Posted Thu Oct 27th by Jon Heath
The quarterback option is one of the most popular and successful plays in collegiate football. So why are Pro teams so afraid to run it?
I’m no expert when it comes to play calling or how NFL coaches think, so bear with me. I assume that the reason NFL teams rarely (if ever) run the option is because (a) the league has become a passing league and teams do not have the personnel to run the play, (b) most coaches are fairly conservative and the option is a somewhat risky play and (c) NFL defenses would ultimately find a way to shut down the play (which is what happened to the Wild Cat).
The Denver Broncos have the weapons on offense to run the play, so why not give it a try, just once or twice a game. I know coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy are often accused of being ultra-conservative, but surely they must have some creativity locked away inside their football minds.
It’s time to get creative. We all know second year quarterback Tim Tebow is not a pocket passer and is more productive on the ground. And we all know that third year running back Knowshon Moreno is more productive in the open field than he is running between the tackles.
So here’s a suggestion to the Broncos: Get creative, open up the playbook and call plays that fit your player’s strengths instead of exposing their weaknesses.
Carolina’s doing it with Cam Newton. It’s a copy cat league, so why not try copying what’s working?
The option is a simple play that keeps defenses on their toes and allows play makers on offense to make a move one-on-one and make a play (after all, that’s what they’re paid to do). The quarterback rolls out with the option to either keep the ball or pitch it out to the running back, often depending on how the defensive end reacts to the play.
I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t even run the option. All I’m asking for is some creativity on offense. Adjust the offense to fit Tebow’s skill set. Again, he’s not a pocket passer, so why waste time trying to make him one instead of letting him do what he does best.
Tebow does need to learn to keep his eyes down field and he does need to work on his accuracy, but he doesn’t need to change his whole style of play. His style of play is what makes him what he is. It’s high time the Broncos turn him loose and let him play his game.
Throw in some options and shovel passes. We all saw how the Dolphins defense reacted when Tebow rolled left on Sunday — the entire defense flowed that way because of his threat to run. The play was perfectly executed and set up a screen pass back to tight end Daniel Fells that went for a touchdown late in the game.
That’s what I like to see! Use Tebow’s mobility to his and the offenses’ advantage. Mix it up on offense, and put Tebow in position to make plays that he has always been able to make.
Tebow can handle an inside shovel pass. Tebow can handle rolling out one way and throwing back across the field setting on a screen the other way. Tebow can run more creative plays than a quarterback draw on every single third down in a game. Tebow could handle an option, or even a triple option.
For goodness sakes, release the Tebow already!
This is my weekly request to you, Mike McCoy and John Fox. Let Tebow play to the best of his ability by letting him play his game. There’s no point in waiting until the game is on the line to say, “Screw it, go win the game, Tim.” Give him the opportunity to win the game from the first snap.
We haven’t yet seen the best of Tim Tebow. The best of Tim Tebow is buried somewhere in the Broncos playbook and has been since he arrived in Denver. There’s never been a better time for the Broncos to showcase some creativity on offense — they’ll play like they did for the first fifty-five minutes of last Sunday’s game without it.
Am I asking for too much? I can almost guarantee that the Broncos wouldn’t be disappointed if they let Tebow run an offense similar to what the Panthers are letting Newton run in Carolina. This week is Orange Sunday. Such a day would be a great day to display the best of Tebow.
Agree? Disagree? Down… set… go!