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Defending the option in the NFL

Larry from WV : 12/4/2012 11:00 am
I've been trying to decide on the best way to defend the option with NFL caliber athletes on both sides of the ball.

It would seem like we designed our system to have our DEs read then make the correct play while playing zone behind it. It seems like with the speed of the NFL game that time to read then react gave the offense a step on our d-line and allowed them to reach the corner.

I wonder if a better defense would be more of a strict 1 gap defense focusing on gap penetration and bringing enough defenders to account for the running back and the quarterback. You would leave yourself open to the big play and getting beat over the top. However it seems like it would be hard for their offense to get in a grove and wear our defense out in the second half. I envision our traditional 4 down linemen with Kiwi playing will but lining up on the line as well. Then play man coverage with a man assigned to the RB and the QB.

I'm sure I'm over simplifying it, so I would like some insight on how others would attack the option and why.
Hit the quarterback.  
BigBlueBuff : 12/4/2012 11:02 am : link
Hit the quarterback. Hit the quarterback.

It's a grotesque oversimplification, but I think the Giants showed too much respect to the Skins passing game last night. Honestly, they should have just treated the gameplan the same way they treated the Packers: Attack.
I would have told Osi, Tuck and JPP  
rnargi : 12/4/2012 11:02 am : link
to hit Griffen every single time, no matter who got the ball. Leave it to the DTs, Mike and FS to stop the run in the middle. Hit Griffen 9 times in a row and I bet they stop the option pretty quickly.
You need a base 50  
Joey in VA : 12/4/2012 11:05 am : link
Or 4-4 look essentially. It's not rocket science either. The DE has QB, the play side LB has the pitch man and you screw down on the backside (essentially the DL hold the OL and keep them from reach blocks. The easiest way is to submarine and force the OL to go with you and not fire out to the second level).

You saw Osi on a few plays hesitate between pitch and QB and that's when the option works and kills you. JPP did the same thing, he dove inside on Morris but should have read the QB the WHOLE time. It works because it's counter to what you're taught at the NFL level which is see ball, get ball. Against the option it's about discipline and knowing who is doing what. It's NOT hard at all, but you have to keep your assignments consistent up front and we didn't do that at all.
Years ago that approach would have worked  
Mike from Ohio : 12/4/2012 11:06 am : link
But with the protection of QBs now a smart QB can run the option and not take hard hits. When the QB gets out of the pocket he is no longer officially protected, but we all know if RGIII pitches the ball and a defender takes two steps and lights him up a flag is coming.

The key is to maintain gap discipline and the Giants defensive ends did a very poor job of that last night. You also grudgingly need to give the skins credit as they mixed it up well. RGIII is also much better at play action than I thought he was. He killed the LBs with some of his fakes yesterday leading to easy throws over the middle.
I agree  
Larry from WV : 12/4/2012 11:06 am : link
at this point their running game scares me more than the passing game. I would dare them to throw. However screens would kill us in my defense and I haven't found a way to prevent that.
Joey in VA : 12/4/2012 11:06 am : link
Not true, on the the option you can hammer the QB all you want no one is throwing a flag. That's been very very clear this year.
Joey - agree if you can get close enough to where he gives up the ball  
Mike from Ohio : 12/4/2012 11:16 am : link
and you can hit him immeditaley after he gives up the ball, but the Giants had nobody closing on him on virtually any of the pitches I recall. He was smart in getting rid of the ball well ahead of contact. Aside from the shot he took by staying in bounds on one play where he kept it, he generally got out of bounds at the end of runs.

I don't think the strategy of "each time they run it we will crush him" is much of an answer.
Bluff nailed it  
ada34ada : 12/4/2012 11:21 am : link
literally....punish the QB and one of two things happen:

1. They stop calling the play
2. QB begins pitching the ball too early

Our DE's played very undiscipline last night...Osi, JPP, etc...
I don't understand why we don't pop RG 3 every play  
RoadWarriorz : 12/4/2012 11:22 am : link
Is it a penalty if a QB gets hit on a handoff?
they did do some of that..  
shabu : 12/4/2012 11:27 am : link
they did do some of that hitting the QB on those plays. I saw it a few times.

Our run defense is just bad bad.
I was at the game and its really different when you  
OPBigBlue00 : 12/4/2012 11:31 am : link
see things up close, The concentrated on the ball carrier not griffin for whatever reason, the problem also this time was Prince gave like 5 yards of cushion on every play i think the plan was not get beat deep and stop the big plays from happeneing
Dragon : 12/4/2012 11:34 am : link
Did not loose this game our offense did not win it 16 points just can't be explained. I will admit that we did a very poor job of defending the Skins offense and the defense never seemed to make any adjustments in plays or personnel. We have so many DE's and LB's but just kept using only a few and did not ever attack the QB or even present the look we might. RGIII threw for 163 yards but they ran for over 200 yards and they did it with just power plays nothing real tricky.
well, dont underestimate a shanny  
alligatorpie : 12/4/2012 11:39 am : link
with talent around him

but if we are facing these guys for years to come my two cents is as always: you need massive DL'ers that also have very good rush, movement and even some speed chops.

and enough of those that they dont get worn down

and I have to say the stunts are looking slow in the face of some of these teams

(and of course the 5-0-6 might help ;-))
It doesn't matter who has the fucking ball  
Joey in VA : 12/4/2012 1:09 pm : link
You tackle the QB on the option, that is the DEs job on every play, or should be. The OLB has the pitch man, it's easy but Fewell again, does nothing easy to combat simple schemes. Having your all pro DE crash hard inside on a dive when the QB actually has the ball and dashes for 40 yards is piss poor.
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