Gunther Cunningham

Read-option QBs are vulnerable to injury

The biggest problem with the development of a true read-option offense isn't in the scheme, it's actually in the personnel it requires to work effectively. That is, you need an athletic quarterback that can make throws, something that is more available now than ever before. The problem is, teams aren't willing to put such high paid players in harms way every down.

The read-option has been kicked around the NFL for a long time, and Lions offensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham laid out the reasons for the lack of the read-option in the league.

"The problem is for those quarterbacks, one of these days one of them is not going to walk off," Cunningham told the Lions’  team website. "It’s a lot of pressure on him to physically do that."

The obvious variation that has made it into the league is the wildcat offense. The premise there is the running back provides the options for the offense instead of the quarterback. The problem with the wildcat offense is it lacks the passing ability of a true read-option, and ultimately, that may have prevented it from going mainstream.

Teams will continue to pull out read-option plays from time to time, but as a base offensive scheme, don't expect it to make its way to the NFL anytime soon. It's too much of a risk to let the franchise quarterback get hit on nearly every play. That's not how you succeed at the pro level.

Shane Clemons

About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.

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