college level, the option is starting to be phased out. More and more teams are going to the pro style offense.

I personaly think the team that runs the option the best at the college level is Air Force, and it is because that's pretty much all they run.
LOL @ Air Force.

Yeah, you're right, it is a timing thing. I played tailback and we would run the play and my QB would pitch it at THE most inopportune times and I'd ihave to like twist to reach back and grab the ball so it wasn't fumbled. The concept was easy to learn, but the actual execution of the pitch on the fly was difficult, but that was high school, and these guys are pros, and I still think if a triple reverse to a downfield bomb can be pulled off then an option is worth a shot, if it fails horribly, throw it out, if it has the slightest bit of success, tweak it and tuck it away for another time
 

Awsi Dooger

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Actually, it's idiotic more college teams don't run the option

They say you can't win the national championship with it, but how many schools can aspire to that level anyway? An option attack is ideal to elevate a program that's perenially in shambles. There have been many recent examples. Navy, New Mexico St, TCU and Rice improved tremendously when they made the option a base foundation. Vanderbilt was much more of a factor several years ago when they ran the option. But schools like that don't attract great talent to begin with, so there is a natural ceiling regardless of your style of play. Over the course of several years the alumni can get bored with option football and it's dumped, other than service academies who always thrive with the option. Army went from decent to winless after dumping the option.

Of course, I'm biased as a gambler. Wagering on option teams has always been a huge winning proposition so the more the merrier. You can get upset after upset when the opposing team has no clue. I remember when my alma mater USC was facing TCU in a minor bowl game a few years ago, shortly after TCU installed the option. Our coach was the genius Paul Hackett. I knew he wouldn't prepare at all for the option or have any clue how to stop it even if he did. When Hackett was coach at Pitt, they lost 45-10 to Oklahoma in a season opener. The game was pick-em. After the game, Oklahoma coaches said they couldn't evaluate their effort because they had never seen a team so poorly schemed to defense the option as Pitt.

Sure enough, more than a decade later nothing changed. TCU crushed USC as a double digit underdog.
 

Agent51

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Awsi Dooger said:
They say you can't win the national championship with it, but how many schools can aspire to that level anyway? An option attack is ideal to elevate a program that's perenially in shambles. There have been many recent examples. Navy, New Mexico St, TCU and Rice improved tremendously when they made the option a base foundation. Vanderbilt was much more of a factor several years ago when they ran the option. But schools like that don't attract great talent to begin with, so there is a natural ceiling regardless of your style of play. Over the course of several years the alumni can get bored with option football and it's dumped, other than service academies who always thrive with the option. Army went from decent to winless after dumping the option.

Of course, I'm biased as a gambler. Wagering on option teams has always been a huge winning proposition so the more the merrier. You can get upset after upset when the opposing team has no clue. I remember when my alma mater USC was facing TCU in a minor bowl game a few years ago, shortly after TCU installed the option. Our coach was the genius Paul Hackett. I knew he wouldn't prepare at all for the option or have any clue how to stop it even if he did. When Hackett was coach at Pitt, they lost 45-10 to Oklahoma in a season opener. The game was pick-em. After the game, Oklahoma coaches said they couldn't evaluate their effort because they had never seen a team so poorly schemed to defense the option as Pitt.

Sure enough, more than a decade later nothing changed. TCU crushed USC as a double digit underdog.
that being said, whats your take on a NFL option? not as an actual offense but as like ONE option play snuck in ever so rarely?
 

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Option is not

The reason the option does not work at the elite levels of college football any longer and never has truly worked in the pros is very simple. The option makes defenders make a choice as to who and what to defend... in college when your talking about young kids who do not see the option often this can be tough to do. One rule - Stay on your man, sounds easy enough but when your "sure" he's gonna hand it inside, keep it, pitch it, or throw - it is hard to fight that feeling. With Elite Schools and pros one practice session... in fact I'm willing to bet one PLAY vs. the option and it is just a gimmick and has no real potential.

Check out the Hurricane - Oklahoma NC game a couple years ago for the ideal example... Miami manhandled the Option and hadn't played against more than a handful of option plays all year. They stuck to there assignments put a hat on a man, and made them pay... Every man got hit, not just the ball carrier... discipline is the name of the D when facing the Option.

While you could try and use it occasionally the QB needs to be able to hold the pitch until the last second and that often involves a HUGE hit most franchises don't have a starting QB that they want to put in that situation. While having a second or third string QB that has the size and ability to run the option is a possibility you will arrive back at my original point.... The D will know it is coming and if they know it won't work.
 

Awsi Dooger

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I have a completely different view on those Miami/Oklahoma games

Equalizer said:
Check out the Hurricane - Oklahoma NC game a couple years ago for the ideal example... Miami manhandled the Option and hadn't played against more than a handful of option plays all year. They stuck to there assignments put a hat on a man, and made them pay... Every man got hit, not just the ball carrier... discipline is the name of the D when facing the Option.
Miami won because of vastly superior talent. The styles of play were virtually irrelevant. If Miami had evolved as a wishbone team and OU as a pro passing attack the results would have been identical. Obviously, the personnel of each team suited what they did. Miami was in an era of surreal talent, Jerome Brown and Bennie Blades-type of talent. Just check out the rosters from those games, played every year from '85 to '87. It's incredible Oklahoma was favored each time. One roster is stacked with great players and the other just a few recognizeable names. Those games got me involved in sports betting, frankly. I was a fan of both teams and knew Miami was much more talented, yet the oddsmaker and public perception was otherwise.

The best example is Nebraska many years later, in the early '90s. Sportswriters and sportscasters and fans alike berated Tom Osborne for sticking to a run-oriented option attack for years, saying he was ignorant and would never win the big one without switching to a modern offense. Osborne was wise enough to know they were overreacting. Nebraska's problem was lack of talent and speed in relation to the schools they were asked to defeat in the bowl games. That area of the country isn't exactly swarming with high school talent. Some high schools play 9-man football, not 11. But once Osborne accumulated a group of great players via nationwide recruiting in the early to mid-'90s he squashed Florida in the Fiesta Bowl NC game, one year after defeating Miami in the Orange Bowl. A year earlier his young and developing Husker team was screwed by the refs as an 18-point underdog against FSU in the Orange Bowl, losing by 1 point. It was players, not schemes.
 

Awsi Dooger

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I like the possibilities minus the QB

Agent51 said:
that being said, whats your take on a NFL option? not as an actual offense but as like ONE option play snuck in ever so rarely?
Like I posted earlier. Either initiating the option with a RB, or even with a WR on a flanker around. I've also seen that approach once in a while. That's the type of stuff the Utah coach liked to do, the guy who is now head coach at Florida. No reason it couldn't be used very sparingly on the pro level.

I'm not thrilled with franchise QBs trying to option NFL DEs. Not only the injury factor, but normally the petrified factor. They invariably bail out and pitch so soon the play is a virtual forfeit.

One thing I forgot to mention about the Nebraska option teams of the mid-'90s with Frazier. They were good enough to defeat the Florida schools of that era, who were all somewhat flawed. Miami was down because of lousy Erickson recruiting. The great Frank Costa QBed that bowl game vs. Nebraska. Florida was too soft with Spurrier and FSU was just FSU, always less than they're made out to be. No matter how great that '95 Nebraska team was, it couldn't have matched up athletically with the Canes teams of the late '80s or early in this decade.
 
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