"Targeting" Will End the Read-Option Offense's Short Life in the NFL

Colin Kaepernick ran wild agains the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoffs this past January and showed just how effective the read-option offense was in the NFL last year. With Green Bay set to open their season on the road against the defending NFC champs and Packers linebacker Clay Matthews says his defense has a plan to stop all that running by the San Francisco 49ers‘ signal-caller.

Like any old defensive football mind will tell you, the best way to stop a college offense in the NFL is to hit the quarterback who is running the option, regardless of whether he has the football. That’s exactly what Matthews and company plan to do, but 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is already trying to protect Kaepernick by accusing Matthews of “targeting” the fleet-footed passer.

San Francisco’s skipper’s bid came up short because the NFL said like in all levels of football, the read-option quarterback can be hit just like a runner, regardless of whether he has the ball. So you can say you heard it here first: the 2013 season will see the end of the read-option offense in the NFL. Teams are paying their quarterbacks way too much money for them to get plastered on these gimmick plays. Even coaches like Harbaugh push the envelope, general managers and owners will put an end to it to protect their big investments.

Folks, a running quarterback has never won the Super Bowl and that will never change…ever. The NFL is a place where gimmick offenses can only take teams so far and they never last longer than a year or so. Remember the Wildcat offense? Yeah, me neither because it didn’t take long for pro defenses to figure out how to stop it. The same is about to happen with the read-option and it might be painful for guys like Kaepernick.