On The Chalkboard: The Read Option

Patrick McDermott

After it's breakout season in 2012, you can be sure that both offensive and defensive coordinators are out to learn everything they can about the Read Option. This video, the first of a multiple part series to come, breaks down the nuance of the scheme.

A Few Notes To Remember

  • The philosophy behind the read option is that "It's easier to read someone, than it is to block them"
  • The offensive line leaves one man unblocked in the defense's front-7 and the reaction of that player tells the QB what to do with the ball.
  • Many read option plays leave one defensive end unblocked, while the OL blocks a zone run play to the opposite side, thus the name "Zone Read".
  • If you want to see more variations of the read-option check out the Read Option Study by The Sideline View
  • The greatest nuance of the version drawn here is the arc block. This is a counter to a common method used to defend the read option, called the scrape-exchange, which our own Blue Eyed Devil did a good job of breaking down in the fan post section.

Be sure to stay tuned for the next few parts of this series, in which we'll look at variations of the Read Option run game, as well as how it is impacting the play-action passing game, and finally we'll look at my take on how to neutralize these attacks based on what I saw teams try in 2012.

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